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PLEASE NOTE: The following transcript is a portion of the official hearing record of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Additional material pertinent to this transcript may be found on the web site of the Committee at [http://www.house.gov/transportation]. Complete hearing records are available for review at the Committee offices and also may be purchased at the U.S. Government Printing Office.







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JULY 17, 1996

Printed for the use of the

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania, Chairman

WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania
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THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire
BILL BAKER, California
JAY KIM, California
STEPHEN HORN, California
BOB FRANKS, New Jersey
PETER I. BLUTE, Massachusetts
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
ZACH WAMP, Tennessee
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RANDY TATE, Washington
RAY LaHOOD, Illinois

NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
PAT DANNER, Missouri
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JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
BOB FILNER, California
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi

Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York, Chairman
ZACH WAMP, Tennessee
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire
STEPHEN HORN, California
BOB FRANKS, New Jersey
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BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
(Ex Officio)

ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
BOB FILNER, California
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
(Ex Officio)

Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina, Chairman
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BILL BAKER, California
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
(Ex Officio)

BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
(Ex Officio)



    Beeton, Alfred M., Acting Chief Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    Bennis, Captain Richard E., Chief, Office of Response, U.S. Coast Guard, accompanied by Commander Richard Gaudiosi, Chief, Plans and Preparedness Division
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    Carlton, Dr. James T., Maritime Studies Program, Williams College, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

    Cox, Joseph J., Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Shipping

    Davis, David G., Deputy Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Hall, Stephen, Executive Director, Association of California Water Agencies, Sacramento, CA

    Rendall, Jay, Coordinator, Exotic Species Management Program, State of Minnesota, and Vice-Chair, Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species

    Roper, Dr. William E., Assistant Director, Civil Works Program, Directorate for Research and Development, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Ryan, George J., President, Lake Carriers' Association, Cleveland, OH

    Skelton, Ray, Director, Environmental and Government Affairs, Seaway Port, Authority of Duluth, Duluth, MN , on behalf of the American Great Lakes Ports, and the American Association of Port Authorities

    Swanson, Ann, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission
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    Boehlert, Hon. Sherwood L., of New York
    Costello, Hon. Jerry F., of Illinois
    LaTourette, Hon. Steven C., of Ohio
    Poshard, Hon. Glenn, of Illinois


    Beeton, Alfred M
    Bennis, Capt. Richard
    Carlton, Dr. James T
    Cox, Joseph J
    Davis, David G
    Hall, Stephen
    Rendell, Jay
    Roper, Dr. William E
    Ryan, George J
    Skelton, Ray
    Swanson, Ann Pesiri


    Beeton, Alfred M., Acting Chief Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, response to question from Rep. Horn
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Bennis, Capt. Richard E., Chief, Office of Response, U.S. Coast Guard:

Costs Incurred by the Coast Guards in Support of Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention in FY 1996

Carlton, Dr. James T., Maritime Studies Program, Williams College, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT:

Biological Study, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species in a United States Estuary: A Case Study of the Biological Invasions of the San Francisco Bay and Delta, December 1995

Exotic Species Update: Are Ballast Water Regulations Working?, Focus (International Joint Commission, Washington, DC) Vol. 20, No. 1, pp.8–9

Marine Invasions and the Preservation of Coastal Diversity, Endangered Species Update, April/May 1995, Vol. 12, Nos. 4 & 5

    Horn, Hon. Stephen, a Representative in Congress from California, article, Nonindigenous Sea Squirts in California Harbors, Aquatic Nuisance Species Digest, November 1995, Vol. 1, No. 2

LaTourette, Hon. Steven C., a Representative in Congress from Ohio, and Senator John Glenn of Ohio, The National Invasive Species Act Fact Sheet for the Maritime Industry and Ports, and report, Proceedings, of the national Forum on Nonindigenous Species Invasions in U.S. and Marine Fresh Waters, sponsored by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, March 22, 1996
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Skelton, Ray, Environmental and Government Affairs Director, Seaway Port Authority of Duluth, MN, on behalf of the American Great Lakes Ports, and the American Association of Port Authorities, letter in support of H.R 3217 from Kurt Nagle, President, American Association of Port Authorities

Swanson, Ann Pesiri, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission, report, The Introduction of Nonindigenous Species to the Chesapeake Bay Via Ballast Water, January 5, 1996

PLEASE NOTE: The following transcript is a portion of the official hearing record of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Additional material pertinent to this transcript may be found on the web site of the Committee at [http://www.house.gov/transportation]. Complete hearing records are available for review at the Committee offices and also may be purchased at the U.S. Government Printing Office.


U.S. House of Representatives,

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,

Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment,

Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation,

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Washington, DC.

    The subcommittees met, pursuant to notice, at 1:06 p.m. in room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard Coble (chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation) presiding.

    Mr. COBLE. The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and Water Resources and Environment will come to order.

    It's good to have all of you with us today. Things are rather chaotic on the Hill, so we're running here, there, and yonder, so you all bear with us as the day develops.

    The subcommittees are meeting today to hear testimony on H.R. 3217, the National Invasion Species Act of 1996.

    As many of you know, we usually limit opening statements to the chairman and the ranking minority members. If other Members have statements, they may be included in the hearing record.

    I'm pleased to welcome each of you to the hearing today to consider H.R. 3217, the National Invasion Species Act of 1996.

    The first legislative action on exotic species was contained in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1989, which required the Coast Guard to submit a report on the options to control the infestation of exotic species in U.S. waters. A majority of these organisms come to the U.S. in the ballast water of vehicles.
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    The following year, the Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act was enacted.

    Both of these pieces of legislation focused on the Great Lakes and the problems created there by infestations of zebra mussels. The Coast Guard established voluntary ballast water exchange guidelines for the Great Lakes that later became mandatory.

    The bill we are considering today establishes a national ballast water management program to address concerns about the unintentional introductions of aquatic nuisance species in many parts of the country.

    I want to commend Mr. LaTourette and his co-sponsors for introducing this bill and for highlighting the problems caused by invasions of species into U.S. waters.

    Exchange of ballast water on the high seas is the primary method to prevent the introduction of alien species into U.S. waters.

    This bill requires the Coast Guard to establish voluntary ballast water exchange guidelines, which may become mandatory under certain conditions. This approach, together with the international guidelines being developed by the International Maritime Organization, will go a long way, to address this problem.

    The Chair is now pleased to recognize the chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, the gentleman from New York, Mr. Boehlert, for any statement he may have.
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    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    This afternoon we will consider legislation aimed at controlling one of the greatest long-term threats to our environment, invasive species.

    The National Invasive Species Act of 1996, developed by Congressman LaTourette, who was a distinguished member of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, is a balanced, environmentally-sensible approach to addressing the threat posed by invasive species.

    Representing one of the major Great Lake cities, Cleveland, Steve has seen firsthand the devastation and the impact that non-native species can have on both the natural and manmade environment.

    The bill before us reflects Congressman LaTourette's understanding of the complexities of controlling the spread of such destructive species as the Eurasian ruffe and the zebra mussel.

    Mr. Chairman, I'd ask that I have my entire statement appear in the record at this point. I won't take up all the time of our distinguished panelists in reading it. But I just can't let this opportunity go by without praising to the highest degree I know how Congressman LaTourette for the outstanding work he has done to focus our attention on this very important issue.

    Here's a freshman Member of Congress, without a great deal of experience in this town, and he has sort of taken over my subcommittee by storm, and I can't get away from him, quite frankly, and I don't try to get away from him.
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    He has been magnificent at focusing my attention and the attention of our subcommittee, and, indeed, the full committee, on this subject.

    So, when all is said and done—and I am very confident that this legislation is going to go forward to its logical positive conclusion, and that will be a monumental tribute to our distinguished colleague, Mr. LaTourette.

    It is a pleasure and privilege for me to associate with him.

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Boehlert follows:]

    [Insert here.]

    Mr. COBLE. I concur and I thank the gentleman from New York.

    The Chair is now pleased to recognize the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Clement.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you, Chairman Coble.

    I'd like to first say that I wish to extend my sympathies today to my counsel, John Cullather, on the death of his mother on Monday.

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    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for scheduling a hearing on H.R. 3217, the National Invasive Species Act of 1996.

    A decade ago, hardly anyone in the country knew about animals and plants from foreign countries that were invading our waterways and threatening our domestic fisheries, ports, and industrial facilities.

    Then came the now-famous zebra mussel. We suspect that it arrived in the ballast of ships entering the Great Lakes. Now we find that it is spreading from the Great Lakes to our inland river system, where it can choke the municipal water systems that depend on river water.

    So, too, we find other foreign exotic species of fish, animals, and plants in the Chesapeake Bay, the San Francisco Bay, the Puget Sound, and other freshwater estuaries throughout the United States.

    The Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, on which I served, wrote the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990. While this legislation was primarily aimed at exotic species problems on the Great Lakes, it is now time to expand its scope to include all of the areas in the United States threatened by this new form of an illegal immigrant, including the New Zealand sea slug, the Chinese mitten crab, the Amur River Clam, and the European Green Crab, to name just a few of the thousands of organisms arriving in this country by ship.

    I look forward to hearing from today's witnesses on the growing scope of this problem, their proposals on methods to solve the problem, and receiving testimony on international solutions to exotic species invasions around the world.
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    I also look forward to working with the chairman and members of the Subcommittee on Water Resources to refine this bill.

    This is a very nonpartisan—or should be, and I'm sure it will be—bipartisan bill, and I sincerely believe that we can have this bill on the President's desk by the end of this session and take another step forward toward restricting the invasion of these illegal aliens into our waters.

    Thank you.

    Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman.

    The Chair is now pleased to recognize the ranking minority member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Borski.

    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you and the distinguished gentleman from New York, Mr. Boehlert, for scheduling this hearing on an issue that will have a major impact on our water resources for many years.

    I also want to take the time, Mr. Chairman, to compliment Congressman LaTourette and the other co-sponsors of this bill for their outstanding work on this extremely important issue.

    I would ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.
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    Mr. COBLE. Mr. LaTourette, the primary sponsor of the bill, is recognized.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank you, Chairman Coble, and also Chairman Boehlert, for scheduling this hearing. And, Chairman Boehlert, I want to invite you to Ohio—maybe to some of my campaign stops. You could give a couple remarks.


    Mr. LATOURETTE. This bill today, aside from having this very important hearing in this group of subcommittees, is also proceeding concurrently in the United States Senate under the able tutelage and leadership of Senator John Glenn of Ohio.

    I want to take a moment to acknowledge the staff at the Northeast-Midwest Institute for their leadership in crafting and making sure this legislation moves forward, and, in particular, Allegra Cangelosi, who has forgotten more about zebra mussels than many of us will know, and she was concerned about the zebra mussel difficulties that we experienced in the Great Lakes before.

    When I was home just this last week—there was a science museum in the State of New York, I believe, Mr. Boehlert, that wants to submerge a Volkswagen beetle out by Put-in Bay in the western basin of Lake Erie to have it become encrusted with zebra mussels, and then lacquer it, spray paint it, and make it an exhibit in their science museum. Allegra was way ahead of the curve.
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    The reasons for this legislation have already been most ably stated by my colleagues. I just want to make one brief point about the economic consequences.

    Aside from the fact that zebra mussels and sea lamprey and gobies and other things don't sound good—and we certainly don't want foreign, nonindigenous species in our waterways—two things should concern all the members of not only this subcommittee, but of Congress.

    One is that the zebra mussel, in particular, is on the move. It has been found in regions throughout the country.

    Second, due to their proclivity to reproduce, it has had and will continue to have a tremendously deleterious effect on the economy of scale of the Great Lakes.

    Large water users in our region now spend an average of $350,000 to $400,000 per user on an annual basis just to clear the zebra mussels from their intake pipes.

    Navigation buoys rapidly become encrusted to the point where they sink under the weight of the mussels.

    A point that's sometimes made about Lake Erie is that the water is so clear now, and that's attributed, in some part, to the zebra mussel because they do—an adult zebra mussel will clear—I believe it's up to a quart of water a day. It's estimated now that, due to the densities of the zebra mussel in the western basin of Lake Erie, that they can clear the entire volume of water in the western basin of Lake Erie twice per week.
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    Clear water isn't necessarily better water, because in that clearing process the zebra mussel is removing plankton and other important nutrients that young fish require during their life cycle, and the sport fishing and recreational fishing industry in Lake Erie, alone, is about $4 billion a year.

    Again, I want to offer my praise to the Chairs of the two subcommittees that are meeting today, and also the ranking members, to all of the co-sponsors who have signed onto this bill.

