FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: Amend fishing rules.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 220-77-090 and 220-77-095.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: The law regulates the control of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and the management of ballast water. Ballast water can carry chemicals, other pollutants, and AIS, making it a significant risk to the marine and fresh waters of the state, and therefore to the health, safety, and general welfare of Washington residents. It is vitally important to prevent the introduction of AIS and ballast-water pollution because once introduced, they are very difficult and costly to eradicate. These rules are interim while permanent rules are being developed.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: March 23, 2009.
(1) Vessels that are subject to chapter 77.120 RCW must report ballast water management information to the department at least twenty-four hours prior to entering Washington waters, by filing a ballast water reporting form pursuant to Title 33 C.F.R. Part 151.2045. Forms must be submitted to the department in electronic format (preferred) to email@example.com, or by fax to 360-902-2845.
Vessel owners and operators who rely on a third party to collect and forward ballast water reporting forms are responsible for ensuring that the department receives the ballast water management information as required in this subsection.
(2) Vessels not intending to discharge ballast water into Washington state waters shall notify the department in one of the following ways:
(a) Owners or operators of one or more vessels who do not wish to file a ballast water reporting form may send a signed form letter, as provided by the department and at least thirty days prior to entering Washington waters, to the department by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by fax at 360-902-2845; or by U.S. mail to the state ANS coordinator at Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way No., Olympia, WA 98501-1091. The signed letter must include the following information:
(i) Vessel names identification numbers (International Maritime Organization, Lloyds of London, or U.S. Coast Guard registry number), owner, agent, and vessel types; and
(ii) A statement that the vessel will not discharge ballast water into Washington state waters; and
(iii) The signature of the owner, operator, or other authorized representative.
(b) Vessels that would normally discharge ballast water, but will not discharge on a particular trip and are not covered under the requirements of (a) of this subsection, must file a ballast water reporting form as described in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) The department, or designated representatives, may at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner during a vessel's scheduled stay in port, take samples of ballast water and sediment, examine ballast water management records, and make other appropriate inquiries to assess the compliance of vessels with ballast water reporting and control requirements.
(4) Vessel operators claiming a safety exemption under RCW 77.120.030(4) must notify the department of their intent to do so on the ballast water reporting form as required in subsection (1) of this section. Notification requires writing the words "SAFETY EXEMPTION" on the form where it asks "If no ballast treatment conducted, state reason why not:" and stating the cause as either "ADVERSE WEATHER," "VESSEL DESIGN LIMITATION," "EQUIPMENT FAILURE," or "EXTRAORDINARY CONDITION."
(a) No safety exemption request is required if the vessel does not intend to discharge unexchanged or untreated ballast water and follows the requirements under subsection (2) of this section.
(b) Vessel operators may rescind a safety exemption claim by filing an amended ballast water reporting form and notifying the department as required in subsection (1) of this section.
(5) The department will review safety exemption claims as noted in subsections (3) and (4) of this section.
(a) The department will determine whether a compliance plan and alternative strategy are required. Compliance plans and alternative interim strategies will be established to minimize discharge of future unexchanged ballast water until compliance with this section can be met.
(b) The department will assess a safety exemption fee using the following as guidance:
(i) Minimum five hundred dollar fee for administrative costs to assess compliance; and
(ii) Larger fees may be assessed by the department based on vessel history, risk, and degree of failure in implementing prior compliance plans and alternative strategies.
(6) The department may impose civil penalties ranging from a warning letter up to twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars for violation of the requirements of this section pursuant to RCW 77.120.070. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation. The department will assess civil penalties based on elements that include, but are not limited to:
(a) Degree and nature of failure in meeting reporting requirements;
(b) Degree and nature of failure in allowing reasonable department inspection of a vessel's ballast water management records or allowing samples to be taken from ballast tanks;
(c) Degree and nature of failure in preventing or stopping discharge upon request by department;
(d) Volume and risk of introducing invasive species based on the source of unexchanged or untreated discharge;
(e) Discharge of treated water using a technology that has not been approved for use in waters of the state; and
(f) Vessel and operator violation history.
(1) The Washington state interim ballast water discharge standard is inactivation or removal of ninety-five percent of zooplankton organisms and ninety-nine percent of phytoplankton and bacteria organisms.
(2) Vessels subject to chapter 77.120 RCW that have not adequately exchanged their ballast water must treat their ballast to meet or exceed the state's discharge standards prior to discharging ballast water into Washington waters.
(3) An interim approval process shall be used to provide approval for ballast water treatment technologies that are determined to meet, or have the potential to meet, the Washington state interim ballast water discharge standard. Only ballast water treatment technologies that are approved through this process may be used on specified vessels to discharge treated ballast water into Washington waters.
(a) Approval for use of a technology in waters of the state must meet one or more of the following criteria:
(i) The technology was previously approved by the department for use in waters of the state for the term as specified in their approval letter;
(ii) The technology is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for use in national waters;
(iii) The vessel is enrolled in the U.S. Coast Guard STEP program;
(iv) The technology is approved by the state of California for use in their state waters;
(v) The technology is approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and authorized by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Coast Guard for use in national waters; or
(vi) The vessel is enrolled in the IMO approval process and authorized by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Coast Guard for use in national waters.
(b) Technologies using chemicals or that produce chemical by-products upon discharge will be evaluated by the department of ecology for meeting state water quality standards before acceptance.
(c) Technologies may be approved for use on specific vessels in state waters for up to five years.
(d) The director or the director's designee will accept applications for approval at any time. The applicant is to be notified of the department's receipt of the application package within ten working days. If the application package is incomplete, the application will be returned to the applicant with an explanation of the deficiencies or, if the deficiencies are minimal, held for thirty days to allow the applicant to correct the deficiencies. Formal reviews of supporting records and water quality data will be completed within forty-five days of receipt of the complete application package.
(e) The director, or the director's designee, shall make one of the following determinations:
(i) Approval - The ballast water treatment technology is approved for use in Washington state; or
(ii) Deny approval - The ballast water treatment technology is not approved for use in Washington state.
(f) Criteria for review. Applications for interim approval of a ballast water treatment system shall be evaluated on the completeness of the following:
(i) Documentation verifying that the technology and vessel(s) meet one of the criteria noted in (a) of this subsection;
(ii) Documentation verifying that the residual concentrations of any primary treatment chemicals or chemicals that occur as by-products of the treatment meet all applicable regulatory requirements; and
(iii) Documentation describing the technical, operational, and installation characteristics of the system.
(g) Conditions of approval;
(i) Approval of a technology shall be withdrawn if the technology or vessel is no longer enrolled in the U.S. Coast Guard STEP or IMO approval process, is no longer approved for use in California waters, or has not been approved for use by the U.S. Coast Guard in national waters or by the IMO in international waters;
(ii) Systems approved under the interim process will be subject to all subsequent standards and regulations upon the expiration of the interim approval period;
(iii) Vessels or technologies receiving interim approval shall be subject to inspections by the department or the department's designated representative to verify adherence with the terms of this interim approval agreement and the operation of the treatment systems; and
(iv) Nothing in these rules, ballast water legislation, or laws authorizes the discharge of other pollutants or assures that the technology is safe to operate or that it meets other state, federal, and international laws governing business, marine applications, or other elements.