Port officials back lawmakers' call for regulation of ballast water
Resolution calls for Congress to regulate water treatment
Northwest Indiana Times
Published March 17, 2006
A call for tough federal regulation of ship ballast water has the backing of Indiana port officials.
The state Port Commission, which regulates the port at Burns Harbor and two other Indiana ports, spoke in favor of a resolution passed by the Indiana General Assembly.
The resolution calls for Congress to regulate treatment of the water stored in a ship's ballast tanks for stabilization and later released into the waterway, sometimes carrying invasive aquatic species with it.
Unwelcome hitchhikers have made the trip to Great Lakes waters despite a U.S. Coast Guard requirement that ships flush ballast tanks before entering U.S. waters.
The resolution passed by the Indiana General Assembly calls for a national policy and asserts that individual states should not impose regional regulations on an international shipping channel.
Indiana ranks 14th in the nation for waterborne shipping and moves roughly half of its cargo via ships on the Great Lakes, including grain, fertilizer, road salt, minerals, iron ore and large amounts of steel and steel products, according to the Indiana Ports Commission.
The Ports of Indiana last year handled $1.531 billion of cargo, up slightly from 2004 but more than 80 percent higher than in 2003, according to the Ports Commission.