Alien Aquatic Organisms

Designates the DLNR as the lead state agency for preventing the
introduction and carrying out the destruction of alien aquatic
organisms through the regulation of ballast water discharges and
hull fouling organisms.


 1      SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the introductions of
 2 alien aquatic plants and animals, as well as alien terrestrial
 3 plants and animals, are potentially harmful to both the
 4 environment and economy of the State.
 5      In other parts of the world, the harmful effects of similar
 6 arrivals have been dramatic.  Most alarming is the transport of
 7 organisms that create public health problems.  For example:
 8      (1)  Cholera bacteria found in water samples from Mobile
 9           Bay, Alabama, are thought to have been brought in by
10           ballast water discharged from ships from South America,
11           which took on coastal water contaminated by a 1991
12           cholera epidemic.  The presence of this disease, in
13           turn, was blamed on bacteria-contaminated ballast water
14           carried by ships from Asia;
15      (2)  Dinoflagellates transported by ballast water have
16           caused toxic red tides in Australia and elsewhere,
17           killing fin fish and rendering shellfish poisonous to
18           humans;

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 1      (3)  In San Francisco Bay, the establishment of an inedible
 2           Asian clam has caused the recreational fishery to
 3           collapse;
 4      (4)  In the Great Lakes, the zebra mussel has not only
 5           destroyed valuable commercial and recreational
 6           fisheries, it has also clogged the water intake lines
 7           of dozens of shoreline communities, causing tens of
 8           millions of dollars in damage; and
 9      (5)  In 1991, the governor of Washington designated $100,000
10           in emergency funds to control the introduction and
11           spread of green crab in order to protect shellfish
12           growers.
13      In Hawaii, several species of alien aquatic organisms,
14 intentionally introduced or brought in by ballast water or on the
15 hulls of boats, have already become established, displacing
16 native species, altering aquatic ecosystems, and causing economic
17 damage.  For example:
18      (1)  The seaweed Acanthophora, which arrived in Hawaii in
19           1950, on the hull of a barge towed from Guam, spread
20           rapidly to most of the islands by 1960, displacing
21           native limu;
22      (2)  An alcyonarian (soft coral), Carijoa riisei from the
23           Caribbean, probably arrived on the hull of a ship, and

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 1           by the end of the 1970's, covered a portion of Honolulu
 2           Harbor; and
 3      (3)  A South Pacific goby, Mugilogovius cavifrons, which was
 4           probably introduced via ballast water in Pearl Harbor
 5           in 1987, has moved into streams and competes with the
 6           native o'opu.
 7      The most recent example is a barnacle normally found in the
 8 Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Brazil.  It was probably
 9 introduced into either Pearl Harbor or Honolulu Harbor from the
10 hull of a ship that travelled through the Panama Canal.  This
11 barnacle has now spread throughout Hawaii, and is even found as
12 far away as Midway.
13      Based on these and other experiences, it is apparent that
14 once introduced, the control of alien aquatic organisms is both
15 difficult and expensive.  Complete eradication is probably
16 impossible.  Therefore, the ideal solution is to prevent their
17 introduction.
18      In 1999, President Clinton announced a $29,000,000 plan to
19 boost efforts against costly and troublesome non-native species
20 of plants and animals.  The President directed all federal
21 agencies to address the spread of non-native species and called
22 for the preparation of a national management plan by July 1,
23 2000.

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 1      Hawaii needs to be a part of this federal effort, not only
 2 to prevent the introduction of alien terrestrial species such as
 3 the brown tree snake, but alien aquatic species as well.
 4 Unfortunately, there is no lead state agency designated to
 5 prevent the unintentional introduction of alien aquatic organisms
 6 or to control these organisms once they have become established
 7 in Hawaii's aquatic ecosystems.
 8      Act 237, Session Laws of Hawaii 1997, established the alien
 9 aquatic organism task force which determined that current law
10 does not address the unintentional introduction of alien aquatic
11 species via vessel.  Neither does current law address the
12 disposition of ballast water and fouling agents.
13      The purpose of this Act is to implement certain
14 recommendations of the task force by:
15      (1)  Designating the department of land and natural
16           resources as the lead agency to prevent the
17           introduction of alien aquatic organisms into Hawaii's
18           environment, and authorizing the department to draft
19           rules and guidelines to address the problem;
20      (2)  Establishing an interagency rapid response team to
21           address concerns relating to the arrival of high risk
22           vessels; and

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 1      (3)  Directing the department to examine the feasibility of
 2           establishing a quarantine area and an onshore ballast
 3           water disposal/treatment facility in Honolulu Harbor.
 4      SECTION 2.  Chapter 187A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 5 amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and
 6 to read as follows:
 7                 "PART  .  ALIEN AQUATIC ORGANISMS
 8      187A-  Alien aquatic organisms; lead agency; rules.(a)
 9 The department is designated as the lead state agency for
10 preventing the introduction and carrying out the destruction of
11 alien aquatic organisms through the regulation of ballast water
12 discharges and hull fouling organisms.
13      (b)  The department may adopt rules in accordance with
14 chapter 91, including penalties, to carry out the purposes of
15 this part.  The rules may include standards for the department
16 and the United States Coast Guard to use as part of their
17 respective inspection protocols.  The governor may enter into an
18 agreement with the Secretary of Transportation to carry out the
19 purposes of this part, including but not limited to the
20 enforcement of state law.
21      187A-  Rapid response team; composition.(a)  The
22 department may form a rapid response team to evaluate the risks
23 and recommend an appropriate course of action in relation to the
24 arrival or pending arrival of a high risk vessel.

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 1      (b)  The rapid response team may be composed of
 2 representatives of the following organizations and individuals:
 3      (1)  The department of agriculture;
 4      (2)  The department of health;
 5      (3)  The department of transportation;
 6      (4)  The department of land and natural resources, division
 7           of aquatic resources;
 8      (5)  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service;
 9      (6)  The United States National Marine Fisheries Service;
10      (7)  The United States Coast Guard;
11      (8)  The United States Navy;
12      (9)  The commercial shipping, freight, or transport
13           industry;
14     (10)  The private boating or marine recreation industry;
15     (11)  The International Maritime Organization; and
16     (12)  Any other organization that has an interest in
17           preventing the introduction and carrying out the
18           destruction of alien aquatic organisms, as determined
19           by the chairperson of the board.
20      (c)  For the purposes of this part, the term "high risk
21 vessel" includes fishing and recreational vessels and floating
22 structures, such as barges, dry docks, drilling rigs, and cranes,
23 which have spent extended periods of time tied up in out-of-state
24 ports."

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 1      SECTION 3.  The department of land and natural resources
 2 shall examine the feasibility of establishing a quarantine area
 3 and an onshore ballast water disposal/treatment facility in
 4 Honolulu Harbor to prepare for the eventuality that vessels with
 5 fouled hulls will occasionally get through the inspection
 6 process, and that ballasted ships will sometimes be unable to
 7 exchange ballast enroute to Hawaii.  The department shall submit
 8 a report setting forth its findings and recommendations to the
 9 legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of
10 the regular session of 2001.
11      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
13                           INTRODUCED BY:_________________________