    I would hope that at the conclusion of this hearing that every member of these two fine subcommittees could see their way clear to co-sponsor this bill. I know that I sent Mr. Gilchrest a videotape of what the sea lamprey does as it latches onto a fish, and he became a co-sponsor right after viewing that videotape.

    Again, my thanks to the chairmen for having this hearing, and thank you for the kind words.

    Mr. COBLE. And I thank the gentleman from Ohio for the good work he's done on this proposed legislation.

    Without objection, any opening statements by members of the subcommittees will be made a part of the record.

    [The prepared statements of Mr. LaTourette, Mr. Costello, and Mr. Poshard follow:]
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    [Insert here.]

    Mr. COBLE. Gentlemen, as you all probably know, we have three panels that will appear before our subcommittees today. I have a full Judiciary Committee meeting simultaneously with this committee, so if I have to depart, don't think it's lack of interest, I say to you all and I say to the gentleman from Ohio, but you all bear with me. We're coming down to the end of the legislative row here, and chaos seems to be the order of the day schedule-wise.

    if you gentlemen could, stay within the five-minute rule. We're not going to severely punish you if you can't do that, but if you can stay within the five-minute time frame, we will be appreciative.

    Of course, your entire statement will appear in the record.

    We're pleased now to recognize the first panel: Captain Richard E. Bennis, chief, marine safety and environmental protection officer of response, U.S. Coast Guard, who is accompanied by Commander Richard Gaudiosi, chief of plans and preparedness division; Mr. Alfred M. Beeton, acting chief scientist with NOAA; Mr. David G. Davis, deputy director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds with the EPA; and Dr. William E. Roper, assistant director, civil works program, Directorate for Research and Development, the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

    Gentlemen, it is good to have you all with us, and I will let you all appear in the order of your preference.

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    Captain, I guess you may be the senior man at the table, so I'll look to you initially.

    It's good to have you with us, gentlemen.

    Gentlemen, for your information, when the red light illuminates, that indicates that the 5 minutes have expired. I repeat, we're not going to be unreasonable about this, but if you all can work with us to that end, it will be appreciated.


    Captain BENNIS. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the subcommittees, I'm Captain Dick Bennis, chief of the Coast Guard's Office of Response. As indicated, Commander Richard Gaudiosi is with me today. A lot of the folks in the audience know Commander Gaudiosi, as he also Chairs the International Maritime Association Ballast Water Working Group.

    We prepared a full statement for the record. With your permission, I'll give a brief summary of that statement.
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    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to comment on the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, H.R. 3217.

    The Coast Guard supports this legislation as a necessary step towards controlling the threat of invasion by nonindigenous species. Implementing a national program for ballast water exchange is one part of a spectrum of activities which, in combination, will eventually address the problem.

    Together with new technologies under development and international programs being developed by the International Maritime Organization, I believe we will ultimately have all of the tools necessary to meet the threat posed by nonindigenous species invasion.

    Based upon our experience in the Great Lakes following our intensive educational program, we should expect compliance with the voluntary guidelines to be high.

    Generally, once the shipping community understands the problem, they are very willing to cooperate and become part of the solution. For this reason, the Coast Guard favors this voluntary national guideline approach of regulations as a backup to undertaking a full-scale, mandatory regulatory project.

    This approach is also consistent with concurrent international efforts and allows time to resolve the problems associated with a ballast-exchange-based program and to develop and implement new technologies.

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    The provisions for mandatory guidelines are authorized, if needed. As we learned from our experiences on the Great Lakes, internationally a ballast-water-exchange-based program has some inherent problems.

    For some vessels, the only possible safe way to comply with ballast exchange requirements will be through use of an alternate exchange site. No such sites currently exist, with the exception of the Great Lakes.

    A mandatory enforcement scheme without these critical sites would severely undermine the effectiveness of the program.

    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my remarks regarding the National Invasive Species Act of 1996. I would again like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to comment on H.R. 3217. Commander Gaudiosi and I would be happy to answer any questions you or the subcommittee members may have.

    Mr. COBLE. Who would like to be heard from next? Do the rest of you not plan to give testimony? We'd be happy to hear from each of you if you are prepared to do that.

    Mr. BEETON. Good afternoon, Chairman and members of the subcommittees. I am Al Beeton, acting chief scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

    I appreciate this opportunity to discuss NOAA's views on H.R. 3217, the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, and the growing problem of nonindigenous species.
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    This is a brief summary of the statement for the record.

    As a leading Federal marine research agency and as co-chair of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, NOAA strongly supports H.R. 3217 to reauthorize the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention and Control Act of 1990, including the extension of the act's funding and authorization, and we support the bill's overall direction in continuing our efforts to address a nationally significant problem.

    There is a tendency to think of fish and mollusks as potentially the most devastating of species introductions; however, nonindigenous pathogens and parasites present in the ballast water or infecting other nonindigenous species can also have a devastating effect on marine ecosystems.

    In the Chesapeake Bay region the oyster fishery has been devastated by two diseases caused by the protozoans MSX and dermocystidium, and scientists now believe that both of these diseases are the result of nonindigenous introductions.

    Ballast water is now acknowledged as the leading vector for unintentional introductions of nonindigenous species into U.S. waters.

    It is estimated that almost 21 billion gallons of ballast water carrying living organisms arrive every year in U.S. waters from foreign ports.

    High seas ballast exchange, which is required by law in the Great Lakes, is helpful, but, as currently practiced, is limited in its applicability and effectiveness.
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    Many vessels which enter the Great Lakes system have no ballast on board. These vessels also do not flush their tanks in the high seas, even though wet bottom sediments may team with life.

    Ballast water exchange is also impractical for coastwise and intra-Great Lakes system voyage in which the high seas are not visited between stops.

    Recently, a diverse group of collaborators joined forces to launch a Great Lakes ballast technology demonstration project. While the project used the Great Lakes as a laboratory, it will provide information of national and international interest.

    The initial focus will be on filtration as a pre-treatment method, but a range of follow-on treatment options will also be investigated as a means of providing effective control of pathogens.

    The project builds on work by the Marine Board of the National Research Council and other studies.

    Grants or in-kind service from NOAA, other Federal agencies, the Northeast-Midwest Institute, the Canadian government, and the Lake Carriers Association totaling more than $150,000 support phase one, which deals with problem definition, design, and engineering.

    Phase two includes installation, monitoring, and performance evaluation of various ballast technologies.
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    Much of the activity relating to aquatic nuisance species has been the result of the 1990 act. The act established an inter-agency task force co-chaired by NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to develop policies that would prevent and mitigate the problem associated with introduction of nonindigenous species.

    Major accomplishments include: promulgation of voluntary guidelines, followed by mandatory ballast water regulation for the Great Lakes; development of an aquatic nuisance species program that was submitted to Congress in 1994; completion of the shipping study in 1995; development, approval, and implementation of a ruffe control program; and approval by the task force of comprehensive State aquatic nuisance species management plans prepared by New York and Michigan.

    Also, there was established a national nonindigenous aquatic species information system currently containing more than 32,000 records of nonindigenous species throughout the United States.

    These are only some of the things accomplished, and the task force would be pleased to provide the subcommittees with a more-comprehensive summary.

    NOAA believes the 1990 act needs to be reauthorized to ensure that the problem of nonindigenous species invasions continues to be addressed in a coordinated and cost-effective manner that maximizes the protection of the aquatic environment, while minimizing the burdens on the international shipping industry.

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    H.R. 3217 would provide such an approach, establishing a nationwide ballast water management program based on the successful Great Lakes ballast water management program developed as a result of the 1990 act.

    In particular, NOAA endorses the approach taken in H.R. 3217 that would establish voluntary ballast water management guidelines and only take a mandatory approach if it can be shown that these voluntary measures are not successful.

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify on this important issue. I certainly would be pleased to answer any questions.

    Mr. COBLE. And I thank you, Mr. Beeton.

    Any other panelists? Mr. Davis?

    Mr. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    As you noted, I'm David Davis. I'm the deputy director of EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. I'll do my best to keep my remarks very short. I'm afraid Captain Bennis set a very difficult standard for the rest of us.

    I trust that you will include my full testimony in the record.

    EPA is not——

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    Mr. COBLE. Mr. Davis, pardon me. I think Captain Bennis may have established a world record with brevity.


    Mr. COBLE. Captain, I appreciate that.

    Captain BENNIS. Streamlining, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. DAVIS. EPA has, of course, been a member of the Inter-agency task force on this subject since it was established, and we feel that that's been a very important opportunity for us to make a contribution to this very important effort. Of course, we've learned a great deal from it.

    We are not quite the major player in this whole enterprise that some of my colleagues are here at this table, but we have learned something of importance, we believe, through our work with the national estuary program, which, of course, is established under section 320 of the Clean Water Act.

    In particular, we've learned, in working with San Francisco and with Puget Sound, something more practical about some of these problems. We've found out, for example, that the number of exotic species that are now found in the San Francisco estuary have become so overwhelming that they've sufficiently changed the whole balance of life in the estuary.

    We now know that they are arriving at the rate of about one new species in each 24 weeks since the 1970s. We know that they produce both ecological and economic effects of significance. Through predation and competition, introduced species have contributed to the regional eradication of some native species and dramatic reductions in others.
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    The continuous arrival of exotic species may make the estuary's ecosystem fundamentally unmanageable by continually changing the flora and fauna. Of course, those factors then, in turn, compound the direct habitat loss and alteration of over-fishing and other human activities that have already taken a significant toll on the estuary and its resources.

    We've also become involved, through the San Francisco national estuary program, in a forum that the program has sponsored for sharing information on this subject with the shipping industry, the ports, the Coast Guard, academia, and many others. That's a very important effort, and we point that out primarily to emphasize the fact that many of these problems are regional and they often require regional solutions in addition to the national framework that we are here discussing.

    In a parallel effort, the Puget Sound national estuary program has been working to form an exotic species work group, which includes many different government and nongovernment parties in that region of the country, including the Canadian province of British Columbia. They have a marine science panel which has done some important work and will soon be releasing a report assessing the general modes of entry, the adequacy of existing monitoring programs, the adequacy of agency regulations and enforcement, of voluntary actions, and of existing levels of public information and education.

    That report will, in turn, be provided to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force for its use.

    We do support the provisions of H.R. 3217. We're particularly supportive of the way in which it's structured to first attempt to use voluntary participation and guidelines, and only when necessary turn to a more mandatory approach. We do support that as a general way of doing business, and we think it's particularly appropriate in this circumstance.
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    We also have been supportive of the ballast water demonstration program, because we're concerned that transport between Great Lakes ports also poses an important invasion threat, as well, because we can't deal with everything in terms of simply dealing with those issues that have to do with ships arriving from foreign ports.

    In closing, I'd like to underscore how important we believe this is to the Nation.

    Through EPA's responsibilities under the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and many other statutes, we have a strong mandate to protect aquatic and other ecosystems, including their rich biodiversity. Protecting native species is important to maintaining and restoring the overall health of aquatic ecosystems. Some native species, of course, are also of commercial or recreational or economic value, and their loss would have serious implications for coastal communities and regions, and even for the Nation's economy. Thus, this legislation is extremely important and we support it completely.

    Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Davis.

    Dr. Roper.

    Dr. ROPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is William Roper. I am the assistant director for civil works in the Research and Development Directorate at the Army Corps of Engineers.
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    I am very pleased to be here today to present testimony on the National Invasive Species Act of 1996.

    The Corps of Engineers strongly supports the National Invasive Species Act, and particularly its recognition of the importance of controlling zebra mussels at public facilities.

    The Corps began to address this problem area in 1992 with a research program under the authority of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention and Control Act of 1990.

    Our zebra mussel research program is focused on the development of control methods and the application of these methods at marine structures, power plants, water treatment facilities, dredges, and other vessels. We've worked closely with NOAA, EPA, Fish & Wildlife Service, the Coast Guard, State organizations, universities, and the private sector in coordinating and conducting this research.

    We have hosted four national workshops on zebra mussel control, produced a control management video, and participate as a member of the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force to assist in coordination, review, and direction of the overall national program.

    Our current research is developing new technology to prevent the establishment and reduce the cost of controlling zebra mussel populations at public facilities. Technology is being developed and evaluated, to include large-capacity filter systems, thermal treatment systems, desiccation techniques, redesign of intakes and piping, the use of electrical fields to prevent attachment, nontoxic control, and biological control using microorganisms and invertebrates.
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    Accomplishments thus far include the successful demonstration of new methods for monitoring the presence of zebra mussels at facilities. Filter systems have been successfully demonstrated to prevent zebra mussels from entering water intakes. This technology is a nontoxic, environmentally sensitive method of control which can be applied at facilities that require less than a 200 cubic feet per second volume of water intake. Examples would be applications like irrigation systems, fish hatcheries, and smaller water supply.

