New York State backs away from stricter ballast water regulations

Feb 27, 2012

The Associated Press Reports: New York State will not be imposing stricter regulations on ships potentially carrying invasive species into the Great Lakes.

In the past, ships carrying ballast water for stability have brought invasive species including quagga mussels, spiny water fleas and round gobys to the Great Lakes from Europe.

New York State controls access to the St. Lawrence Waterway, which is the gateway to the Great Lakes.

Rather than impose new, stricter rules regulating the cleansing of ballast water, New York State will abide by the international guidelines, which require ships to dump out all ballast water at sea and rinse the ballast chambers with ocean water.

More from the Associated Press:

The rules, which had been scheduled to take effect in August 2013, would order cargo vessels to cleanse ballast water to a level at least 100 times stricter than international standards before releasing it. The shipping industry contends no technology exists to meet the New York requirement, although environmentalists disagree.

Members of the shipping industry insist that the harsh regulations would block trade between the Atlantic and the Great Lakes, threatening millions in revenue and thousands of jobs.

-Nell Gable, Michigan Radio Newsroom