Washington Law Review


Aquatic nuisance species (ANS) are a substantial threat to the global environment, causing harm to ecosystems and costing U.S. industry billions of dollars per year. To combat ANS, legal regimes are being established on the international, federal, and state levels. In some western states, advocates have proposed legislation that is more stringent than the international and federal legal regimes' voluntary ballast-water-exchange regulations. This Comment argues that Washington and the United States should remain in conformity with the international legal regime and should not enact regulations calling for mandatory ballast water-exchange at this time. Instead, the U.S. Coast Guard should strengthen its regulations in accordance with the National Invasive Species Act (NISA), development of regional panels should continue, and the United States should enact a national decision-support system. Furthermore, states should bolster their legal regimes in conjunction with NISA by funding ANS coordinators, developing ANS management plans, participating in ANS regional panels, and furthering education regarding ANS.

First Page