A New Battle Plan in the Fight against Invasive Species

Start spreading the news, ballast water will be treated someday! And that someday is right around the corner – in just a year-in-a-half ships will not be allowed to enter the Great Lakes unless they are outfitted with the technology to disinfect ballast water and stop the discharging of invasive species. New York’s tough new rule that just passed muster the State’s Court of Appeals will protect the entire Great Lakes region because no ocean-going vessel can enter the lakes without passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway and New York’s territory. There is one more blessing too – the court’s ruling means that there can be no more appeals so the state’s new tough rules are permanent. Sigh of relief!

After years of battling with the Coast Guard, the EPA and Congress to try from all different angles to get what would have been a much weaker ballast standard in place, New York has been able to take advantage of her geographical position and deliver strong regional ballast protection. Even Canadian bound ships can’t avoid this ballast measure. Thank you, New York. The new laws will take effect in 2012 and the entire region should join forces to ensure that New York can successfully implement these aggressive ballast restrictions.

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One Response to A New Battle Plan in the Fight against Invasive Species

  1. Don Mitchel says:

    The president is against national ballast laws that are strong, like NY created, this is obvious by his support of the Coast Guard plan, creating more delay for another study to determine the amount of pathogens, virus, and invasive s allowed to be dumped into our waters, while mirroring the IMO. In NY it will be interesting to see after the elections if the state will wavier. Governor Patterson has been ask to step aside by the President. Will the new Governor do the right thing standing by NY’s current ballast laws? Despite a report created for the 111th Congress in Dec 2009 stating that national ballast water legislation would cause the cost of imports to rise as a results of having to retrofit mainly foreign ships with technology, the president had a public rift about job creation with rep Oberstar, who has been instrumental in previous attempts to create national ballast legislation, while the president supports Senator Boxer who killed rep Oberstar’s legislation for the change we needed in 2008 to protect our nations waters from foreign ships. The idea that the different aspects of ballast dumping such as toxic materials can be controlled by the Clean Water Act, and the EPA, is a joke as tar balls entering Lake Pontchartrain through ballast systems was not even checked during the Gulf disaster, despite this administration receiving repeated warnings of ballast system having the potential to be problematic. Under this administration niether the EPA nor the Coast Guard enforced the Clean Water Act.