[Federal Register: April 1, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 62)]
[Page 15780-15781]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Study

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of report and request for comments.


SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the Ballast Exchange 
Study: Consideration of Back-Up Exchange Zones and Environmental 
Effects of Ballast Exchange and Ballast Release and requests comments 
as to its scientific and technical accuracy and completeness. In 
addition, comments are requested on whether the ballast exchange study 
on which the report is based can be adopted as fulfilling the 
requirements of section 1102(a)(1) of the Nonindigenous Aquatic 
Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990.

DATES: Comments on the Report and whether the Ballast Exchange Study 
requirements of the Act have been met are requested by May 3, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Report can be obtained from the Aquatic 
Nuisance Species Task Force, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 851, 
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1622. Comments should be sent to the same 

Secretary, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force at 703-358-2025 or by e-
mail at: robert__peoples@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1102(a)(1) of the Nonindigenous 
Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 
4712(a)(1)) directs the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force established 
by that statute to conduct a Ballast Exchange Study. The purposes of 
the Study are to (1) assess the environmental effects of ballast water 
exchange on the diversity and abundance of native species in U.S. 
waters and (2) identify areas in U.S. waters and the Exclusive Economic 
Zone where ballast exchange is not likely to result in new infestations 
of nonindigenous species nor spread aquatic nuisance species.
    In 1993, scientists with extensive experience studying biological 
invasions, including ballast water, proposed to the u.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) that those agencies fund a ballast exchange 
study. Although both agencies are represented on the ANS Task Force and 
Task Force staff were aware of the proposal, the

[[Page 15781]]

ANS Task Force did not commission the study. The principal 
investigators assembled a team of biological invasion scientists and 
physical oceanographers to conduct a study and submitted their report 
to the ANS Task Force and NOAA in November 1998. Both EPA and NOAA have 
accepted the report and authorized its release.
    The ANS Task Force is now considering whether to adopt this 
volunteered study as fulfilling its responsibilities under section 
1102(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 4712(a)(1)). A key factor in those 
deliberations is the scientific and technical accuracy and completeness 
of the November 1998 report of the volunteered study.

    Dated: March 26, 1999.
Hannibal Bolton,
Acting Co-Chair, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, Acting Assistant 
[FR Doc. 99-7976 Filed 3-31-99; 8:45 am]