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5 Identifying and Exploring Options for the Great Lakes Region: The Committeeâs Approach As noted in Chapter 1, the two project criteria to be met by future options for the Great Lakes region differ in nature and scope. The requirement to enhance the potential for global trade is a broad mandate with no speciï¬c directives. In contrast, the requirement to eliminate further introductions of aquatic invasive species (AIS) into the Great Lakes by vessels transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway is absolute and narrow, addressing a speciï¬c vector (shipping) and a single route into the Great Lakes (the seaway). The requirement to eliminate further introductions has two other noteworthy features. First, the term âvesselsâ without any qualiï¬er required the committee to consider all three categories of vessel transiting the seaway: transoceanic, coastal, and inland (see Chapter 4). Second, vessels can introduce AIS not only through their ballasting operations but also via hull fouling. As discussed in Chapter 3, current evidence suggests that the importance of the ballast water vector far outweighs that of the hull fouling vector for AIS introductions into the freshwater ecosystem of the Great Lakes. Nonetheless, a better understanding of the role of hull fouling is needed to help ensure the elimination of further AIS introductions by shipping through the seaway. This chapter describes the process used by the committee to identify candidate actions to meet one or the other (or possibly both) of the two project criteria. It then discusses the strengths 87
88 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species and weaknesses of the individual candidates. In assessing the strengths and weaknesses, the committee took account of the re- quirement speciï¬ed in its task statement that the recommended options for the Great Lakes region be âpractical and technically feasible.â The chapter ends with the committeeâs conclusion about the possibility of establishing a suite of actions that would both enhance the potential for trade and eliminate further ship-vectored AIS introductions. IDENTIFYING CANDIDATE ACTIONS As a ï¬rst step in identifying and exploring options for the Great Lakes region, the committee developed preliminary lists of actions that could meet or contribute to meeting one or the other (or possibly both) of the two criteria. The preliminary lists drew on information obtained by the committee during its meetings and ï¬eld trips (see Appendix A), draft versions of the expert papers commissioned by the committee and discussions with the authors (see Appendix B), examination of the literature, and the expertise of individual com- mittee members. The strengths, weaknesses, unknowns, and uncer- tainties associated with each candidate action were identiï¬ed, and the lists of actions were developed further during a âbrainstormingâ ses- sion at the public meeting hosted by the committee in Toronto in May 2007 (see Appendix C). The resulting candidate actions to en- hance the potential for global trade and to eliminate further AIS in- troductions are listed in Boxes 5-1 and 5-2, respectively. The inclusion of a candidate action in Box 5-1 or 5-2 does not necessarily indicate that the committee viewed it as promising or en- dorsed the proposed approach. The intent at this initial stage was to capture a wide range of ideas and not to limit the investigation of candidate actions to those already being pursued. By engaging the authors of the commissioned papers, stakeholders, and the public in the process of identifying candidate actions, the committee sought to expand the list of possibilities beyond the status quoâwhile recognizing that some background knowledge of the issues is a
Identifying and Exploring Options 89 BOX 5-1 Candidate Actions to Enhance the Potential for Global Trade Invest in Transportation Infrastructure â¢ Develop binational strategy to ï¬nance seaway capital mainte- nance and renovation â¢ Establish new saltwater ports to handle transshipment through- out the Great Lakes region Develop an Array of Transportation Options â¢ Facilitate short-sea shipping â¢ Expand use of ships into the Great Lakes heartland â¢ Encourage more holistic treatment across all modes of transport â¢ Enhance intermodal service for bulk commodities â¢ Enhance intermodal service for containers Foster an Environment Conducive to Economic Development and Trade â¢ Develop a binational guarantee that the seaway will remain open â¢ Encourage greater collaboration among ports within the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway (GLSLS) system â¢ Build on bonding authority of ports â¢ Market freshwater assets of Great Lakes region in economic development strategies Account for the External Costs of Transportation â¢ Provide transition assistance to shippers â¢ Charge for externalities prerequisite to suggesting actions that are practical and technically feasible. The candidate actions listed in Boxes 5-1 and 5-2 are broad in scope and variable in their level of detail. Some of the underlying concepts have already been applied in different contexts (e.g., post- ing of bond and testing for compliance), whereas others are relatively unknown, at least in practice (e.g., charging for externalities). The committee gave due consideration to all the candidates listed,
90 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species BOX 5-2 Candidate Actions to Eliminate Further Introductions Exploit Ballast Water Management Technologies â¢ Require mandatory ballast water exchange or flushing with automated reporting â¢ Install shipboard ballast water treatment systems â¢ Implement design changes for new ships to enhance ballast water management â¢ Develop portable modular ballast water treatment system â¢ Provide shore-based ballast water treatment options â¢ Treat ballast water as it is handled (loaded or discharged) Adopt Ballast Water Management Regulations, Including Standards â¢ Adopt International Maritime Organization (IMO) ballast water standards for vessels entering the Great Lakes in advance of ratification of IMO convention â¢ Adopt ballast water standards more stringent than those of IMO â¢ Adopt ballast water standards more stringent than those of IMO, with voluntary phase-in period â¢ Implement tiered system of ballast water permits â¢ Regulate ballast water discharges in a manner consistent with the U.S. Clean Water Act Enforce Regulations and Standards â¢ Require posting of bond and testing for compliance â¢ Engage major shippers in requiring compliance with prevention measures Monitor Progress and Plan Ahead â¢ Implement surveillance, control, and rapid response capabilities â¢ Accelerate research and development on role of hull fouling as a vector for introductions Coordinate Prevention Efforts â¢ Coordinate state and provincial actions to prevent introductions â¢ Adopt uniï¬ed binational approach to IMO convention: Canada has indicated its intention to ratify, and the United States should follow suit
Identifying and Exploring Options 91 â¢ Harmonize U.S. and Canadian regulations such that both nations require saltwater ï¬ushing by ships with no ballast on board â¢ Be cognizant of different political mechanisms for implementing policies Involve Stakeholders â¢ Encourage environmental initiatives by the shipping industry â¢ Involve all Great Lakes users and beneï¬ciaries in seeking solutions â¢ Encourage self-regulation by carriers and shippers Assign Liability â¢ Encourage litigation under tort law â¢ Require carriers, shippers, and receivers to have âinvasive species insuranceâ Close the Seaway â¢ Introduce a moratorium on ocean vessels entering the Great Lakes until protective standards are in place â¢ Close the seaway to transoceanic shipping â¢ Close the seaway to all inbound vessel trafï¬c drawing wherever possible on reports about candidate actions that are already being investigated or implemented. The two following sections summarize the candidate actions to enhance the potential for trade and eliminate further ship-vectored AIS introductions and discuss their potential strengths and weaknesses. Areas of uncer- tainty and unknowns are noted, and any potential roadblocks are highlighted. CANDIDATE ACTIONS TO ENHANCE THE POTENTIAL FOR GLOBAL TRADE Economic development and ensuing trade are inï¬uenced by myr- iad forces. Some of these forces arise from government policies with regard to ï¬scal, monetary, and trade issues that affect expectations
92 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species among entrepreneurs who risk capital to profit from trade. Poli- cies related to tariffs and quotas have particular relevance to trade, as do the policies and practices of the public and private institutions needed to execute trade-related functions, such as customs agencies and customs brokers. Efficient transportation infrastructure and services are also important to economic de- velopment and trade. The discussion by Cangelosi and Mays (2006) of key drivers and inï¬uences for transoceanic waterborne trade activity in the GLSLS system illustrates how actions related to the global economy and ï¬nancial system can inï¬uence trade in the Great Lakes region. Ex- amples include the introduction or removal of U.S. steel tariffs, stipulations by the European Union concerning genetically mod- ified crops, increases in oil prices, rapid growth in development activities in China, and mergers of companies to form larger and more powerful global organizations. Given the focus of the current projectânamely, the seaway as a transportation route into the Great Lakes for both trade and AISâ the committee did not consider examination of the full range of actions potentially capable of enhancing the Great Lakes regionâs trade to be within the scope of its charge. Instead, as dictated by the overall study context and objective, it focused primarily on transportation-related actions for meeting the requirement to enhance the potential for global trade. This section summarizes candidate actions that may meet or contribute to meeting the ï¬rst project criterion, namely, enhance the potential for global trade in the Great Lakes region (Box 5-1). To facilitate the discussion, the candidates have been grouped into four categories: â¢ Invest in transportation infrastructure. â¢ Develop an array of transportation options. â¢ Foster an environment conducive to economic development and trade. â¢ Account for the external costs of transportation.
