Michigan Lawmakers Back Ballast Water Bill; Snyder Opposes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan lawmakers have voted to weaken a policy that prohibits oceangoing cargo ships from releasing ballast water at state ports until it has been treated to kill invasive species, despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s opposition to the legislation.

The Republican-led Senate gave final approval to the bill Thursday, on a mostly party-line 25-11 vote.

The legislation would revise a 2005 law requiring saltwater vessels to use state-approved cleansing technology before discharging ballast water, which provides stability in rough seas. Scientists believe invasive species in the Great Lakes arrived in ballast water.

Michigan would adopt federal treatment standards under the bill heading toward Snyder’s desk.

Supporters say Michigan’s law makes the shipping industry less competitive and hurts state ports. Detractors say the measure would provide less protection for the Great Lakes.

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