Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990
This Act, Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 --
Title I of P.L. 101-646 (104 Stat. 4761, 16 U.S.C. 4701, enacted November 29,
1990) established a broad new Federal program to prevent introduction of and to
control the spread of introduced aquatic nuisance species and the brown tree
snake. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the
Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration all were assigned major, new
responsibilities, including membership on an Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
established to develop a program of prevention, monitoring, control, and study.
Responsibilities involving the Service include:
- As a Task Force member, the Service must be consulted by the Secretary of
the Transportation (through the Coast Guard) on regulations requiring
ballast-water exchange or treatment requirements for ships entering the Great
- As a Task Force member and joint chair of the Task Force, the Service
must: (1) jointly conduct a study on the environmental effects of ballast
water exchange on receiving water and identify areas within waters of the U.S.
and the Exclusive Economic Zone where exchange of ballast water poses no
threat; (2) jointly conduct a study of whether aquatic nuisance species
threaten the ecological characteristics and uses of the waters of the U.S.
other than the Great Lakes; and (3) cooperate in a study to determine the need
for controls on vessels entering waters of the U.S. other than the Great
- The Service must act with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration as co-chair of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, and by
May 29, 1991, the Director and the Under Secretary of NOAA were directed to
develop an MOU describing their roles in carrying out the subtitle.
- The Task Force, composed of Federal agencies and representatives of States
and regional entities, is to develop and implement an aquatic nuisance species
program to prevent their introduction and dispersal in waters of the U.S.
By December 29, 1990, the Task Force was directed to request the Great Lakes
Commission to convene a panel for Great Lakes regional coordination.
- The Director may make grants to States for implementation of approved
management plans submitted by State Governors.
- The Task Force shall advise the Secretary of State concerning aquatic
nuisance species in waters shared with other countries.
- By November 29, 1991, the Task Force was directed to identify and evaluate
approaches for reducing the risk of adverse consequences from intentional
introductions and report to Congress.
- The Task Force shall undertake a program to control the brown tree snake.
The relevant documents comprising the legislative history include: H.R. 5390;
pages H13277-87 from the October 27, 1990, Congressional Record, reporting final
passage in the House; page S17147-60 from the October 26, 1990, Congressional
Record, reporting passage by the Senate; Senate Report 101-523, filed on October
2, 1990; and pages H8492-96 from the October 1, 1990, Congressional Record,
reporting passage in the House amended.
The most recent amendments which affect the Department of the Interior and
the Fish and Wildlife Service were passed on October 26,1996. Among the
provisions, P.L. 104-332 orders the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary
of Commerce, with the concurrence of and in cooperation with the Secretary of
Transportation, to conduct a ballast water management demonstration program to
demonstrate technologies and practices to prevent the introduction of aquatic
non-indigenous species into the Great Lakes and other United States waters. A
report on the demonstration program is to be submitted to Congress no later than
3 years after the passage date of the amendments (110 Stat. 4083). Also, the
Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Secretary of Transportation and
the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere are authorized to
issue rules and regulations to implement the Aquatic Nuisance Species Program at
the recommendation of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (110 Stat.
4085,4087,4091). The 1996 amendments also authorize the Director of the Fish and
Wildlife Service to make grants to states with approved state or interstate
invasive species management plans (110 Stat. 4089,4091). Finally, appropriations
for the years 1997 to 2002 are made to the Secretary of the Department of the
Interior and the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service for prevention of
unintentional introductions of aquatic nuisance species, for implementation of
the Aquatic Nuisance Species Program (including the brown tree snake control
program) and for making grants to states for implementation by the Director of
the Fish and Wildlife Service in Rhode Island of their state management
programs. Finally, appropriations are authorized for implementation of a Ballast
Water Management Demonstration Program.
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