The never ending fight to stop invasive species from ballast water.
Hard to believe NWEA started working on the Ballast Water issue, to prevent the discharge of invasive species from ships, some 15 years ago and while we’ve had some success it hasn’t been enough given the risks. Now in our fourth lawsuit against EPA on this issue, we filed our opening brief on January 31, 2014 challenging EPA’s second Vessel General Permit. The brief explains that EPA incorrectly evaluated the best technology that is available to treat ballast water discharges by ignoring the option of treating ballast water in on-shore facilities. An example of the extraordinary level of treatment possible are the so-called “toilet-to-tap” treatments for turning sewage into drinking water. On-board treatment systems will never be this good. Next NWEA’s brief explains that EPA failed to evaluate how the permit will ensure that ship discharges meet state water quality standards, a requirement of the Clean Water Act. And, last, the brief explains why the inadequate monitoring undermines the goals of the permit in protecting waters from invasive species.