Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Congress to Loosen Ballast Water Regs

Those of us in the vicinity of Lake St. Clair have heard plenty about ballast water and invasive species. A plan in Congress backed by cargo shippers would create gaping holes in the regulation of ballast water in U.S. waterways, opening the door to more invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels. John Flesher wrote for AP today (May 24, 2016):
The proposal was tucked into a $602 billion defense bill that the House passed last week, the latest twist in a longstanding struggle over how to handle water that ships carry in huge tanks during overseas voyages. Ballast provides stability in rough seas but harbors fish, plants and even viruses, which find new homes when vessels discharge the water in distant ports. Some multiply rapidly, out-compete native species for food and spread disease.

The debate focuses on how extensively ship operators should be required to treat ballast water to kill as many organisms as possible before the water is released…

This is one more example of Congress favoring special interests over the public interest.

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