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Wis. proposes relaxing Great Lakes ballast regulations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin water officials have proposed revising ballast water regulations for ocean-going ships on the Great Lakes.

The Department of Natural Resources in February adopted a new permit for vessels that come into Wisconsin’s Great Lakes ports. The permit limits living organisms found in discharged ballast water in hopes of slowing the spread of invasive species.

The permit requires newly built ocean-going ships to meet standards 100 times greater than the International Maritime Organization’s limits beginning in 2012.

The DNR has determined, however, that technology to measure whether a treatment system has met such high standards doesn’t exist yet. The agency has proposed using IMO standards and requiring ships to flush ballast water at sea.

A public hearing has been set for Jan. 26 in Superior.

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  1. At the end of 2008 when the demise of h.r.2830 was assured for the start of this administration, all of the states rattle their swords with a predictable response to create meaningful legislation for ballast water, but the foreign shipping industry knew, and said, it was just a “pipe dream” as they knew they had won and a policy following an international approach,in favor of their economic business interest would prevail, instead of any enforceable, meaningful American law to protect all American waters equally. Now Wisconsin one of the last of the Great Lakes States with a loud bark is considering a policy to be the first to cater to foreign shipping. NY ballast water laws will be the last wasted money this administration will need to create with pressure to cave in favor of a weak military plan. Then this administration can proceed with a slow military delay program helping ease the economic pain to foreign shipping, forever giving up the opportunity to put America on a level playing field in manufacturing cost.
    California laws, although tough have historically already, been shown ineffective, because of the cost to make them meaningful through enforcement. This is obvious as the environmentalist, still are fighting for protection, from the ballast water problems that lurk beneath the sea. Unfortunately invasive s, human bacteria and virus, introduction will also be delayed for the whole world with a slow Federal policy or an international plan. As we continue to wait until sometime in the middle of 2011 for the military delay plan, watch NY and their laws, as it will be the tell, to the future, of any “change” in the way America dose business in the world.
    Unless comprehensive Federal policy (preferably law) is created directing the Coast Guard to enforce strong regulation, (law) the historic attitude of disinterest the Coast Guard has displayed will continue considering this an International Maritime Organization problem, allowing international shipping to circumvent compliance with environmental agreements, as is noted in the military millennium report discussing environmental international agreements and the compliance. The idea the EPA will enforce anything without an infrastructure, is a joke as was illustrated by their lack of enforcement for tar balls in Lake Pontchartrain and at Texas beach’s has already shown.

  2. Here is the latest update on the Coast Guard delay plan.

    “Ballast Water Discharge Standard:We have revised our expected publication date of the Ballast Water Discharge Standard rulemaking. It is now expected to publish in April 2011, rather than December 2010.”

    This is totally about the cost foreign ships would incur as they deliver their manufactured products around the world. If the installation of technology for filtration of all foreign substances is mandated, rather than just a treatment plan for living creatures and pathogens it would provide comprehensive protection. The Arctic a known dumping ground for governments and industry, which leaves ballast water subject to contain anything released from the melting ice. Confirmed with the Gulf’s disasters, movement of tar balls to Lake Pontchartrain by ballast systems, is the inability of the government to control different aspects of the ballast water problem, by delegation to different government agencies, without an infrastructure for enforcement.
    (EPA,Coast Guard,Homeland Security, and 28 different state laws) It dose not take an Einstein to realize we need a comprehensive plan. Why do you think our President dose not act to protect people from human pathogens and virus in ballast water???

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