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Oregon Ballast Water Management

BackgroundBallast water release - dockside

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.

Ballast Water Rulemaking Advisory Committee

The Oregon Ballast Water Management Program plans to revise regulatory rules (OAR 340-143) in accordance with Oregon Revised Statute 783, House Bill 2207 (2015), and recommendations from the Task Force on Shipping Transport of Aquatic Invasive Species. An advisory committee made up of task force members and additional interested parties will guide DEQ’s rulemaking effort.

Oregon ballast water pre-arrival reporting

Commercial vessels transiting into Oregon waters must submit a ballast water management reporting form (BWMR) to the Department of Environmental Quality (in addition to the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse) at least 24 hours before arrival. Reports must be submitted on the USCG approved BWMR form - as an email attachment - to or, or via fax (503-229-6954).

In the event a vessel’s actual ballast practices differ from those projected on the BWMR form, an amended form must be submitted to the Department and the NBIC prior to the vessel’s departure.

ATTENTION: The USCG has introduced a new BWMR form, effective 22 February 2016. The new form may be used to meet State of Oregon pre-arrival reporting requirements, however, submitting the BWMR via the on-line or web-app reporting option, alone, will not satisfy reporting requirements to the State of Oregon. To meet the State of Oregon reporting requirements, the new form must be submitted as an email attachment to at least 24 hours prior to arrival. Detailed instructions for the completion and formatting of the new form are available here.

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.

Oregon ballast water management regulations

Fact sheet: Oregon Ballast Water Management
Frequently asked questions
Oregon Revised Statutes governing ballast water regulations (ORS 783.620-992)
Oregon Administrative Rules for ballast water manangement - OAR 340 Division 143

Other ballast water regulations

For more information

Please contact Rian Hooff, Oregon Ballast Water Program Manager, 503-229-6865 (toll-free in Oregon: 1-800-452-4011 x6865).

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For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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