A New York federal appeals court has ordered the government to revise its rules regarding the discharge of ballast water by ships.
Earlier this week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in 2013 when the agency decided to follow international standards governing the discharge of harmful organisms through ballast water even though technology existed to exceed those standards.
The court also criticized the EPA for relying upon shipboard ballast water treatment facilities rather than considering options on shore.
Ballast water has been implicated the the transfer of marine invasive species between regions, an issue that has notably affected the Great Lakes region where invasive zebra mussels have caused extensive ecosystem damage.
The suit against the EPA was brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Center for Biological Diversity, and Northwest Environmental Advocates.
The court allowed the current permit to stay in place until the EPA issues a rewritten permit.
Read the full decision here.