No Discharge Zone Declared in Lake Erie

By Eric Haun
Friday, June 27, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation today declared the New York side of the Lake Erie shore line a “no discharge zone,” which means that boats are completely banned from discharging sewage into the water. The EPA reviewed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposal to establish a no discharge zone for the lake and determined that there are adequate facilities in the area for boats to pump out their sewage. Boaters must now dispose of their sewage at one of the lake’s specially-designated pump-out stations. This action is part of a joint EPA and New York State strategy to eliminate the discharge of sewage from boats into the state’s waterways.

The no discharge zone for the New York State portion of Lake Erie is a 593 square mile area and 84 miles that includes the waters of the lake from the Pennsylvania-New York State boundary, as well as the Upper Niagara River and numerous other tributaries, harbors and bays of the Lake, including Barcelona Harbor, Dunkirk Harbor and the Buffalo Outer Harbor. Lake Erie and its harbors, bays, creeks and wetlands support fish spawning areas and habitat, commercial and recreational boating, and recreational opportunities.

A “no-discharge zone” means that boats are prohibited from discharging sewage into the water. Boaters must instead dispose of their sewage at specially-designated pump-out stations. Discharges of sewage from boats can contain harmful levels of pathogens and chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenols and chlorine, which have a negative impact on water quality, pose a risk to people’s health and drinking water as well as damage aquatic life.

“Clean water is one of New York’s most valuable assets, and pumping sewage from boats into local waters is a practice that is both harmful and completely unnecessary,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Creating a no discharge zone for the New York portions of Lake Erie is an important step in protecting this amazing lake.”

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Lake Erie represents a tremendous natural and recreational resource for New Yorkers. It is a major public water supply, providing drinking water for a large portion of Western New York, so it is imperative for recreational boaters to do their part to help keep Lake Erie clean from biological contaminants. The no discharge zone is our effort to help sustain water quality for drinking as well as recreational use.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation petitioned the EPA in July 2012.

The EPA initially made a determination in December 2012 that adequate sewage pump out facilities exist and that the state’s proposal to designate areas of Lake Erie as a “no discharge zone” can go forward. The EPA received significant comments questioning the availability of sewage pump-out facilities, particularly for larger vessels, and the EPA conferred with New York State to gather more information. That information gathering was completed and in September of 2013 the EPA re-proposed its determination that there are adequate facilities. The EPA has now finalized its decision, which went into effect on June 20, 2014.

epa.gov
 

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Marad Celebrates Deployment of Maritime Fuel Cell Project

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today celebrated the launch of field trials for the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell

Panama Canal Suspends Draft Restriction

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has lifted scheduled vessel draft restrictions brought on by lingering draught conditions in the region.   The ACP had previously set restrictions of 11.

News

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Marad Celebrates Deployment of Maritime Fuel Cell Project

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today celebrated the launch of field trials for the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell

Gazprom, OMV Meet on Establishing Nord Stream JV

At a Meeting held at the Gazprom headquarters between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV,

Great Lakes

Great Lakes Shipyard to Build Guatemalan Harbor Tug

U.S. shipbuilding and repair yard Great Lakes Shipyard informs it has signed a contract to build another of its HandySize Class, 3,400 HP twin-screw tugboat for

US Ocean Economy Sees Large Growth -NOAA

In 2012, U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy grew much faster than overall GDP   The U.S. ocean economy outpaced the domestic economy between 2011 and 2012, with

Search Suspended for Overboard Freighter Crewman

The search for a man who reportedly jumped overboard from a freighter near Big Sable Point in Lake Michigan early Sunday morning has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.6068 sec (2 req/sec)