Unachievable US Regulation Threatens Investments in the Canadian Short Sea Shipping Industry

OTTAWA, April 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) is concerned with a permit published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as it could threaten the commercial viability of its members' ships and impact the operations of the industries they serve.

The EPA's Vessel General Permit applies to the discharge of ballast water by ships. Although the EPA has aligned its standard for international shipping with that of the United States Coast Guard, its application to Canadian domestic vessels calls into question the scientific basis for the permit.

Canadian ship owners have a reputation for innovation and have invested over 700 million dollars in construction of 14 new vessels with the latest in environmental technologies. Despite this investment in the protection of the marine environment, a technology that will work in the fresh and cold waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway does not exist.  In the near-term, the only reasonable approach is to treat all domestic vessels equally in all domestic Canadian and US waters out to the Canadian Exclusive Economic Zone, as the United States Coast Guard has done in its Rule.

"Our members have tried to find solutions to comply with a problem that has yet to be quantified clearly with science," said Robert Lewis-Manning, President of the Canadian Shipowners Association. "We are calling on the Government of Canada to continue working with us to develop a flexible, bi-national non-discriminatory regime that will keep ships sailing while protecting the marine environment."

"Our industry plays an important role in linking Canadian commodities to continental and global markets and is poised for sustainable growth," said Lewis-Manning.  "However, this US permit could damage business by significantly increasing costs, negatively affecting Canadian commodity movements and Canadian vessel trading patterns, and shifting them to road and rail."

About the Canadian Shipowners Association

The Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) represents the interests of Canadian companies with domestically flagged vessels.  The Association advocates in the development of marine policy, regulations and operational matters for ship owners operating vessels on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Waterway, the Arctic and the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada.

SOURCE: Canadian Shipowners Association

For further information:

Robert Lewis-Manning (613) 232-3539