Detroit Free Press: Bill could protect Great Lakes from invasive species

WASHINGTON – Vessels entering the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway would have to flush their ballast water while still at sea — reducing the likelihood of bringing invasive species into the Lakes — under a measure approved by a Senate committee this morning.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., won approval of an amendment to legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to set uniform standards for regulating ballast water and other discharges from vessels. The bill was passed by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee this morning.

Peters' amendment would require the Coast Guard to ensure that vessels entering the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway exchange ballast water — taken onto a ship as it loads or unloads cargo to account for changes in the ship's weight and stability — at sea and flush their tanks before entry, lessening the likelihood that a foreign species, like the zebra mussel, could be introduced in the Great Lakes.

By:  Todd Spangler
Source: Detroit Free Press