Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

February 20, 2007

Agencies unite to end discharge of ballast

Filed under: Ballast,Great Lakes Issues,Great Lakes News — nemo @ 1:44 pm

The Cheboygan Tribune carries this news item regarding ongoing review of ballast regulations:

Several federal agencies will combine to help clean up Great Lakes waterways through new laws against ships discharging ballast water.

The Coast Guard will work with the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, in the continued development of new federal regulations on ballast water discharge standards.

APHIS joins a federal partnership that also includes the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, all of which are contributing technical expertise to the Coast Guard-led federal rule-making.

The rule-making is intended to spur vessels to use a variety of ballast water treatment technologies to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic non-indigenous species, such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia.

As part of the rule-making process, the Coast Guard is evaluating the environmental impacts of setting a ballast water discharge standard.

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