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Part 576 Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Express Terms

A new 6 NYCRR Part 576 is added in Chapter V, Subchapter C to read as follows:

6 NYCRR Part 576 Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention

576.1 Purpose, scope and applicability.

(a) The purpose of this Part is to establish reasonable precautions such as removing visible plant or animal matter, washing, draining or drying that must be taken by persons launching watercraft or floating docks into public waterbodies to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

(b) The regulations in this Part apply to persons who launch, or attempt to launch, a watercraft or floating dock into public waterbodies.

(c) The regulations set forth in this Part shall be in addition to the provisions found in Titles 9 and 6 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations and local laws relating to the prevention of aquatic invasive species in New York. Those provisions shall apply, unless in conflict, superseded or expressly stated otherwise in this Part.

576.2 Definitions. As used in this Part, the following words and terms shall be defined as follows:

(a) Animal means all vertebrate and invertebrate species, in any stage of development, including but not limited to mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, mollusks, arthropods, insects, and their eggs, larvae or young, but excluding human beings, dog or other companion animal defined in section 350 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

(b) Commissioner means the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation as well as meaning the Commissioner's designated agent.

(c) Department means the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

(d) Floating dock means a removable buoyant platform supported by floating devices or suspended over the surface of a waterbody by anchors or other devices.

(e) Invasive species means a species that is nonnative to the ecosystem under consideration, and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

(f) Launch means to place a watercraft or floating dock into a public waterbody or any inlet or outlet to such waterbody for any purpose, including by trailer or other device or carrying by hand a watercraft into the waterbody.

(g) Launch site means the specific location along the shoreline of a public waterbody where a watercraft or floating dock is launched.

(h) Marine and coastal district waters means the waters of the Atlantic Ocean within three nautical miles from the coast line and all other tidal waters within the state, including the Hudson River up to the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge.

(i) Nonnative species means a species not indigenous to an ecosystem under consideration or to New York State, and includes an individual specimen.

(j) Person means any individual, firm, co-partnership, association, or corporation, other than the state or a public corporation, as the latter is defined in Article 2A section 66 of the General Construction Law.

(k) Personal watercraft means a vessel which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind the vessel rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

(l) Plant means all plant species, in any stage of development, including, but not limited to trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, sedges, rushes, herbs, mosses, lichens, as well as submergent, emergent, free-floating or floating-leaf plants, and includes any part of the plant.

(m) Public waterbody or waterbody means lakes, bays, sounds, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Atlantic Ocean within the territorial limits of the State of New York and all other bodies of surface water, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, public or private (except those private waters which do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface waters), which are wholly or partially within or bordering the state or within its jurisdiction.

(n) Reasonable precautions mean intentional actions that prevent or minimize the introduction or spread of aquatic invasive species, as specified in section 576.3 of this Part.

(o) Watercraft means every motorized or non-motorized boat, vessel or vehicle capable of being used or operated as a means of transportation or recreation in or on water.

576.3 Prohibitions. No person shall launch, or attempt to launch, a watercraft or floating dock into a public waterbody unless the following reasonable precautions of (a) cleaning, (b) draining, and (c) treating have been taken:

(a) Cleaning. Cleaning shall include all of the following reasonable precautions:

1. inspecting the watercraft or floating dock and removing any plant or animal, or parts thereof, visible to the human eye, in, on, or attached to any part of the watercraft or floating dock, including livewells and bilges, the motor, rudder, anchor or other appurtenant, equipment or gear on the watercraft or floating dock that may come in contact with the waterbody; or the trailer or any other device used to transport or launch a watercraft or floating dock that may come into contact with the waterbody before launching into a public waterbody; and

2. any plants, animals, and parts thereof, including bait or other fish parts, visible to the human eye, shall be disposed by depositing these materials in a refuse receptacle where available or other receptacle designated for invasive species disposal, or if no receptacle is available, disposing the materials upland from the mean high water mark of the waterbody and in a manner to avoid contact by the material with the waterbody; and

(b) Draining. Draining shall include all of the following reasonable precautions:

