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Laws and Regulations
Federal Laws and Regulations
Other Resources

Provides links to other Web sites that contains information on Federal invasive species laws.

General Legislative Information

Library of Congress.
Replaces the legacy THOMAS site (retired Jul 5, 2106).

Digest of Federal Resource Laws
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Federal Laws and Regulations

FDsys (Federal Digital System): America's Authentic Government Information
United States Government Printing Office.
Note: FDsys (GPO's Federal Digital System) is the updated GPO's official system of record (formerly known as GPO Access). See FDsys FAQ (PDF | 123 KB) for more information.

View and comment on Federal regulations and other actions

The National Agricultural Law Center
University of Arkansas. School of Law.

U.S. Code Search
United States House of Representatives.
Note: Useful for searching newer laws

U.S. Code of Federal Regulations and Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR)
U.S. Government Printing Office.
Note: the e-CFR is not an official legal edition of the CFR.

U.S. Code Current Edition: Browse and U.S. Code: Search (1994 and 2000, older editions)
U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Code
Cornell University. Legal Information Institute.
Note: Locate by titles and sections

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Federal Regulations

Quarantine Q56 Regulations
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Effective Aug 16, 2007, APHIS implemented revised regulations pertaining to the importation of fruits and vegetables. Collectively, these regulations are commonly referred to as Quarantine 56 or the Q56 regulations. Overall, the Q56 revisions, which are now in effect, simplify and expedite APHIS' process for approving new imports and pest-free areas while continuing to allow for public participation in agency decision making. For additional information, see Questions and Answers on the Quarantine 56 Revision (Oct 2008; PDF | 45 KB).

Facts About Federal Wildlife Laws (Apr 2000; PDF | 325 KB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This booklet is a guide to Federal laws that apply to the importation, exportation, trade, and sale of wildlife,
including live and dead animals and animal parts and products.

Federal Domestic Quarantine Notices - Title 7: Agriculture, Part 301
U.S. Government Printing Office.
Note: Current up to date of Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR)

Federal Import Orders
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

(Federal) Noxious Weeds Program
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
See also: Noxious Weeds Program: Regulations and Noxious Weed Regulations (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations; Title 7: Agriculture, Part 360).

Federal Seed Act
USDA. Agricultural Marketing Service.
AMS enforces interstate commerce provisions of the Federal Seed Act (FSA) and provides seed testing service under the Agricultural Marketing Act. The FSA regulates the interstate shipment of agricultural and vegetable seeds. Includes the State Noxious-Weed Seed Requirements Recognized in the Administration of the Federal Seed Act (2018; PDF | 1.3 MB). This annually updated publication contains information about the various State labeling requirements and prohibitions of noxious-weed seeds and shows the scientific names and common names according to the law and regulations of the particular State in which the seed is noxious (by State and Appendices - common and scientific name cross reference).
See also: Items of Interest in Seed Control (publication for seed control officials and seed companies).

Injurious Wildlife
DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.
See also: Injurious Wildlife: A Summary of the Injurious Provisions of the Lacey Act (Dec 2017; PDF | 401 KB)

Introduced, Invasive, and Noxious Plants - PLANTS Database
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.
Includes Federal Noxious Weed List and Composite list Provides a summary of noxious status for all listed plants in the U.S.

USDA. Animal and Plant and Health Inspection Service.
Scroll to view federal quarantine information under Information Resource section.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (Dec 29, 2000; PDF | 259 KB)
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Plants for Planting Manual Interim Edition (2013; PDF | 2.9 MB)
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine. 09/2013-23.
The Plants for Planting Manual provides the background, procedures, and reference tables for regulating imported articles of plants and vegetative parts that are for or capable of propagation, including buds, bulbs, corms, cuttings, layers, pollen, scions, seeds, tissue, tubers, and like structures.

NPIC - Pesticide Regulations
Oregon State University. National Pesticide Information Center.

