Ballast Off a Sinking Ship: The Plot Thickens…

As individual states bicker over a myriad of different ballast water management protocols and the federal government inches forward in its quest for a national standard, the influx of invasive species continues. A unified global standard is possible before the end of 2010. Will it happen and – more importantly – if it does, will the balkanized U.S. approach to the problem end?

Two Steps Forward, One Back…
Midway through the first quarter of 2010, the pace has quickened noticeably in the national battle to control and eradicate invasive species and prevent still others from reaching U.S. waters. In the continued absence of an approved federal standard, as many as a dozen individual states have enacted or are actively contemplating their own statutes. Add to that mix the proposed federal standard announced by the U.S. Coast Guard in August 2009 and some industry observers are predicting a resolution of the issue before the end of the year. Good news, indeed, right? Not so fast…

The absence of a federal ballast water treatment (BWT) standard has been a nightmare for more than a decade. Frustrated by inaction on the federal level, individual states have separately enacted their own standards. The collective result has been a hodgepodge of balkanized state rules that – often in close proximity to one another and sometimes other countries – have had little or no effect on the effort to stem the tide of invasive species.

by:   March 25, 2010


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