May 06, 2013 — A national environmental group is expanding its legal challenge to new state and Federal rules designed to keep invasive species out the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.
Neil Kagan, senior counsel with the National Wildlife Federation, says new standards aren't strict enough to keep dangerous organisms from reaching the US in the ballast water of ships, "Neither the EPA permit, nor the state's certification of that are sufficient to prevent new invasive species from coming into New York waters."
The National Wildlife Federation is already suing New York, pushing the state to adopt tougher standards. Go to full article
Clayton, NY, Feb 27, 2012 — On Friday, we reported that New York state is pushing Federal officials to toughen proposed new standards for ballast water pollution on freighters using the St. Lawrence Seaway.
In that report, we mistakenly reported that the Cuomo administration is still planning to implement its own set of ballast water regulations, scheduled to go into effect next year.
But officials in Albany say they've decided to scrap the state rules, a move that's drawing mixed reviews from industry groups and environmentalists. Brian Mann has our update. Go to full article
Using a refractometer to test salinity in ballast water. Photo: David Sommerstein
Albany, NY, Feb 24, 2012 — 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.
Cape Vincent, NY, Aug 23, 2011 — For the first time, a top official with the US Environmental Protection Agency has publicly embraced New York's tough new ballast water rules. Those regulations, scheduled to go into effect next year, are designed to stop invasions of non-native animals and plants, like zebra mussels and the spiny water flea.
Industry groups, members of congress and some Federal officials are pushing back hard, arguing that the regulations set standards that can't be met by existing technology. The want New York's rules scrapped. And they're lobbying the EPA to create national ballast water guidelines that are far less strict.
But as Brian Mann reports, the top EPA administrator in New York says new regulations should push the shipping industry to do more to help stop invasives. Go to full article
Will NY's tough ballast water rules shut down commerce? Photo: USGS
Clayton, NY, Jul 27, 2011 — New York state is facing new pressure to scrap tough ballast water regulations that are set to go into effect next year. The rules are designed to stop invasive species from reaching the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.
But as Brian Mann reports, Republicans in Congress say New York should be stripped of hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal EPA funding if the regulations aren't scrapped. Go to full article