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Cablegate: Canadian Ballast Water Regulation

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001708

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/ETC (FISHER), OES/OMC (KING), WHA/CAN
(NELSON)

INTERIOR FOR NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL STAFF
(ORR)

USCG FOR OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS (LCDR KATHY
MOORE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV TBIO CA
SUBJECT: CANADIAN BALLAST WATER REGULATION

REF: State 99576

1. ESTH Counselor conveyed demarche contained in reftel
to Foreign Affairs Canada on May 31, with follow-up
copies to Environment Canada and Transport Canada.
Counselor and ESTH Specialist met on June 6 with
Transport Canada (TC) officials responsible for Ballast
Water regulations: Director General for Marine Safety,
Gerard McDonald; Director Ships and Operations
Standards, Richard Day; and Manager, Environmental
Protection, Tom Morris. Transport Canada is the lead
agency on ballast water regulation.


2. McDonald, Day and Morris explained that the element
of concern identified in the demarche, that is,
recommended exchange of ballast water in the U.S. EEZ,
is not/not contained in Canadian draft regulations, but
is part of an Advisory Annex, which does not have the
force of law. Furthermore, the advisory was directed
only to vessels engaged in Coastwise Trade operating
north of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, transiting to and
from ports in the Bay of Fundy and coastal routes along
the Scotian shelf en route to Canadian ports. Because
it is not contained in regulation, McDonald and his
colleagues explained that they could easily remove the
offending text from the Annex document or amend it.

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3. They explained that Section 4(4) of the draft
"Ballast Water Control and Management" Regulations
provide a ballast water management and exchange
exemption for "vessels that operate exclusively between
ports, offshore terminals or anchorage areas situated
on the west coast of North America, north of Cape
Blanco" and; "between ports, offshore terminals or
anchorage areas situated on the east coast of North
America, north of Cape Cod, and ports, anchorage areas
or offshore terminals situated in the Bay of Fundy and
the East Coast of Nova Scotia". The Advice contained in
the Annex was intended to offer guidance to those
exempt vessels (which would be exclusively U.S. or
Canadian flag) on where to conduct ballast water
exchange with minimal impact should they choose to do
so.

4. The proposed Regulations do stipulate mandatory
ballast water exchange for all vessels which do not
meet the exemption criteria; although the regulations,
Section 6(3)(a) through 6(3)(d) provide for several
areas in Canadian waters where that exchange can take
place if it is impractical or unsafe to conduct Ballast
Water exchange outside of Canadian waters.

5. We understand that the new Canadian "Ballast Water
Control and Management Regulations" are expected to be
made public within the very near future. The
publication of the draft rule in the Canada Gazette I
will mark the beginning of a 75-day public comment
period. McDonald said that Transport Canada would be
happy to consider the Embassy's diplomatic note as a
comment on the draft regulations, but would equally
welcome any other comments the U.S. wished to submit.
The draft regulations are part of "phase 1" regulations
needed to implement Canada's new shipping act, which
Transport Canada hopes to make effective in 2006.

6. Morris explained that the draft regulations on
ballast water are essentially an "exchange"
requirement. However, the regulations also recognize
the provisions of the International Maritime
Organization agreement on ballast water by allowing for
"treatment" to the international accepted standard -
even though there is not yet an approved treatment
method available.

7. McDonald and his colleagues reiterated that they are
very keen to maintain a close working relationship with
the U.S. on ballast water measures. They anticipate
heightened political pressure in Canada to make
progress on regional standards with the United States,
but understand that any progress on our side is
contingent on the fate of several pieces of legislation
now before the Congress. When asked about Canadian
ratification of the IMO agreement on ballast water,
McDonald said it was generally assumed in the
government that Canada would ratify, but there has not
yet been a firm decision to do so.

Dickson

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