A U.S. federal court has rejected a challenge by the shipping industry to the Environmental Protection Agency's VGP (Vessel General Permit), which is designed to halt the inhabitation and breeding of invasive species in U.S. waters by enacting a uniform regulatory regime for vessel discharge.
The permit released by the EPA regulates the ballast discharge and other substances ejected from vessels, especially in the Great Lakes region. In recent years, many species have invaded the Great Lakes that originated from other countries in ballast water dumping incidents, including zebra and quagga mussels.
The EPA-issued permit outlined rules and regulations for ship discharge and allowed for more than 100 state- and water body-specific conditions required by individual states to add provisions to protect their own water.
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