DETROIT (WWJ) – The Executive Director of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority is asking City Council to support his effort to amend a state law that bans ships from dumping ballast water in Michigan waterways.

A ballast tank is a compartment within a vessel that holds water to aid in stability.

John Jamian said shipping companies are going to neighboring states and Windsor where the law aren’t as strict against ballast water for cargo.

“When a ship comes to Detroit she can unload, but she can’t load cargo, because to load cargo the ship has to discharge ballast water.

He said the strict laws are killing Detroit’s export businesses.

“It can double the volume of this port, because many, many companies that come to us, they come to us and they know they can import into the port, but they can’t export products,” Jamian said. “So, all of our companies in Detroit … we can’t send products out.”

Jamian said that every other U.S. state, and also Windsor, allow the dumping or ballast water.

State lawmakers banned the dumping of untreated ballast water after zebra mussels, an  invasive species, were discovered in the Great Lakes.


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