Thursday, February 25, 2010

2009 Summary Of Great Lakes Ballast Water Management Report

Feb 25: The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that the 2009 Summary of Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Management report compiled by the Great Lakes Ballast Water Working Group (BWWG) is now available. The BWWG is comprised of representatives of the Coast Guard, Transport Canada - Marine Safety, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

    According to a brief announcement, "Preventing the introduction of aquatic invasive species into the Great Lakes through stricter ballast water standards and a comprehensive enforcement policy is a top priority for the U. S. Coast Guard. In 2009, 100% of ships bound for the Great Lakes via the Seaway received a ballast tank exam. A total of 5450 ballast tanks onboard 295 different ships were sampled and had a 97.9% compliance rate. Ships that failed to properly manage their ballast tanks were required to either retain the ballast water and residuals on board, treat the ballast water in an environmentally sound and approved manner, or return to sea to conduct a ballast water exchange. The BWWG anticipates continued high ship compliance rates for the 2010 navigation season.
    The report indicates that, "Today, ballast water management requirements in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway System are among the most stringent in the world. Mandatory ballast water regulations that include saltwater flushing, detailed documentation requirements, increased inspections, and civil penalties provide a comprehensive regulatory enforcement regime to protect the Great Lakes Seaway System. USCG regulations, and the Seaway no ballast onboard (NOBOB) regulation, require all vessels destined for Seaway and Great Lakes ports from beyond the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to exchange all their ballast tanks at sea. As a result, the risk of a ballast water mediated introduction of aquatic invasive species into the Great Lakes has been mitigated to extremely low levels."
    Access the announcement (click here). Access the 13-page summary report (click here).

1 comment:

Don Mitchel said...

Gee!! it sure is sad that the Coast Guard wish to follow the International Maritime Organization for the next ten years, knowing their record for introduction of cholera virus and invasives. China a communist country, the largest member of the IMO and the largest ship builders in the world will now have a say in US environmental policy. A report for the 111th congress explains how retrofiting mainly foreign ships would cause imports brought into our country to rise in cost. Unfortunatley the Commander and chief is afraid to address the issue and hurt the arrangement set up by previous administrations with China. This arrangement allows China to peg the value of their currency to ours, which in turn makes the auction of our treasury notes more attractive at low interest rates. This lets our largest employers, the big box outlet stores, of cheap foreign goods, thrive. To disrupt this may cost votes because the American public has been kept in the dark, and in the short term would only see inflation rather than goods manufactured in our country able to be more cost competative, while creating jobs. We would even be able to have manufacturing where the carbon emmissions could be verrified. Now our secretary of state a former big box store lawyer negotiates trade with China, and she has called for quick ratification of the Law of the Sea treaty knowing that if enacted it would make national ballast water legislation harder to implement.