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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 398. Ballast Water Discharge Reporting
7/6/2020

4VAC20-398-30. Voluntary Ballast Water Management Guidelines.

A. Masters, owners, operators, or persons-in-charge of vessels equipped with ballast water tanks that operate in Virginia's territorial waters are requested to take the following voluntary precautions to minimize the uptake and release of harmful aquatic organisms, pathogens, and sediments:

1. Avoid the uptake of ballast water from areas within marine sanctuaries, marine preserves, marine parks or coral reefs.

2. Minimize or avoid uptake of ballast water in the following areas and situations:

a. Areas known to have infestations or populations of harmful organisms and pathogens (e.g., toxic algal blooms).

b. Areas near sewage outfalls.

c. Areas near dredging operations.

d. Areas where tidal flushing is known to be poor or times when a tidal stream is known to be more turbid.

e. During periods of darkness when bottom-dwelling organisms may rise up into the water column.

f. Areas where propellers may stir up the bottom sediment.

3. Clean the ballast tanks regularly to remove sediments. Dispose of the sediments in accordance with applicable regulations.

4. Discharge only the minimal amount of ballast water essential for safe vessel operations while in Virginia waters.

5. Rinse anchors and anchor chains when the anchor is retrieved to remove organisms and sediments at their place of origin.

6. Remove fouling organisms from hull, piping, and tanks on a regular basis and dispose of any removed substances in accordance with applicable regulations.

7. Maintain a ballast water management plan that was developed specifically for the vessel.

8. Train the master, operator, person-in-charge, and crew, on the application of ballast water and sediment management and treatment procedures.

B. In addition to the foregoing recommendations, vessels carrying ballast water into Virginia waters that was loaded in an area outside the EEZ are requested to employ at least one of the following ballast water management practices:

1. Exchange ballast water beyond the EEZ in an area at least 200 nautical miles from shore and in waters greater than 2,000 meters in depth before entering Virginia's territorial waters.

2. Retain the ballast water on board the vessel.

3. Use an alternative environmentally sound method of ballast water management that has been approved by the United States Coast Guard.

4. Discharge ballast water to an approved reception facility.

5. Under extraordinary circumstances, conduct a ballast water exchange within an area and agreed to by the COTP.

Statutory Authority

§§ 28.2-103 and 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 18, Issue 06, eff. November 1, 2001.

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