Thursday, October 7, 2010

DEC Action Threatens Oswego Port, Shipping

OSWEGO (October 7, 2010)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today joined St. Lawrence Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson Jr. and Oswego Port Authority Executive Director Jonathan Daniels to speak out against Department of Environmental Conservation action that would impose unworkable rules governing the treatment of ballast water.

These rules threaten the future of shipping along the Seaway and into the Port of Oswego.

“We all want to protect our lake from invasive species that could impact our fish and wildlife tourism industries, but these regulations go too far,” said Sen. Aubertine, who wrote the DEC immediately after the action was proposed and has been leading the efforts in the Senate to bring the DEC to work with shipping interests and commerce. “The conditions imposed by this action are over-broad, and both economically and technologically unworkable. The end result of these regulations would be equal to shutting down the business that comes into our ports along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, impacting the jobs we depend on.”

The DEC action, which was not created by legislation but administratively, would require treatment of water discharged by ships to exceed existing standards 100 times greater than International Maritime Organization standards by 2012 and for new vessels constructed after Jan. 1, 2013, the standards would be expected to exceed 1,000 times current standards. No technology exists anywhere in the world to achieve this goal.

“The DEC has overstepped its bounds here and failed in its responsibility to subject this proposal to public comment and legislative oversight,” Senator Aubertine said. “We cannot shut down New York’s maritime economy to satisfy well intentioned but wrong advocates who think they are doing the right thing, but clearly do not understand the impact of their actions.”

This action would apply to all ships, whether or not they discharge ballast water. The marine industry has collaborated with the U.S. and Canadian governments to ensure strong protections against the introduction of invasive species. All vessels entering the Great Lakes region already comply with the most stringent ballast management regulations in the world. Foreign vessels are required to pump out their ballast water while still at sea and flush any empty tanks with ocean water. Since these rules were put in place in 2006, there have been no new discoveries of aquatic nuisance species entering the Great Lakes via ballast water.

“As the first U.S. port of call on the Great Lakes, the implications of these standards are disastrous. The Port directly employs 100 people and has a wider annual economic impact of more than $6 million,” Executive Director Daniels said. “The Port of Oswego is one of the most productive ports in North America with nearly 150 vessels and more than 1.1 million tons of cargo moving through the Port on an annual basis. Thirteen companies depend on the Port as part of their domestic and international logistics chain. International clients and cargoes span the globe from Brazil and the Netherlands, to Russia and Indonesia. The thought of closing the Port because our home state issued these regulations is inconceivable.”


1 comment:

Don M said...

If the US created national ballast water legislation, it would have a ripple affect in saving human life around the world, as IMO sea captains may be more inclined to use technology if it were on board while in counties without any way to enforce the ineffective,often dangerous,costly ocean flush. Waterborne disease in third world countries that rely on the sea for their food, could be curtailed, charity money for vaccines and medicine would have greater impact as needless illness could be prevented. To use the phrase economic globalization is giving the concept of producing and moving goods around the world for global economic development of 3rd world countries, more a place of respect as a concept than it is. Globalization of ideas, culture, education are great to help eliminate misunderstandings and exchange of knowledge, but the plan that boosting foreign economies, helping them develop strong exporting economies at the expense of our countries quality of life and environment is no more than the results of two decades of political dynasty’s using it as a way to create revenue for their political origins and their agendas. This is being done while putting the foundations of our countries core values and economy in peril by interlacement of our free economic beliefs with a communist countries controlled economic policy. To be dependent on a country to support our currency so our politicians can offer entitlements for votes, when the country we depend on dose not have an ideology that supports any of our ideals, is allowing them to have a say in our political process. (We can never be considered a free country as long as another country holds our purse strings) In other words the impact on peoples life through a policy of ECONOMIC globalization is about greed, rather than understanding. Our country with it diverse population, is already an experiment of cultural Globalization, that currently can not supply enough jobs for its own people. We need national ballast water to be considered as the law of the land, and not considered as a provission in the International Law of the Sea or a non-transparent military plan subject to "change" by the next commander and chief.