Identifying and Exploring Options 93 Invest in Transportation Infrastructure Investments in transportation infrastructure can enhance trade by reducing transportation costs. Thus, investing in the seaway infra- structure and in Atlantic ports could be a means of enhancing the Great Lakes regionâs potential for global trade. The seaway infrastructure has reached or exceeded its design life, and major renovations will be needed in coming years if ser- vice reliability is to be maintained. Absent such renovations, the decline in reliability could well lead to an associated decline in trade through the seaway. Developing a binational strategy to ï¬- nance the seawayâs capital maintenance and renovation could, therefore, contribute to enhancing the Great Lakes regionâs po- tential for global trade by removing an anticipated impediment to such trade. As discussed in Chapter 2, ongoing maintenance and long-term capital expenditures needed through 2050 to ensure the continuing reliability of the GLSLS system have been estimated at more than $2 billion (Transport Canada et al. 2007). However, given the difï¬culties experienced in the past in forecasting seaway trafï¬c (see Chapter 2), the impact of a major renovation project on seaway trade is difï¬cult to quantify with any conï¬dence. The expected growth in trade (notably container trade) from South Asia to North America through the Suez Canal and across the Atlantic Ocean has led to examination of opportunities to ex- pand port capacity along the northern range of Atlantic ports. The development of a new saltwater port in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is one option under consideration. Such port expansion and develop- ment could well increase the potential for global trade in the Great Lakes region and enhance opportunities to develop feeder services (see later). These candidate actions involving investment in transportation infrastructure are major and expensive projects that would take many years to complete. While renovation of the seaway infra- structure and development of a new saltwater port in Sydney, Nova Scotia, are both under consideration, it remains to be seen
94 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species whether these projects will be judged to have economic merit and whether the necessary funding will be available. Develop an Array of Transportation Options Facilitate Short-Sea Shipping and Expand Use of Ships into Great Lakes Heartland There is already considerable domestic short-sea shipping of both liquid and dry bulk cargoes within the GLSLS system. Because the seaway serves the industrial and agricultural heartland of North America, it could be used as a route for transshipping goods from saltwater ports on the east coast of North America to inland ports. Such transshipment would expand the use of ships into the Great Lakes heartland and might include container feeder services be- tween deepwater transoceanic ports on the eastern seaboard and Great Lakes ports, such as Hamilton, Ontario. Realizing new short-sea shipping services is seriously handi- capped by a number of Canadian and U.S. government policies, including the U.S. Harbor Maintenance Tax, customs regulations, a 25 percent Canadian import duty on vessels for domestic use built outside of Canada, and pilotage and cabotage rules. However, the governments of both Canada and the United States are ex- ploring issues related to short-sea shipping, which is viewed by many as offering a safe and sustainable alternative to increasingly congested land-based modes, notably highways.1 While some containerized cargoes have been shipped on the sea- way, containers currently account for less than 0.01 percent of total annual cargo tonnage through the MontrealâLake Ontario (MLO) section. The degree to which containerized trafï¬c will grow in the future is unclear. On the one hand, the GLSLS system is operating at only about 50 percent of capacity and could provide an alterna- 1 In 2003, Canada and the United States signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on Sharing Short- Sea Shipping Information and Experience, and in 2006, the U.S. Maritime Administration and Transport Canada jointly sponsored the North American Short-Sea Shipping Conference in Van- couver, Canada. At this meeting, Canada, the United States, and Mexico signed a trilateral decla- ration committing the three nations to expand marine highway operations in North America by establishing a steering committee focused on the creation of a trilateral strategy.
Identifying and Exploring Options 95 tive to some increasingly congested land-based corridors (Trans- port Canada et al. 2007). On the other hand, water-based modes are, in general, a slower means of transporting goods than land- based modes, and seaway-based container feeder services could have difï¬culty overcoming this time penalty. The seasonal nature of the seaway navigation system could also be a major disadvantage, since shippers and receivers would need to stockpile inventories of relatively high-value containerized cargoes or ï¬nd alternative means of moving goods during the seawayâs winter closure. Enhance Intermodal Services and Encourage More Holistic Treatment Across All Modes Enhancing intermodal services for goods moving on the seaway could add to the Great Lakes regionâs potential for global trade by offsetting the adverse impacts of policies aimed at preventing further ship-vectored AIS introductions. Such services would require im- proved integration of different transportation modes, as discussed in a recent report on the future of the GLSLS system (Transport Canada et al. 2007). Intermodal transportation service for bulk commodities of the types that often move on the seaway could be enhanced on cer- tain rail routes with spare capacity. Government-guaranteed loans, subsidized interest rates, or outright capital grants for in- termodal facilities could be provided to improve rail access for shippers now dependent on the seaway. Loans or tax credits might be provided to railroads or shippers to purchase additional hop- per cars to move bulk commodities by rail. Investments in more efficient transshipment facilities to move bulk commodities be- tween modes could be part of the overall effort. The initiative would be designed to meet the âbut forâ test; that is, but for the government assistance a market demand would not be met. Loan guarantees and interest rate subsidies would be preferred since they would require risk sharing by carriers, who would not act in the absence of expected demand. Intermodal transportation services for containers could be en- hanced through use of the same ï¬nancial mechanisms and through
96 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species promotion of intermodal service from the east coast of North America to the Great Lakes region by either water or rail. The committee was unable to obtain a clear picture of the extent to which there is unused rail capacity in the region of the GLSLS system. Some experts suggest that the rail network in northeastern North America is not facing any capacity constraints, at least for nonpriority freight. Others conï¬rm this view but note that logisti- cal issues, such as a lack of spare rolling stock, could limit oppor- tunities to shift cargoes from water to rail. Yet others indicate that there are capacity constraints and bottlenecks in certain areas, such as around Chicago. Thus, there may well be opportunities for some shifting of cargoes from water to rail as part of a strategy to enhance intermodal transportation services, but the extent to which such shifts are feasible is unclear. The ï¬nancial assistance mechanisms proposed are familiar to governments but may not be attractive. In Canada, government assistance mechanisms have been strenuously avoided in the trans- portation sector, where subsidies that distort modal selection are generally viewed as undesirable. Applying such strategies in one re- gion of Canada (the Great Lakes) and not others would also be problematic. Nonetheless, the seaway is already subsidized by the Canadian and U.S. governments, which provide funds for capital improvement projects and maintenance (see Chapter 2). In the case of intermodal services, however, the market may well stimu- late development without the need for government assistance, par- ticularly in the case of container movements, which are expected to grow considerably. Foster an Environment Conducive to Economic Development and Trade Role of Ports Encouraging greater collaboration among ports within the GLSLS system is a possible approach to enhancing the Great Lakes regionâs potential for global trade. While some ports may compete for car- goes, different ports serve different hinterlands to a large extent.
