Golden Gate University Law Review


In Part I of this article, we describe ballast water's use, its contribution to biological invasions, and the technical approaches that could be used to combat the problem. In Part II, we describe opportunities for employing existing laws and regulations to manage ballast discharges in California. We first discuss the limitations of international, federal and state laws that have tried to address ballast discharges of exotic organisms as a shipping issue. We then consider the potential for regulating ballast discharges under federal and state laws aimed at controlling water pollution, protecting wildlife, ensuring the assessment, disclosure and mitigation of environmental impacts, and providing for the planning and management of coastal zone development. While we evaluate these laws in terms of their potential application in California, the federal laws and, in many cases, corresponding state laws could be applied in other coastal regions. We conclude by summarizing how existing regulations may provide a comprehensive overall framework for achieving effective regulation of ballast water discharges.

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