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Clean water act in peril

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Akron Beacon Journal: The shipping industry long has criticized the way the discharge of ballast water is regulated. Shippers argue the rules are too complicated and financially burdensome. They favor a single, national standard, and now they appear close to getting what they want with the Senate likely to take up a spending authorization bill covering the U.S. Coast Guard today.

Added to the measure is the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act. Unfortunately, the act risks much harm in the form of invasive species. Senators from the Great Lakes region, including Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman of Ohio, should be prepared to oppose the bill if the act remains attached.

If there are paths to regulatory improvements, this proposal does not fit the description. It would exempt the shipping industry from compliance with the federal Clean Water Act, the primary vehicle for protecting our nation’s waters.

Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes often are described as a natural treasure. That notion will suffer if the shipping industry gets its way.

Let’s not make things any easier for harmful invaders.