    Carbon dioxide treatment for control of zebra mussels has also been demonstrated in laboratory studies. We are presently designing a prototype system for application of carbon dioxide treatment at public facilities.

    Zebra mussel control systems at power-generating facilities, which are primarily chlorination at this time, are estimated to cost over $50 million per year in the United States. It is projected that the application of our research projects could significantly reduce these costs for controlling zebra mussel infestations.

    We have recently produced an interactive CD-ROM management tool for managers and operators at public facilities. I have brought 12 copies of that with me today and would like to provide them to the committees. It provides a very rapid way of identifying zebra mussels, learning about zebra mussels, and evaluating control alternatives at the different types of facilities. They are user-friendly and are oriented to the facility manager or operator.

    We also conduct research in the aquatic plant control area. The thrust of the research here is to reduce nonindigenous plant populations to nonproblem levels, enhancing or replacing these nonindigenous species with indigenous species that provide a more beneficial and productive aquatic habitat.
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    The direct applications of biological control technologies developed have resulted in the reduction of water hyacinths in the Gulf States and California by more than 3 million acres, and a reduction nationwide of alligatorweed. In Louisiana, alone, water hyacinth was reduced from 1.5 million acres to 150,000 to 200,000 acres, with an annual savings of $11 million to $15 million over conventional control methods.

    We are also in the process of developing a management information-based system for control of aquatic and terrestrial weed species, which is in the final stages of production now. I would be happy to provide copies of that CD–ROM program to the committee when it is available.

    This concludes my testimony. I would be happy to answer any questions.

    Mr. COBLE. Doctor, I thank you for that. We'll be happy to receive your exhibits that you brought along.

    Before I begin the questioning, I will say to the gentleman from Ohio, the primary sponsor, your proposed legislation appears to have generated virtually no expressions of opposition, and that's rather unusual on this Hill. Strike that. Perhaps I should say it has generated no expressions of organized opposition. There surely is—Commander, I'm sorry. Did you want to be heard? I didn't mean to overlook you. Did you have a statement to make?

    Commander GAUDIOSI. No, sir. The Captain made our statement.

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    Mr. COBLE. I figured he spoke for you, but I didn't want to blind side you.

    I will ask the members of the subcommittees to also adhere to the five-minute rule, as well, and I will begin my five-minute questioning now.

    Captain, the bill before us would require the Coast Guard to periodically review industry compliance with the national ballast water guidelines to determine the need for Coast Guard enforcement of the guidelines in certain regions. The bill requires, as we all know, vessels to maintain records of ballast exchanging, but some raise the concerns that the records are not always impeccable, and perhaps not always accurate.

    What other tools besides maintaining the records and checking same are currently available to the Coast Guard to assess compliance with the guidelines?

    Second, is it your opinion that new authority would be needed to permit the Coast Guard to sample ballast water for physical factors such as salinity to help encourage compliance with the guidelines?

    Captain BENNIS. Mr. Chairman, we currently would utilize the compliance boardings, where in our boardings, our routine boardings, we would evaluate the records, look at the records of the vessel, talk to the master, see what certifications they had made.

    With regards to salinity testing, the primary value of that is going to be in the Great Lakes, where we're talking freshwater/saltwater.
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    Mr. COBLE. In what way, Captain, does the International Maritime Organization, the IMO, plan to address this problem, if you know?

    Captain BENNIS. I'll let Commander Gaudiosi answer that, since he is the chairman of the IMO working group.

    Mr. COBLE. Very well.

    Commander GAUDIOSI. Thank you, Captain.

    Mr. Chairman, the IMO is in the process of looking at a possible technical annex to MARPOL, which would require compliance by vessels with the set of guidelines that would incorporate ballast exchange as one method, but also new technologies as they arise and are developed.

    We are in the process of developing those guidelines and the regulations that would go with them. The time line is looking like we would have final documents out of the working group in the 1997–1998 time frame, and that would go to the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of IMO for decision.

    There is more participation in the work group as we get closer and as this global issue comes more to the forefront, and it looks like the chairman of the MEPC has put this as one of the top three priorities on the agenda for the Marine Environmental Protection Committee.
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    That's what we're doing, sir.

    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, sir.

    Captain, either you or the commander, do you all know—and if you don't know, you can get this information to us—the amount of monies that have been spent with the Coast Guard regarding the enforcement and other purposes related to the Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act since the law was enacted, I think in 1990? Do you have any idea?

    Commander GAUDIOSI. We could provide the exact numbers, but, off the top of my head, I would say we have spent in the range of about $1 million a year.

    In the process of enforcement, we have a unit in Massina, New York, who actually checks the Great Lakes vessels coming into the Great Lakes system. They board the vessels specifically for ballast water issues. We also have our participation at IMO staff in district nine in Cleveland and Coast Guard headquarters.

    That combination of money spent, including research and studies, comes to about $1 million.

    Mr. COBLE. If you could give us a detailed account of that, I would be appreciative.

    Commander GAUDIOSI. Yes, sir.
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    [The information received follows:]

    [Insert here.]

    Mr. COBLE. Mr. Beeton, you've studied the impact of the zebra mussel on the Great Lakes' ecosystem, and Saginaw Bay, specifically, over a good, long period of time. What have been some of the impacts of the zebra mussel infestation over time in the Saginaw Bay region? And is it your belief that other regions, newly-infested with the zebra mussel, anticipate similar effect or impact?

    Mr. BEETON. Well, the study that has been conducted on Saginaw Bay is a good example of a collaborative study among State and Federal agencies. EPA was involved, Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Michigan Sea Grant program, and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

    That study has shown that the zebra mussel has such an impact on an aquatic system that it completely dominates and changes the whole functioning of the ecosystem.

    The algae, the phytoplankton, has decreased by 80 percent from its normal abundance.

    There has been a great increase in the aquatic macrophytes, which you might call aquatic weeds, because the water clarity has increased 80 percent over what it was in the past, so that the aquatic plants can grow to a much greater depth.
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    There has been a change in the bottom so that a lot more algae are now growing on the bottom, filamentous algae.

    The water chemistry has changed.

    There has been a change in the nutrient abundance.

    But probably the most significant thing that we've found just recently is there have been blooms of blue-green algae, called Microcystis, which produces a toxic substance called Microsystin, and we just had it verified recently that the Microcystis that's growing in Saginaw Bay this past year is a toxic form.

    It is not abundant enough to present a big problem at water intakes, but it is alarming that this blue-green algae is appearing now after the advent of the zebra mussel, and we believe that the change in the ecosystem brought about by the zebra mussel is responsible for these blooms of blue-green algae.

    Incidentally, we also detected the same thing in western Lake Erie late last summer and early fall of last year, so it's a problem there, also.

    Mr. COBLE. I thank you, sir.

    I see the red light is on, so I now recognize the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Clement.
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    Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you, Chairman Coble.

    Mr. Oberstar, did you need to go now, or do you want me to proceed on?

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Proceed. Thank you.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Okay. First question to Captain Bennis: section 1103 requires the chief of naval operations to implement a ballast water management program for U.S. Navy ships. I understand that combatant vessels such as aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers use a combined fuel ballast tank.

    Does the ballast in this type of a tank pose the same type of threat as we've seen in segregated ballast tanks in commercial vessels? And does it apply to the Coast Guard?

    Captain BENNIS. Definitely on a much smaller scale with application to the Coast Guard. The issue would revolve around the fuel residue in the tanks.

    With regards to the Navy issue, I really couldn't address that because of the magnitude of what we're talking about right there.

    Mr. CLEMENT. What are the dangers in exchanging ballast water in mid-ocean, and how can it threaten the stability or safety of a ship?

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    Captain BENNIS. The primary issue with that is in severe weather, heavy weather, on some vessels the stability would be such that we could be threatened with the loss of the vessel due to capsizing. In good weather, the majority of the vessels are able to do that.

    There are some vessels, due to the nature of their construction, design, where that's difficult, at best, even in good weather.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Mr. Beeton, while I believe many ocean-going vessels are acquainted with the problem we've discussed today, how can we do better to educate our citizens on the dangers of ANS?

    Mr. BEETON. I think we can build on and enhance what we already have underway through the National Sea Grant College Program, which has developed a very effective outreach in providing a lot of education information about nonindigenous species impact in various environments, especially dealing with the zebra mussel and with the Eurasian ruffe. They have been very active in that.

    We can also enhance cooperation through the Cooperative Extension Service that's available in States across the country, and I notice recently there have been more news releases. Recently public broadcasting had information on nonindigenous species, especially the zebra mussel.

    So I think what needs to be done is to enhance that and also provide more information at marinas and fishing access sites on inland lakes, because that's going to be the next major problem—the zebra mussels and other nonindigenous species spreading into our inland lakes.
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    Mr. CLEMENT. How much of a problem is that now in the inland lakes?

    Mr. BEETON. Zebra mussels are already found in a number of lakes in the State of Michigan, some in Ohio, quite a few in Ontario, and they have been found in our major river systems. It is a big problem, and they have—despite the fact that these are attached organisms, a free-swimming larval stage, and so it is very easy for them to be spread around by water that may be used to maintain minnows or something for fishing, and so on. They are a tremendous problem.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Mr. Davis, can chemicals such as chlorine be added to ballast water to kill these exotic species, or would that pollute our waterways when the chlorinated ballast water is discharged?

    Mr. DAVIS. Mr. Clement, this is not my area of expertise, but I do know that there is already some experimentation going on with the use of chlorine. There has been some success with that, but it does pose the risks that you are concerned about because chlorine in large quantities can, itself, be a problem, or some of the byproducts of its combination with other chemicals can be, as well.

    It's an area in which considerable additional research is needed before we can make any real conclusions.

    Perhaps other panelists may have something to add to that.
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    Commander GAUDIOSI. Yes. Chlorination was looked at in a number of studies, and although there are some problems with use of chlorination, there have been instances in the Great Lakes where chlorination was used, although as a last resort.

    I think if you look at the environmental impacts of that as a method, it would be on a lower scale than some of the other methods we talked about such as filtration and others.

    Mr. CLEMENT. I've got one more, and I'll be—Dr. Roper, has EPA been involved in the Corps' efforts to control invasive plant and animal species through use of chemicals?

    Dr. ROPER. Mr. Clement, yes, they have. We are involved in a number of joint committee activities that involve many Federal agencies in developing the methods that are acceptable and effective for controlling weeds, particularly in aquatic plant area where we have conducted over 20 years of research. In this area the Corps has been working with EPA, as well as with the Department of Agriculture, in the indentification, evaluation and introduction of biological controls for problem aquatic plants.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you.

    Mr. LATOURETTE [assuming Chair]. Thank you, Mr. Clement.

    Before continuing our normal practice of going from majority to minority, we're pleased to be joined by the ranking member of the full committee, Mr. Oberstar, an original sponsor of this legislation, and I would recognize Mr. Oberstar for any questions he might have.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    I compliment you on taking the initiative to craft this legislation, which will extend the application of the already-existing Nonindigenous Species Act to other areas of the country than just the Great Lakes. It shows great foresight on your part, Mr. Chairman, and it's an initiative in which I readily and heartily join.

    I want to express my appreciation to the two subcommittee Chairs, Mr. Boehlert and Mr. Coble, for holding the hearing and to Mr. Clement, our ranking member on the Coast Guard Subcommittee, and Mr. Borski, the ranking member on the Water Resources Committee, for helping us move this legislation along.

    There are two witnesses from Minnesota who are going to offer very useful insights and contribute their significant experience on this subject, Mr. Ray Skelton, with Seaway Port Authority of Duluth, and Jay Rendall, the exotic species coordinator at the Minnesota DNR.

    This issue started, although it has more recently gotten a lot of national publicity and interest, really started in 1829 when ships coming from Europe through the just-opened and developed Welland Canal brought with them ballast water that they discharged into the Great Lakes or into waters that moved into the Great Lakes.

    Unknowingly, they brought with them a devastating little critter called the ''lamprey eel.'' Not many people paid much attention to it. It took a long time for the lamprey to get established, to find its way into other waters of the Great Lakes, eventually finding quite a home in the estuaries of the rivers that discharge into the Great Lakes.
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    There, nesting and laying its eggs, raising thousands and thousands of eels, they spread throughout the Great Lakes, attaching themselves to the under-belly of lake trout and whitefish, almost imperceptibly.

    From time to time, fishermen would catch trout and whitefish and notice these horrible-looking little creatures with the suction-cup-like mouth draining the blood from the fish.