Identifying and Exploring Options 97 Hence, collaborative efforts to encourage use of the GLSLS system could beneï¬t the regionâs trade without compromising the compet- itive position of an individual port. Many Great Lakes ports are al- ready participating in an initiative that uniï¬es the GLSLS system of rivers, lakes, canals, locks, and ports under a single marketing brand, namely, Highway/Autoroute H2O (www.hwyh2o.com/). Through this effort, ports collaborate in encouraging use of the âmarine high- wayâ and seek to optimize its use as part of the supply chain. The ex- tent to which these efforts will affect longer-term trends in seaway trafï¬c is unclear, but some short-term beneï¬ts have been reported, with market developments centered on the Highway/Autoroute H2O campaign bringing in more than 500,000 tonnes of new cargo movements during the course of 2006 (GLSLS 2007). There may also be opportunities for U.S. ports to build on their bonding authority for competitive advantageâfor example, by facilitating nonmaritime development to take advantage of water- front assets or by investing in shore-based ballast water treatment or other industrial facilities.2 This candidate action would build on ex- isting abilities and trends, such as the development of waterfront housing, retail outlets, and ofï¬ce buildings.3 While such develop- ment can bring economic beneï¬ts, it could also result in more con- stituencies opposed to port operations and a resulting loss of trade. In addition, the economic feasibility of shore-based ballast water treatment facilities has been widely questioned (see later discussion), indicating that such facilities could constitute a risky investment. Develop Binational Guarantee That Seaway Will Remain Open Developing a binational (Canadian and U.S.) guarantee that the seaway will remain open to vessels complying with ballast water management regulations could help stimulate several seaway- dependent, economy-enhancing initiatives within the Great Lakes 2 Because Canadian ports do not have bonding authority, the option of using this authority for competitive advantage is available only to U.S. ports. 3 Speciï¬c examples of development projects already funded by ports in the Great Lakes region (Cleveland and Toledo) are cited by Cangelosi and Mays (2006).
98 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species region, such as developing new feeder services to deepwater con- tainer ports, enhancing trade in bulk commodities and specialized cargoes, and encouraging cruise ship operations associated with ecotourism. While it is not clear which, if any, of these ventures will prosper, all depend on unhindered shipping via the seaway. The current uncertainties about what regulations will be promul- gated, by whom, and when, and even about whether the seaway may be closed to some categories of vessels, make it difï¬cult for shipping companies to generate the investment capital needed to expand their capabilities and thereby catalyze economic develop- ment within the Great Lakes region. The proposed guarantee could be particularly important in en- couraging shipping companies that operate regular services into the Great Lakes to invest in new vessels designed to optimize ship- board management of ballast water and sediments. Thus, it could be a valuable component of a suite of actions to prevent further ship-vectored AIS introductions and enhance the potential for global trade. Market Freshwater Assets in Economic Development Strategies Given that drinking water is an increasingly precious commodity, it has been suggested that the Great Lakes region could market its freshwater assets in various economic development strategies.4 For example, a report from the Brookings Institution observes that the Great Lakes and its waterways offer âa tremendous opportunity for reinvigorating the economy of the region,â while other regions face long-term sustainability challenges arising from lack of water, among other factors (Austin et al. 2007, 10). The report envisages new technologies and industries built around an environmentally improved Great Lakes region. In the absence of speciï¬cs about such economic development strategies, the committee was unable to reach any conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of this candidate action or its likely impacts on the Great Lakes re- gionâs potential for global trade. 4 This candidate action would not involve exporting freshwater to other regions.
Identifying and Exploring Options 99 Account for the External Costs of Transportation Transportation services, such as shipping lines, railroads, and motor carriers, impose external costs on society as a result of their envi- ronmental impacts, including emissions, habitat degradation, in- troductions of invasive species, congestion, risk of accidents, and noise. While some organizations are choosing to change their actions in response to these detrimental effects on the environment, spe- cial measures are needed to address the issue of externalities in a consistent, rational, and comprehensive fashion. For example, laws or regulations may require particular actions or impose costs on polluters consistent with the costs they impose on society. Quan- tifying environmental effects as a basis for such laws or regulations remains problematic, however (see TRB 1996). Provide Transition Assistance to Shippers Shipping companies are likely to incur additional costs in ensur- ing that their vessels take measures to prevent further AIS intro- ductions into the Great Lakes. These costs may take various forms, such as capital and operating costs associated with shipboard bal- last water treatment systems,5 added time per voyage if additional port procedures are necessary, and opportunity costs if less cargo can be loaded. It is difï¬cult to generalize about the effects of such costs on voyage proï¬tability. In some instances, shipping compa- nies may be able to pass the additional costs on to customers in the form of higher freight rates. In other instances, competition from other modes of transportation may preclude this option, and the additional costs may have to be absorbed by the shipping com- pany. Under the latter scenario, some shipping companies might decide to cease operations into the Great Lakes altogether to avoid the costs of complying with requirements to treat ballast water on board ship. The resulting loss of competition could lead to increased freight rates for cargo carried on vessels transiting the 5 A recent report from Lloydâs Register (2007) tentatively estimates the cost of a 200-m3/h plant at $135,000 to $165,000, with operating costs ranging from $0.01 to $0.35 per cubic meter of treated water.
1 00 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species seaway, as well as reduced service to certain ports. An increase in the cost of shipping goods via the seaway would put steel companies, grain exporters, and other shippers at a competitive disadvantage, as would service reductions. This competitive disadvantage could result in some companies moving their facilities (and associated jobs) to locations outside of the Great Lakes region. To avoid such losses, ï¬nancial assistance could be provided to shippers during a transitional period to help them adjust to the higher transporta- tion costs. If water service were reduced to certain shippers, for ex- ample, assistance could take the form of subsidizing rail rates to facilitate the shift from ship to rail. The proposed transition assistance strategy could help mitigate the possible loss of manufacturing and other facilities, and associ- ated jobs, from the Great Lakes region. However, such subsidies could run afoul of the World Trade Organization, would be difï¬- cult and potentially costly to administer, and could be difï¬cult to terminate once established. Also, fair compensation could be dif- ï¬cult to establish, since the differential between water and rail rates is commercially sensitive information and not widely available. Moreover, a transportation subsidy that distorts modal selection would be unlikely to ï¬nd favor in Canada. Charge for Externalities The case of shipowners incurring additional costs to ensure that their vessels do not introduce AIS into the Great Lakes is an ex- ample of the far broader issue of the external costs associated with transportation services. To encourage trade with the least environ- mental impact, society could charge for such externalities by re- quiring carriers to internalize their external costs. This strategy, which could include the elimination of subsidies where they exist, would result in fairer competition among the different modes and in commerce that reï¬ects true environmental costs. However, it would increase the costs of transportation, and as a result it would not enhance the potential for global trade. In the committeeâs judgment, the above strategies for taking ac- count of the external costs of transportation are unlikely to enhance
Identifying and Exploring Options 101 the Great Lakes regionâs potential for global trade. However, if a global user-pay system were to be established, the Great Lakes re- gion might beneï¬t because the availability of water transportation could result in a lower overall incidence of environmental costs. Thus, the region could enjoy a relative trade advantage over some other regions. Concluding Remarks Various aspects of Great Lakes regional economic development, including opportunities to enhance global trade, are already being explored by many highly qualiï¬ed individuals and organizations in government, the private sector, and academia. For example, Canadaâs National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Corridors aims to enhance the competitiveness of the Canadian economy in the rapidly changing ï¬eld of global commerce.6 The two seaway corporations and Great Lakes ports undertake trade development functions aimed at enhancing use of the GLSLS sys- tem (Highway/Autoroute H2O), and entrepreneurs in the private sector are exploring new opportunities to develop transportation services linked to the seaway. And the aforementioned report from the Brookings Institution explores the broader regional economic beneï¬ts of restoring the Great Lakes ecosystem (Austin et al. 2007). Thus, it is not surprising that most of the candidate actions listed in Box 5-1 are already under investigation. In a number of instances, the future outcomes of the candidate ac- tions are uncertain and are difï¬cult to forecast with any conï¬denceâ for example, the growth of container shipping on the GLSLS system. Nonetheless, if commercial opportunities arise, the market may well respond without the need for government action, as in the example of developing improved intermodal transportation services. The efficiency of transportation infrastructure, including that of the seaway and of the GLSLS systemâs ports and harbors, is 6 Development of the OntarioâQuebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor will not only ex- amine global markets and trade opportunities for Canada but also address issues linked to trans- portation, including protection of the environment (Transport Canada 2007).
