Minnesota Approves Ballast Water Rules

On September 23, 2008 the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approved ballast water regulations to reduce the number of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the Great Lakes. Minnesota joins Michigan as the second state in the region to adopt its own rules in addition to federal guidelines.

The new rules affect ships operating within the lakes, also known as “lakers,” and ships from the ocean, or “salties.” Ships built in 2012 and after must treat their ballast water before discharging, and all other ships must do so by 2016. Treatment systems must meet International Maritime Organization (IMO) Performance Standards. Also, ships looking to discharge ballast in Minnesota waters must obtain a permit from the MPCA.

For more information, visit the MPCA Vessel Discharge (Ballast Water) Program website at:


For a fact sheet on the permitting process, visit: