From The Maritime Executive. Published April 21, 2016.
Stephen Brooks, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Canada, believes ballast water management rules that are unachievable, impractical and discriminatory are being imposed by the U.S. EPA and the IMO on Canadian short sea ships that never leave the bi-national waters of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Waterway and thus cannot introduce new aquatic invasive species.
The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for the approval of ballast water treatment technology for ships discharging ballast water in the U.S., and to date, has not approved any technology. However, the U.S. Coast Guard has acknowledged the unavailability of technology by issuing over 4,000 extensions to their ballast water rules. The EPA has not.
“It’s quite unfortunate that Canadian shipowners had to seek and obtain a ‘stay’ on the EPA’s rules in U.S. court in order to be able to continue serving the bi-national Great Lakes St. Lawrence Waterway economy, the third largest economy in the world if it was a separate country, which relies heavily on safe, efficient, environmentally smart short-sea shipping,” says Brooks.