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Great Lakes Article:

Coast Guard to Fine Ships for Ballast Violations
Lester Graham
Great Lakes Radio Consortium
June 21, 2004


Later this summer, the U.S. Coast Guard will be able to fine cargo ships that don't comply with ballast water reporting regulations. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports on this new effort to stop invasive species from being introduced into the Great Lakes:

Ocean-going vessels have transported aquatic nuisances to the Great Lakes such as the zebra mussel and the round goby in the ships' ballast water. Those ships are now supposed to take measures to prevent bringing in more problems. Beginning in mid- August, the Coast Guard will have the authority to fine ships up to 27,500 dollars if they don't submit a report on the measures taken. Bivan Patnaik is with the Coast Guard's Environmental Standards Division...

"The movement of non-indigenous species from one area to another is a very important environmental issue and we're all working as hard and as fast as we possibly can."

Critics say the government has not worked hard and fast enough. Patnaik says the Coast Guard's new penalties and other efforts to better manage ballast water are steps in the right direction.



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