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E-M:/ U.S. House passes ship ballast legislation
- Subject: E-M:/ U.S. House passes ship ballast legislation
- From: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:28:52 -0400
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <email@example.com>
From: "Jennifer Nalbone" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: GLIN==> PRESS RELEASE: Ballast legislation passes House as
part of Coast Guard bill!
passes House as part of Coast Guard bill
groups push for strong support in Senate
WASHINGTON DC (April 24) ? The U.S. House of Representatives made a
huge step in protecting our waters from aquatic invaders today by passing
legislation that ensures no living species will be discharged from
ballast water tanks of ocean-going vessels. The Coast Guard Authorization
Act of 2008 (H.R. 2830) passed by a vote of 395 to 7.
The legislation is Title V of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2008
(H.R. 2830) and requires installation of technology meeting current
International Maritime Organization ballast discharge standards by as
early as next year. Ships would then be required to begin installing
treatment equipment in 2012 to meet a more rigorous standard that is one
hundred times more stringent than the international standard.
?These standards and timeline are both aggressive and achievable, and
this is exactly the type of strong legislation the environmental
community has championed for years,? said Corry Westbrook, legislative
director for the National Wildlife Federation.
Citing the lack of clarification on how the ballast water title applies
to recreational vessels among its concerns, the Bush administration
has threatened to veto the bill. The administration?s main objection
however, was not in Title V, but particular to Coast Guard requirements
to protect liquefied natural gas terminals and vessels.
?The House has already promised to address the White House?s concerns
regarding recreational boaters separately,? said Phyllis Windle, senior
scientist and director of invasive species for the Union of Concerned
Scientists. ?This strong demonstration of support in the House bodes well
for withstanding the threat of a potential veto.?
The National Environmental Coalition of Invasive Species has said that
its endorsing groups will continue to push for strong support in the
Senate to further strengthen ballast water legislation.
?We hope this decisive action in the House sends the right signals to the
Senate that this is a bill deserving quick action and passage before the
elections consume our attention,? said Mike Daulton, director of
conservation policy for the National Audubon Society.
Strong bipartisan support for the legislation followed the adoption of
two essential amendments. The first, a manager?s amendment, improves
transparency by requiring that regulated ships submit records of their
actions to the Secretary of Transportation on a monthly basis, and
ensures that ships claiming no ballast water on board are subject to
treatment requirements when the bill comes into effect.
A second amendment by Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) gives the Coast Guard the
authority to take emergency response measures if vessels operating
exclusively within the Great Lakes present the risk of spreading invasive
species or infectious diseases.
?The United States is moving to set global precedent in protecting the
Great Lakes and waters nationwide from crippling biological pollution?
said Jennifer Nalbone, campaign director of Great Lakes United. ?Let?s
keep up the momentum.?
H.R. 2830 also includes several key provisions championed by the National
Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species in recent months, including
an enhanced role for the Environmental Protection Agency to review and
improve discharge standards, the addition of a provision allowing for
citizens to petition the government, and the closure of a loophole that
could have resulted in long-term delays in implementing onboard
treatment. Additionally, the bill allows states to retain their ability
to complement and strengthen the federal program.
The National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species endorsing
organizations include the National Wildlife Federation, Union of
Concerned Scientists, Great Lakes United, National Audubon Society,
Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Areas Association, Healing Our
Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, and The Nature Conservancy.
Contact: Corry Westbrook, National Wildlife Federation,
Phyllis Windle, Union of Concerned Scientists,
Jennifer Nalbone, Great Lakes United, 716-213-0408,
Mike Daulton, National Audubon Society, 202-861-2242,
Alex J. Sagady & Associates
Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Expert Witness Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
657 Spartan Avenue, East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 332-6971; email@example.com