Ballast Water Management Hearing Held

Friday, March 26, 2004
On March 25, the Subcommittees on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation and on Water Resources & Environment of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure conducted a joint hearing on Ballast Water Management. The purpose of the hearing was to examine the international ballast water standards recently agreed to by the IMO and to review reauthorization of the National Invasive Species Act (NISA).

RADM Thomas Gilmour, USCG, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection, testified that the new international convention sets reasonable standards, while allowing individual port states to establish more stringent requirements.

Joseph J. Cox, Shipping Industry Ballast Water Coalition, testified in support of international regime adopted at IMO. James Weakley, President, Lake Carriers Association, stated that vessels operating exclusively on the Great Lakes should be exempt from ballast water management requirements and such issues should be addressed on a bi-lateral basis with Canada.

Professor Roger Mann, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, testified the risk of introduction of invasive species can not be eliminated, but it can be reduced through use of uniform and scientifically defensible standards. Catherine Hazlewood, The Ocean Conservancy, testified in support of the reauthorization of NISA, while offering recommendations for enhancing its provisions. David Ullrich, Executive Director, Great Lakes Cities Initiative, testified about the impact invasive species have had on local communities and advocated strengthening the role of local leaders in this regard. Allegra Cangelosi, Senior Policy Analyst, Northeast-Midwest Institute, testified concerning differences between the new international convention and the proposed revision to NISA and on enhancements that should be made to NISA. (HK Law)

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