CONGRESS TO REVIEW AQUATIC PEST RULES
The U.S. House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee will hold a joint hearing this morning to review the implementation of new aquatic pest legislation.
Witnesses include Capt. Michael W. Brown, chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Operating and Environmental Standards; Timothy R.E. Keeney, deputy assistance secretary of the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Jack Robinson, vice president of U.S. operations for OSG Ship Management on behalf of the Chamber of Shipping of America; Richard D. Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach on behalf of the American Association of Port Authorities; George J. Ryan, president of the Lake Carriers’ Association; Allegra A. Cangelosi, senior policy analyst for the Northeast-Midwest Institute; and Linda M. Sheehan, director of the Pacific regional office of the Ocean Conservancy.
The1996 National Invasive Species Act (NISA) covers vessels equipped with ballast water tanks.
“As international trade continues to expand, as shipping times become shorter, and as vessels become faster, more aquatic nuisance species are transported and are able to survive their oceanic journey and thrive in new waters,” House subcommittees said.
“Under NISA, the Coast Guard must turn the voluntary guidelines into enforceable regulations if the Coast Guard determines that the rate of compliance with the voluntary guidelines is not adequate, or if the reporting and record keeping is not sufficient for the Coast Guard to determine the rate of compliance,” the House subcommittees said.