Sewage dumping by boats banned in city; Quincy joins Boston in obtaining designation as no-discharge zone  
The Patriot Ledger -
Monday, August 06, 2007

Quincy Bay and Boston Harbor today were to officially become no-discharge zones, which means boaters will be banned from dumping sewage - treated or untreated - along the coast.

Instead, boaters will have to use designated pump-out stations to dispose of their sewage.

The federal government wants to have all of New England designated a no-discharge zone by 2010, according to a plan on file with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Quincy began the process of applying to be a no-discharge zone about eight months ago. City Council President Douglas Gutro and Ward 1 City Councilor Leo Kelly led the effort. Harbormaster Patrick Morrissey helped by compiling information from yacht clubs and marinas to determine how many boats and pump-out facilities Quincy has.

About 1,900 vessels with toilets use Quincy’s 10 marinas, according to data compiled by the harbormaster.

The new designation applies to the city’s 26 miles of coastline and forbids any kind of sewage discharge in that area and up to 3 miles out to sea, in accordance with EPA regulations.

The regulation, which the harbormaster will enforce, provides for fines of $50 to $500 and 30 days to two years in jail for illegal dumping of raw sewage.

State and federal laws allow boats with specific kinds of toilets to release treated waste, but with today’s designation, all boats will have to use one of the five pump-out facilities, at Marina Bay, Captain’s Cove, the Town River Yacht Club and Bay Pointe Marina, and the city’s pump-out boat.

The number of no-discharge zones along the Eastern Seaboard is growing. All of Rhode Island, most of Connecticut and parts of Long Island have been designated. There are seven no-discharge areas in Massachusetts, including Buzzards Bay, Plymouth, Duxbury and Kingston.

‘‘We have spent billions of dollars cleaning up the harbor, yet we do not restrict the dumping of waste from boats,’’ said David C. Murphy, director of operations for the office of Quincy Mayor William Phelan. ‘‘Our waters are getting cleaner with the work we have been doing to keep catch basins clean, repair sewer pipes along Wollaston Beach and educate the public. ... The no-discharge zone is a continuation of those efforts.’’

Phelan, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, EPA regional administrator Robert Varney, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian A. Bowles and other officials were to attend today’s designation ceremony.

The federal Clean Water Act of 1972 created the federal no-discharge designation. In 1991, Wareham became the first Massachusetts town to obtain the designation. Since then, eight coastal communities have obtained the federal protection for more than 500 of the state’s 1,784 miles of coastline.

Bessie King may be reached at .

Copyright 2007 The Patriot Ledger

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