U.S. Congressman Mike Pence voted today to protect Indiana jobs by supporting the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2838). The bill would prevent implementation of new regulations adopted by the State of New York to treat ballast water that are virtually impossible to achieve and would cost approximately 8,806 Hoosier jobs. The bill would create a single, achievable nationwide standard for ballast water used by ships entering America's waterways, in keeping with international standards. The bill passed by voice vote.
"At a time when so many Hoosiers are hurting, the last thing our state needs is more burdensome regulation," said Pence. "It is very important that we do everything in our power to protect our waterways from invasive species, but the regulations from the State of New York go too far. I am pleased to support this bill that will protect Hoosier shipping, port and other maritime jobs by creating a single, achievable nationwide standard for ballast water used by ships entering America's waterways."
Currently, the Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are required to operate under two federal laws regarding the treatment of ballast water. Individual states, including New York, have also imposed 29 additional restrictions. New York's restrictions, as noted in a letter from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Ohio Govenor John Kasich, are virtually impossible to achieve. The legislation would create a single, practical standard for the treatment of ballast water that conforms with the standards set by the International Maritime Organization.