Certainly. Thank you.
With regard to new methods for the treatment and management of ballast water, there are a variety of technological systems, globally, being developed. Pretty much all the systems combine at least two technologies. One would be a mechanical separation—something like filtration—which would do an initial treatment of the water. The second treatment normally involves some kind of biocide or active substance, such as chlorine, which would further reduce the viability of any species that would be in the ballast water.
A few systems are type approved. They have gone through a type approval process with the International Maritime Organization. But very few of these are being tested for fresh water or cold water. So a lot of our work is focusing on making sure these treatment systems that have been approved elsewhere are also going to work to protect the Great Lakes.
We have also been working with early detection tools, using things like vital stains and particle counters, to try to quickly assess what's in a ballast water sample. Right now, if we collect a plankton sample and send it to a taxonomist, it could be months before we get the results. We're trying to find technologies we can use so that we can get results in an hour, in which case we could actually take action before that discharge is completed.