    Then we felt their full fury in the mid 1950s when lake trout population, which—lake trout catch, which had been at about 3 million pounds a year, and whitefish at about 2.5 million pounds a year, were devastated. We had a 90 percent drop in the catch inside of 1 year.

    The lamprey had multiplied to an extent no one anticipated and brought such devastation and destruction upon the fishery.

    The catch of lake trout went down to 300,000 pounds from 3 million, and the catch of whitefish went down to 250,000 pounds. There was devastation upon the economy of the fishermen and the fishing communities along the Great Lakes.

    The United States and Canada joined in a research effort to find a way to contain the lamprey. They developed a spray introduced in the waters, lampreycide, that we will have to use forever to contain this species. We have not been able to eradicate it.

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    Pollution in the river systems diminished the lamprey population for a time, along with lampreycide, but when we cleaned up the rivers discharging into the Great Lakes, the lamprey benefitted as well, and their populations rose.

    And, as if we had not learned the lesson of nonindigenous species introduced into the lakes, along came in ballast water the zebra mussel, and then the European ruffe, which has chewed up all the fish and their feed in the harbors of communities along the shores of Lake Superior. Our native species have been devastated.

    The nonindigenous species, like the zebra mussel, which perform a filtering action and filter the water so that it becomes clean—they filter out even the phytoplankton on which fish feed.

    In addition to that, they clog up the water intakes on city water systems, on discharge pipes into the lakes, on power plants that require water for their cooling systems.

    The purple loosetrife plant that has spread throughout the Great Lakes, it's a vicious species. The more you cut it, the more it grows.

    We have to now—maybe nature has given us this warning—deal with this issue, because it is not just a problem of the Great Lakes. People take their boats out of Lake St. Claire, out of Lake Michigan, out of Lake Superior, and take them to one of the interior lakes or into the Mississippi River, and now we find the zebra mussels as far down as St. Louis and making their way even to the estuary of the Mississippi River.

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    We have to deal with this issue and use every resource at our disposal to contain the spread of those species, prevent their introduction.

    The Coast Guard serves this very important role, being on the threshold of defense against the introduction of any other nonindigenous species into the Great Lakes by enforcing the rules on incoming vessels from the foreign ports.

    The language of the legislation Mr. LaTourette has introduced will lead us in the right direction, and I compliment him on introducing this legislation by my total support.

    I have a few questions, which I'll reserve for later.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Oberstar, and thank you for your leadership on not only this issue but so many issues that affect the Great Lakes.

    The Chair is pleased to recognize next Mr. Horn from California for 5 minutes.

    Mr. HORN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    I have two questions. The first will be directed to Captain Bennis, the next to the scientists that are present.

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    Captain Bennis, I wasn't quite clear on the Navy's desire for an exclusion. It seems to me I don't see how it's more dangerous to transfer ballast between Navy vessels to achieve stability than to transfer fuel between vessels, which they do constantly. So what's the rationale for an exclusion for the Navy? Or did I misinterpret your testimony?

    Captain BENNIS. I'm a little unclear as to your question with regards to transferring fuel and transferring ballast.

    Mr. HORN. Well, why does the Navy want an exclusion?

    Captain BENNIS. I'm not aware——

    Mr. HORN. Do they?

    Captain BENNIS. I'm not aware of the rationale behind that.

    Mr. HORN. Okay. The impression I got from your testimony was the Navy did not want to abide by this particular law, proposed law. Is that in error and the Navy does want to abide by it?

    Captain BENNIS. I'm not clear as to what the Navy's intentions are. I'll provide that for the record.

    [The information received follows:]

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    The Coast Guard is not prepared to provide a statement as to the Navy's intentions in complying with the provisions of this Bill.

    Mr. HORN. I thought the Coast Guard was the lead agency to coordinate within the Executive branch; is that correct?

    Captain BENNIS. With regards to the Department of Defense, commercial shipping is—we lie in the commercial shipping area. We're coordinating all the commercial shipping aspects.

    Mr. HORN. Okay.

    Captain BENNIS. And the Coast Guard vessels, also.

    Mr. HORN. So at this point you don't have an opinion from the Navy as to whether they'll comply or not comply?

    Captain BENNIS. I do not. No.

    Mr. HORN. Who does? OMB, Office of Management and Budget? Have they coordinated this?

    Captain BENNIS. DOD would have that. We would get that through DOD.

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    Mr. HORN. Let me ask, Mr. Chairman, committee staff follow up to understand just where are the Government vessels in this and is there a problem with some of the agencies that have Government vessels at sea to comply with it.

    Let me now move to the scientists. When I first came on this committee, one of the Members I most admire and still admire, who is on the full committee but not the subcommittees, is the gentleman from Chicago, Mr. Lipinski. No matter what question or topic we were on, he somehow brought it down to the O'Hare International Airport, and I thought, ''Now, there's a Member that's really worrying about the home folks.''

    So today I'm worrying about the home folks. I've got here the November 1995, issue of the ''Aquatic Nuisance Species Digest,'' a very interesting publication. Its headline is, ''Nonindigenous Sea Squirts in California Harbors.''

    Well, I happen to be the Member in which the headquarters of both the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles—which are the Nation's two largest ports, and combined they are third in the world—happen to co-exist with each other, namely in San Pedro Bay—and it is pronounced ''peedro,'' folks, not ''pedro.''

    Here's the lead article, and I'd like, Mr. Chairman, for the full article, which is very short, to be in the record at this pint.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Without objection.

    [The November 1995, issue of the ''Aquatic Nuisance Species Digest,'' with article, ''Nonindigenous Sea Squirts in California Harbors'' follows:]
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    [Insert here.]

    Mr. HORN. I'd just like to read a few things from it to premise the question.

    ''Native populations of sea squirts in southern California harbors have come under intense pressure from nonindigenous species of sea squirts. The species that were first recorded in California harbors have been largely displaced by new arrivals.

    ''Most, and perhaps all, introductions of nonindigenous sea squirts are the result of boat movements—'' that's a 1994 study. ''Larva are probably transported in freighter ballast water—'' that's a 1993 study. ''And the older sea squirts, the adults, attach to pleasure boats.

    ''The sea squirts are a group of exclusively marine invertebrate chordates found in almost every marine habitat—mud, sand, rocks, exposed coast, so forth.''

    They've been in California for a long time. What I want to know from the scientists is: what type of studies do we have on the major harbors of California, not just the smaller harbors? And the major harbors go, in rank order: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, with Seattle being third, so we might take in the Pacific coast. Those are the first four.

    Any thoughts on what the studies show here and what the remedy might be? Are there other remedies other than what's in the proposed bill?
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    Which scientist would like to answer that? Do we call it out by agency? EPA, how about it?

    Mr. DAVIS. Sir, I'm afraid the EPA is not represented by a scientist at this point, but by a program manager, so perhaps my colleague from NOAA, who is the chief scientist, could better answer that.

    Mr. BEETON. Well, unfortunately, I can't answer you, but we can pull together information for you and provide it.

    Mr. HORN. Okay.

    Mr. BEETON. We'd be happy to do that.

    Mr. HORN. Okay. I'd like to know. What I'd like to know is: this has been a phenomena that has existed for decades. Is it on a substantially upward curve, just simply because of the boat traffic that's occurring, especially with ballast water? Or where does it stand in terms of change and the need for urgency here to do something about it?

    Mr. BEETON. Well, if we address nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species, per se, yes, it is on an upward curve. We have more ships off-loading ballast water, and there are more and more aquatic nuisance species occurring.

    So I would suspect that might also apply to the group of organisms you are addressing, but the best thing for me to do is to see that we pull together information and get it to you.
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    Mr. HORN. Thank you. I'd appreciate that, Mr. Chairman, if the answers from the scientific agencies, NOAA and the EPA, could be put in the record at this point. I'd appreciate it. And if the Corps of Engineers has any information or the Coast Guard, I'd like them to add to it.

    Thank you.

    [The information to be supplied follows:]

    [Insert here.]

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you, Mr. Horn. Without objection, the article on nonindigenous sea squirts will be included in the record of this hearing.

    Mr. Poshard is recognized for 5 minutes.

    Mr. POSHARD. No questions, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you.

    The gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Ehlers?

    Mr. EHLERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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    First of all, I commend you in introducing this bill. I am pleased to be a co-sponsor of the bill and, frankly, regret that I didn't think of it first. It's a good thing that you've done, and I hope that you are successful in getting it adopted.

    The problem in Michigan has been particularly severe because we have more coastline than any other State except Alaska, exceeding even the good State of Minnesota and the great State of California. We have almost 3,500 miles of shoreline. We border four of the five Great Lakes. We have more boats per capita and also the largest number of boats of any State in the Union.

    Because of the large amount of recreational boating and also shipping, the nonindigenous species are a major problem. The lamprey eel that was mentioned earlier by Mr. Oberstar has been a major problem in Michigan for years, continues to be a problem, particularly in view of the Federal cuts recently in support for lamprey control programs.

    The zebra mussel has wreaked havoc with many of our businesses, certainly with our power plants, also with municipal water supplies. That's resulting in millions upon millions of dollars of extra cost to the State. It is extremely important that this problem be addressed.

    So, Mr. Chairman, I do commend you for introducing the bill. I hope it does get passed soon. But I think equally important is going to be future funding of it, because the funding for much of the research has been cut.

    The other comment I'd make, if you plan any additional hearings I would hope that you would tap some of the individuals from Michigan, particularly the research facilities we have in Ann Arbor which are dealing with these problems in a very direct way and have a lot of experience with nonindigenous species. I would hope they could be included on a future witness list.
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    I have no specific questions for the panel. I apologize. I was in another meeting and arrived late and could not hear their testimony, so I will pass on the questions at this point.

    Thank you very much.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you, Mr. Ehlers.

    Before letting this panel go I turn to the ranking member, Mr. Oberstar. Do you have questions of this panel that you'd like to ask?

    Mr. OBERSTAR. More a comment than a question.

    The provisions of the legislation that we have introduced provide some new authority for ballast water control activity by the Coast Guard. Your testimony does address that subject matter at some length; however, I'd like you just, first of all, to understand that this is such a critical problem.

    We haven't learned the lessons of the past until perhaps now. We know that we have to have an effective ballast control program, along with other initiatives.

    I'd just like you to spell out for us in practical terms: what do you see as the difficulties of applying a ballast water control program for vessels entering the Great Lakes?
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    Captain BENNIS. I'll let Commander Gaudiosi answer that, due to his vast amount of expertise in that area.

    Commander GAUDIOSI. Thank you, Mr. Oberstar.

    Right now what we have in ballast water exchange is a good first step in the direction that we need to go in. Ballast water exchange is, right now, the most feasible and most effective method that we have.

    In the Great Lakes, specifically, we have the added value of going specifically in ballast water exchange at open ocean from a saltwater situation to a freshwater situation. That allows us to do a number of things.

    The primary function of ballast exchange is to flush organisms out of the ballast tanks. Taking on saltwater has some residual value in killing off possible freshwater organisms in the tanks. It also allows us to check or verify the compliance of the vessel by taking salinity readings in the ballast water tanks.

    One of the problems we're going to be faced with in a nationwide program is trying to determine compliance with ballast exchange when you have saltwater-to-saltwater exchanges and you don't have the ability to check salinity as a method. That's one of the problems you are going to be faced with.

    Although ballast exchange is a first step, we need more research into technologies that would allow a more-effective elimination of organisms in ballast water.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. Operationally, do you have difficulty or do you see difficulties that we haven't been able to identify and address in legislation in enforcing the ballast water regulations on incoming vessels?

    Commander GAUDIOSI. No, I don't think we have a problem there. Specifically in the Great Lakes, because of the mechanism I just explained, we have, I think, a pretty good idea of the amount of water that's exchanged based on salinity. We have ways to verify through the records and through the salinity readings, and we have some semblance of assurance that the organisms that are in the ballast tanks and in the water that's 30 parts per 1,000, which is required by the regulation, that organisms will not—possibly not live in the freshwater environment of the Great Lakes.

    So I don't see the Great Lakes as a specific problem in relation to enforcing the requirements.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Do the incoming vessels give you a problem? Do foreign vessel operators give the Coast Guard trouble over——

    Commander GAUDIOSI. Actually, the method that we used under the 1990 act in developing voluntary guidelines and an education program to make sure the mariner is aware of what the problem or problems are was very effective in gaining compliance within the Great Lakes situation.

    We have very few vessels now that come in in noncompliance with the regulation, so we have a very good compliance rate in the Great Lakes.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much. I think it would be helpful, for our purposes, if you continue to mull this issue over and give us your further thoughts. We want to—in crafting the bill, I think our objective is to avoid the mistakes of the past and get as strong and comprehensive and effectively applicable a bill as we possibly can.

