Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Judge requires permit before Great Lakes ballast dumping

2. April 2005 • Murph
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From the Freep:

SAN FRANCISCO—Ship ballast water—blamed for transporting more than 100 invasive species such as zebra mussels that have caused major problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem—cannot be dumped without a permit, a federal judge has ruled.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately repeal regulations exempting ship operators from the Clean Water Act’s water discharge rules.

The ruling essentially declares ballast water a biological pollutant, requiring the same permits that the government requires for sewage plants and manufacturers who discharge to waterways, said Jordan Lubetkin, spokesman for the Ann Arbor office of the National Wildlife Federation.

“This essentially forces the federal government to find a national solution to the invasives problem,” he said. “It’s a victory for the Great Lakes.”
. . .
Efforts to control the zebra mussel and the sea lamprey – two of the most harmful invaders – cost an estimated $45 million annually.



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