Saturday, May 15, 2010

Boat No Discharge Area Proposed In Massachusetts

EPA is considering a proposal from the State of Massachusetts to designate the coastal waters of Pleasant Bay/Chatham Harbor as a “No Discharge Area.” If approved, discharges of treated and untreated boat sewage would be prohibited within the town boundaries. The proposed area is roughly 9,000 acres and is an Area of Critical Environment Concern (ACEC.)

The Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (MA CZM) and the Pleasant Bay Resource Management Alliance has petitioned EPA to approve the No Discharge designation. Before EPA will endorse a No Discharge Area designation for any area, the applicant must demonstrate that there are enough “pumpout” facilities where boaters can get their sewage holding tanks pumped out. EPA has published the request in the Federal Register and will accept public comments on the proposal for 30 days, ending on June 7, 2010.

Other areas in New England already designated as No Discharge areas include:
  • All state marine waters of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire;
  • In Massachusetts: Harwich, Waquoit Bay, Nantucket Harbor, Wellfleet, Barnstable, and Buzzards Bay (including Wareham and Westport), Plymouth/ Duxbury/ Kingston area, Marshfield/ Scituate/ Cohasset, Salem Sound, Boston Harbor, Cape Cod Bay, and Revere/Saugus/Lynn/Nahant/Swampscott;
  • In Maine, Boothbay Harbor, Casco Bay, Kennebunk/Kennebunkport/Wells, Southern Mount Desert area and Camden/Rockport/Rockland

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

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