By Jennifer Nalbone, Campaign Director, Navigation and Invasive Species, Great Lakes United
Since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have been inundated by aquatic invasive species from ocean-going shipping. More than 180 species such as sea lampreys and zebra mussels have been introduced wreaking havoc on our Great Lakes ecosystems. Fifty-years later, the Coast Guard is proposing a new rule to finally establish ballast water discharge standards and prevent invasive species introductions from commercial shipping. The deadline for public comment is December 4, 2009.
Last year, Congress was unable to develop a legislative solution to the invasive species being brought to the U.S. from overseas ships. This year, administrative action, in the form of a new Coast Guard rule, is poised to make significant progress in addressing this ecological crisis.
Broadly, the rulemaking is excellent in several regards, but could use improvement in a few areas.
The strong points:
The rulemaking can be improved in regards to the following provisions:
Following the public comment period, the Coast Guard will prepare responses to public comments and the final rulemaking for publication. We may see a final rule in 12-18 months.
We hope you participate in this important process! You can find the proposed rule here: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-20312.pdf To lean more about how you can help stop invasive species and take part in this public comment, contact Jennifer Nalbone at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take Action— Comments Due December 4, 2009
Share Your Input On The Ballast water Rules
1. Go to www.regulations.gov
2. Type in the search box, USCG- 2001-10486, click search
3. The list will include “Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters, click on submit comment
4. Type in your information, comments or attach a file