REPORT TITLE:
Alien Aquatic Organisms


DESCRIPTION:
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.  (SD2)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        1949
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                S.D. 2
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO ALIEN AQUATIC ORGANISMS.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 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;
 
19      (3)  In San Francisco Bay, the establishment of an inedible
 

 
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 1           Asian clam has caused the recreational fishery to
 
 2           collapse;
 
 3      (4)  In the Great Lakes, the zebra mussel has not only
 
 4           destroyed valuable commercial and recreational
 
 5           fisheries, it has also clogged the water intake lines
 
 6           of dozens of shoreline communities, causing tens of
 
 7           millions of dollars in damage; and
 
 8      (5)  In 1991, the governor of Washington designated $100,000
 
 9           in emergency funds to control the introduction and
 
10           spread of green crab in order to protect shellfish
 
11           growers.
 
12      In Hawaii, several species of alien aquatic organisms,
 
13 intentionally introduced or brought in by ballast water or on the
 
14 hulls of boats, have already become established, displacing
 
15 native species, altering aquatic ecosystems, and causing economic
 
16 damage.  For example:
 
17      (1)  The seaweed Acanthophora, which arrived in Hawaii in
 
18           1950, on the hull of a barge towed from Guam, spread
 
19           rapidly to most of the islands by 1960, displacing
 
20           native limu;
 
21      (2)  An alcyonarian (soft coral), Carijoa riisei from the
 
22           Caribbean, probably arrived on the hull of a ship, and
 
23           by the end of the 1970s, covered a portion of Honolulu
 

 
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 1           Harbor; and
 
 2      (3)  A South Pacific goby, Mugilogovius cavifrons, which was
 
 3           probably introduced via ballast water in Pearl Harbor
 
 4           in 1987, has moved into streams and competes with the
 
 5           native o'opu.
 
 6      The most recent example is a barnacle normally found in the
 
 7 Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Brazil.  It was probably
 
 8 introduced into either Pearl Harbor or Honolulu Harbor from the
 
 9 hull of a ship that travelled through the Panama Canal.  This
 
10 barnacle has now spread throughout Hawaii, and is even found as
 
11 far away as Midway.
 
12      Based on these and other experiences, it is apparent that
 
13 once introduced, the control of alien aquatic organisms is both
 
14 difficult and expensive.  Complete eradication is probably
 
15 impossible.  Therefore, the ideal solution is to prevent their
 
16 introduction.
 
17      In 1999, President Clinton announced a $29,000,000 plan to
 
18 boost efforts against costly and troublesome non-native species
 
19 of plants and animals.  The President directed all federal
 
20 agencies to address the spread of non-native species and called
 
21 for the preparation of a national management plan by July 1,
 
22 2000.
 
23      Hawaii needs to be a part of this federal effort, not only
 

 
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 1 to prevent the introduction of alien terrestrial species such as
 
 2 the brown tree snake, but alien aquatic species as well.
 
 3 Unfortunately, there is no lead state agency designated to
 
 4 prevent the unintentional introduction of alien aquatic organisms
 
 5 or to control these organisms once they have become established
 
 6 in Hawaii's aquatic ecosystems.
 
 7      Act 237, Session Laws of Hawaii 1997, established the alien
 
 8 aquatic organism task force which determined that current law
 
 9 does not address the unintentional introduction of alien aquatic
 
10 species via vessel.  Neither does current law address the
 
11 disposition of ballast water and fouling agents.
 
12      The purpose of this Act is to implement certain
 
13 recommendations of the task force by:
 
14      (1)  Designating the department of land and natural
 
15           resources as the lead agency to prevent the
 
16           introduction of alien aquatic organisms into Hawaii's
 
17           environment; and 
 
18      (2)  Authorizing the department to draft rules and
 
19           guidelines to address the problem.
 
20      The legislature recognizes the severity of the problem of
 
21 alien species introduction and that there is currently a lack of
 
22 sufficient funds to effectively address this problem.  The
 
23 purpose of designating the department of land and natural
 

 
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 1 resources as the lead state agency is to facilitate the seeking
 
 2 of federal and other funds, should these funds be available.  The
 
 3 legislature also recognizes that should these funds not be
 
 4 available, the department of land and natural resources will be
 
 5 limited in its ability to prevent alien species introductions.
 
 6      SECTION 2.  Chapter 187A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 7 amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and
 
 8 to read as follows:
 
 9                 "PART  .  ALIEN AQUATIC ORGANISMS
 
10      187A-     Definitions.  For the purposes of this part,
 
11 "high risk vessel" includes fishing and recreational vessels and
 
12 floating structures, such as barges, dry docks, drilling rigs,
 
13 and cranes, which have spent extended periods of time tied up in
 
14 out-of-state ports.
 
15      187A-  Alien aquatic organisms; lead agency; rules.(a)
 
16 The department is designated as the lead state agency for
 
17 preventing the introduction and carrying out the destruction of
 
18 alien aquatic organisms through the regulation of ballast water
 
19 discharges and hull fouling organisms.  The department may
 
20 establish an interagency team to address the concerns relating to
 
21 alien aquatic organisms.
 
22      (b)  The department may adopt rules in accordance with
 
23 chapter 91, including penalties, to carry out the purposes of
 

 
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 1 this part.  The rules may include standards for the department
 
 2 and the United States Coast Guard to use as part of their
 
 3 respective inspection protocols.  The rules may also include
 
 4 implementation of a course of action in relation to the arrival
 
 5 or pending arrival of a high risk vessel.
 
 6      (c)  The governor may enter into an agreement with the U.S.
 
 7 Secretary of Transportation to carry out the purposes of this
 
 8 part, including but not limited to the enforcement of state law."
 
 9      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.