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E-M:/ Action Alert on invasive species legislation moving today



E-M,

See alert below - this bill is reportedly going to be voted out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today. If you live in the district of Congressman Ehlers or Congresswoman Miller (the two MI members on that committee) please give them a call this morning to let them know you'd like to see the bill strengthened in the ways below. We're glad to see Congress taking action on this issue (finally!) but we need to strengthen the bill to protect the Great Lakes. The staff of Mr. Ehlers and Ms. Miller have received these concerns by email from the Healing Our Waters coalition, so you can reference that email if you're uncomfortable going through the 6 points one by one on the phone (i.e., "I'd like to see the bill strengthened in the ways outlined by the Healing Our Waters Coalition"). 

If you'd like to share any of the feedback you get, you can send us a note at stopinvasivespeciesnow@yahoo.com.

Chris

ACTION ALERT

TELL CONGRESS TO GET IT RIGHT ON PROTECTING THE GREAT LAKES FROM INVASIVE SPECIES!

A Coast Guard reauthorization bill that includes provisions to address ballast water discharge from ocean going ships, the number one source of invasive species in the Great Lakes, is now moving through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. While it is encouraging that the problem of invasive species is receiving the congressional
attention it deserves, there are a number of areas in the legislation that need improvement in order for the Great Lakes to receive maximum protection from the number one problem plaguing the Lakes.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is meeting today at noon (6/28) to vote on the bill. Call your Great Lakes representatives on the committee TODAY and urge them to promote the following changes. The capital switchboard, where you can be connected to the office of your member of Congress, is 202-224-3121.

1) THE GREAT LAKES CAN'T AFFORD TO WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2015 TO REQUIRE INSTALLATION OF BALLAST WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES ON SHIPS. An amendment was passed in the subcommittee review of this bill that
gave the Secretary of the Coast Guard authority to fudge on the deadline by which ships would be required to install technology by 2 years!

2) SHIPS SHOULD HAVE INCENTIVES TO INSTALL TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY NOW AND OVER THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS RATHER THAN RELYING ON INFERIOR BALLAST WATER EXCHANGE. Until superior ballast water treatment requirements take effect, ships should not be precluded from installing these technologies in the first years of the new federal program.

3) ENSURE THAT STATES RETAIN THE RIGHT TO PROTECT THE GREAT LAKES UNTIL A STRONG FEDERAL PROGRAM IS IN PLACE.

4) ALL SHIPS ENTERING THE GREAT LAKES AND CLAIMING NO BALLAST WATER ON BOARD SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO REMOVE INVASIVE SPECIES USING BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES STARTING IMMEDIATELY. Senator Levin has introduced
legislation that specifically requires BMPs for ships that may be carrying invasive species even if they are carrying little or no ballast water.

5) ENSURE THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ASSUMES THE REGULATORY AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER ANY NEW FEDERAL PROGRAM ADDRESSING BALLAST WATER. The EPA is the agency with the expertise to establish and
enforce new ballast water standards.

6) ENSURE CONSISTENCY UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT. The bill defines "waters" too narrowly. This definition should be broadened to make it consistent with other legislative provisions.

Great Lakes congressional representatives who sit on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

Democrats
Jim Oberstar -MN
Jerry Costello - IL
Jerrold Nadler - NY
Julia Carson -IN
Tim Bishop - NY
Brian Higgins - NY
Dan Lipinski - IL
Zack Space - OH
Michael Arcuri - NY
John Hall - NY
Steve Kagen - WI

Republicans
Thomas Petri - WI
Vern Ehlers - MI
Steve LaTourette - OH
Tim Johnson - IL
Randy Kuhl - NY
Jean Schmidt - OH
Candice Miller - MI



NWF's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. 

Chris Grubb - Great Lakes Restoration Senior Coordinator
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center 
National Wildlife Federation
213 W. Liberty, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1398
p. 734-769-3351 extension 26 f. 734-769-1449
www.nwf.org/greatlakes | www.restorethelakes.org
--- Begin Message ---
Jeff,

Thanks for the alert but it misses one of the most important parts of the
bill--performance standards.  They are totally inadequate.  Please review
and consider addressing that issue also.

jt

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Skelding [mailto:JSkelding@nwf.org]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:14 PM
To: engo restoration list
Subject: [restoration] Action Alert! Invasive Species/Ballast Water


TELL CONGRESS TO GET IT RIGHT ON PROTECTING THE GREAT LAKES FROM
INVASIVE SPECIES!

A Coast Guard reauthorization bill that includes provisions to address
ballast water discharge from ocean going ships, the number one source of
invasive species in the Great Lakes, is now moving through the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. While it is encouraging
that the problem of invasive species is receiving the congressional
attention it deserves, there are a number of areas in the legislation
that need improvement in order for the Great Lakes to receive maximum
protection from the number one problem plaguing the Lakes.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is meeting
tomorrow at 11AM (6/28) to vote on the bill. Call your Great Lakes
representatives on the committee TODAY and urge them to promote the
following changes. The capital switchboard, where you can be connected
to the office of your member of Congress, is 202-224-3121.

1) THE GREAT LAKES CAN*T AFFORD TO WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2015 TO
REQUIRE INSTALLATION OF BALLAST WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES ON SHIPS.
An amendment was passed in the subcommittee review of this bill that
gave the Secretary of the Coast Guard authority to fudge on the deadline
by which ships would be required to install technology by 2 years!

2) SHIPS SHOULD HAVE INCENTIVES TO INSTALL TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY NOW AND
OVER THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS RATHER THAN RELYING ON INFERIOR BALLAST WATER
EXCHANGE. Until superior ballast water treatment requirements take
effect, ships should not be precluded from installing these technologies
in the first years of the new federal program.

3) ENSURE THAT STATES RETAIN THE RIGHT TO PROTECT THE GREAT LAKES UNTIL
A STRONG FEDERAL PROGRAM IS IN PLACE.

4) ALL SHIPS ENTERING THE GREAT LAKES AND CLAIMING NO BALLAST WATER ON
BOARD SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO REMOVE INVASIVE SPECIES USING BEST
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES STARTING IMMEDIATELY. Senator Levin has introduced
legislation that specifically requires BMPs for ships that may be
carrying invasive species even if they are carrying little or no ballast
water.

5) ENSURE THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ASSUMES THE
REGULATORY AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER ANY NEW FEDERAL PROGRAM ADDRESSING
BALLAST WATER. The EPA is the agency with the expertise to establish and
enforce new ballast water standards.

6) ENSURE CONSISTENCY UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT. The bill defines
"waters" too narrowly. This definition should be broadened to make it
consistent with other legislative provisions.

Great Lakes congressional representatives who sit on the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

Democrats
Jim Oberstar -MN
Jerry Costello - IL
Jerrold Nadler - NY
Julia Carson -IN
Tim Bishop - NY
Brian Higgins - NY
Dan Lipinski - IL
Zack Space - OH
Michael Arcuri - NY
John Hall - NY
Steve Kagen - WI

Republicans
Thomas Petri - WI
Vern Ehlers - MI
Steve LaTourette - OH
Tim Johnson - IL
Randy Kuhl - NY
Jean Schmidt - OH
Candice Miller - MI






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