Port of Oswego, seaway officials oppose DEC ballast water regs

There are 6 comments on the The Post-Standard story from Oct 7, 2010, titled Port of Oswego, seaway officials oppose DEC ballast water regs. In it, The Post-Standard reports that:

State regulations to increase the treatment of ballast water in international ships and Canadian lakers could cripple business at the Port of Oswego the port's top official said Thursday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Post-Standard.

Don Mitchel

Rochester, NY

#1 Oct 8, 2010
Sad the Federal government is not engaged with creating national ballast legislation, and is allowing the states to compete with one another while dealing with an international organization of foreign economic interest.(economic globalization over economic Americanization) To say the IMO is adequate protection is not remembering that 10,000 died in the 1990's from cholera in South America related to IMO sea captains not following procedures with the costly, time consuming, dangerous, inadequate ocean flush.
One reason to insist on a time line is because of industries bottom line, as industry will never spend the investment to create technology unless forced.
Another reason to insist on technology for Great Lakes locked ships, that is rarely talked about with ballast water is the human bacterial and virus problems
It seems findings by the government in studies show bird flue, h1n1, and a host of other influenza's are found in fresh water lakes and glaciers in the Arctic where new shipping routes are opening as the ice melts, and are carried by birds to other waters around the world. Ballast water should not help to facilitate this. Lastly according to a report for Congress in Dec 2009 that states that national policy would affect mainly foreign ships bringing foreign imports into our country and would cause them to rise in cost making America more cost competitive. It is time for us to face this threat from mainly foreign economic interest.
Don Mitchel

Rochester, NY

#2 Oct 8, 2010
Since a report for Congress suggest ballast legislation would affect mostly foreign ships, the availability of technology should be primarily a foreign industries problem, Stimulate the American shipping industry and LETS CREATE SOME AMERICAN JOBS!!!!! Inspection is what our Coast Guard should be worried about, as demonstrated by tar balls in Lake Pontchartrain.
Don Mitchel

Rochester, NY

#3 Oct 8, 2010
Well it looks as though the Federal government is going to add more confusion again.
"The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces two public teleconferences of the Science Advisory Board Ecological Processes and Effects Committee, augmented, to discuss its advice on the effectiveness of shipboard ballast water treatment processes and ways to improve future assessments of ballast water treatment systems to minimize the impacts of invasive species in vessel ballast water discharge"
What happened to the other study's meeting on Sept.20th to create numeric limits for the Coast Guard and EPA???? Now on this web site http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2010/... they announce this new thing and they tell you not to be confused with yet a third federal input thing the EPA has got going on. They just want to wear everybody out so they can slide weak regulation through. Obviously Congress is wore out and has not addressed the issue in over two years since one Senator killed legislation passed in the House 395-7. This is exactly how they have managed to make ballast water an issue, unenforceable and easily circumvented by industry for three decades, because nobody knows whats going on with conflicting jurisdictions. If the technology is not there it should be a problem for foreign ships bringing foreign manufactured goods into our country's and not a problem we should worry about other than inspecting their compliance for the priviledge to use our waters.
Don Mitchel

Rochester, NY

#4 Oct 13, 2010
Manufacturing jobs are created where cost are lower. If international shipping was held accountable for water pollution and the carbon footprint caused, bringing foreign goods into our country, their cost would rise. The following is from a report prepared for congress in DEC 2009 “Although estimates of the costs of ballast treatment may be imprecise and vary from vessel to
vessel, there is some general agreement on average costs.14 For example, it may cost an estimated
$400,000 per vessel for modification of container/bulk vessels to use onshore ballast water
treatment facilities at California ports. More generally, the cost of retrofitting vessels to treat
ballast water has been estimated at between $200,000 and $310,000 per vessel for mechanical
treatment and around $300,000 for chemical treatment.15 Most of this expense will be borne by
foreign shipping companies, as the U.S. flag fleet is a small percentage of the global fleet,16 and
likely passed along to consumers of products imported on these ships.”
ballast pathogen

Rochester, NY

#5 Oct 24, 2010
In times of disaster history as shown that humans have turned to the sea for food, hopefully the cholera virus in Haiti is not being spread by ballast systems by infecting shell fish . 10000 died in the 1990's from IMO sea captains saving money not flushing their systems. Watching a major news media with a former CDC head recently talking on how cholera is spread in Haiti, guess what!! they did not even bother to mention shell fish even though it is an island nation, why they continue to hide virus and water problems in the national media is a disgrace towards the idea of informational knowledge working for the common good. Oh! I forgot they are still behind, the political stars in American politics that are continueing support for foreign ships, needed for economic globalization, being given a pass to dump human pathogens and virus in our waters, despite human health risk.
ballast pathogen

Rochester, NY

#6 Dec 13, 2010
The best time to have enacted ballast water legislation was in 2008 when h.r.2830 passed the House 395-7 at the beginning of the global economic crisis when ship traffic, that is needed in economic globalization was curtailed. Unfortunately this administration chose to delay meaningful legislation with another study for a still purposed military plan of 20 plus years.
Knowing a report prepared for Congress in 2009 stated that legislation calling for mandatory technology installation would increase the cost of foreign manufactured products, this administration made a conscious choice to not address the issue passing up the opportunity to again place America on a level playing field in manufacturing cost. Although some forms of economic globalization are inevitable and beneficial, globalization for economic reasons, at the expense of human health and the environment of future generations is nothing more than economic greed.
In the millennium report prepared for the army in 2005-2006 detailing the military role with the environment it is made clear that international treaties are often thwarted by foreign countries and economic interest. Environmental issues are also cited as the cause of military conflicts. Sadly they also detail the governments policy will be to continue to follow the international communities lead, because of interdependency with foreign economies.
This Administration Ocean initiatives policy states that all international treaties that have been ratified and those presently being adhered to will be honored. This means in its present form the ballast water provision in the International Law of the Sea treaty will apply for the waters of the United States at the Federal level. The millennium report also states that many problems exist with coastal countries and the provisions in international treaties.
Fortunate for the environment, is pressure being applied by the individual states of our country enacting their own laws as a results of this administrations failure and the pressure of environmentalist, technology is now available to address ballast water.
Unfortunately the continued failure of this administration to act with meaningful ballast water regulation has the shipping industry procrastinating on the economic investment to retrofit with technology quickly. As more shipping companies began to retrofit slowly the effect that logistics and cost would have to again create a cost competitive America will be forever lost, as human health and our environment continue suffering while waiting for an international solution or a purposed 20 year Coast Guard plan.
Our Great Lakes are also in danger from terrorist attacks using ballast systems according to Homeland Security as stated on their own web site.
Ships used exclusively on the Great Lakes should also be required for technology as it is now know from government studies that influenza, h1n1, bird flue, and mutations occur in FRESH water lakes and glacier and moved by birds. Ballast water should not facilitate this movement.

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