1 02 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species important for trade. Thus, candidate actions involving infrastruc- ture renewal and development may well enhance the potential for global trade, particularly in the longer term. The two cases examinedâdeveloping a binational strategy to ï¬nance seaway capital maintenance and renovation and establishing a new salt- water port to handle transshipment throughout the Great Lakes regionâwould both require major ï¬nancial investments and many years to bring to fruition. Expanding the use of ships into the Great Lakes heartland through the facilitation of short-sea shipping appears to be a promising candidate, although detailed recommendations about the imple- mentation of this strategy would require further investigation of policy issues that are beyond the scope of the committeeâs work. For example, analysis of any of the policy impediments to short- sea shippingâcustoms duties, import duties on vessels, the U.S. Harbor Maintenance Tax, pilotage and cabotage rulesâwould be a substantial undertaking requiring specialized knowledge and expertise. The committee concluded that there are few new and promis- ing transportation-related opportunities to enhance the Great Lakes regionâs potential for global trade over and above the candidate actions already under consideration. It did, however, identify one promising new approach to reducing impediments to global tradeâ developing a binational guarantee that the seaway will remain open to shipping. Whether such action would be compatible with actions to prevent further ship-vectored AIS introductions into the Great Lakes is discussed later. CANDIDATE ACTIONS TO ELIMINATE FURTHER AIS INTRODUCTIONS There are two fundamentally different approaches to eliminating further ship-vectored AIS introductions into the Great Lakes. The shipping vector can be eliminated either by removing or killing po- tentially invasive organisms carried by vessels or by keeping vessels
Identifying and Exploring Options 103 that may be carrying such organisms out of the Great Lakes. The candidate actions listed in Box 5-2 build on these approaches. For example, encouraging self-regulation by carriers and shippers and requiring posting of bond and testing for compliance are both ac- tions that could help ensure the effective implementation of tech- nologies that kill or remove AIS in shipsâ ballast water. Alternatively, the threat of litigation under tort law could deter vessels from trad- ing into the Great Lakes, thereby reducing the likelihood of further ship-vectored AIS introductions. This section describes candidate actions listed in Box 5-2 that may meet or contribute to meeting the second project criterion: eliminate further introductions of nonindigenous aquatic species into the Great Lakes by vessels transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway. To facilitate the discussion, the candidates have been grouped into the following categories: â¢ Exploit ballast water management technologies; â¢ Adopt ballast water management regulations, including standards; â¢ Enforce regulations and standards; â¢ Monitor progress and plan ahead; â¢ Coordinate prevention efforts; â¢ Involve stakeholders; â¢ Assign liability; and â¢ Close the seaway. Exploit Ballast Water Management Technologies Ballast Water Exchange, Saltwater Flushing, and Shipboard Treatment Systems Ship-based ballast water management technologiesânotably bal- last water exchange (BWE), saltwater ï¬ushing, and treatment (see Box 4-1)âare widely viewed as the most feasible technological approaches for preventing further introductions of AIS by ships entering the Great Lakes. The advantages and limitations of these technologies, including opportunities to enhance their effective- ness in new vessels, are discussed more fully in Chapter 6. Candi- date actions using these technologies are summarized brieï¬y here.
1 04 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species The proposed requirement for mandatory BWE or ï¬ushing with automated reporting would require all vessels that risk introduc- ing AIS through their ballasting operations to conduct open-ocean BWE [in the case of ballasted vessels (BOBs)] or ï¬ush their empty ballast tanks with ocean water [in the case of vessels with no bal- last on board (NOBOBs)] before entering the seaway. The salinity of water in the tanks of BOB and NOBOB vessels following BWE or ï¬ushing should be at least 30 ppt. As discussed in Chapter 4, the effects of BWE or ï¬ushing are twofold. Many freshwater organisms potentially able to ï¬ourish in the Great Lakes are killed by exposure to saltwater, and the concentrations of such organisms are greatly reduced by the dilution effects of the exchange or ï¬ushing process. Compliance with the proposed requirement would be moni- tored by automated shipboard systems, with information on the vesselâs Global Positioning System location, the salinity of water in its ballast tanks, and information about its ballasting operations being transmitted to the relevant authorities in advance of the ves- selâs entry into the GLSLS system. Noncompliant vessels would be required to take additional ballast water management measures before being granted permission to enter the seaway. The shipping industry currently uses automated shipboard re- porting systems for maintenance and insurance purposes, and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea requires certain vessels to carry voyage data recorders similar to the âblack boxesâ car- ried on aircraft. Discussions with experts in marine informatics and with vendors of black box monitoring systems for ships suggest that available technologies could be readily adapted to monitor the salin- ity of water in ballast tanks, although current systems are not being used for this purpose. Work would be needed to optimize automated shipboard reporting systems for monitoring BWE or ï¬ushing, but such systems could be fully implemented on both existing and new vessels within the next few years without the need to develop costly new technologies. Whether the associated expenditures could be jus- tiï¬ed would depend to a large extent on the time line for the imple- mentation of alternatives to BWE and ï¬ushing. If shipboard ballast water treatment systems and associated ballast water discharge stan-
Identifying and Exploring Options 105 dards render BWE or ï¬ushing redundant within a year or so, auto- mated reporting systems of the type described would probably not be a worthwhile investment. On the other hand, if BWE or ï¬ushing is more than a short-term stopgap measure for ballast water man- agement, automated reporting could be an attractive option. The main weakness of the candidate action just described (manda- tory BWE or ï¬ushing with automated reporting) is that the designs of current vessels limit the effectiveness of BWE and flushing in removing or killing freshwater organisms in ballast tanks. While methodologically rigorous studies have shown BWE to be highly effective in reducing the diversity and abundance of freshwater in- vertebrates in ballast tanks (see, for example, Gray et al. 2007), most ships were not designed to optimize exchange or ï¬ushing efï¬- ciency from a biological standpoint. Ongoing research using exper- imental and computational ï¬uid dynamics methods to examine the ï¬ow behavior inside ballast tanks during ï¬ow-through BWE has highlighted potential âdead spotsâ where very low local ï¬ow veloc- ities may prove problematic (Wilson et al. 2006). Changes in vessel design and modular construction methods could enhance the ef- fectiveness of BWE and ï¬ushing and could be incorporated cost- effectively in new-builds, but such changes represent a long-term solution, given the typical 25-year lifetimes of transoceanic vessels operating into the Great Lakes. As noted in Chapter 4, the oldest vessels in the current transoceanic ï¬eet are nearing the end of their useful service life, but more than 50 modern vessels have been in- troduced into service since 2000. Ballast water treatment systems installed on board individual ships to kill a wide range of organisms in ballast water are being de- veloped and evaluated, with commercially available systems meet- ing IMO specifications expected within the next year or so (see Chapter 4). Such shipboard systems would allow a vessel to treat its ballast water in transit or during normal ballasting operations. The main challenge in developing these treatment systems is to adapt proven water treatment technologies for shipboard opera- tion. For new-builds, cost-effective incorporation of ballast water treatment systems is not expected to be a problem, but retroï¬tting
