News 16 Feb, 2011

USA - State of New York Ballast Water Requirements - Update

In June 2010 Members were advised of New York State’s stringent new ballast water management requirements which would affect the majority of vessels falling within the ambit of the Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulations as from 1 January 2012. Such vessels, when in New York State waters, would not be permitted to discharge ballast water unless it had been treated to a standard 100 times more stringent than that required by IMO’s “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water & Sediments” which has not yet entered into force.  

Members were advised that they could request an extension for their vessels beyond the implementation date by applying to New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, provided such a request could be justified. This was not a significant hurdle as New York State’s new ballast water treatment standards exceeded the capability of any ballast water treatment plant available at that time.  

The Department of Environmental Conservation has now issued a notification letter to ship operators and owners advising that ballast water treatment technology capable of meeting the required discharge criteria has now been developed and is advancing rapidly. In order to provide adequate time for the development and fitting to vessels of commercial ballast water treatment systems that meet New York's Water quality standards, the implementation date has been extended to 1 August 2013. The letter also states that further extensions beyond this date may be considered on a case-by-case basis and specifies the documentary evidence required if such a request is made.  

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention Department.