In an effort to control the spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes, the DNR wants to require international ships to treat their ballast water before releasing it in Wisconsin ports. Superior Mayor Dave Ross says the standard is being set much higher than what other states are doing and Wisconsin's rules would be unenforceable.
Superior is one of the state's busiest ports. Ross says the strict guidelines would result in ships going to nearby Duluth instead, where they'd face less stringent requirements. He expects similar situations would occur in ports across Wisconsin, and thousands of jobs would be lost in those areas.
Also, Ross says the proposal wouldn't actually help control invasive species. He says the technology is not yet perfected to effectively treat ballast water. As a result, Ross says ships would be unable to meet the treatment requirements being proposed by the DNR at this time.
Ross says Wisconsin needs to remain consistent with the rules being adopted by other states or the federal government needs to adopt a policy that will apply to all ports.