Ballast Water Management - Update August 2014

In August 2014, the California State Lands Commission ("CSL") issued the attached letter to clarify its interpretation of existing ballast water requirements under the California's Marine Invasive Species Act ("MISA"). In its letter, California recognizes that in certain limited circumstances under federal law a vessel may not be required to deviate or incur delay in order to conduct a ballast water exchange. However, CSL explains that MISA does not provide for any exemption based on deviation or voyage delay.

CSL has also updated its map to more correctly depict the 200 nm boundary for the US West Coast, including those waters extending south of California.

Vessel compliance with the MISA and associated regulations is essential to prevent the introduction of non indigenous species into California waters.

Vessels conducting ballast water exchange to comply with PRC section 71204.3 or 2 CCR section 2284 must do so at a distance from the nearest land (including any islands), dependent upon their last port of call.

• Vessels calling at a California port or place arriving from a port or a place located outside of the Pacific Coast Region (PCR), and are carrying ballast water sourced from outside the PCR, are required to conduct ballast water exchange at least 200 nautical miles (NM) from any land (including islands) at a depth of at least 2,000 meters.

• Vessel arriving at a California port or place from within the PCR, and carrying ballast water sourced from within the PCR, are required to conduct exchange at least 50 NM from any land at a depth of at least 200 meters.

Please feel free to contact

Nicole Dobroski

Marine Invasive Species Program Manager

Tel: (916) 574-0742;

with any questions. 


Staff Author