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PNS Daily Newscast - March 9, 2021 

IA reporter trial renews calls to protect press freedoms; California movement to ban new gas stations is spreading.

2021Talks - March 9, 2021 

The House votes on the American Rescue Plan, President Biden signs orders to advance gender equity, and with legislation pending to protect voting rights, pressure grows to end the Senate tactic of the filibuster.

New Agreement Boosts Fight Against Invasive Species in Great Lakes

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March 9, 2011

LANSING, Mich. - Conservation organizations say a new settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a major step toward stemming the tide of invasive species making their way into the Great Lakes and other major American waterways. National Wildlife Federation Senior Counsel Neil Kagan says, although the settlement doesn't necessarily address invasive species that have already established populations in U.S. waters, it could prevent additional species from being introduced.

"The EPA identified 58 species as posing a high or medium risk for becoming established in the Great Lakes and for causing ecological harm. So, there are other species in other parts of the world that have a likelihood of invading the Great Lakes unless steps are taken to stop them."

Kagan says the new permit will not go into effect until 2013 when the current permit expires. That allows ships a couple of years to upgrade on-board technology. Once in place, the permit will cover four years instead of five, he adds.

"Technology in this area is developing rapidly, and EPA wants to be able to make sure that new technology is put online sooner than it would be if the length of the permit were longer."

Non-native species from foreign countries that can wreak havoc on ecosystems often hitch a ride across borders in the ballast water of commercial ships. Conservation groups filed a lawsuit two years ago to force the EPA to deal with the problem. Kagan says the settlement requires shippers to monitor their ballast water discharges and demonstrate compliance with new permit limits, or face legal action.

Amy Miller/Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MI