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Using a refractometer to test salinity in ballast water. Photo: David Sommerstein
Using a refractometer to test salinity in ballast water. Photo: David Sommerstein

NY pushes Obama administration to toughen ballast water protections

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A state vs. federal feud over ballast water carried by ocean-going freighters is heating up again.

New York is steward of a long stretch of the St. Lawrence River. Since the St. Lawrence Seaway was opened to international shipping in the 50s, it's been a major route for invasive species that have ended up in the Great Lakes and their tributaries.

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation has tough ballast water standards set to go into effect next year. The DEC -- and many environmentalists -- think the strict new rules are needed to keep more invasive plants and animals from reaching the US.

Officials with the federal Environmental Protection Agency -- along with the shipping industry -- think less stringent laws will keep invasives out - and they say their standards are achievable.

Brian Mann spoke about the debate with Martha Foley.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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