Morning Read: NY battles Feds on ballast water invasive species rules

New York state has faced intense political pressure to scrap tough ballast water rules designed to keep invasive species out of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Canada and other Great Lakes states hate New York’s rules, which require that ballast water be 100 times cleaner than currently required under international standards.

The EPA and the Coast Guard have now released their own proposed rules, but NY Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says they don’t go far enough.

“In general we do not believe that the [proposed regulations] provide an effective or adequate standard to address the known risks of [invasive species] nor does it reflect the best available technology,” Martens wrote, in a letter dated February 21.

Martens’ position is supported by environmental groups throughout the Great Lakes region, according to a report in the Watertown Daily Times.

In a joint news release, Great Lakes area conservation groups — including Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes United, Alliance for the Great Lakes and Northwest Environmental Advocates — blasted the EPA Tuesday for “failing to uphold its federal Clean Water Act duty to protect the Great Lakes and other U.S. waters from the introduction and spread of invasive species.”

The EPA rules are likely to draw better reviews from industry groups and from other states, convinced that less stringent ballast standards are adequate and more affordable.

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3 Comments on “Morning Read: NY battles Feds on ballast water invasive species rules”

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  1. Pete Klein says:

    I support NY standards.

  2. Two Cents says:

    Better safe, than sorry. The most restrictve standards should prevail, sorry.

  3. don says:

    How can any rules that rely on an ocean flush, as adequate be any good when a virus such as VHS that has created much of today’s ballast water concern, is believed to have been brought from the Atlantic ocean by ballast systems and mutating to the fresh waters of the Great Lakes. Cholera is another example of waterborne virus that can be found in both fresh and salt water. Watch and see if this whole states rights thing is only a ruse that’s been used by the Obama administration to buy time to try an align Americas environmental regulations for ballast water to the IMO an organization of primarily foreign economic interest, before pushing to lock it in with the Law of the Sea treaty that Secretary of State Clinton has already suggested quick ratification..

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