The bill would amend Part 31 (Water Resources Protection) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to require the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to issue a permit for an oceangoing vessel engaging in port operations in Michigan if the vessel flushed its ballast tanks completely while at sea.
Part 31 requires all oceangoing vessels engaging in port operations in Michigan to obtain a permit from the DEQ. The Department must issue a permit if the applicant can demonstrate that the vessel will not discharge aquatic nuisance species; or, if the vessel discharges ballast water or other waste or waste effluent, that the operator will use environmentally sound technology and methods, as determined by the Department, that can be used to prevent the discharge of aquatic nuisance species.
Under the bill, the DEQ also would have to issue a permit if the applicant could demonstrate that the vessel conducted a complete flushing of all ballast tanks with sea water at a location at least 200 nautical miles from shore at a depth of more than 2,000 meters, or another location approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for safety reasons.
The bill would have no fiscal impact on State or local government.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.