HOLT: New York threatens to ballast Indiana exports

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

HoltIt’s no secret that Indiana’s unmatched interstate access and extensive rail network have earned the state a reputation as the Crossroads of America, but Indiana’s waterborne shipping industry also plays a vital role in the state’s position as a logistics powerhouse.

Indiana ranks 15th nationally in terms of foreign and domestic waterborne shipping, with key ports on the Ohio River and Great Lakes.

However, recently adopted regulations in New York governing the discharge of ballast water—the water cargo ships take on to maintain stability when not fully loaded—threatens to cut off one of Indiana’s key gateways, the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

In 2004, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the maritime arm of the United Nations that coordinates international shipping policy, crafted an international treaty calling for ballast treatment technology on all vessels operating throughout the world. The world’s shipping industry supports these requirements.

Because Congress failed to enact domestic legislation implementing the IMO agreement, every Great Lakes state, including Indiana, was left to adopt its own ballast water discharge regulations. Indiana, and the other Great Lakes states, adopted regulations mirroring the IMO requirements.

The new regulations passed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) require that by Jan. 1, 2013, all vessels operating in New York waters must clean and treat ballast water to a standard 100 times greater than those established by the IMO—meaning discharged ballast water would be cleaner than the tap water in the average American home.

Since cost-effective technology does not exist to meet New York’s proposed standards, the regulations will result in an effective blockade of Indiana’s Great Lakes ports—a major economic hit considering waterborne shipping along Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline contributes $14 billion per year in economic activity to the state economy and more than 104,000 jobs.

Despite the fact that Hoosier leaders had no say in these regulations, they will have a profound impact on the state’s commerce. The Saint Lawrence Seaway, which would fall under New York’s regulations, facilitates half of all shipping activity to and from the Great Lakes. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handles more ocean-going cargo than any other U.S. Great Lakes port.

Ships entering the Great Lakes from overseas already comply with the most aggressive ballast water management requirements in the world, so New York’s onerous and costly regulations are unjustified.

Under federal law, every ocean-going vessel must exchange its ballast water while at sea. This practice physically flushes organisms from the ships’ ballast tanks, and the salinity of ocean water kills many organisms.

Clearly, this is an important issue to Indiana and its logistics industry. The Great Lakes maritime industry supports further protections against the spread of invasive species, including new regulations being developed by the U.S. Coast Guard that will require ocean-going vessel owners to install technology to clean ballast water to standards established by the IMO. These regulations are achievable.

This is an issue that has a wide impact on a lot of states. Conexus wants Indiana to continue to strengthen its position as a logistics leader and have the foresight to make sure we protect and further all avenues for continued growth.•


Holt is vice president of operations and business development for Conexus Indiana, a not-for-profit promoting advanced manufacturing and logistics. Views expressed here are the writer’s.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Here are a few candidates for this new group, "ripped from the headlines." First up, that bizzaro State Senator Brent Waltz; secondly, the unethical Todd Huston, and his contractual arrangements scheme; Finally, but not least of all, the dishonorable Eric Turner. What sayeth you Greg Zoeller?

  2. Good day. I can't hide this great testimony that take place in my life I will love everyone to know it and be partaker that is why I always place it on answer, I am Mrs,Natalie Cuttaia by name, I live in Texas, United State Of America, I want to thank (Mr.Bruce Brandon) for his kindness upon my family life. I never knew that there is still nice lender like this on internet and earth here. Just some Months Back, I was in search for a loan of $100,000,00 as I was running out of money for feeding and rent. I was scammed $6,800 Dollars and I decided not to involve my self in such business again but a Friend of my introduced me to a loan firm due to my appearance and doings. And I told him that I am not interested of any loan deal anymore but he told me that there is still a nice lender who he will recommend me to, and I made a trial and I am most grateful lucky am I today, I was given a loan amount of $100,000.00usd, by this great Company (Bruce Brandon Loan Company) managed by (Mr.Bruce Brandon) If you are in need of a genuine or legit loan or financial assistance and you can be reliable and trusted of capable of paying back at the due time of the funds I will advice you to, contact him via: ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com ) And you will be free from scams in the internet. All thanks to Mr.Bruce Brandon You are the one who remove me and my family out of poverty. The reason why i am doing this is that, i promise Mr.Bruce Brandon that if i truly got my loan, i will advertize his company and bring customers to his company. Contact him via ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com )for the Loan you have been looking for..

  3. Hello, We are firm Organization formed to help people in needs of helps,such as financial help. So if you are going through financial difficulty or you are in any financial mess,and you need funds to start up your own business,or you need loan to settle your debt or pay off your bills,start a nice business, or you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks,contact us today via email mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com So do not let these opportunity pass you by because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Please these is for serious minded and God fearing People. Your Name: Loan Amount: Loan Duration: Valid Cell Phone Number: Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await Regards Management Email:mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com

  4. The question is, where could they build a new stadium? It seems in the past year, all the prime spots have been spoken for with potential projects. Maybe in the industrial wasteland area a block past Lucas Oil? I think it needs to be close to the core, if a new stadium is built.

  5. Aldi is generally a great shopping experience. Still, I'm sure YOU wouldn't want to shop there, which I consider a positive.