TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A plan gaining support in Congress would set a nationwide policy for treating ballast water dumped from cargo ships. The shipping industry favors it, but environmentalists say it would open the door to more invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels.
The provision was added to a defense bill the House approved last week. It was sponsored by Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, who says it's designed to simplify a patchwork of state and federal rules that confuses shippers and hampers interstate commerce.
Opponents say the measure would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of power to regulate ballast discharges and remove any financial incentive for the industry to improve technology for cleansing the water.
Shippers say existing standards are succeeding.