U.S. Coast Guard announces first wave of accepted ballast water treatment systems

This past spring, the U.S. Coast Guard announced a list of ballast water treatment systems that may be used in U.S. waters for a period of five years.

The initial roster includes products under nine brand names. More makes and models are being added as proper paperwork is submitted and the Coast Guard gives the go-ahead. At this point, the Coast Guard considers the accepted products as Alternate Management Systems (AMS) for treating ballast water.

All of the currently accepted models had previously been approved by foreign nations such as Norway, Germany, United Kingdom and South Korea. Later, the U.S. Coast Guard will undertake its own process of “type approval,” which will be a much lengthier, more strenuous protocol involving analysis by independent labs.

“AMS is really a bridging strategy that the Coast Guard has provided for shipowners who have gone ahead and installed a foreign-administration-approved system on the ship and they want to use it in U.S. waters,” said Cmdr. Ryan Allain of the Coast Guard’s Office of Environmental Standards.

“During the five years, it’s really incumbent upon the maker to get the system type-approved by the Coast Guard,” Allain said.

“It’s a necessary step for our clients,” said Jim Mackey, key accounts manager with treatment system manufacturer Hyde Marine, which had 25 of its Hyde Guardian models accepted by the Coast Guard. Hyde products are already installed on about 190 vessels.

“We were scrutinized, and it helped the Coast Guard to understand the process a little bit,” Mackey said. “But the type approval process will be much more rigorous.”

Other accepted brands in the U.S. Coast Guard’s initial announcement were PureBallast from Alfa Laval Tumba AB; Ecochlor; BlueBallast from NK Co.; GloEn-Patrol from Panasia Co.; OceanGuard from Qingdao Headway Technology Co.; CleanBallast from RWO GmbH Marine Water Technology and Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies; BalPure from Severn Trent De Nora, and BalClor from SunRui.

An up-to-date list — and copies of their letters of acceptance — can be found on the Coast Guard Homeport website. Choose the Environmental mission on the left.

The Coast Guard-accepted systems won’t automatically be type-approved later.

“An AMS gives a signal that the maker is serious about getting U.S. type approval and they are going down the path, but it’s not a guarantee,” said Jad Mouawad, senior engineer for piping systems and pollution prevention at Det Norske Veritas.

By Professional Mariner Staff