NANPCA

AcronymDefinition
NANPCANonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act
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NANPCA was primarily intended to arrest the devastating spread of European zebra mussels into the Great Lakes, (153) but its success in doing so is unclear at best.
Moreover, the court held that Congress did not acquiesce to the EPA's exemption of ballast water discharge by enacting NANPCA and NISA.
NANPCA, NISA, and the federal regulations addressing ballast water discharges have provided some limited measure of success at controlling invasive species that travel via ballast water.
existing provisions of law by amending NANPCA section 1101 to require
NANPCA, in which Congress addressed the types of pollution covered in 40
Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA), as amended by the National Invasive
Although NANPCA's saving clause bolsters the argument that Congress intended to allow states to supplement federal laws regulating ballast water discharges, existing precedent still prevents states from passing laws that prescribe the only type of equipment ships can use.
It would be difficult to argue that NANPCA's saving clause expresses Congressional intent "to disrupt national uniformity in all of these matters." (170) The Locke Court emphasized the need for "uniformity of regulation for maritime commerce" (171) and found that federal laws regulating oil tankers expressed a "congressional desire of achieving uniform, international standards." (172) Even the Chevron court noted that vessel design and traffic safety are "international matters," and states cannot regulate in this area of "exclusively federal concerns." (173) The Supreme Court has held that design and construction standards "could not properly be left to the diverse action of the States" because each state might pass its own particular set of rules and thereby create different standards.
Although state ballast water laws force vessels to do more than what the federal government has required them to do, NANPCA's saving clause recognized the need for state laws to augment the federal scheme.
NANPCA was enacted in reaction to the swift invasion of the Great Lakes by the zebra mussel(175) via ballast water discharge.(176) Most significantly, the Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate rules preventing the release of AIS into the Great Lakes as a result of ballast water discharge.(177) It also mandates the creation of an Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, which is charged with designing a program that prevents the introduction of AIS.(178)
NISA reauthorized NANPCA in 1996.(182) Proponents of NISA argue that it did much more than merely reinforce the principles on which NANPCA rests.(183) Perhaps it did, but it still fails to adequately regulate AIS.