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Ballast Water Permitting Program

1000 foot ship Mesabi Miner
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Ballast Water Permitting Program

Contact: Matt Mulford 517-290-0136

The State of Michigan regulates oceangoing vessels under the Ballast Water Control General Permit. The Ballast Water Control General Permit requires all oceangoing vessels to obtain permit coverage prior to engaging in port operations at any Michigan port and prior to discharging treated ballast water in Michigan waters. The Ballast Water Control General Permit specifies monitoring requirements for treated ballast water discharges that shall be submitted on the Port Operations Notification Report within 24 hours of port departure. Untreated ballast water discharges are prohibited and considered violations of Part 31 and the Ballast Water Control General Permit which may include civil action seeking fines, enforcement costs and injunctive relief, and potential criminal prosecution.

Oceangoing vessel means a vessel that operates on the Great Lakes or the St. Lawrence waterway after operating in waters outside the Great Lakes or the St. Lawrence waterway.

The below image exemplifies the boundary of the St. Lawrence waterway. The State of Michigan classifies all vessels operating outside this boundary as oceangoing.

The State of Michigan encourages lakers to install treatment systems that meet Michigan’s permit requirements; however, Michigan does not currently regulate lakers.

Provided below are links to Ballast Water Control Port Operations and Ballast Water Discharge related information.  The downloadable documents are available in PDF format.

EGLE's Water Resources Division (WRD) uses a permitting system called MiEnviro.  MiEnviro establishes a streamlined electronic permitting process, allowing Michigan to fulfill federal electronic reporting requirements and providing an online component for access to public information.

General Information

Additional Information

Boundary of the St. Lawrence waterway:

St. Lawrence Waterway Boundary