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Published November 04, 2011, 02:26 PM

House prepares to vote on ship ballast standard

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The U.S. House is preparing to vote on legislation that would set a nationwide standard for cleansing ship ballast water to kill invasive species and prohibit states from setting their own policies.

By: John Flesher, Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The U.S. House is preparing to vote on legislation that would set a nationwide standard for cleansing ship ballast water to kill invasive species and prohibit states from setting their own policies.

Most of the invasive species in the Great Lakes are believed to have arrived in ballast tanks of oceangoing ships. Among them are zebra and quagga mussels, which have done millions in damage.

More than two dozen states regulate ballast water discharges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release federal standards this month.

But a bill sponsored by Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey would pre-empt EPA by adopting an international standard that environmentalists say is too weak. LoBiondo says the rules could be strengthened as technology improves.

A vote could come as early as Friday.

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