Laws, Regulations and Annotations


Business Taxes Law Guide—Revision 2024

Marine Invasive Species Fee Collection Law

Public Resources Code

Division 36. Marine Invasive Species Act

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Chapter 1. General Provisions

(Note: For history of any of these sections see Public Resources Code, annotated, published by Deering or West.)

71200. Definitions. Unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions govern the construction of this division:

(a) "Ballast tank" means a tank or hold on a vessel used for carrying ballast water, whether or not the tank or hold was designed for that purpose.

(b) "Ballast water" means water and suspended matter taken on board a vessel to control or maintain trim, draft, stability, or stresses of the vessel, without regard to the manner in which it is carried.

(c) "Biofouling" means the attachment or association of marine organisms to the wetted portion of a vessel or its appurtenances, including, but not limited to, sea chests, propellers, anchors, and associated chains.

(d) "Board" means the State Water Resources Control Board.

(e) "Coastal waters" means estuarine and ocean waters within 200 nautical miles of land or less than 2,000 meters (6,560 feet, 1,093 fathoms) deep, and rivers, lakes, or other water bodies navigably connected to the ocean.

(f) "Commission" means the State Lands Commission.

(g) "EEZ" means exclusive economic zone, which extends from the baseline of the territorial sea of the United States seaward 200 nautical miles.

(h) "Exchange" means to replace the water in a ballast tank using either of the following methods:

(1) "Flow through exchange," which means to flush out ballast water by pumping three full volumes of mid-ocean water through the tank, continuously displacing water from the tank, to minimize the number of original coastal organisms remaining in the tank.

(2) "Empty/refill exchange," which means to pump out, until the tank is empty or as close to 100 percent empty as is safe to do so, the ballast water taken on in ports, or estuarine or territorial waters, then to refill the tank with mid-ocean waters.

(i) "Land" means the material of the earth, whether soil, rock, or other substances, that sits landward of, or at an elevation higher than, the mean high-tide line of the ocean, including any rock outcroppings or islands located offshore.

(j) "Mid-ocean waters" means waters that are more than 200 nautical miles from land and at least 2,000 meters (6,560 feet, 1,093 fathoms) deep.

(k) "Nonindigenous species" means any species, including, but not limited to, the seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of reproducing that species, or any other viable biological material that enters an ecosystem beyond its historic range, including any of those organisms transferred from one country into another.

(l) "Pacific Coast Region" means all coastal waters on the Pacific Coast of North America east of 154 degrees W longitude and north of 20 degrees N latitude, inclusive, of the Gulf of California.

(m) "Person" means an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, business concern, or corporation, including, but not limited to, a government corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or association. "Person" also means a city, county, city and county, district, commission, the state, or a department, agency, or political subdivision of the state, an interstate body, or the United States and its agencies and instrumentalities, to the extent permitted by law.

(n) "Port" means any port or place in which a vessel was, is, or will be anchored or moored, or where a vessel will transfer cargo.

(o) "Sediments" means matter settled out of ballast water within a vessel.

(p) "Vessel agent" means the party representing the vessel’s owner or operator in port. A vessel agent may also be referred to as agent, marine agent, ship agent, or shipping agent.

(q) "Waters of the state" means surface waters, including saline waters, that are within the boundaries of the state.

(r) "Wetted portion of a vessel" means all parts of a vessel’s hull and structures that are either submerged in water when the vessel is loaded to the deepest permissible legal draft or associated with internal piping structures in contact with water taken onboard.

(s) "Vessel" means a vessel of 300 gross registered tons or more.

(t) "Voyage" means any transit by a vessel destined for a California port from a port outside of the coastal waters of the state.

History—Stats. 2021, Ch. 432 (SB 824), in effect January 1, 2022, added new subdivision (p); relettered former subdivisions (p), (q), (r), (s) to (q), (r), (s), (t), respectively.

71201. Application of division. (a) This division applies to all vessels, United States and foreign, carrying, or capable of carrying, ballast water into the coastal waters of the state after operating outside of the coastal waters of the state, except those vessels described in Section 71202.

(b) This division applies to all ballast water and associated sediments taken on a vessel, and to all biofouling.

(c) This division may be known, and may be cited, as the "Marine Invasive Species Act."

(d) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) The purpose of this division is to move the state expeditiously toward elimination of the discharge of nonindigenous species into the waters of the state or into waters that may impact the waters of the state, based on the best available technology economically achievable. This division shall be implemented in accordance with this intent, except as expressly provided by this division.

(2) The federal Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, which was enacted on December 4, 2018, preserves the rights of states to petition the federal government to review any standard of performance, regulation, or policy if new information exists that could result in a change to that standard, regulation, or policy.

(3) Nothing restricts the authority of California to respond to an aquatic invasive species emergency in its waters using California’s police powers.

(4) The Legislature strongly and unequivocally objects to any loss of state authority to regulate vessel discharges in California waters.

71201.5. Construction of code provisions. This division does not authorize the discharge of oil, noxious liquids, or other pollutants, in a manner prohibited by state, federal, or international laws or regulations. Ballast water carried in any tank containing a residue of oil, noxious liquid substances, or any other pollutant shall be discharged in accordance with the applicable requirements.

71201.7. Regulations. The commission shall adopt regulations necessary to implement this division, pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

71202. Exemptions. This division does not apply to any of the following vessels:

(a) A vessel of the armed forces, as defined in paragraph (14) of subsection (a) of Section 1322 of Title 33 of the United States Code that is subject to the "Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces" pursuant to subsection (n) of Section 1322 of Title 33 of the United States Code.

(b) A vessel in innocent passage, which is a foreign vessel merely traversing the territorial sea of the United States and not entering or departing a United States port, or not navigating the internal waters of the United States, and that does not discharge ballast water into the waters of the state.