    Commander GAUDIOSI. Yes, sir. I agree. And it's critical that we also take into account the efforts that are going on internationally, because I think we would get more mileage out of what we do here domestically if we can coordinate that as much as possible with the international efforts.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. One final question. Is the movement of boats—not vessels, but boats, runabouts and small motor boats—from the Great Lakes to an interior lake or to one of the river systems the jurisdiction of the State DNR and not of the Coast Guard? Would that generally be——

    Commander GAUDIOSI. Yes. That is correct, sir.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. So it would not be your responsibility to establish a program of surveillance of vessels to ensure that they are not transporting water from the Great Lakes that may have one of these nonindigenous species into the river systems or the interior lakes that are not directly connected to the Great Lakes?

    Commander GAUDIOSI. The Coast Guard has authority over commercial vessels.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. But not over sport vessels, recreational?

    Commander GAUDIOSI. It's a State issue.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. It is a State issue. Well, that's a matter that we also need to somehow address and alert the States and help them to deal with this.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think there is a lot for us to do yet on this aspect of the legislation.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Oberstar.

    Gentlemen, before I let you go, for those Members who have other appointments and other hearings to attend, and perhaps on the floor engaged in debate, we focused a great deal on the Great Lakes, as we should have, during the course of your testimony and the questions, but if I were a Member—and it goes to Mr. Horn's observation and also Mr. Oberstar's observation—if I were a Member from Missouri or from Texas, why should I be concerned about this particular piece of legislation?

    Dr. Roper.

    Dr. ROPER. Our experience, as far as where zebra mussels are a problem indicates a growing geographical distribution and population density. Zebra mussels are impacting on more facilities such as hydropower, water intake systems for water supply, and all fossil-fuel powered facilities that draw on fresh, raw water for cooling.
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    We're finding facilities on the Cumberland River that are infested. We've installed chlorination systems on some of our hydropower projects on the Cumberland River. We've found zebra mussels on some of our facilities as far south as New Orleans and some of the tributary rivers to the Mississippi in the south.

    So the impact on public facilities is widespread within the Mississippi watershed and impacts many states.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much.

    Mr. Davis?

    Mr. DAVIS. If I might add to that, Mr. Chairman, I think it's also important, in response to your question, to recognize that we're not speaking only of zebra mussels here; that the total list of invasive species runs into the hundreds, if not the thousands, particularly when we take into account microorganisms.

    One need only go down the river a few miles from where we are sitting to see the effect of hydrilla, which is an aquatic plant near the Belle Haven Marina in the Potomac, or into Dyke Marsh, which is a National Park Service property, to see what happens when Phragmites, which is a European reed, invades an area and begins to take over.

    So the intent of this legislation goes far beyond zebra mussel and is, therefore, applicable nationwide.
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    Mr. LATOURETTE. Okay. I appreciate that.

    One of the things that we didn't touch upon, aside from the fact that they are a nuisance and they are expensive to remove from our pipes, my understanding of zebra mussels is that they are a concentrator, if you will, of items that they eat, and although the effect of pollutants and toxins on the zebra mussel may not harm the mussel, it is, in fact, then transferred to those few predators, fish and diving ducks, that would have the opportunity to eat a zebra mussel. I don't think I'd want to eat a zebra mussel, but there are animals that do that.

    Does that not create the chance of health risk upon those who would later come in contact with and decide to eat some of the Great Lakes' fish? Is that an accurate observation? Am I right about that?

    Dr. ROPER. Yes.

    There's one other thing I'd like to add. We found in our research that the micro-environment that the zebra mussel creates on the surface it attaches to does lead to advanced corrosion. We're finding all metal surfaces that zebra mussels attach to are creating a corrosive environment that is increasing the maintenance, the replacement, and other aspects of a maintenance cycle that can be very significant on large public facilities.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you.

    Dr. Beeton, did you have an observation?
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    Mr. BEETON. Yes. In regard to the toxic substance problem, many of the organic pesticides and herbicides and so on do not have a really high solubility in water, and they become adsorbed onto particles.

    Because zebra mussels are very effective in removing particulate matter from water, they are very efficient in concentrating these substances in their bodies, which, in turn, then become available in the food chain to ducks or any fish that might eat them. So they do become a serious problem in transfer of toxic substances.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Okay. Thank you very much. Gentlemen, thank you all for your testimony. We appreciate it very much.

    It is a pleasure to welcome today's second panel that will discuss with us areas of local or regional concerns relative to the proposed legislation, H.R. 3217, the National Invasive Species Act of 1996.

    We welcome Mr. Jay Rendall, who is the exotic species coordinator, Division of Fish and Wildlife from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; and also Ms. Ann Swanson, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

    Welcome to you both. We look forward to your testimony.

    Mr. Rendall, why don't we begin with you?

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    Mr. RENDALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    For the past 10 years, I have had several roles and responsibilities in trying to curb the spread of nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species in Minnesota and in the Great Lakes region.

    I'm currently the coordinator of the State of Minnesota's exotic species management program, and also the vice chair of the Great Lakes panel on aquatic nuisance species.

    Given that I spend all of my working hours on the subject covered by the National Invasive Species Act, it is a pleasure to be invited to discuss the act and implications to waters of the United States.

    One thing that I've learned about aquatic nuisance species is that we cannot manage them solely by responding after they get to the United States. Prevention and not reaction is the best, most cost-effective and rational way to deal with aquatic nuisance species.

    The continuing discovery of new infestations of aquatic nuisance species tells us that we must act now to prevent future introductions. The longer we wait to stop the continuing introductions of aquatic nuisance species into North America, the more difficult and more expensive it will become and the more irreversible changes will occur.
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    This problem will not just go away. While the battle against the introduction of zebra mussels may be lost in some waters, efforts should be turned up for others.

    This will be a considerable challenge, but it's definitely one worth taking on. Many of the aquatic nuisance species now in U.S. waters got here at a time when there was little Federal concern or effort to protect against their introduction.

    The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 was an important first step toward preventing future problems in the Great Lakes, and the passage of this new act would be another critical step for preventing further invasions throughout the Nation.

    For just a moment I'd like to discuss the problem of aquatic nuisance species.

    In terms used by economists, aquatic nuisance species are a byproduct of international and interstate commerce called ''negative externalities.'' In lay terms, they are a type of biological pollution. Regardless of what we call them, they are changing and will continue to change the water resources of the entire country.

    The more discussions that take place among members of the Great Lakes panel and others in North America that work on this issue, the more we recognize that the problem of invasive species is widespread.

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    Invasive species are a national problem. That conclusion was confirmed in the 1993 report titled, ''Harmful, Nonindigenous Species in the United States.''

    From the States' perspective, individual States such as Minnesota that have many water resources at risk cannot solve the problem alone. We are depending on help from Federal agencies to halt the introduction of aquatic nuisance species into the country, and we are counting on Federal help to jointly curb the spread of aquatic nuisance species between the continental United States.

    Aquatic nuisance species do not respect or stop at State borders. Individual States can address the spread of aquatic nuisance species within their borders, but we, alone, cannot keep the species from entering U.S. waters or spreading from State to State.

    There are several important things that the States desire at the Federal level that are included in this act. First, we need strong Federal leadership in prevention and control. The proposed national ballast water program, the Naval ballast program, the ballast water demonstration project, and the dispersal barrier demonstration between Lake Michigan and Illinois River are examples of where Federal involvement is important.

    In fact, the ballast demonstration project is so important that another upcoming panelist, Ray Skelton, and I have requested $250,000 from the Minnesota environment and natural resources trust fund to support that project.

    Second, voluntary guidelines, as called for in section 1202 of the act, for preventing the spread by recreational boaters should be developed for zebra mussels and for other aquatic nuisance species.
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    These types of recommendations have been developed by the Great Lakes panel on aquatic nuisance species and are used from New York to Minnesota.

    Third, as described in section 1203 of the act, we need regional panels to make it easier for the States and the involved Federal agencies and organizations to cooperate with each other. The Great Lakes panel is an example of what could be done in other regions of the country to promote partnerships and consistent efforts in the management of aquatic nuisance species.

    Fourth, as described in section 1204, we need State management plans and funding to carry these plans out. Most States do not have programs or specific funds to address aquatic nuisance species problems, and those that do often rely on important Federal research, prevention, and cooperative funding.

    In my last comments, I'd like to share some of the thoughts from others in Minnesota regarding the need for a national ballast program.

    The Minnesota Lakes Association, which represents approximately 150 lake associations in Minnesota, recognized years ago that effective ballast regulations and technology was a top priority to protect not only the Great Lakes, but tens of thousands of inland lakes throughout Minnesota and other States, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York.

    Their association encouraged our agency to work with regional and Federal parties to stop ballast water exchange as a pathway of introduction for aquatic nuisance species.
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    Others have also expressed their desire for Federal solutions to the ballast water introductions.

    We recently passed new legislation in the State of Minnesota that puts more burdens on boaters, and we have had calls about these, and one of the things that they keep saying is, ''We support your State legislation, but why can't someone at the Federal level do something about the ballast water introductions?''

    Lastly, a recent editorial by the ''Minneapolis Star Tribune'' said, ''That such ballast exchange was not required before is a tragic mistake. Failure to pass an updated version of the act, the National Invasive Species Act, would be tragically short-sighted today.''

    I think the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Lakes Association, and most Minnesotans would support that opinion.

    We would appreciate your support of H.R. 3217 and encourage you to promptly enact it.

    That concludes my comments. I'd be more than willing to answer your questions now or at a following time.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Rendall.

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    Ms. Swanson, we'd be pleased to hear from you now.

    Ms. SWANSON. Thank you.

    Congressman LaTourette, I'd like to really commend you and bring the equal sentiments from the governors of the three States—Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—and the other signatories to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, in your activities here today.

    My name is Ann Swanson, and I serve as the executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. The Commission is a tri-state legislative authority made up of legislators, general assembly members from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, as well as the governors of the three States and one citizen member.

    In order to place my comments in some kind of context, I'd just like to explain a little bit of background about the Commission and how we came to work on ballast water issues.

    The Commission, as I mentioned, is a signatory to the Chesapeake Bay Agreements. We joined with the governors of the three States—Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—the mayor of the District of Columbia, and the administrator of EPA in the signing of that agreement.

    That agreement has a variety of different commitments, many of which involve either the protection of living resources, the proper management of those resources, or the protection of water quality. But the bottom line in the agreement, the end product, the canary in the mine shaft, if you will, is: are the living resources what they once were in the Chesapeake Bay? Do we have thriving crabs and striped bass and oysters and sea bass and the different things that you think about when you connect with the Chesapeake Bay?
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    That is what the Chesapeake Bay Commission's work is all about.

    As part of the 1987 Chesapeake Bay agreement, we signed a commitment to better manage the exotic species in the bay watershed, and in doing so, one of the things that we looked at was two conduits for that introduction—intentional and unintentional introduction of organisms that were not native to the Chesapeake Bay.

    Particularly important to the topic today, that strategy, that exotic nuisance species strategy, if you will, recognized ship ballast water as a critical conduit for these introductions.

    I might add, in the Chesapeake Bay this is no small conduit.

    As you heard from the first panelist, ballast is recognized as the single largest source of aquatic nonindigenous species worldwide, and in the Chesapeake Bay, where the ports of Norfolk and Baltimore receive more ballast water than any single port on the Atlantic coast, they rank fourth and fifth in the number of different last ports of call.

    The combination of those two facts is very important, because not only does it mean that we're getting enormous volumes of ballast in the bay region, but it also means it's coming from very diverse ports, and when it comes from diverse ports it can carry an enormous array of organisms with it—very diverse organisms that sooner or later one of them is bound to take hold in the Chesapeake Bay, just like the zebra mussel or the lamprey or any of the other species that have been already talked about by panelists.
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    So in the Chesapeake Bay I think the relevant question is when the next nuisance species invasion will occur, not if it will occur at all.

    Through our involvement in this strategy, the Chesapeake Bay Commission evolved to play a lead role in looking at the issue of ballast water, and we worked with scientists who are very prominent in the region, policy-makers, military representatives, the shipping community, etc., to try to come up with a series of recommendations concerning ballast water management.

    Those recommendations, which we generated, were ultimately then adopted by the governors of the three States, the mayor of the District of Columbia, and the administrator of EPA, and they are contained in a report which I have submitted to your staff.

    I think the relevant thing to say here is that many of those recommendations are contained in the bill before you today. For example, your bill allows several essential things which we in the bay region feel are critical.

    First and foremost, it establishes a national ballast water management program for voluntary guidelines and establishes the Coast Guard appropriately as the lead agency.

