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E-M:/ RE: / Citizen victory on ballast water/invasive species control



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Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>
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Pardon my ignorance!

Obviously - this is a very good thing!  While everyone on this list
understands the massive problems associated with aquatic invasive species
and the need to control ballast water -- is there anyone on the list who can
help us understand exactly what the lawsuit has accomplished?  

Does this now mean that ships will need to get NPDES permits in order to
"discharge" their ballast waters, with some sort of invasives-control
mechanism?  If so - who would enforce the permits?  Or will this translate
directly to ships being required to dump their ballast at some point while
they're still in the sea, before they enter to fresh waters?  Again, who
enforces that?  

How will this actually work?  

~~Rita 
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
[mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of Alex J. Sagady &
Associates
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 2:44 PM
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: E-M:/ Citizen victory on ballast water/invasive species control

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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2005

Contact:  Robert McCann
                (517) 241-7397

DEQ, State of Michigan, Applaud Court Decision

Department of Environmental Quality Director Steven E. Chester and Office 
of the Great Lakes Director Ken DeBeaussaert today applauded a decision by 
the U.S. District Court that will protect the Great Lakes from aquatic 
nuisance species. The court order announced today involved a lawsuit filed 
by Northwest Environmental Advocates, The Ocean Conservancy, Waterkeepers 
Northern California and its projects, Center for Marine Conservation, and 
San Francisco Bay Keepers and Deltakeeper against U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency for the federal regulation that exempts ballast water 
discharges from federal water pollution rules.  The court has granted 
summary judgment to the plaintiffs in the case, and EPA has been ordered to 
repeal the exemption.

Governor Granholm, on behalf of the State of Michigan, had filed a "friend 
of the court" brief in support of the plaintiffs in the case.

"The court's decision today is a major victory for the Great Lakes," said 
Director Chester.  "The EPA exemption for ballast water violated the Clean 
Water Act and created a loophole that allowed invasive species to enter our 
Great Lakes waters.  That loophole is now closed."

Aquatic nuisance 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.

The EPA has estimated that aquatic nuisance species cost the Great Lakes 
region $5 billion per year in damages.

#####

==========================================
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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