Minnesota makes big move against invasive species in Lake SuperiorNeighboring Minnesota made a big move Tuesday in the battle against invasive species in Lake Superior.
Neighboring Minnesota made a big move Tuesday in the battle against invasive species in Lake Superior.
A citizens’ board of the state’s Pollution Control Agency approved strict standards for boats that dump ballast water in the lake – water the boats need to stay balanced.
By 2016, ships must treat their ballast water before dumping it in Minnesota waters. That includes boats which only travel on the Great Lakes, as well as those from overseas.
Newer boats built in 2012 or later must treat their ballast waters as they enter Minnesota’s territory on Lake Superior.
Commissioner Brad Moore says the goal is to protect the lake while fostering a strong shipping economy.
As foreign ships come in, things like zebra mussels are along for the ride. They eventually eat up the food which native fish and plants live on.
The Lake Carriers’ Association says it costs up to $1 million to put a treatment system each ship.
Critics say that’s too expensive and any changes in the law should be made nationally. But Moore says Congress has done very little so the states must act.
Michigan has had its own rules in place for a couple years but they only apply to ocean-going ships.
A bill that’s now in Congress would also exempt boats that go only on the Great Lakes.