1 06 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species such systems on existing vessels is likely to be technically challeng- ing and costly in many cases (Kazumi 2007). Portable Modular and Shore-Based Ballast Water Treatment Systems An additional technology-based ballast water management option would be to use a modular treatment system operating on the shipâs power independently of any ship function. The system would be placed on board a ship at a convenient location before it entered the seaway and removed when it was no longer needed. This option would have several advantages. Ships transiting the seaway would require only limited modiï¬cations to shipboard systems and would not have to conduct ballast water management before entering the seaway. In addition, there would be only a negligible delay in vessel transit times along the seaway. However, development of efï¬cient and effective ballast water treatment systems that could be modu- larized and that could operate unsupervised would be a major tech- nical challenge, particularly if treatment of NOBOBs as well as ballasted vessels were required. The geography of the GLSLS system with its pinch point at the en- trance to the seaway also appears to lend itself to the establishment of shore-based ballast water treatment facilities. The estimated total vol- ume of ballast water from ships entering the seaway is relatively small, so such facilities would not need to be extensive. However, bulk han- dling of ballast water from a ship to a shore-based facility is complex. With few exceptions, the types of ship using the seaway lack the ca- pability to transfer ballast ashore and would require extensive mod- iï¬cation with commensurate expense. While this option is possible, it would not be considered attractive by the shipping industry, par- ticularly in view of the unavoidable delays while the original ballast is removed, residuals are treated, and ballast is replaced so that the voy- age can be safely resumed. In addition, the economics of shore-based ballast water treatment facilities have been identiï¬ed as problematic by a number of authors (see, for example, NRC 1996). More recently, a study for Transport Canada explored the possibility of converting an existing shore-side wastewater facility at the Port of Belledune, New Brunswick, to a shore-based ballast water treatment facility to
Identifying and Exploring Options 107 supplement shipboard ballast water management practices (PPD Technologies 2006). The authors concluded that two major prob- lems would need to be overcome: how to load and off-load ballast water and how to ï¬nance the ongoing operation of a treatment plant on perpetual standby awaiting the few vessels that are not in compli- ance with current ballast water management regulations. Another re- cent assessment was more optimistic in its conclusions, but in this case, shore-based treatment was considered as the primary ballast water management method for transoceanic BOBs rather than as a supplement to shipboard ballast water management for noncompli- ant vessels (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 2007). Adopt Ballast Water Management Regulations, Including Standards The adoption of revised ballast water management regulations for vessels entering the Great Lakes has received widespread attention as a key component of efforts to prevent further ballast-mediated AIS introductions. Much of the discussion has concerned IMOâs International Convention for the Control and Management of Shipsâ Ballast Water and Sediments, and in particular the proposed ballast water performance standard (IMO 2004). Whether this proposed standard is sufï¬ciently stringent to protect the freshwater ecosys- tem of the Great Lakes has been the subject of much debate, and conclusive scientiï¬c evidence indicating the degree of stringency needed to protect the Great Lakes is lacking. The potential biolog- ical effectiveness and the technical feasibility of a standard more stringent than that proposed by IMO are topics for further re- search. Moreover, slow progress toward ratiï¬cation of the con- vention has led to suggestions that Canada and the United States adopt ballast water standards identical to those proposed by IMO in advance of the conventionâs entry into force.7 Canada has al- ready taken this step, but the United States has not. 7 The convention will enter into force 1 year after it has been ratiï¬ed by at least 30 nations repre- senting at least 35 percent of the worldâs oceangoing commercial tonnage. As of May 31, 2008, only 14 nations representing less than 4 percent of the worldâs tonnage had ratiï¬ed the convention.
1 08 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species As indicated in Box 5-2, several approaches to regulating ballast water management by vessels entering the Great Lakes can be en- visaged with the IMO convention as a baseline. As already noted, one option would be to restrict, before the convention enters into force, passage through the seaway to vessels equipped with treat- ment technologies capable of meeting the proposed IMO ballast water performance standard. Alternatively, Canada and the United States could set and implement a ballast water performance stan- dard more stringent than that proposed by IMO. Such a standard would reï¬ect the unique freshwater character of the Great Lakes ecosystem, and all vessels entering the Great Lakes would be re- quired to meet the more stringent standard. A variation on this ap- proach would involve establishing a more stringent ballast water performance standard than that proposed by IMO but with a vol- untary phase-in period. In this proposal, Canada and the United States would move as rapidly as possible to ratify the IMO con- vention and apply its ballast water standards, but as soon as possi- ble thereafter they would identify more stringent standards for the Great Lakes. Compliance with the more stringent standards would be voluntary, but vessels meeting them would be rewarded with signiï¬cant incentives, such as reduced tolls or port charges. At some time in the future, the more stringent standards would likely become mandatory.8 Ballast water management regulations for the Great Lakes that are not directly related to the IMO convention have also been pro- posed. For example, individual states and provinces could require vessels to purchase a permit and prove that they either will not dis- charge ballast water in state or provincial ports or that they are equipped to treat the water to prevent the release of AIS. Michigan has already implemented such a ballast water permit requirement for transoceanic vessels calling at its ports, and other Great Lakes states are considering following suit. A variation of this approach could involve a tiered system of ballast water permits, with the du- 8 Further discussion of the candidate actions outlined in this paragraph is provided in a paper commissioned by the committee (Hodgson 2007).