1. draining water from the watercraft and the watercraft's motor, bilge, livewell, bait wells and ballast tanks and other areas of the watercraft capable of holding water before launching a watercraft into a public waterbody at a distance from the waterbody and in such a manner to avoid contact of the drainage with the public waterbody; and

2. for personal watercraft only, draining water from the cooling system of personal watercraft immediately following its removal from the water by running the motor out of water for five seconds, unless advised differently by the manufacturer and at a distance from the waterbody and in such a manner to avoid contact of the drainage with the public waterbody; and

(c) Treating. Treating shall include at least one of the following reasonable precautions:

1. Drying method. Treatment by drying must include one of the following steps:

i. Removing any boat cover and air dry watercraft, trailer or floating dock out of the water and in an area exposed to the sun or in a heated building for a minimum of five (5) days; or
ii. Storing watercraft and trailer or floating dock in subfreezing temperatures for a minimum of three (3) days; or
iii. If the drying methods described in subparagraph (i) or (ii) above and the rinsing methods described in paragraph 2 below are not available prior to launching, towel dry portions of the watercraft hull, engine, trailer and associated equipment that have been in contact with the waterbody prior to launching in another waterbody; or

2. Rinsing method. Treatment by rinsing must include one of the following steps:

i. If equipment is available at the launch site or other reasonably accessible location prior to launching, consistent with manufacturer's directions, spraying/rinsing hull and other external areas or equipment with high pressure (2,500 psi) hot water (140 degrees F for 30 seconds) at a location that does not drain into a waterbody; and if equipment is available at the launch site or other reasonably accessible location prior to launching, consistent with manufacturer's directions, rinsing/flushing water cooled motors with water for two (2) minutes at a location that does not drain into a waterbody; or
ii. If equipment is available at the launch site or other reasonably accessible location prior to launching, consistent with manufacturer's directions, rinsing/flushing the bilge area, live wells, bait wells and other water-holding compartments with hot water at a temperature of 140 degrees F for 30 seconds at a location that does not drain into a public waterbody. If water is being drained via a pump, flushing the bilge area, live wells, bait wells and other water-holding compartments with the hottest water for which the pump is rated; or
iii. If hot water is not available at the launch site or other reasonably accessible location prior to launching, thoroughly rinsing the boat hull and flush water- holding compartments with the warmest water available at a location that does not drain into a waterbody. Cold water is acceptable only if it is the only water available; or

3. Painting method to be used prior to launching into marine and coastal district waters only.
Prior to launching a watercraft or floating dock into a public waterbody within marine and coastal district waters, treatment shall include the application and maintenance of anti-fouling paint, in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations, to watercraft hull, floating dock or any associated trailer or equipment being used to launch the watercraft or floating dock into marine and coastal district waters, and upon removing the watercraft from the water, inspecting the watercraft or floating dock and removing any attached plant or animals, or any part thereof, visible to the human eye.

576.4 Exemptions.

(a) The provisions of this Part shall not apply to the following:

1. Plants not otherwise defined in law or regulation as invasive species affixed to or transported in watercraft for use as camouflage for hunting or wildlife viewing purposes.

2. Bait or baitfish that can legally be used on a waterbody and is possessed consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.

3. Legally taken game as defined in section 11-0103(2) of the Environmental Conservation Law or fish as defined in section 11-0103(1)(a).

4. The use of plants or animals for habitat restoration, invasive species control, scientific research, aquaculture, landscaping, gardening, or other activity pursuant to express written approval by the department, consistent with all applicable laws and regulations related to their use, possession or harvest.

(b) The provisions of subdivision (c) of section 576.3 of this Part shall not apply to any watercraft and associated equipment or floating dock that is re-launched from a launch site into a public waterbody within the bounds of any permanent barriers impassible to watercraft which was, prior to launching, removed from the same launch site without having been launched into any other waterbody from any other launch site.

576.5 Penalties and enforcement.

Any person who violates the provisions of this Part shall be liable for all penalties and other remedies provided for in the Environmental Conservation Law including section 71-0703(10).

576.6 Severability.

If a provision of this Part or its application to any person or circumstance is determined to be contrary to law by a court of competent jurisdiction, such determination shall not affect or impair the validity of the other provisions of this Part or the application to other persons and circumstances.