US Coast Guard new ballast rules, old seawater exchange deemed insufficient

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The US Coast Guard has published its latest rules on standards for living organisms in ballast water discharged in American waters, in which the old practice of exchanging of water mid-ocean will no longer be sufficient.

Instead, the US Coast Guard insists ships have shipboard water treatment systems that meet with the UN's International Maritime Organisation standards, which calls for the killing of living organisms to drastically reduce their number per cubic metre of water.

The US Coast Guard seeks to establish a standard for an acceptable concentration of living organisms in ballast water discharges, reports American Shipper, adding that the USCG is also revising regulations to include an approval process for ballast water management systems.

"Once fully implemented, this ballast water discharge standard will significantly reduce the risk of an introduction of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes," said Rear Admiral Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland.

The US Coast Guard said vessels entering the Great Lakes will still be required to fully exchange or flush their ballast tanks with seawater until they are equipped with the approved ballast water treatment systems that meet the discharge standard.

As for inbound foreign vessels, they will be examined at Montreal by a working group of US and Canadian authorities, including the US Coast Guard, to ensure the ballast tanks are exchanged or flushed as required, the report added.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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