Several conservation organizations have filed a lawsuit to stop the imminent threat of the invasive fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) from spreading into Lake Superior from ballast water discharges (Download vhs_complaint.pdf). Save Lake Superior Association, the Izaak Walton League, Duluth Minnesota Chapter, the Minnesota Council of Trout Unlimited, and Wisconsin Trout Unlimited are suing the U.S. Coast Guard (part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) for failing to enforce the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, as amended by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, and the federal VHS virus order. The lawsuit essentially seeks to force the federal government to stop the spread of VHS into Lake Superior by compelling federal agencies to implement and enforce their legal authorities to take action. It can be tough to win these types of lawsuits under federal administrative law, as courts typically defer to the agency’s discretion for enforcement. Further, other successful lawsuits and state initiatives, as well as the ballast water discharge legislation recently passed by the U.S. House, may make this suit moot before it’s ever decided. While the suit may not succeed, it demonstrates that the federal government can and must do far more to protect the Great Lakes from aquatic invasive species.