US court rejects challenge to EPA ballast permit

Discharging ballast water
Ballast water is discharged from a ship in a file photo. A federal court rejected on Monday a shipping industry challenge to a government permitting system designed to prevent the spread of invasive species that have disrupted ecosystems and cost billions in the Great Lakes and elsewhere via ballast water.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

By JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal court has rejected a shipping industry challenge to a government permitting system designed to prevent the spread of invasive species that have disrupted ecosystems and cost billions in the Great Lakes and elsewhere.

The permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency regulates discharges of ballast water and other substances such as bilge water from vessels in U.S. waters.

Many species that have invaded the Great Lakes in recent decades arrived from other countries in ballast water. Among them are zebra and quagga mussels.

The EPA permit sets rules for ship discharges and lets state governments add provisions to protect their own waters. Shipping groups asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to throw out the additional state requirements.

In a ruling Friday, the court refused.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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