• 1. Ballast Water

Ballast Water

State of Maryland Pollution Warning Notice

By law, vessels are required to be provided a copy of the following Maryland Regulations which prohibit the discharge of oil and any other wastes that adversely affect water quality unless you have a permit. This document provides a convenient reference for determining water quality protection obligations required of the masters of vessels while the vessels are operating in the State of Maryland. The Maryland Department of the Environment is responsible for controlling illegal discharges of petroleum products, bilge wastes, sewage and garbage and other wastes which would adversely effect the quality of waters of this State.

COMAR prohibits the following discharges to the waters of this State:

(1) The discharge of any waters in excess of 10,000 gallons per day, as a
monthly average, or the discharge of any wastes or waste waters
regardless of volume, unless:

a) Authorised by a discharge permit; or

b) Subject to control or modification required by a schedule of
compliance established by this State;
[Note: This provision only applies to discharges that contain
pollutants that alter the physical, chemical or biological properties
of any waters of this State].

(2) The discharge of any pollutant in toxic amounts including:

a) Substances which accumulate to toxic amounts during the
expected life of organisms in the surface water, or

b) Substances which produce deleterious behavioral effects on
the organisms;

(3) The discharge of any radiological, chemical, or biological warfare agent;

(4) The discharge of any high level radioactive waste;

(5) Any discharge which would substantially impair anchorage and navigation;

(6) Any discharge to which the Administrator of the Environmental Protection
Agency has objected in writing under the Federal Act;

(7) Any discharge which is in conflict with a plan approved by this State;

Additionally, COMAR states:

A. A person may not pump, discharge, spill, throw, drain, deposit, or cause
to be deposited, oil or other matter containing oil, into, near, or in an
area likely to pollute, waters of the State.

B. A person may not pump, discharge, deposit or cause to be deposited
bilge or ballast water, or water from any receptacle containing oil, in a
manner by which oil may escape into, or in an area likely to pollute waters
of the State.
[Note: This provision does not preclude the discharge of
ballast or bilge water. It prohibits only discharges of ballast or bilge water
that may cause the escape of all into the waters of this State or may permit
oil to escape into a place where it is likely to pollute waters of this State].

C. A person violating these prohibitions is subject to sanctions under Environment
Article 4-417, Annotated Code of Maryland,
in addition to the permit and licence
modification, suspension, or revocation proceeding and in addition to any other
sanctions provided by law.

COMAR requires:

A person discharging or permitting the discharge of oil, or who either actively or passively participates in the discharge or spilling of oil, either from a land-based installation, including vehicles in transit, or from any vessel, ship, or boat of any kind, shall report the incident immediately to the [Harzardous and Solid Waste Management] Administration.

Incidents should be reported to the 24 hour Emergency Response Program by telephoning one of the following:

United States Coast Guard
Communications Office
Baltimore, Maryland
Tel: (410) 962-5100

Maryland Department of the Environment
Hazardous and Solid Waste Management
Baltimore, Maryland
Tel: (410) 974-3551

The penalty provisions of Environment Article 4-417 grant the State the authority to seek civil fines of up to USD 25,000 per violation and criminal fines of up to USD 50,000 per day and imprisonment of up to two years or both for a discharge of oil. The penalty provisions of Environmental Article 9-342 grant the State authority to seek civil fines of up to USD 10,000 per day for each unpermitted discharge.

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