Government of Canada applauds New York State for withdrawing its ballast water requirements

OTTAWA, Feb. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Pierre Poilievre, welcomed yesterday's decision by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) to remove a threat to shipping on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System.

In a press release issued yesterday, NYDEC Commissioner Joe Martens — recognizing that shipping and maritime activity are critical to New York State and international commerce — agreed to a national approach to ballast water regulation in the United States.

"Canada applauds New York State for withdrawing its unattainable ballast water requirements and agrees that uniform standards are the best way to protect the marine environment," said Parliamentary Secretary Poilievre. "We welcome this action as enforcement of the rules on transiting ships would have stopped commercial shipping on the Seaway. This could have affected almost $11 billion in business revenue and up to 72,000 jobs in Canada and the United States."

Because of potentially far-reaching effects on the environment and the economy, Canada already has strong rules and regulations in place to reduce the risk of aquatic species invasions. "There have been no new species attributed to ballast water reported in the Great Lakes since 2006," said Parliamentary Secretary Poilievre. "As we move to implement even stronger rules to build on this accomplishment, Canada believes it is possible to simultaneously protect ships and their crews, the environment and the economy."

The Parliamentary Secretary added, "Canada remains strongly committed to protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species and ensuring the vibrancy of this shared water resource, and looks forward to internationally compatible ballast water requirements that will foster economic growth while preserving our natural resources."

More information on ballast water can be found at:

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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