    Secondly, it allows for the demonstration of new technologies. Commander Gaudiosi referred to open water exchange now as our best alternative, but what other alternatives are there that we can better protect ourselves? We need that kind of demonstration of new technologies.
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    Concurrent with that, we need better research to get a handle on the post-1991 trends in ballast water exchange.

    Also, using conventional routes of contact, we need to launch a program to raise awareness of ballast water management issues among the crews of foreign-flagged ships, since they, many times, are often the carriers of these invasive organisms.

    Finally, in what I think is very good news for the bay, the bill establishes a ballast water clearinghouse that would allow us to develop high-quality sampling techniques that are standardized nationwide and that would provide us with a database management system so we could get the information to the researchers so they could better assess our risks and ultimately solutions to minimize those risks.

    I think when we're talking about ballast water we're not talking about completely removing any possibility that a foreign organism could be introduced to our waters, but I think we're talking about strategies to minimize that risk.

    I can tell you in the bay region, where we have spent millions and millions of dollars to improve water quality, to protect habitat, and to maintain our fisheries, the introduction of an extremely aggressive organism could eclipse all of those efforts.

    So, while on the one hand it's easy to close your eyes and say, ''This isn't really a major issue,'' if you really look into the issue you can see it's of paramount importance nationwide, and it's really of global significance as our ships get bigger and go to more ports.
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    So, from a Chesapeake Bay perspective, I commend you for this legislation. We will work in any way we can to ensure that the members of our delegations from the three States are very supportive of it.

    Thank you.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Ms. Swanson.

    Before yielding to the chairman of the Water Resources Committee, I'd indicate you bring up a great point, and that is that there are some stars, if you will, if you can think of invasive species as stars.

    The zebra mussel gets a lot of attention, the sea lamprey gets a lot of attention, but, again, in turning to the Great Lakes region, since the 1800s, over 100 nonindigenous or invasive species have invaded, and each has had its own impact and economic and environmental repercussions.

    It's like that old movie. Only the place and names have changed.

    Ms. SWANSON. That's right.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. I think you bring up a great point, and I certainly appreciate it, and I know that the other co-sponsors of the bill appreciate your offer of assistance with some Members that perhaps don't have it on their radar screen, if you will.
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    With that said, it's my pleasure now to recognize the chairman of our Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, the gentleman from New York, Mr. Boehlert.

    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much.

    Thank you for your expert testimony.

    My one question is very simple and very basic. Are we being too modest in what we're calling for in this bill, or should we ask for more?

    Mr. RENDALL. Mr. Chairman, I think that everything that's in this bill is very important and needed, but there are other things that could be done to deal with this issue.

    One of those would be the possibility of some Federal regulations to prevent the transportation of these organisms within the country.

    When the original bill passed, I thought that by designating the zebra mussel an injurious wildlife species that it would be illegal to transport it from State to State, but that's not the case. The solicitor's opinion was that it's only between the continental United States and other states.

    Currently, I could have stopped in Wisconsin on my way here and picked up some zebra mussels in the Mississippi River, and I could have brought them all the way here and dumped them in the Potomac, and there would be nothing prohibiting me from doing that.
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    I think if we're going to invest all of these research dollars and other efforts into these issues, we should also make it more difficult to transport all of these organisms from State to State.

    I know that in conversations with Florida, they have been frustrated by the failures of the Federal noxious weed law for aquatic plants—the same sort of thing.

    There is very little that happens within the country to prevent the transfer of these organisms, whether it's by sale or by boaters or other things from State to State.

    Mr. BOEHLERT. You mean knowingly or transporting under any circumstances, because I can think of—this could be a ''lawyers in Richmond'' act if we had it if inadvertently someone transported an invasive species from one State to another. I mean, there would be all sorts of litigation to determine whether or not the person actually knew.

    Are you talking about knowingly?

    Mr. RENDALL. Well, in some cases, Mr. Chairman, knowingly is the case, where there are Federal noxious nuisance aquatic plants sold from State to State in the aquarium trade, but I'm thinking more in terms of laws like we have in Minnesota that you can't transport aquatic plants on public roads and you can't transport zebra mussels on public roads, so that deals with the boaters, as was mentioned earlier, that we don't have them going from the Great Lakes to other inland waters and rivers in the country.
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    Mr. BOEHLERT. It's noble in concept; it could be a nightmare in implementation, but I appreciate that.

    Ms. Swanson, do you have——

    Ms. SWANSON. Congressman, I guess, as a mother of a 1- and a 3-year-old, I've learned that you have to walk before you run—or at least my kids try to run before they walk, but I now know it doesn't work.

    I guess I think this bill is a very good beginning. I think it lays out a good framework.

    So I would say right now the current content is appropriate. I would, however, say that there is a—right now in the bill it talks about the development of voluntary ballast water management guidelines, and it does, after 3 years, have a trigger where, if necessary, it would kick in to some kind of a mandatory program.

    I think it's important that we put the proper monitoring programs in place so we can really assess with some level of assuredness whether the voluntary guideline package is working, because I don't think it should be taken lightly if it's not.

    But we also know in the bay region that if any kind of a more mandatory program would be needed, that we would have to—that it would have to be nationwide to assure economic equity.
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    I guess what I'm trying to say is two things related to the voluntary ballast water program. Number one, to be sure that in 3 years we appropriately reassess, and in the meantime we have the kind of monitoring programs and also educational outreach programs that give that voluntary program a fair shake.

    Mr. BOEHLERT. Thank you very much.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I'm now pleased to recognize the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Ehlers.

    Mr. EHLERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    My esteemed colleague from New York has already asked my question, and I have no further questions, so I'll yield back the balance of my time.

    Thank you.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you, Mr. Ehlers.

    I'm now pleased to recognize the ranking member of the Coast Guard Subcommittee, Mr. Clement.
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    Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Ms. Swanson, with only a few legislative weeks left in the 104th Congress, and with the possibility that the invasive species bill may not pass this year, what will happen in terms of balanced water management if this bill does not pass this year?

    Ms. SWANSON. Well, I don't think—there are quite a few activities at the international level looking at ballast water management guidelines and trying to get ships to comply, but I don't think that we'll have the kind of national cooperation that we need without this bill.

    I also don't think we'll be signaling at quite such a strong level to the international community that the United States means business.

    So, in that sense, I think it will just slow the pace, and that might make you feel comfortable if you don't have an exotic species in your area, but the slower the pace the more probability there is that you may, in the near-term future.

    So I think we should really try to move it in the 104th Congress, especially since no organized opposition has surfaced. Working for a legislative commission in three States, that's good news.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Yes. But how critical is this bill, then, in terms of national management?
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    Ms. SWANSON. It's pretty critical in that right now we have a set of voluntary guidelines, but we don't have the—well, this bill really emphasizes the lead role of the Coast Guard. It triggers active demonstration of new technologies. It triggers active education programs.

    Even if we have voluntary guidelines being developed at the international level, the only way to get the crews and their ships really aware of it is to have an active program.

    When they're coming into your port, the traditional programs that board vessels—APHIS and Coast Guard and Customs, etc.—would provide that kind of information.

    This kind of legislation would kick that kind of a program in high gear.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Mr. Rendall, what are the difficulties ships face in complying with the invasive species regulations?

    Mr. RENDALL. I guess that's really not part of my expertise. The Coast Guard would be more capable to answer that question.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Well, have any regulations been over-burdensome or unreasonable?

    Mr. RENDALL. Not to my knowledge. I know that the initial ships that came to the Great Lakes ports, there were a few of them that weren't in compliance, and I think that once they learned that the Coast Guard and the country was serious, the next ones were in compliance.
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    In our updates at the Great Lakes panel on aquatic nuisance species, we've heard, I guess, no problems with compliance or with the maritime industry.

    There are, as acknowledged in this act and testimony, problems with the NOBOB (No Ballast on Board) situation, but that's a separate issue.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Well, what are the limits of current methods for evaluating the effectiveness of invasive species control efforts to determine if we need regulations?

    Mr. RENDALL. I think it's clear from studies, as Dr. Carlton, who will be testifying later, and others around the country, that the invasions are continuing, and that they are continuing at a rapid pace.

    I don't recall exactly, but I think in San Francisco Bay the number is one new species every 12 weeks. That's pretty alarming.

    Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you, Mr. Clement.

    Before we let this panel go, if I can beg your patience for just a minute, we are told that Mr. Oberstar, the ranking member of the full committee, may have some questions. I just want to confirm if that's true or not true before we move you on.
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    While we're waiting for that answer, Mr. Rendall, I wanted to make the observation that you've suggested that just dealing with the ballast management doesn't take care of a problem, and I want you to know that I agree with you on that, but I have to echo Ms. Swanson's observations.

    My kids ran before they walked, as well, but the attitude that I have is if this piece of legislation prevents the introduction of one invasive species, it will have been successful. It doesn't deal with intentional transport of invasive species. It doesn't deal with some of the problems that you have.

    I think it's incumbent upon future Congresses, after the 104th Congress, to develop ways and enlarge upon the technologies that are developed as a result of the demonstration program contained in this legislation and others, and so I think that we're doing the best we can, but I certainly agree with you. We hope to do more in the future.

    Now we're joined by the distinguished ranking member of the full committee, Mr. Oberstar, who I believe has some questions of this panel.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much. I appreciate very much your being patient, Mr. Chairman. I had a delegation from my District, young 4-H students, who were asking me questions.

    My staff tells me Mr. Boehlert raised the question with you about the balance between voluntary guidelines in the 1990 act that, over a period of time, became mandatory. The bill that we have co-sponsored provides for voluntary approach until a determination is made of a need for enforcement.
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    Determining that need may be a little difficult to do. What guidance would you offer us as a State or State program administrators for giving you more clarity in coming to that point of making it a mandatory program?

    Mr. RENDALL. It's my understanding that in the act that determination will be made by the Coast Guard whether or not there is adequate compliance. I guess it's not clear to me whether there is some threshold that they will use to determine what compliance is acceptable.

    I guess maybe that's, again, a question that the Coast Guard should answer rather than one of the States.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. But, as a program administrator, you sometimes like a great deal of flexibility and other times you like some clarity so that you aren't being second-guessed in making your judgments.

    If you're not prepared to answer the question at this point, I'd like you to reflect on it and perhaps write back to us and give us your further thoughts.

    Mr. RENDALL. Okay.

    [The information to be supplied follows:]

    ''It is difficult to comment on what the appropriate thresholds should be that would trigger mandatory regulations without having the final voluntary ballast guidelines established. The thresholds are something that need to be established collectively by experts from across the country. I believe the administrative process in the act is appropriate, and the procedure to establish guidelines and criteria for effectiveness that is currently in the act seems adequate to handle the possible variations that could exist in various regions of the country. Further direction could be added to the Committee's report language encouraging the Secretary of Transportation (Coast Guard) and the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force establish the regulations and the criteria concurrently. This would ensure that the desired ballast targets, the voluntary guidelines, and the criteria to evaluate whether the targets are being met are discussed and evolve together. It is important that the Secretary of Transportation and the Task Force include the perspectives of regional panels, such as the Great Lakes Panel, in development of guidelines, criteria for evaluating effectiveness, and triggers for enforcement/mandatory guidelines.''
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. Ms. Swanson?

    Ms. SWANSON. Well, one thing I would suggest is there is a whole sort of invasive science that has emerged, and so I know, from a manager point of view, I think I would go to the scientists and determine some threshold that has to do with the risk of invasion and then in that way determine what compliance level would be creating a minimal risk.

    I do think, in the case of this piece of legislation, that it is important to have some clarity, as you pointed out, in what that trigger would be after 3 years to determine if we need something more than a voluntary effort.

    And so I would suggest that maybe we create some kind of a forum that would create that criteria, that threshold criteria.

    But, based on risk—because in the end that's what we're trying to do, minimize the risk of an invasive species taking hold. Related to that, I think that we owe it to the shipping community to give them a solid effort at implementing voluntary guidelines, and to do that we really need to launch an aggressive, multi-lingual, educational program that really educates the shipping community about the risk of ballast water management and associated invasion.

    What we always have to remember is we're not only protecting our own waters, but we're also protecting our ships bringing our organisms, which are in equilibrium in our waters, to foreign ports where they can blow that system out of equilibrium.
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    Mr. OBERSTAR. That's a very important point. You're quite right about that.

    Ms. SWANSON. Right.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. The management for both incoming and outbound ballast.

    I thought, Mr. Rendall, you said it very well. We, alone, in the Great Lakes cannot stop species from entering. We need other filtering mechanisms. The Coast Guard is that front line of defense, and the Coast Guard did say in their testimony that there is a demonstration project that ''will soon identify reliable, effective means for managing ballast water,'' but then did not discuss what those effective means were. They didn't have the time and I didn't have the opportunity to question them about that.

