Ballast Law Stands Up

August 17, 2007
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DETROIT – A lawsuit filed by nine shipping companies and associations which sought to overturn Michigan law regulating ballast water discharges by oceangoing ships was dismissed last week by U.S. District Judge John Feikens.

State Sen. Patty Birkholz, R-SaugatuckTownship, who sponsored the 2005 measure, lauded the court ruling. 

"The decision reached by Judge Feikens was a great success for Michigan and the entire Great Lakes region," she said.  "It confirms that states have the authority to regulate commerce if there is a valid threat to the public welfare. The introduction of invasive species is such a threat for the Great Lakes and causes many problems for our ecosystem."

Oceangoing shipping companies filed a lawsuit in March against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the attorney general claiming that the ballast water law prevented them from doing business.

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