Laws and Regulations
National Plant Board.

Regulations of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Title 7, Subtitle B, Chapter III, 2000 edition.

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Ballast Water Legislation

EPA Finalizes Vessel General Permit / Action Will Help Protect U.S. Water Quality and Reduce Risk of Invasive Species (Mar 28, 2013)
Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA issued issued a final vessel general permit (VGP) regulating vessel discharges from commercial vessels, including ballast water, to protect the nation's waters from ship-borne pollutants and reduce invasive species in U.S. waters. The permit imposes international cleanliness standards that the Coast Guard also adopted in regulations it issued last year.
Note: The reissued permit, the 2013 VGP, took effect Dec 19, 2013 and superseded the 2008 VGP at that time.

Standard for Living Organisms in Ships' Discharged Ballast Water
Federal Register: Mar 23, 2012 (Volume 77, Number 57)
The U.S. Coast Guard has finalized its ballast water standards, which are the most stringent to date. "These new regulations will aid in controlling the introduction and spread of nonindigenous species from ships' ballast water," said Jeffrey Lantz, director of the Coast Guard's Office of Commercial Regulations and Standards. "This final rule establishes a ballast water discharge standard that is protective of the marine environment and is also consistent with the discharge standard adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 2004." The Coast Guard's final rule was published on Mar 23, 2012 in the Federal Register, and is effective 90 days after publication, or Jun 21, 2012.

U.S. House Passes Bill Stripping States of Authority to Regulate Ballast Water Discharges (Nov 2011)
The Council of State Governments.
A proposal passed by the U.S. House Nov 15 would strip states of the authority to establish ballast water standards that are more stringent than those set at the federal level. It would also set a new national treatment standard in line with that of the International Maritime Organization. For more information, see the ballast water provisions in HR 2838, the Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Authorization Act.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) - Vessels: Incidental Discharge Permitting
Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA controls incidental discharges (including ballast water) primarily through two NPDES general permits: the Vessel General Permit (VGP) and the Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP). The permits help protect the nation's waters from ship-borne pollutants and reduce the risk of introduction of invasive species from ballast water discharges.

Vessel Discharges Require Permit (Dec 18, 2008)
Environmental Protection Agency.
A new general permit will reduce releases of 26 types of discharges from vessels operating in U.S. waters. Beginning Dec 19, 2008 (later changed to Feb 6, 2009) approximately 61,000 domestically flagged commercial vessels and 8,000 foreign flagged vessels will need to comply with the Final Vessel General Permit. As a result of a court ruling, vessel owners and operators who have previously been exempt from Clean Water Act requirements for the last 35 years will now require a permit. The permit covers non-recreational vessels 79 feet in length or longer, such as cruise ships or oil and cargo tankers, but excludes fishing vessels of any length, unless they discharge ballast water.

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANCPA 90) mandated ballast water management for vessels entering the Great Lakes. This law was reauthorized as the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA 96), which required the development of voluntary ballast management guidelines for all other ships entering U.S. waters. The law also requires all vessels that enter U.S. territorial waters (with certain exemptions) to manage ballast water according to prescribed measures. Additional requirements are in place for the Great Lakes. NISA 96 also required the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to evaluate the effectiveness of the voluntary Ballast Water Management Program three years after implementation. In 2004, voluntary guidelines were determined to be ineffective, and thus USCG initiated mandatory ballast management for all ships entering U.S. waters from outside the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the United States. The voluntary program has become mandatory under the rules found in 33 CFR 151.

1993-2005 Coast Guard Regulations Under NISA (33 CFR 151)
Government Printing Office.

Federal Ballast Water Regulations (33 CFR 151 Subpart D)
Federal Register.

Ballast Management: Federal Regulations
West Coast Ballast Outreach Project.

Species Profile - Ballast Water
USDA. NAL. National Invasive Species Information Center.

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Last Modified: May 08, 2018
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