Identifying and Exploring Options 109 ration of the permit linked to the level of ballast water treatment the vessel could achieve. Vessels able to comply with the proposed IMO ballast water performance standard would be eligible for a 10-year permit, for example, whereas vessels able to comply with a more stringent performance standard would be granted a permit for the lifetime of the vessel. Yet another approachâregulation of ballast water discharges under the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA)âis currently being as- sessed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ballast water discharges have been excluded from the CWAâs permitting requirements since 1973, but in 1999 environmental groups peti- tioned EPA to repeal the ballast water exemption, claiming that the CWA prohibits discharge of pollutants, including biological materials, into U.S. waters without a permit. As a result of this and related lawsuits, EPA may be required to regulate ballast water dis- charges under the CWA after September 30, 2008, pending the outcome of an appeal. However, such regulation would not apply to discharges into Canadian waters and is of questionable value in protecting the binational waters of the Great Lakes. In particular, it would not prevent species discharged in Canadian waters from spreading into U.S. waters. All the proposed approaches for adopting revised ballast water management regulations, including standards, aim to allow âenvi- ronmentally responsibleâ vessels to continue operating on the Great Lakes while turning away vessels that are unwilling or unable to make the necessary technology investments and operational changes. One of the major challenges is to achieve this objective within the Great Lakes regionâs complex multijurisdictional system. While some argue that harmonization with international require- ments is desirable, others argue that IMOâs proposed ballast water performance standard is inadequate to protect the Great Lakesâ unique freshwater ecosystem. International standards aside, it is far from clear that the diverse organizations with authority to establish ballast water management regulations affecting vessels using the Great Lakes could agree among themselves on how best to achieve the desired protection. A complex patchwork of federal, state and
1 10 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species provincial, and local ballast water management regulations could well result, leading to reduced levels of compliance and increases in associated costs. New ballast water regulations and standards are also important in stimulating technology development, as evidenced by the increased effort to develop shipboard treatment systems following the estab- lishment of the proposed IMO standards in 2004. In this context, it may well be in the interests of Canada and the United States to move as quickly as possible in setting ballast water standards for the Great Lakes. In the absence of standards and the reduction of technical and market risks that they provide, the usual incentives for stimulating technology development are stymied. In particular, developers of ballast water treatment technologies are handicapped in attracting investment capital to investigate and develop new treatment systems in the absence of clearly deï¬ned requirements. This issue has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which funds the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationâs Ballast Water Management Demonstration Program. The purpose of this pro- gram is to create test platforms for use by technology vendors in de- veloping new ballast water treatment systems. Practical considerations about achievable levels of ballast water treatment and associated veriï¬cation capabilities are also impor- tant in establishing ballast water standards. At present, the only available performance data for shipboard ballast water treatment systems are from trials of prototypes. Experts anticipate that data from shipboard treatment systems on vessels engaged in com- mercial operations will prove valuable in assessing and improving system performance. Thus, there is considerable merit in setting ballast water performance standards at technically feasible levels that will encourage operational deployment of shipboard treat- ment systems, thereby providing an opportunity to learn from practical experience. In addition, compliance with the standard must be veriï¬able with available techniques.9 If compliance could 9 Gollasch et al. (2007) discuss some of the issues associated with ballast water sampling to demon- strate compliance (or noncompliance) with the IMO ballast water performance standard.
Identifying and Exploring Options 111 not be reliably demonstrated, the usefulness of the standard would be questionable. Enforce Regulations and Standards Without adequate enforcement, ballast water management regula- tions and accompanying standards would be of limited effective- ness in preventing further ballast-mediated AIS introductions into the Great Lakes. One approach to strengthening current en- forcement practices would be to require a vessel entering the seaway to post bond. Samples would also be taken from the ves- selâs ballast tanks and stored in a suitable repository for testing later. The sampling protocol could be based on the vesselâs risk of introducing AIS, as determined by factors such as its port of origin, its ballasting history, and the âtrack recordâ of its oper- ator. Historical data for individual vessels could also be used in the case of vessels that transit the seaway on a regular basis. Ran- dom spot checks of ballast tanks could also be conducted as part of the enforcement program. A vessel that failed the test because its ballast water did not comply with requirements would forfeit its bond. Such a scheme would have the advantage that samples could be taken while a vessel was in a lock or awaiting lockage, so the economic impact on operations would be minimal. Even if not all vessels were tested, the possibility of forfeiture could have a strong deterrent effect if the cost of the bond were sufficiently high. A major weakness, however, would be the delay between taking ballast water samples and testing them. This delay could result in the entry of a vessel carrying high-risk ballast water into the Great Lakes before remedial action had been taken. Although the vessel would forfeit its bond, the Great Lakes ecosystem would not be protected from the risk of new AIS introductions. In addition, distinguishing viable from dead organisms is not always an easy task, and development of specific assays would be needed for successful implementation of the proposed spot checking approach.
1 12 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species Monitor Progress and Plan Ahead Measures to prevent further AIS introductions into the Great Lakes could be supplemented by a surveillance program, which would focus on early detection of new invaders through targeted moni- toring. Guided by assessments of environmental susceptibility and species risk, such monitoring would target speciï¬c high-risk loca- tions and likely invaders. On detection of a new invasive species, an eradication assessment would inform decision making and guide the response to managing the invasion (eradicate or control). A sur- veillance program would also allow ongoing assessment of measures aimed at preventing further introductions and could inform the development of improved prevention measures.10 Efforts to gain a better understanding of AIS introductions into the Great Lakesâfor example, the importance of the hull fouling vector (see Chapter 3) and the risks of introduction associated with vessels in coastal trade (see Chapter 4)âcould also help in devel- oping a more robust set of prevention measures. In the committeeâs judgment, efforts to monitor progress in preventing further AIS introductions and investigate possible de- ï¬ciencies in current prevention strategies are key components of any technology-based approach to eliminating further AIS intro- ductions by vessels transiting the seaway. Coordinate Prevention Efforts As discussed in Chapter 4, rules and regulations specifying ballast water management requirements for vessels entering the GLSLS sys- tem are issued by the Canadian and U.S. federal governments and by the joint seaway authorities comprising the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the U.S. St. Lawrence Sea- way Development Corporation. Within the context of these rules and regulations, vessels may be required to comply with guidelines and codes of practice issued by industry groups, notably the Ship- ping Federation of Canada, the Lake Carriersâ Association, and the 10 Surveillance strategies and their beneï¬ts are discussed more fully in Chapter 6.
Identifying and Exploring Options 113 Canadian Shipowners Association. Thus, as Table 4-1 illustrates, the ballast water management requirements for vessels transiting the seaway are complicated and depend on a vesselâs ballast status (BOB or NOBOB) and its ports of origin and destination. In addi- tion, the state of Michigan has introduced its own ballast water management regulations, and local Great Lakes ballast water man- agement regulations were introduced in September 2007, when the U.S. National Park Service closed Lake Superior waters within the boundaries of Isle Royale National Park to release of untreated bal- last water (Lake Superior Magazine 2007). Many in the shipping industry have noted that a complicated patchwork of differing federal, state and provincial, and local bal- last water management regulations could well reduce levels of com- pliance while increasing associated costs. They have emphasized the importance of coordinating efforts to prevent further ballast- mediated AIS introductions. As noted earlier, the number of juris- dictions with authority to issue ballast water management regulations affecting vessels operating on the Great Lakes makes it difï¬cult to establish a harmonized system of regulations, particularly in the absence of robust scientiï¬c evidence about the levels of ballast water âcleanlinessâ required to prevent further ship-vectored AIS introductions. The arguments in favor of a holistic approach are well known. New invaders are oblivious to national, state and provincial, and local boundaries, and they will establish new pop- ulations wherever favorable conditions occur. Because the Great Lakes are open water, species discharged in Canadian waters will spread to U.S. waters, and vice versa. Similarly, species discharged in the waters of one Great Lakes state or province will spread to the waters of other Great Lakes states and provinces without regard for any state or provincial ballast water management regulations. Involve Stakeholders Engaging stakeholders in efforts to prevent further AIS introduc- tions into the Great Lakes is widely viewed as a key component of any prevention program, regardless of the vector of introduction.
