7,823. 5/18/2017

EPA/POLITICS: “A Senate committee Thursday [5-18-17] approved a measure that would set a single national standard for ballast water discharges from maritime vessels, pre-empting states from enacting stricter standards and, critics say, exposing the Great Lakes to greater danger from invasive species.
Thursday’s voice vote by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee represented a key hurdle crossed by the so-called Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, which maritime shippers have backed for years, arguing that a confusing patchwork of regulations wastes money and time while doing little to help water quality.
‘Without (this change), thousands of commercial vessels will spend billions of dollars installing ballast water management systems to meet the federal standard but will still be at risk of fines and penalties for violating several different state standards these (systems) can’t meet,’ the Lake Carriers Association, representing vessel operators in the Great Lakes, said in an earlier statement in support of the legislation.”

-Todd Spangler, “Critics say Senate measure puts Great Lakes at risk,” USA Today, May 18, 2017 4:46pm

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