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.