    Are you familiar with any technology that is emerging that looks promising for control of ballast water?

    Mr. RENDALL. Yes. Actually, I'm on the Steering Committee for that demonstration project, and it is progressing. Next week there will be peer review on the recommendations for the technology to be demonstrated, and the biological methods to evaluate its effectiveness, and that is all available for anyone's review.

    It is, I think, a very exciting project for those of us that are dealing with this issue. I think, working in partnership with the maritime industry and government, working together to try and resolve this is very important.
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    As I mentioned when you were out of the room, we tried to—or maybe you were here. I'm sorry. We've tried to seek State funding because we think this is so important. I know that the Great Lakes protection fund felt it was very important, and they have allocated up to $1 million towards the project.

    It is very exciting. There seems to be some technology, fine-screen filtration that looks promising, and then we hope there will be other levels of refinement that can follow that.

    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much.

    Mr. Chairman, there are many other questions that could be raised. We're just at the tip of the iceberg here on this issue, and we're beginning to move the subject matter along, I think, toward legislative action, and we're headed in the right direction.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Oberstar, again, for your excellent line of questions so that the record is clear.

    To our witnesses, we want to thank you very much for your attendance and your fine testimony today. We look forward to receiving some written communications from you, Mr. Rendall.

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    Mr. RENDALL. Thank you.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. It is now my pleasure to welcome our third and final panel today.

    Before I make the introductions, I think in admonition I've been advised that there may be a series of votes in the near future on the floor, and if that should occur we will beg your indulgence and attend to that business and return as quickly as we can.

    On today's third panel we're honored to have before the joint appearance of the subcommittees: Professor James Carlton from Williams College; Mr. Joseph J. Cox, the vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Shipping; Mr. George Ryan, who is the president from back home where I'm from of the Lake Carriers' Association in Cleveland, Ohio; Mr. Stephen Hall, who is the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies; and Mr. Ray Skelton, who is the director of the American Association of Port Authorities, located in Duluth, Minnesota.

    Are there special words of welcome you would like to issue to Mr. Skelton, Mr. Oberstar?

    Mr. OBERSTAR. I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Ray Skelton is a long-time habitue of the port in Duluth and one of its most respected members. He has done a superb job for our Twin Ports communities, and I've known him for many years. I greatly appreciate his contributions.

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    I'd also like to welcome George Ryan, whom I have known for many, many years, going back to his service with the Maritime Administration, first before he left for London, and then when he came back and was assigned to your city of Cleveland, where he served with great distinction, and now represents the vessel owners on the Great Lakes.

    We're glad to have you here, George. You bring a wealth of knowledge, as does Ray Skelton. It's great to have you both.

    Mr. RYAN. Thank you.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you, Mr. Oberstar.

    If we could proceed from my right to my left—that would make it your left to your right—Professor Carlton, we'd like to start with you.

    Welcome. We look forward to your testimony.


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    Dr. CARLTON. Thank you for the opportunity to be here this afternoon.

    My name is James Carlton, and I have studied invasive aquatic organisms since 1962. I climbed into my first ballast tank looking for living organisms in 1980 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and I have since boarded and sampled nearly 200 different vessels of every kind to understand this global vector of alien species dispersal.

    I am also the principal investigator of the National Biological Invasions Shipping Study.

    Every second more than 650 gallons of nonnative aquatic organisms are injected into America's waterways because of the release of ballast water. That means that in the 5 minutes that I will speak, more than 200,000 gallons of exotic animals and plants will have been inoculated somewhere on America's coastlines.

    Ballast water is rich in aquatic life, ranging from microscopic organisms to somewhat larger animals, such as this fish, a surprise witness, 50 of which were found in a ballast water of a cargo hold in a ship arriving last year in the Chesapeake Bay from the Mediterranean Sea.

    Mr. BOEHLERT. Excuse me, Professor. Fifty like that?

    Dr. CARLTON. Yes.

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    Mr. BOEHLERT. Were found in the ballast?

    Dr. CARLTON. In the ballast water of a cargo hold, a ballasted cargo hold.

    Mr. BOEHLERT. From where? Do you know where?

    Dr. CARLTON. From the eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Israel.
    Clearly one might argue this needs to stop. The good news is that we can stop it. But we haven't stopped it yet, and there are new invasions continuously.

    Since the 1990 Nonindigenous Species Act, a new animal has successfully colonized San Francisco Bay on the average of, as we've just heard, one every 12 weeks, most of these released by ballast water.

    Since the 1990 Nonindigenous Species Act, a three-inch-long Chinese shrimp has colonized the Columbia River by ballast water release.

    And since the 1990 Nonindigenous Species Act, a carnivorous New Zealand snail has colonized much of the California coast by ballast water.

    The National Investigation Species Act of 1996, which is now before us, really at long last begins to look at the rigorous process of reducing these invasions.

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    In terms of invasions, it is never too late. There are fouling species out there that can be introduced by ballast water that can smother zebra mussels, but this is ''Spielbergian'' news, as it were. We don't actually want to meet the animal that can out-foul the most obnoxious fouling organism to ever invade America's heartland.

    There are species out there that can turn once rich and colorful and diverse marine habitats into miles of uniform green astroturf-looking substrate, and there are species out there that could render devastating blows to our fish and shellfish fisheries.

    ''Independence Day,'' a classic invasions-type movie, takes on a whole new meaning to marine biologists considering what the next spin of the ballast water roulette wheel could bring us from the outer seas.

    While the movie is fiction, we have certainly and clearly and repeatedly been warned about the coming aquatic invaders. Should a pest species enter Chesapeake Bay tomorrow, as we have heard, by being released in ballast water, and turn into an ecological catastrophe, eliminating the blue crab industry, all we can say is that years of invasions in our bays and estuaries told us that it could happen.

    In 45 days a new National Research Council report on ballast water entitled, ''Stemming the Tide,'' will be released. This report was written by shipping professionals, biologists, waste water engineers, and others. I was a member of this committee, as was Ray Skelton, who is on this panel, and the NRC has provided this afternoon several pre-publication copies, which I have here for those who would like one.

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    This report is a significant step in clarifying the relationship between ballast invasions and the shipping industry, and goes far to suggest which treatment technologies should be evaluated for ship-board demonstration, selecting, in particular, microfiltration as the most promising first step.

    While the U.N. Maritime Organization, International Maritime Organization, pursues global management strategies, this legislation asks the shipping industries to step up to the invasions crisis and do everything that they can, when it is safe to do so—when it is safe to do so—to exchange their ballast water on the high seas.

    This step—which we clearly recognize cannot be achieved by all ships at all times—will take the heart out of invasions which could strike American coasts and the American heartland.

    Complete or nearly complete ballast exchange on the high seas removes the unwanted harmful species from ballast tanks and replaces them with oceanic organisms that cannot survive in our waters.

    While ballast exchange becomes standard operating procedure for vessels coming to America, new ballast management techniques and methods will be tested and brought on line to address the needs of ships when and where they cannot exchange their water, and to address the larger issue of the relative effectiveness of open ocean exchange in the long haul.

    The irony, of course, is that if we had had mid-ocean ballast exchange in place, the chances are superb that zebra mussels would never have gained access to North America.
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    The lesson, of course, is that we can prevent that from happening again.

    Thank you.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Professor. Just a comment: I'm glad you mentioned and underscored ''when it's safe to do so.'' One of the things we didn't talk about earlier is that this particular piece of legislation has specific recognitions of crew and ship safety procedures built into it, so I appreciate your highlighting that, as well.

    We thank you for not only your informational, but your entertaining testimony in your references to current-day events in Hollywood and around the country.

    Mr. Cox, we now look forward to hearing from you.

    Mr. COX. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I don't know what this is indicative of, but colleagues on either side of me put two microphones in front of me. I'm not sure what that means.


    Mr. COX. I will submit my testimony for the record and I'm going to provide a summarization here. I'm sorry that Captain Bennis left. I intend on giving him a run for the gold medal on speed.
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    I am the vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Shipping, and the USCS is an organization representing owners and operators of various types of ocean-going ships.

    Virtually all types of ships carry some amounts of ballast water at some time during their operations. They may trade in saltwater only, or they may enter freshwater, also. Ballast is necessary for efficient operation, stability, crew comfort, and proper trim for cargo operations, among others. The amount of the ballast varies by ship type. On a larger tanker, a figure exceeding 10 millon gallons would be a common number.

    There are two generic ways that we see of dealing with ballast, the harmful organisms in ballast water. You can treat them, such as heating, pesticide-type additives, ultraviolet light, or the filtration methods we've heard referred to. The other generic method is an operational measure such as ballast exchange.

    Now, there is very little known about ballast water treatment in the volumes that we're speaking of with respect to oceangoing vessels, and we heard that the National Research Council's study, which is just complete, is going to provide some helpful information. In addition, the Lake Carriers' Association, my colleague on my right, is going to be involved in a technology demonstration program.

    Ballast exchange is not a panacea. Changing freshwater ballast to saltwater will probably lessen freshwater organisms. However, changing saltwater with saltwater may not be as effective as we would like.

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    Because of a particular vessel's inherent stability, changing ballast at sea may not be recommended, or even possible in many cases.

    The International Maritime Organization is very active with respect to ballast water and has developed guidelines which were adopted in 1993. They are now working on a possible new mandatory requirement with active U.S. participation.

    Because of the nature and the extent of the domestic and international efforts on ballast water, we believe it is somewhat premature to mandate the national regulations, even with the 3-year window in H.R. 3217.

    Given the activity at IMO and the international nature of the problem, we feel that any mandatory regulatory solutions should be developed in conjunction with the IMO rather than unilaterally by the United States.

    We very strongly support the education and technical assistance sections of H.R. 3217. Education has always been official, and in this situation is probably long overdue.

    I thank you for your time, Mr. Chairman, and I'd be pleased to respond to any questions.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Cox. I didn't time you, but you came close to the captain.

    Next we're pleased to hear from Mr. Ryan.
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    Mr. RYAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm very pleased to be here.

    Lake Carriers' Association certainly supports the passage of H.R. 3217.

    The worldwide problem of the transference of nuisance fish and other living organisms has been well described today, and we do have leadership of the United States in the IMO. I have to agree with Joe Cox that we certainly need to have that continue and look for solutions in that environment.

    Now, there are many regulatory prohibitions against the discharge of brackish or freshwater right now in the Great Lakes and in the upper reaches of the Hudson River, and when Mr. Clement asked the question, ''What would be the impact if this bill didn't pass this year?'' I wondered—and I don't have the answer to it—whether, in fact, the rules and regulations that protect the Great Lakes now would still be in effect. If we did lose that law, I think we'd have havoc in the Great Lakes if we didn't have a rule that required the exchange of ballast.

    We know that there was a recent executive order by the President on mandatory program of deep water ballast exchange for owners and operators of tank ships in the Alaskan oil export trade, and IMO, of course, is working on those guidelines, but they're going to take a little while before we really see them in use.

    While it's essential that we develop some international standards for controlling the nonindigenous species by ballast water, we think that this bill is needed to bring us a step forward in developing sound and safe operational procedures, monitoring, and eventually the new technology that Joe spoke of. It's needed.
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    The magnitudes of the ballast exchange are not known by many. I look around this room and I wonder if one of our ships would probably have four times the size of this room in ballast to exchange, and we do that in 6 hours, and we do it very rapidly. It's very difficult to imagine the treatments that are needed, but we have to find the answers to treat large quantities of water like this.

    I think everyone should be well aware—I'm glad, Mr. LaTourette, that you mentioned safety. Safety is the key issue when we're talking about ballast exchange, and I'm glad that this bill recognizes it and directs the Coast Guard in that respect when they are evaluating whether a ship was able to do the ballast exchange before coming into U.S. waters.

    Fortunately, this bill does require shipowners to take the safe measures to prevent the introduction of nonindigenous species into the lakes, as well as the voluntary requirement for the rest of the Nation.

    Now, some people like more clear-cut technological solutions. Unfortunately, as Joe Cox mentioned, there are no off-the-shelf technological solutions available designed for treating ballast water of the size that I just mentioned. When we talk about multiples of the size of this room, significant redesign and modification of exiting filtration systems may be necessary.

    Thus, the best option to minimize introductions of nuisance species is through de-ballasting and re-ballasting in mid-ocean.

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    Regrettably, this option is not suitable for all ships in all trade routes under all circumstances; thus, the scientific and technical research, including the demonstration programs of developing technology, must take place, as Ann Swanson said. It has to be done at an accelerated rate, and I think this bill will prompt that kind of research.

