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EPA Approves NY's Plan To Stop Boats From Discharging Sewage in Mamaroneck Harbor

Release Date: 11/05/1997
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(#97149) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (NYSDEC) plan to prohibit boats from discharging treated or untreated sewage into Mamaroneck Harbor in Long Island Sound. EPA and NYSDEC have determined that there are a sufficient number of pump-out facilities located in the area that receive the sewage from the vessels. Sewage discharges from boats have been identified as a source of contamination in Mamaroneck Harbor.

"Now that we have given final approval, New York can prohibit sewage discharges in this area, said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "The designation of the harbor as a ‘No Discharge Zone' will better protect valuable marine resources in Mamaroneck Harbor and, in turn, Long Island Sound," said Jeanne Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "EPA has invested nearly $15 million dollars to develop a clean-up plan for the Long Island Sound and provided the necessary grants to support $450 million in state revolving fund money to upgrade sewage treatment plants that discharge into the Sound and its tributaries."

"New York State is devoting unprecedented resources to the recovery of Long Island Sound, including $200 million in funds dedicated by the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act," said NYSDEC Commissioner, John P. Cahill. "Designating Mamaroneck Harbor as a ‘No Discharge Zone' is an important step in our efforts to restore water quality in the Sound, allowing shellfish and other marine life to recover after decades of pollution."

Under national marine sanitation standards, vessels operating in Mamaroneck Harbor are prohibited from discharging untreated sewage, but are allowed to discharge treated sewage from approved marine sanitation devices. The discharge of both treated and untreated vessel sewage will be prohibited, effective immediately. EPA took public comment on its proposal this summer.

Most "No Discharge Zones" are established by states to protect water quality. There are currently five "No Discharge Zones" in New York waters; two areas of the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Huntington and Lloyd Harbors on Long Island Sound. All vessel sewage discharges are prohibited in freshwater lakes where inlets do not allow for vessel traffic.


For more information contact:
Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: mears.mary@epamail.epa.gov