Three Michigan environmental groups asked to intervene in a federal lawsuit over the state's efforts to halt invasive species from being dumped in the Great Lakes by ocean-going ships.
A state law took effect that requires shippers to get permits showing they treat ocean ballast water before they release it into the Great Lakes. A coalition of shipping companies filed suit against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on to stop the new law.
Shippers believe any such effort should be done on the federal level, rather than by individual states. Congress and federal authorities have not made any such moves. The other two groups seeking permission to join the lawsuit on the state's side are the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Invasive species cost the Great Lakes region $5 billion annually in damage and control costs, according to the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy. Since 1970, 77% of the invasive species have been attributed to ships that travel on the oceans.
April 10, 2007 6:34 AM | Category: Invasive Species