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GLIN==> DRaft Ballast water report



Note that this notice is signed by Tracy Mehan......

[Federal Register: September 27, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 188)]
[Notices]
[Page 49381-49382]
 >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27se01-75]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[Docket No. W-00-16; FRL-7068-4]


Availability of Draft Ballast Water Report and Request for
Comments

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of document availability with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of a draft Ballast
Water Report (Report), which summarizes the results of a study on
aquatic nuisance species (ANS) in ballast water discharges, and
recommends actions that EPA, working with other agencies, should take
to address the issue. We are seeking public comment on this draft
Report and its recommendations.

DATES: Submit comments on or before January 11, 2002.

ADDRESSES: The record for this notice is available for inspection from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays at
the Water Docket, 401 M Street SW, East Tower Basement (Room EB 57),
Washington, DC 20460. The record includes the subject draft Report and
supporting documents. For access to the Docket materials, please call
(202) 260-3027 to schedule an appointment.
     Please send requests for a copy of the draft Report, or written
comments on the Report, to: W-00-16 Ballast Water Comment Clerk, Water
Docket (MC-4101), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.
Hand deliveries should be made to the Water Docket at 401 M Street,
SW., East Tower Basement (Room EB 57), Washington, DC 20460. Please
submit an original and three copies of your comments and enclosures
(including references).
     The draft Report can also be downloaded from internet address
<A 
HREF="http://www.epa.gov/owow/invasive_species/petition.html";>http://www.epa.gov/owow/invasive_species/petition.html</A>. 
Comments on the
draft Report may be submitted by electronic mail (e-mail) to
<A HREF="mailto:Ballast.Water@epa.gov";>Ballast.Water@epa.gov</A>. To avoid 
duplication of comments in the comment
record, please do not send the same comments by paper copy and email.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Heisler at (202) 260-8632 or Ruby
Cooper-Ford at (202) 564-0757.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In response to a petition received from the
Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center to EPA on January 13, 1999, and
in support of Executive Order 13112, ``Invasive Species,'' signed on
February 3, 1999, EPA undertook a Ballast Water Study (Study) to: (1)
Assess the issue of ANS from ballast water discharges, (2) research and
report what mechanisms are available under the Clean Water Act (CWA) or
other statutes to effectively control the introduction of ANS in
ballast water, and (3) recommend actions we should take to address the
issue.
     As part of this Study, EPA developed the draft Report to generate
public discussion on this matter. The draft Report includes the
following:

[[Page 49382]]

     (1) A survey of existing Federal, State and international actions
to address ANS.
     (2) Options for controlling ballast water through legal, technical
and practical mechanisms.
     (3) A list of additional non-regulatory and regulatory actions that
the EPA and other agencies might take to minimize the spread of
invasive ANS in ballast water; and
     (4) Other relevant factors and considerations.
     As the draft Report states, the Study concluded that the threat of
ANS introduction from ballast water discharges is real, and that EPA
has an appropriate role in mitigating that threat. The Report
recommends against establishing a regulatory program for ballast water
discharges under the CWA at this time.
     The Report suggests that the greatest barrier to effectively
preventing the threat of ANS introductions from ballast water, which
has to be resolved, is the lack of effective and affordable
technologies for treating ballast water to remove or reduce the ANS
threat. Those technologies are rapidly emerging and expected to be
widely available in several years.
     The Study examined the U.S. Coast Guard's ballast water program
under the National Invasive Species Act (NISA) of 1996, the work of the
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force under NISA, and the interagency
efforts established under Executive Order 13112. The Study concluded
that although the NISA program in its current form probably does not
sufficiently protect against ANS spread from ballast water discharges,
the primary impediments to its success (i.e., the lack of ballast water
treatment technologies, and the lack of comprehensive mandatory ballast
water treatment standards) are waning. The Coast Guard is expected to
take several actions in the near future to better incorporate new and
more effective ballast water treatment technologies into its ballast
water program. EPA believes those actions, coupled with availability of
new treatment technologies, provide the most effective approach for
preventing ANS introductions from ballast water.
     Based on its findings, the draft Report proposes recommendations
that EPA work with the Coast Guard and other stakeholders to foster the
rapid development of ballast water treatment technologies, and support
the Coast Guard regulatory program to ensure that it is as effective as
possible against ANS spread.
     The Report makes the following specific draft recommendations for
addressing the issue:
     a. Actively promote research, outreach, and technology development
through participation in the ANS Task Force, the Invasive Species
Council, and their appropriate committees and working groups on ballast
water.
     b. Promote technology development, for example through its
Environmental Technology Verification (ETV), Small Business Innovative
Research, and Green Ships and Green Ports programs.
     c. Establish the prevention of ANS introductions as an EPA research
priority.
     d. Provide technical assistance to ANS research projects initiated
or funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the U.S. Coast
Guard, or other government, academic, or non-governmental
organizations.
     e. Support the U.S. Coast Guard's efforts to evaluate the
effectiveness of its regulations and to revise them, if necessary, to
enhance their effectiveness in preventing ANS introductions, including
the development of domestic ballast water standards and encouraging the
development and adoption of new technologies.
     f. Continue EPA's participation on the U.S. delegation to the
Ballast Water Working Group of the Marine Environmental Protection
Committee of the International Maritime Organization, which is working
toward an international ballast water agreement, including developing
standards.
     g. Encourage public participation and education/outreach (e.g.,
through the National Estuary Programs, Great Waters Programs, Aquatic
Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF), National Invasive Species Council,
Interagency Committee on the Marine Transportation System, and web
sites).
     h. Work with the U.S. Coast Guard to maximize compliance with the
National Invasive Species Act (NISA) regulations at 33 CFR 151 by:
     1. Providing technical assistance, coordination, and advocacy
support to U.S. Coast Guard outreach, education, and research projects;
and
     2. Participating actively on the ANSTF, its regional Panels, and
its Ballast Water Committees.
     i. In cooperation with other Federal agencies, engage the regulated
community in a government-shipper partnership emphasizing the use of
Environmental Management Systems to address all aspects of ship-borne
transfers of ANS, by:
     1. Formally recognizing the efforts of shipping interests which
commit to real, significant actions that reduce the risk of ANS
transfer;
     2. Providing technical assistance, coordination, and where
appropriate, financial support to shippers projects designed to address
ANS; and
     3. Where appropriate, providing regulatory flexibility for ANS
prevention projects using EPA's Project XL Program.
     j. Provide encouragement for national consistency and coordination
to State and local governments' efforts to control ANS invasion from
ballast water.
     k. Develop EPA's Invasive Species Management Plan to identify
appropriate EPA-specific activities to implement the Invasive Species
Council's National Invasive Species Management Plan.
     l. Use EPA's authority to review NEPA documents and other
documentation, to promote the adequate consideration of the effects of
ANS in Federal actions which involve ballast water.
     m. Defer consideration of the application of NPDES permits to
ballast water discharges pending these actions. The effectiveness of
other programs, including the level of compliance with the Coast
Guard's program under NISA, will be a factor in EPA's future
consideration of this issue.
     The following documents are available from the W-00-16 Water
Docket, and are also available at the internet address listed above:
     1. Petition to EPA to regulate ballast water under NPDES, dated
January 13, 1999.
     2. Letter from the Assistant Administrator for Water, to
petitioner, dated April 6, 1999.
     3. Written comments received on the petition prior to release of
the draft Ballast Water Report.
     4. Draft Ballast Water Report.

     Dated: September 21, 2001.
G. Tracy Mehan, III,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 01-24193 Filed 9-26-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P



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