"ripped" from U.S.C.G.'s Website
On Environmental Protection
- The CG has initiated several programs
to reduce pollution in U.S. waters through preventative measures
and proactive risk assessments.
- The spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) is a growing
national and international problem. Ships increasingyl introduce
ANS to U.S. waters through ballast water operations and hull
fouling. When established, some ANS can disrupt native
ecosystems, thus degrading natural resources and costing billions
of dollars due to lost production and control efforts.
- Objectives :
- To eliminate
environmental damage associated with maritime
transportation operations and to reduce the threat to the
aquatic environment from the introduction and
translocation of ANS by ships and ship operations.
The implementation of domestic Oil Pollution Act
of 1990 (Public Law 101-380) regulations following the EXXON
VALDEZ grounding in 1989, along with improved international
standards and industry efforts, led to a significant decline in
cargo oil spills. However, recent oil and hazardous material
spill trend analyses shows a need for additional CG efforts in
regard to bunker oil, pipelines, facilities, and tank barges.
Additionally, recent pollution incidents involving cruise lines
and some cargo ships prompted the CG to dedicate resources to
monitor this industry's waste procedures.
To address the threat of ANS introductions,
the CG has implemented a program of mandatory ballast water
exchange for vessels entering the Great Lakes and Hudson River
and mandatory ballast water reporting for vessels entering all
other U.S. ports. Further, the CG has published voluntary
ballast-water management guidelines for all vessels entering U.S.
waters that are outside of the Great Lakes Ecosystem. The key
elements of the guidelines are: (1) all vessels are asked to
conduct a mid-ocean exchange of ballast water before entering
these waters from beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone (generally
200 miles), (2) and to practice a suite of additional management
precautions to reduce the probability of spreading ANS.
- Pollution prevention/response
improvement and risk reduction focuses on continuing to
minimize the threat of spills by:
- Modifying prevention and
response programs based on a CG-led assessment of
potential risk of spills from bunker oil, pipelines,
offshore operations and hazardous materials;
- Leading an interagency effort,
including cruise lines, focused on pollution prevention
- Implementing hazardous
substance response plan requirements and marine
fire-fighting and salvage requirements for tank vessels
and shore terminals.
- Reducing the threat of ANS in U.S
waters will continue through enforcement of current
requirements, monitoring of recommended voluntary
practices as well as:
- Active support and
facilitation of research and development of new
technology and management methods to prevent the
introduction and spread of ANS;
- Partnership with federal,
state, industry and international stakeholders to develop
appropriate and uniform solutions to the problem of ANS
introductions via ships; and
- Submission to Congress, by
January 2002 and regularly thereafter, an assessment of
the voluntary guidelines effectiveness and
recommendations on revising the program to better protect
U.S. waters from the introduction of ANS.