Vessel operators calling at California ports are reminded of the state’s new biofouling management regulations and reporting requirements under its Marine Invasive Species Program 2018, said GARD.
The state of California is known for its enforcement of stringent environmental regulations. In addition to complying with stricter air emission requirements under the California Ocean-going Vessel (OGV) Fuel Regulation, vessels calling at California ports must also comply with regulations for ballast water discharges and biofouling enforced under the state’s Marine Invasive Species Program.
The California MISP is designed to prevent, and eventually eliminate, the introduction of non-indigenous species into State waters and is administered by the California State Lands Commission (SLC).
The MISP began in 1999 with the passage of California’s Ballast Water Management for Control of Non-indigenous Species Act, which addressed the threat of species being introduced by vessels arriving at California ports. Since that time the California Legislature has expanded the scope of the program to also include ballast water discharge performance standards and the regulation of vessel biofouling.
The SLC has jurisdiction over vessels that are 300 gross registered tons and above that carry or are capable of carrying ballast water and in a letter of 28 December 2017, it reminds owners and operators of vessels falling within this description of their management, record-keeping, and reporting obligations under the MISP.