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Michigan Governor Vetoes Ballast Water Legislation

Sleeping Bear Dunes
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed legislation that would have replaced the state's ballast water discharge requirements for oceangoing vessels with federal regulations.

The Republican governor wrote in a letter to lawmakers Friday that the bill language is "ambiguous at best" and "there can be no ambiguity when it comes to the safety of our Great Lakes." He says the measure potentially could have increased the risk of new aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes.

The legislation would have revised a 2005 law requiring saltwater vessels to use state-approved cleansing technology before discharging ballast water, which provides stability in rough seas. The bill had won largely party-line approval in the Republican-led Legislature, where backers said Michigan's stringent restrictions have driven oceangoing export business to surrounding states.

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