The ballast water of ships is regulated with an aim to minimize or prevent the introduction of aquatic nonnative species. In the United States, ballast water is regulated at the federal level by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as by several state programs. Regulations by federal and state agencies are at times overlapping and conflicting. For example, ?crude oil tankers engaged in coastwise trade? were exempted from ballast water management activities by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, and therefore all subsequent USCG regulations. However, the EPA began to regulate these vessels under the Clean Water Act in 2008. On the west coast, California does not provide such an exemption and in general has more stringent standards than federal entities. Washington also enforces state-specific regulations though they differ from California. This paper reviews the current, and when available proposed, federal and state ballast water regulations on the west coast of the United States as they pertain to the behavior of vessels discharging to Prince William Sound, Alaska; namely, tankers engaged in the transfer of crude oil from the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System at the Alyeska Terminal in Port Valdez.
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