Granholm Signs Ballast Water Bills
Written by Puckstop   
Tuesday, 07 June 2005 12:35
Legislation attempting to control the introduction of exotic invasive species into the Great Lakes was signed into law by Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Ms. Granholm signed HB 4603 (PA 32) and SB 332 (PA 33) last Thursday, but the measures were only filed with the Secretary of State on Monday.

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The two bills attempt to limit the introduction of new species through ballast water in international freighters.? Under SB 332, oceangoing vessels would have to get permits from the Department of Environmental Quality before discharging any ballast water into the Great Lakes.

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And HB 4603 makes the unauthorized discharge of ballast water prima facie evidence of a violation of the state?s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

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The legislation allows for fines of up to $25,000 a day for violations.

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In a statement, Ms. Granholm said, ?Those who rely on the Great Lakes for economic and recreational activities have a responsibility to protect them.? Requiring ships to prove they pose no threat to our health and safety will protect our people, our environment and our economy.?

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And Environmental Quality Director Steve Chester said it made more sense to prevent the introduction of new species into the lakes than the more expensive effort to fight and attempt to eliminate them once they were in the Great Lakes ecosystem.

 
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