1 14 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species For example, the âStop Aquatic Hitchhikersâ campaign has been effective in encouraging boaters and anglers to take action at water access points to prevent the spread of AIS, and the âHabitattitudeâ campaign has encouraged home aquarium and water garden own- ers to prevent the release of ï¬sh and aquatic plants into the envi- ronment.11 The Green Marine initiative, an environmental program of the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes maritime industry, is seeking to strengthen environmental performance through a process of continuous improvement, with the establishment of performance standards and codes of conduct, as well as implementation of guid- ance to members and veriï¬cation of adherence to agreed policies. Green Marine has identiï¬ed AIS as one of its priority issues and developed a series of collective actions aimed at reducing the risk of introducing and propagating aquatic organisms and harmful pathogens by means of shipsâ ballast water.12 Assign Liability Because transoceanic vessels entering the Great Lakes have been a major source of biological pollution in the form of AIS, some have argued that shipowners and operators should be held accountable for damages resulting from past releases. Proponents of this strategy would encourage litigation under tort law based on the princi- ple of âthe polluter pays.â As many have noted, however, establish- ing clear, unequivocal evidence that links a release of ballast water containing AIS by a particular vessel (a culpable defendant) to an invasion of a given species is problematic, not least because of the time lag between the release and the discovery and reporting of a new AIS in the Great Lakes (see Chapter 3). A recent study for the Great Lakes Protection Fund suggests that the law of nuisance may provide grounds on which to hold carriers (shipping companies) 11 As reported by Doug Jensen, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program, during a presentation to the committee entitled âItâs Not Just About Ballast Water: Opportunities and Successes,â Washington, D.C., July 31, 2007. 12 See Green Marineâs website, www.green-marine.org/index.php?lang=en.
Identifying and Exploring Options 115 accountable for unauthorized releases of invasive species (GLPF 2006), but this approach has not been tested in court. The committee is not qualiï¬ed to explore the likely legal impli- cations and ramiï¬cations of an approach to preventing further ship-vectored AIS introductions based on litigation under tort law. However, recent lawsuits relating to the regulation of ballast water under the CWA have been protracted, and the ï¬nal outcomes re- main far from certain.13 Thus, it appears unlikely that the litigation route would result in timely action to address the problem of AIS introductions by vessels transiting the seaway. Requiring carriers (ships carrying goods), shippers (those send- ing goods), and receivers (those receiving goods) to have âinvasive species insuranceâ to cover the damages associated with introduc- tions of AIS would take account of the âchain of responsibilityâ as- sociated with the supply chain. Rather than imposing the burden solely on shipping companies (carriers), it would ensure the in- volvement of those who ship and receive goods in promoting en- vironmentally responsible freight transportation.14 The results of the aforementioned study, however, raise questions about whether any insurer would be willing to offer AIS coverage (GLPF 2006). In general, the usual antipollution tools, such as bonding, insur- ance, assignment of liability, and litigation, may have limited ap- plicability in preventing AIS introductions because of the absence of robust evidence identifying a culpable defendant.15 13 As noted earlier, the litigation was initiated in 1999 when environmental groups petitioned EPA to repeal the long-standing exemption of ballast water discharges from the CWAâs permitting requirements. As of December 2007 (almost 9 years after the initial action), the issue remains unresolved. 14 Business for Social Responsibilityâs Clean Cargo Working Group is already seeking to involve both carriers and shippers in promoting environmentally and socially responsible transportation (www.bsr.org/membership/working-groups.cfm). 15 A statutory liability scheme modeled after the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Com- pensation, and Liability Act may be an option, although the committee is not qualiï¬ed to assess such an approach. Such a scheme would impose strict (that is, without regard to fault) joint and several liability on vessels that discharge ballast for the cost of remediation plus damages to nat- ural resources. Thus, the difï¬culty of identifying a culpable defendant could be circumvented.
1 16 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species Close the Seaway Closing the seaway to transoceanic shipping, either permanently or temporarily, has been proposed as a means of eliminating fur- ther AIS introductions into the Great Lakes.16 This candidate ac- tion is seen by many people as the most obvious and the most direct way of eliminating further AIS introductions vectored by transoceanic shipping. In the case of temporary closure (a mora- torium), transoceanic vessels would not be allowed to enter the Great Lakes until the Canadian and U.S. governments enforce bal- last water regulations that protect the lakes from further AIS in- troductions. Cargo would be off-loaded from transoceanic vessels before entering the lakes and would be transshipped by laker,17 barge, rail, or truck to its destination within the Great Lakes region. A preliminary estimate indicates that the transportation cost in- creases resulting from a cessation of transoceanic shipping in the Great Lakes would be approximately $55 million per year (Taylor and Roach 2005). This analysis has shortcomings, as discussed in Appendix D, and does not, in the committeeâs judgment, consti- tute a robust basis for informing a major transportation policy decisionâthat is, whether to close the seaway to transoceanic shipping. Nonetheless, it is the only published estimate of trans- portation cost savings associated with transoceanic vessels using the seaway, and at the time of writing, no alternative (improved) estimate has been proposed. Closing the seaway to transoceanic shipping would eliminate the leading vector for AIS introductions into the Great Lakes, namely, the ballast water of transoceanic vessels. This action would not, however, eliminate further AIS introductions by vessels tran- siting the seaway. Two categories of vesselâcoastal and inlandâ would continue to operate through the seaway, and both could transport new AIS into the Great Lakes, as discussed in Chapter 4. 16 See, for example, Great Lakes Unitedâs Salt Free Lakes campaign (www.glu.org/english/invasive_ species/saltfreelakes/index.htm). 17 As noted in Chapter 4, the term âlakerâ is often used to describe vessels that operate within the GLSLS system. Some of these vessels also operate within Canadian and U.S. coastal waters.
Identifying and Exploring Options 117 Thus, closing the seaway to transoceanic vessels would signiï¬- cantly reduceâbut not eliminateâthe risk of further AIS intro- ductions into the Great Lakes by vessels transiting the seaway.18 Complete closure to all vessel trafï¬c would, however, guarantee the elimination of all further AIS introductions by vessels transit- ing the seaway, as required by the second project criterion. Concluding Remarks While Box 5-2 lists a number of promising candidate actions to eliminate, or help eliminate, further ship-vectored AIS introduc- tions into the Great Lakes, the committeeâs review indicates that most are not stand-alone options. They would need to be part of a suite of actions aimed at meeting the second project criterion. For example, ballast water management technologies would need to be combined with appropriate regulations, enforcement, and monitoring to ensure that the technologies were being imple- mented correctly and were proving effective in preventing further AIS introductions. In contrast, closing the seaway to all vessel trafï¬c appears, at least at ï¬rst sight, to be a more straightforward and effective ap- proach. It is the only candidate action listed in Box 5-2 that could guarantee to eliminate all further ship-vectored AIS introductions into the Great Lakes. This action would eliminate not only the bal- last water vector associated with transoceanic, coastal, and inland vessels, but also the hull fouling vector. This latter vector is far less well studied and understood than the ballast water vector in the context of AIS introductions into the Great Lakes and is thought to pose far less risk (see Chapter 3). Nonetheless, the absolute re- quirement to eliminate further ship-vectored introductions dic- tates that even relatively minor invasion risks not be ignored. However robust technology-based measures are and however much they improve over time, they cannot guarantee to eliminate every viable propagule from a vesselâs ballast system and thus to 18 Other strengths and weaknesses of closing the seaway to transoceanic vessels are examined in detail in the next chapter.
