US court rejects challenge to EPA ballast permit

July 25, 2011 - 12:59 PM

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal court has rejected a shipping industry challenge to a government permitting system designed to prevent the spread of invasive species in U.S. waters.

The permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency regulates discharges of ballast water and other substances such as bilge water from vessels.

Many species that have invaded and disrupted ecosystems and cost billions of dollars in the Great Lakes and elsewhere in recent decades arrived from other countries in ballast water. Among them are zebra and quagga (KWAH'-guh) mussels.

The EPA permit sets rules for ship discharges and lets state governments add provisions to protect their own waters. Shipping groups asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to throw out the additional state requirements.

In a ruling Friday, the court refused.