Judge tells EPA to regulate ballast water aboard ships
San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jane Kay quotes clinic director Deborah Sivas, director the Environmental Law Clinic and attorney for the environmental groups:
The San Francisco Baykeeper and other environmental groups won a legal victory of national significance Thursday, when a federal judge told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate ballast water from ships that enter U.S. ports and coastal and bay waters.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled in San Francisco that the EPA must require vessels to have pollution controls -- in the same way that it mandates belching factories to have them -- because ballast water is a pollutant being discharged to the nation's waters.
An attorney for the groups, Deborah Sivas, director of the ... Environmental Law Clinic at Stanford Law School, said the decision would drive the EPA and the shipping industry to come up with technologies to prevent releasing the exotic species within three miles of shore.
San Francisco Bay has been called one of the most invaded estuaries in the world. Five years ago, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board classified the bay as impaired, because of the high number of nonnative species, probably exceeding 250. The nonprofit San Francisco Estuary Institute has concluded that the influx of alien species is as serious a disruption to bay life as chemical pollutants.