Iowa Public Television


Judge Orders Permits to Curb Invasive Species

posted on April 1, 2005

A San Francisco federal court judge has ruled the Environmental Protection Agency no longer can allow ocean-going ships to dump ballast water without a permit. The permits are needed to reduce the spread of nonnative invasive species, which can harm local ecosystems, environmental groups say.

This is a slam dunk for healthy oceans, said Sarah Newkirk of the Ocean Conservancy. In 1999, the Ocean Conservancy and other environmental groups petitioned EPA to repeal the ballast water exemption under the Clean Water Act. They filed a lawsuit after the agency denied the petition.

Invasive species, such as Chinese mitten crabs and Asian clams, are blamed for causing millions of dollars in damage by clogging pipes and consuming large amounts of nutrients required by native species.

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