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E-M:/ Granholm vs. invasive species



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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For Immediate Release
July 15, 2004

Contact:  Robert McCann
                 (517) 335-7217

Governor Calls on Federal Government to Protect the Great Lakes from
Invasive Species

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Michigan and six
other states are asking the federal government to protect the waters of
the Great Lakes from aquatic invasive species.

Granholm announced that Michigan, along with New York, Illinois,
Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are calling on the United
States Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency for stronger
action to control discharges of ballast water from oceangoing vessels, a
practice identified as the chief cause of the spread of invasive
species.

"The federal government must take strong and aggressive actions to
protect our waters," said Governor Granholm.  "Ballast water
threatens the Great Lakes, and ultimately Michigan, with the negative
effects of invasive species."

As part of the coordinated effort, the states today filed a petition
with the United States Coast Guard to revise ballast water management
regulations.

Although Congress has mandated that the Coast Guard ensure that all
ships with ballast tanks manage the ballast waters so that viable
invasive species are not discharged, current Coast Guard rules exempt
most ships from such requirements.  The petition asks the Coast Guard to
close this loophole.

In addition to signing the petition, states have filed a "friend of
the court" brief in a key court case challenging the federal EPA's
decision to exempt ballast water discharges from federal water pollution
rules.  The states maintain that the EPA's exemption violates the
Clean Water's Act prohibition on discharge of pollution from vessels
and creates another loophole.

"The DEQ has joined with the other Great Lakes States to send the
Coast Guard a message that they must be a partner in protecting the
Great Lakes from invasive species," said DEQ Director Steven E.
Chester.

Aquatic invasive species are waterborne, non-native organisms that
threaten the diversity or abundance of native species, the ecological
stability of impacted waters, or that threaten commercial, agricultural,
and recreational activity dependent on waters of the state.

The harm caused by invasive species such as the zebra mussels, Eurasian
water milfoil, round goby, and spiny water flea in the Great Lakes is
widespread.  For example, utilities annually spend tens of millions of
dollars to combat zebra mussel infestations, which clog water intake
valves.  Milfoil chokes many waterways, requiring either expensive
"mowing" of the weed or chemical treatment that has unintended
consequences.

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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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