Court asked to review ballast permit

An environmental organization says a lax ballast water permit will not protect Lake Superior from invasive aquatic species.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy asked appeals court judges Thursday to order that the state Pollution Control Agency create a tougher ballast discharge standard to protect Lake Superior’s water quality.

Matt Norton, an attorney for the environmental group, said law requires that a permit should be intended to result in cleaner Lake Superior water.

“This permit does not protect or preserve the existing water quality of the lake,” Norton told the court in oral arguments.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Roche told the court that the Pollution Control Agency is choosing to regulate ship water discharges for the first time ever.

“This can only make water quality in Lake Superior better, not worse,” Roche said.

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