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Court: Feds failed on invasive species

Forum News Service

NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court panel ruled Monday that the federal Environmental Protection Agency has failed to adequately protect the country's water from invasive species introduced by ship ballast water discharge.

Supporters of the unanimous ruling, made by a New York-based court, say ballast water-introduced species cost taxpayers and industry billions of dollars a year to clean up the infestations.

“This is a huge win for our environment, economy, fish, wildlife, communities and businesses," said Marc Smith of the National Wildlife Federation. "The court, in no uncertain terms, has told the federal government that it needs to uphold its responsibility under the Clean Water Act to protect our drinking water, jobs and way of life. This decision is welcome news for the millions of families, anglers, hunters, paddlers, beach-goers and business owners who have borne the brunt of damages from aquatic invasive species for far too long."

The ballast issue has been much discussed in northeastern Minnesota, where ships have dumped water into Lake Superior.