The discharge of ballast water, used to provide vessel stability, may introduce aquatic non-indigenous species into Oregon waterways, potentially resulting in ecological damage, economic costs and/or human health concerns. Since 2002, DEQ has authority under the Oregon Legislature to implement and enforce ballast water management regulations in an effort to reduce the risk of introducing new aquatic invasive species.
State regulations on ballast water management require that all regulated vessels submit ballast water management reports to DEQ at least 24 hours prior to entry into the state. Vessels intending to discharge ballast water into waters of the state must perform necessary management practices, as described in Oregon Revised Statute 783.620-640, prior to discharge. All regulated vessels are subject to boarding, inspection and ballast water sampling verification by state inspectors. As described in ORS 783.990-992, vessel operators/owners not in compliance with Oregon ballast water management regulations are subject to fines up to $25,000 per violation per day and/or civil penalties.
On Jan. 19, 2017, the Environmental Quality Commission adopted revisions to Oregon ballast water management regulations established under Oregon Administrative Rules 340-143. The new rules become effective March 1, 2017, and include:
- A requirement that vessels using USCG approved shipboard ballast treatment systems must conduct an oceanic ballast exchange – in addition to meeting federal ballast discharge standards – for ballast tanks that were sourced with water less than or equal to 18 parts per thousand (detailed under OAR 340-143-0050).
- A requirement to conduct oceanic salt-water flushing of empty ballast tanks that a vessel operator wants to use for ballasting and de-ballasting while in state waters (detailed under OAR 340-143-0010).
Oregon ballast water pre-arrival reporting
Commercial vessels transiting into Oregon waters must submit a Ballast Water Management Reporting Form (BWMR) to DEQ (in addition to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse) at least 24 hours before arrival. Reports must be submitted on the USCG approved BWMR form below as an email attachment to DEQ at email@example.com
In the event a vessel’s actual ballast practices differ from those projected on the BWMR form, an amended form must be submitted to DEQ and the NBIC prior to the vessel’s departure. To meet the State of Oregon reporting requirements, the new form must be submitted as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
at least 24 hours prior to arrival. See instructions available from the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse above for instructions for the new form.
Ballast management vessel arrival fee
Commercial vessels subject to ORS 783.620-640 are assessed a ballast management fee per transit to state waters. Effective January 2016 (Senate Bill 261
), the fee is $88 per vessel arrival. Revenue generated from the fee provides support for DEQ ballast water program efforts, including report monitoring, compliance verification and technical support services. Fee collection and disbursement to DEQ is currently handled via contract with Portland Merchants Exchange