    We believe that if ballast exchange does not prove effective for all tanks, then some on-board treatment system would give ships the greater flexibility for managing their ballast water.

    Faced with the introduction of nuisance species by oceangoing ships trading into the lakes, the Great Lakes States, industry, and policy experts joined forces with Federal agencies and the academic community, including Dr. Carlton, to design and implement a demonstration program to test technology to reduce ballast transfers of exotic species, and this project will be funded by the Great Lakes protection fund that was referred to by Dr. Beeton earlier.

    We are following directly the results of the Marine Board, which recommended that microfiltration really be the first step, and we will be testing that this year.

    The Lake Carriers' Association has been taking the lead in providing the industry sponsorship for this test. I think Captain Bennis was absolutely right—once industry understands the magnitude of the problems, we know how to take steps necessary, and we're pleased that we are doing it with the community on the Great Lakes.

    If there are any questions, sir, I'd be pleased to answer them. Thank you.
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    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Captain Ryan. We're fully aware that under your leadership the Lake Carriers' Association has been proactive in this issue, and not only in the establishment of voluntary guidelines within the Great Lakes, but also in looking at new technologies. I want you to know we appreciate that very much.

    Mr. Hall, next we'd like to hear from you. Welcome.

    Mr. HALL. Thank you, and thank you for the opportunity to testify.

    Our members are local public agencies that collectively manage over 90 percent of the delivered water in California, so we are the water providers for the State.

    We are here today in support of H.R. 3217 because the issue of invasive species is a problem that has only recently come to the attention of water managers and policy-makers in California, but is rapidly growing in importance.

    I think it might be reasonable for one to ask why water providers in California would care, other than all citizens caring about protecting our waterways, and the answer is pretty straightforward. You heard earlier about the number of invasive species in San Francisco Bay. Of course, San Francisco Bay is an important commercial harbor. What you may not know is that it is also a critical water supply for the State of California, and it is home to hundreds of aquatic species, including some endangered species—fish, and other aquatic species—both in and upstream of that estuary.
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    In fact, this watershed that feeds the estuary is the largest single watershed in the State, and it provides two-thirds of California's population, the most populous State in the country, with its drinking water and provides irrigation water for an agricultural industry that provides up to half of the fruits and vegetables for the entire country.

    California is arid country. Most areas do not have enough local supplies to meet their needs. Water is the lifeblood of the State. Certainly it can be said that if water is the lifeblood, then the delta, this estuary east of San Francisco Bay that feeds the bay, is the heart.

    Now, that means that we have three very important uses of this estuary. It is an important harbor, it is our principal source of water, and it is important habitat for a number of species, some of which are endangered. That has created some conflict over the decades.

    In order for us to properly meet the needs of the environment, of our water supply, and as a harbor, we need to address all of the factors that are impacting this area as habitat, particularly for endangered species.

    In recent years, we have come to the point where we are facing chronic water shortages because we cannot divert water out of this estuary. We can't divert water out of this estuary because, by doing so, we impact those endangered species, and the Endangered Species Act prohibits it.

    Here is where invasive species come in. Those invasive species compete for food supplies and eat those endangered species.
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    So, in order for us to fully address the problem in the delta, we need to be able to address all factors, including invasive species.

    I have attached a paper to my testimony, which I'd like to incorporate in the record, which describes and documents the scope and the severity of the problem.

    We know that over 200 invasive species have been introduced into the estuary, and we know that they have had an impact on a number of species, including endangered species. Some species have been wiped out all together.

    There is also a very legitimate public health concern. As water providers, we have to provide water that's safe to drink, and we do know that invasive species sometimes carry pathogens that can be transferred into the drinking water supply. We want to prevent that from happening.

    So our concern is two-fold: first, we need to protect endangered species in the estuary that provides our water, and in order to do that we have to control invasive species; second, we want to make the water as safe as possible to drink, and invasive species are a possible source of contamination.

    We need, therefore, to stop the invasion, and H.R. 3217 is an important step in that direction.

    We are particularly supportive of measures in the legislation like: the national guidelines based on the Great Lakes model identifying the mitten crab as an example of an invasive species; cooperation between Federal and State governments, including San Francisco Bay, in the ballast water survey series; and directing the U.S. Navy to establish a ballast water management program.
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    We thank you for the opportunity to testify.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Hall.

    Our last witness today—last, but certainly not least—from the Port of Duluth, Mr. Skelton.

    Welcome, Mr. Skelton. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Mr. SKELTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    My name is Ray Skelton, and I'm environmental and government affairs director for the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth, and have just recently completed serving as a member on the National Research Council Marine Board Ballast Committee, along with Dr. Carlton.

    On behalf of the American Great Lakes Ports, American Association of Port Authorities, and the Port of Duluth/Superior, I'd like to thank this committee for addressing an issue of urgent importance to the environment and marine commerce of the Great Lakes, our Nation, and the world.

    H.R. 3217 is supported by literally every aspect of environmental, governmental, commercial, industrial, and maritime interests. Considering the diverse backgrounds and often antagonistic backgrounds of those supporting this bill, we may well have the only case in history where we all sing off the same song sheet.
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    I have submitted written testimony, which I hope will become a part of the record, but I'd just like to summarize a few particular items.

    For the record, the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth is an agency created by the State to maintain and develop maritime commerce for the twin ports of Duluth/Superior. We act as local sponsor for harbor development projects, environmental efforts, and as the advocate for maritime commerce issues, in general.

    I'm also representing the American Great Lakes Ports, an association of 13 primary ports on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes which serves as an advocate for issues of concern to the Great Lakes' St. Lawrence Seaway system; and the American Association of Port Authorities, which represents virtually every U.S. public port agency.

    Members are mandated by law to serve public purposes, including facilitation of waterborne commerce and economic development.

    Attached to my testimony is a letter from AAPA supporting H.R. 3217.

    Although no study has been done to determine the total economic impact of Great Lakes ports, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation conducted an analysis of the 1994 season which revealed nearly $2 billion of economic imports on U.S. Great Lakes ports. This is strictly international St. Lawrence Seaway trade and represents approximately 24 percent of U.S. Great Lakes annual tonnage.

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    Please recognize that I refer only to the ports. This does not include economic impact of agriculture, mining, steel industry, power companies, municipalities, quarries, and manufacturing concerns in the midwest that are all, to some degree, dependent upon maritime commerce.

    Our international trade is carried by ship. In fact, more than 95 percent of U.S. international commerce moves by water. Although there are a few limited exceptions, the trade artery for the world is water. A fact of life that we must face is that without waterborne commerce we would see a total collapse of our national economy. With waterborne commerce we, unfortunately, must also contend with the newly-recognized invasion of nonindigenous species by ballast water.

    The issues addressed by H.R. 3217 are of critical importance to maritime commerce. We must develop and demonstrate safe, effective means of reducing the risk of nuisance species transferred through ballast water.

    Without passage of H.R. 3217, years of work by literally all maritime interests will be set back and perhaps wasted. The cooperative efforts that are taking place as we speak would be dealt a blow from which it would be difficult to recover.

    Please do not send out the message that we have given up efforts to clean up our ballast water.

    The Port of Duluth/Superior, my home port, is the residence of preference for a fish known as a Eurasian ruffe. We have reason to believe it arrived in ballast water. Since its arrival, the ruffe has become the most populous fish in the harbor. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Ruffe Control Committee monitors and attempts to control the Eurasian ruffe.
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    Had this committee not been in existence and brought it to our attention as an industry, our voluntary ballast program in Duluth probably would not have happened.

    The Ruffe Committee asked if there was anything that could be done, and the rest is history. The ports, the fleets, and the environmental entities put together and implemented a program in 90 days. To our knowledge, there has been no transfer of ruffe during the 3 years of the voluntary ballast exchange program.

    H.R. 3217 continues these important committees that address each of the various species that have established populations.

    As Dr. Carlton mentioned, the ballast report from the National Research Council is now in pre-publication. One of the most important conclusions of this report is that the only effective means of eliminating invasive species is to keep them off the ship in the first place. H.R. 3217 will enable these recommendations to be developed and demonstrated.

    As an environmental representative for the port, I have concerns in addition to the obvious environmental impacts of nuisance species. Waterborne transportation is, by far, the superior mode for fuel efficiency, has the lowest emissions, the best safety, the least waste disposal requirement, does the least environmental damage, and is the least disruptive to society.

    Studies by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Great Lakes Commission, Transport Canada, and others all agree that waterborne is far and away the environmentally-preferred mode of transportation. If we can't develop safe, effective methods to keep the ballast clear of invaders, the potential exists for the restriction of maritime trade. Several States have already proposed restrictions on ballast water.
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    If this continues, we could see the normal flow of goods being interrupted or shifted to rail and truck transport. If this is allowed to occur, the environmental destruction would far exceed the potential hazard from nonindigenous infestations.

    The Seaway Port Authority of Duluth, the American Great Lakes Ports, and the American Association of Port Authorities look forward to working with this committee on H.R. 3217.

    I will also enjoy responding to any questions you may have, and I thank you very much.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Skelton, and thank you all for your fine and excellent testimony. I know it will help not only the Members that are here, but those that review the record in the future.

    As you know from the lights and buzzers and bells that are going on, we have a series of votes, but since it is Mr. Clement and I, I hope we can get through this, if that's all right with you—the questioning—so we don't keep you for the next hour while we go do something else.

    With that, it would be my pleasure to yield to Mr. Clement, the ranking member of the subcommittee.

    Mr. COX. Mr. Cox, section 1101 requires the Secretary to prescribe regulations on ballast water management if the rate of effective compliance under the voluntary guidelines is inadequate.
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    Should the Secretary wait to prescribe these regulations until after the International Maritime Organization prescribes the international standard to ensure that all vessels meet the same standard?

    Mr. COX. I think the short answer, sir, is yes, but a little bit of an explanation. I think that we're not opposed necessarily to the mandatory aspect. I think we're opposed to the timing of the mandatory aspect.

    I think if we put into force something now on a voluntary—''force'' is a bad word. If we put something voluntary in place now, it's probably going to involve ballast water exchange, to some extent.

    I think 3 years from now we will probably be looking at some other solutions which are going to be just as viable or more viable than ballast water exchange, and I think that at that point we'll be able to look at mandatory in the sense of something that's going to be perhaps more effective than what we've come up with today as a voluntary measure.

    Mr. COX. Mr. Ryan, what technologies are being explored to decrease the spread of exotic species in the ballast of ships that are crossing the Great Lakes but which may have picked up these animals on a previous voyage across the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean?

    Mr. RYAN. The test we are having take place next week will deal with microfiltration; however, we recognize that we may have other technologies to work in conjunction with filtration over the next year. Certainly we will consider thermal. We may look at biocide—tailor-made biocides. We may look at ultraviolet.
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    All of these are listed with the Marine Board, and we will be reviewing several, but microfiltration is where we'll start.

    Mr. COX. And, Mr. Hall, can filters handle the flow rate of ballast lines and help reduce the discharge of exotic species from ships?

    Mr. HALL. I really don't know with any certainty. Our members provide a lot of water, use a lot of pumps and filters, but very few of them are on ships, so I would let the merchant marine industry and perhaps the Coast Guard answer that.

    I do think we can help in some areas of this problem, certainly in water treatment. We have bona fide experts who have done a lot of work in that area. In the control of pathogens through invasive species, I think we can do a lot.

    And if it comes to it and the merchant marine industry wants to turn to us for some engineering help on filters that can handle large volumes of water, we'd be happy to try to help.

    Mr. COX. Thank you all.

    Mr. LATOURETTE. Thank you very much, Mr. Clement.

    Again, to the witnesses, I want to thank you very much for your attendance and your testimony today.
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    Professor, I was supposed to tell you for Mr. Oberstar, who had to go to another hearing, that your testimony was the most invigorating and stimulating testimony he's heard on this subject matter in the last 15 years.

    To Mr. Rendall, who is not on this panel but still in the room, it's my understanding that you are partly responsible for helping name this legislation in 1996 ''The National Invasive Species Act,'' changing it from the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention and Control Act of 1990. As a sponsor of this legislation, I want to thank you for giving us a more pronounceable title.

    And since we are going to vote and other Members could not attend this hearing today, with your permission, gentlemen, if you would be kind enough to answer follow-up questions that we may submit through staff in writing, it would greatly help the committee advance the project.

    Thank you again for attending.

    This hearing is adjourned.

    [Whereupon, at 3:28 p.m., the subcommittees were adjourned, to reconvene at the call of their respective Chairs.]

    [Insert here.]

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