Shipping Group Sings Ballast Water Blues, Regulations Remain

DULUTH, Minnesota — Zebra Mussels traveling into the Great Lakes region of the United States now need a passport. No longer shall they enjoy a free ride from ship to lake. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled in favor of states’ rights to regulate ballast water — water released from ships entering the Great Lakes Basin.

Michigan and Minnesota both already limit the dumping of foreign water into the Great Lakes in an attempt to prevent invasive plants and animals carried in the water from displacing native species. And now they can legally continue. The court’s ruling falls against a shipping group that was trying to avoid the regulation through suing.

“Lake Superior is really important for our state, not just for our natural resources, but also for our economy,” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson told Minnesota Public Radio. “And these invasive species can be very damaging to our lakes and can have an impact on both our environment as well as economic development here in Minnesota.”

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

1 reply
  1. Don Mitchel says:

    Until the public becomes aware of the enormous threat, that ballast systems provide for terrorist,or foreign sea captains, who do not like our country, to use ships flying under foreign flags with foreign crewmen, to contaminate and pollute our waters the federal government will not act on this problem. Unfortunately until we demand protection by exposing this threat, lobbyist will push the senate to continue to consider it a states rights issue, which, for industry will create a myriad of conflicting regulation that are impossible to enforce. This approach has served industry well for decades. Unfortunately virus and invasive s in water do not recognize the lines man has drawn on maps. Anyone who has worked in industry knows that log books and record keeping, are mere paper work that dose not prove procedures are followed. Without the Coast Guard willing to take this on as a national security issue, with monitoring and, one national policy, the lobbyist for industry know the cost to follow procedures correctly will in reality, never have to be incurred. The mentality that international sea captains can be trusted is reflective of the 1800’s not of the reality of 2001. In the airline industry terrorist are called hijackers. We need to realize in the shipping industry they can be pirates. It is time for those who care, to tell our law makers to do the right thing for the national security of our country as a whole. Sincerely
    Don Mitchel

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