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



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Enviro-Mich message from "Mark Coscarelli" <mcoscarelli@pscinc.com>
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Plaintiffs requested EPA to regulate ballast water discharges under
Clean Water Act. Rules provide a specific exemption for vessel
discharges if "incidental to a ship's normal operations," which is where
EPA had lumped ballast discharges. The court decision says that the
exemption is repealed. The loophole may temporarily be closed on paper
but the press release makes no mention of a likely appeal and the need
for Michigan and other Great Lakes states to remain vigilant. Nor does
it discuss operationalizing the law. General permits would likely make
up the regulatory framework, and those permitees would need to achieve a
specific biological or technical performance standard to demonstrate
"clean" ballast prior to discharge. Enforcement would take place by the
U.S. Coast Guard throughout the region, perhaps supported by the states,
with an emphasis on the first U.S. port of entry,  Massena, NY. Ballast
is currently inspected at this locale to ensure compliance with salinity
standards for ships required to conduct a "high seas" ballast exchange
under the National Invasive Species Act.

The good news should be tempered by the fact this has been a long and
arduous journey with EPA and the Coast Guard kicking and screaming all
the way. The court ruling should be viewed as a battle victory in a long
war. CAFO regulation comes to mind. 

Regards,

Mark Coscarelli
Public Sector Consultants    

-----Original Message-----
From: Rita Jack [mailto:rita.jack@sierraclub.org]
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 3:25 PM
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: 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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