1 18 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species eliminate ballast-mediated AIS introductions. In some cases, a single propagule could, in principle, give rise to a new population. Closing the seaway to all vessels would obviate the need for such ballast water management technologies, as well as regulations and enforcement. Thus, complete closure of the seaway to vessel trafï¬c appears to be the most promising candidate action to eliminate further ship- vectored AIS introductions into the Great Lakesâand is the only candidate identiï¬ed by the committee that could guarantee to meet the absolute requirement to eliminate further introductions by vessels. The effects of this candidate action on the other project criterionâenhancing the Great Lakes regionâs potential for global tradeâare discussed in the following section. OPTIONS THAT MEET BOTH CRITERIA? Closing the seaway to all vessel trafï¬c would not, of course, pre- vent all further AIS introductions into the Great Lakes. Histori- cally, 30 to 45 percent of AIS introductions have been attributed to nonshipping vectors (see Chapter 3), and these vectors would not be eliminated by closing the seaway. Nonetheless, closing the sea- way to all vessels would eliminate further ship-vectored AIS intro- ductions into the Great Lakes via the seaway. This action would also eliminate a trade route into and out of the Great Lakes. If the seaway were closed to all vessel trafï¬c, some cargoes could move by alternative modes and routes. Evaluating transportation system capacity is difï¬cult, but it is doubtful that these alternatives currently have sufficient spare capacity to handle the more than 30 million tonnes of cargo moving through the MLO section of the seaway each year.19, 20 Alternative transportation options for sea- 19 For the purposes of the present discussion, the MLO section of the seaway was assumed to be the point of entry into the Great Lakes. 20 For the 10 years from 1997 through 2006, the volume of cargo moving on the MLO section of the seaway each year has ranged from a low of 28.9 million tonnes in 2003 to a high of 39.2 million tonnes in 1998, with an average annual volume of 33.5 million tonnes (seaway trafï¬c reports at www.greatlakes-seaway.com).
Identifying and Exploring Options 119 way cargoes would likely emerge over time in response to market demand, but the costs of moving cargoes would increase because of the elimination of competition from the seaway. Such trans- portation cost increases would not enhance trade, and some in- dustries and sectors could be particularly hard-hit. For example, about 40 percent of the iron ore extracted from the mines of the Labrador Trough in Quebec moves upstream through the MLO section of the seaway to steel mills in the United States and Canada (Transport Canada et al. 2007). The committee concluded, there- fore, that complete closure of the seaway to all vessel trafï¬c would not enhance the Great Lakes regionâs potential for global trade. Because there is no alternative to complete seaway closure for eliminating further ship-vectored AIS introductions, and because such closure would be incompatible with the requirement to en- hance the potential for global trade, the committee concluded that there is no option that could meet both project criteria simultane- ously. It is not possible to combine actions meeting the two crite- ria individually in such a way that the potential for global trade is enhanced and further AIS introductions by vessels transiting the seaway are eliminated. The committee focused, therefore, on identifying compromise options that would both enhance the Great Lakes regionâs poten- tial for global trade and greatly reduce the risk of further ship- vectored AIS introductions via the seaway. The following chapter presents the committeeâs conclusions about possible compromise options, with particular reference to the two different approaches to preventing further ship-vectored AIS introductionsâremoving or killing organisms carried by vessels or keeping these vessels out of the Great Lakes altogether. It then enumerates the actions nec- essary to implement the committeeâs recommended approach for greatly reducing the risk of further AIS introductions by vessels transiting the seaway and enhancing the Great Lakes regionâs po- tential for global trade.
1 20 Great Lakes Shipping, Trade, and Aquatic Invasive Species REFERENCES Abbreviations GLPF Great Lakes Protection Fund GLSLS Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway IMO International Maritime Organization NRC National Research Council TRB Transportation Research Board Austin, J. C., S. Anderson, P. N. Courant, and R. E. Litan. 2007. Healthy Waters, Strong Economy: The Beneï¬ts of Restoring the Great Lakes Ecosystem. Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. www.healthylakes.org/site_upload/upload/GrtLakesCostBeneï¬t.pdf. Cangelosi, A., and N. Mays. 2006. Great Ships for the Great Lakes? A Scoping Report for the Great Ships Initiative. Northeast Midwest Institute, Washington, D.C. GLPF. 2006. Final Report on Grant 706, Investigation of Potential of Risk Management as a Stimulus to Action for Reducing or Eliminating Unauthorized Introduction of Invasive Species into Great Lakes Waters. Evanston, Ill. GLSLS. 2007. Seawayâs 48th Navigation Season Established New Record. Cornwall, On- tario, Canada, Jan. 2. www.greatlakes-seaway.com/en/news/pr20070102.html. Gollasch, S., M. David, M. Voigt, E. Dragsund, C. Hewitt, and Y. Fukuyo. 2007. Critical Review of the IMO International Convention on the Management of Shipsâ Ballast Water and Sediments. Harmful Algae, Vol. 6, pp. 585â600. Gray, D. K., T. H. Johengen, D. F. Reid, and H. J. MacIsaac. 2007. Efï¬cacy of Open-Ocean Ballast Water Exchange as a Means of Preventing Invasions Between Freshwater Ports. Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 52, No. 6, pp. 2386â2397. Hodgson, J. R. 2007. Carrots and Sticks: Opportunities to Accelerate the Development and Adoption of Ballast Water Treatment Technologies for Vessels Operating into the Great Lakes. Hodgson and Associates, Halifax, Nova Scotia, April. IMO. 2004. International Convention for the Control and Management of Shipsâ Ballast Water and Sediments. London, United Kingdom. Kazumi, J. 2007. Ballast Water Treatment Technologies and Their Application for Vessels Entering the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway. University of Miami, Fla., May. Lake Superior Magazine. 2007. Isle Royale National Park Prohibits Untreated Ballast Water Release. www.lakesuperior.com/news/070918.html. Lloydâs Register. 2007. Ballast Water Treatment Technology: Current Status. June. NRC. 1996. Stemming the Tide: Controlling Introductions of Nonindigenous Species by Shipsâ Ballast Water. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. PPD Technologies, Inc. 2006. Ballast Water Study. Transport Canada.
Identifying and Exploring Options 121 Taylor, J. C., and J. L. Roach. 2005. Ocean Shipping in the Great Lakes: Transportation Cost Increases That Would Result from a Cessation of Ocean Vessel Shipping. Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Mich., Aug. www.gvsu.edu/cms3/assets/C6D78A67-0AEF- 0264-A38619EC6FB0793A/OceanShippingReport091105.pdf. Transport Canada. 2007. Governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec to Develop the OntarioâQuebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor. News release, July 30. www.tc.gc.ca/mediaroom/releases/nat/2007/07-h141e.htm. Transport Canada, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Transportation, St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, Environment Canada, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2007. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Study. Final Report. www.glsls-study.com/Supporting%20 documents/GLSLS%20ï¬nalreport%20Fall%202007.pdf. TRB. 1996. Special Report 246: Paying Our Way: Estimating Marginal Social Costs of Freight Transportation. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Wilson, W., P. Chang, S. Verosto, P. Atsavapranee, D. F. Reid, and P. T. Jenkins. 2006. Computational and Experimental Analysis of Ballast Water Exchange. Presented at American Society of Naval Engineers Marine Environmental Engineering Technical Symposium, Arlington, Va., Jan. 23â24. www.ensight.com/images/stories/pdf/MEETS_ 2006_Wilson_etal_ï¬nal.pdf. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 2007. Onshore Treatment of Ship Ballast Water Feasible, Study Concludes. DNR News, Dec. 4. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/ news/DNRNews_Lookup.asp?id=96#art6.