Last IMO Committee, MEPC 79, took place from 12-16 December 2022 establishing a Ballast Water Review Group to consider a number of matters with regards to the Ballast Water Management Convention, among others issues.
Following discussion, the MEPC:
- approved draft amendments to appendix II of the Annex to the BWM Convention (Form of Ballast Water Record Book) with a view to adoption by MEPC 80;
- agreed that the BWM Convention does not preclude the temporary storage of grey water or treated sewage in ballast tanks and that this storage should be permitted, and that guidance should be developed by the Committee;
- approved a unified interpretation of paragraph 4.10 of the BWMS Code;
- approved a revised unified interpretation of regulation E-1.1.5 of the BWM Convention and the Form of the International Ballast Water Management Certificate – both unified interpretations will be incorporated in BWM.2/Circ.66/Rev.4, consolidating all existing unified interpretations to the BWM Convention;
- agreed on core elements to be used for the development of guidance for record keeping and reporting under the BWM Convention and for ships encountering challenging uptake water;
- granted final approval to two ballast water management systems which make use of Active Substances based on the outcome of GESAMP-BWWG 42
United States ballast water regulation
To satisfy ballast water legislation signed into law, The “ final rule”/ regulations and/or lack of regulation appears according to this link, scheduled for February 2023 four years after the release of purposed regulation in 2020 to satisfy the legislation signed into law in 2018
Will it matter what happens in the election for 2024? Sadly the history for addressing ballast water, is a history that follows elections producing few results. Back in 2008 when all the senators were running for President, H.R.2830 was left to die in the senate and the new administration opted for more study, over 4years later and after 2012 reelection we got a weak vessel incidental discharge act called VIDA. Hopefully the EPA will not continue to purpose weakening the existing VIDA, by removal of BMP’s (such as trying to avoid the uptakes of sewage and pathogens etc., which they purposed in 2020) and will additionally add something meaningful for the Great Lakes after purposing nothing. This is legislation that uses Federalism and neglects considering the effects of global warming. It dose not consider, (by design) that all United States citizens who depend on clean water for their life, health, and livelihood should be included as stakeholders. The general public is being left clueless by the media and politicians about the dangers and the permanent destruction to our countries water being exasperated by climate change ballast water presents. The emphasis the EPA places on cost is contrary to President Obama’s amending the invasive species act to reflect the need to consider human health when global warming is a factor.