TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A plan gaining support in Congress and backed by the cargo shipping industry would establish a nationwide policy for dumping ballast water into U.S. waterways that environmental groups say would open the door to more invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels, which have wreaked economic havoc from the Great Lakes to the West Coast. Read more: House supports shippers on ballast water dumping
Note: This is how Congress does business – adding provisions to a defense spending bill that exempt ballast water discharges from being regulated by the U.S. EPA, under the Clean Water Act. Pardon me?
Proponents say they want a single federal regulation. That by itself is not a bad thing. But ask yourself this: Will the anti-regulatory factions in Congress agree to a strict federal guideline – one which prevents zebra mussels, sea lamprey and other invasive species from coming into the Great Lakes? I doubt it. They will fight and argue for years with no will to solve the problem while each freighter that comes through will dump its ballast unchallenged.
Have a great holiday weekend.