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Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine Seek “No Discharge” Designation to Stem Boat Pollution

Release Date: 07/30/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – July 30, 2009) – EPA is considering a proposal from the State of Maine to designate the coastal waters of Camden, Rockport, Rockland and portions of Owls Head as a “No Discharge Area.” If approved, discharges of treated and untreated boat sewage would be prohibited within the town boundaries.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) has petitioned EPA to approve the No Discharge designation. EPA has in turn published the request in the Federal Register and will accept public comments on the proposal until August 12, 2009.

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. This particular area has an estimated 1150 boats, of which 815 may have a head or toilet on board.

There is one large marina, a yacht club and public boating facilities in Camden, and a boatyard, a large City owned park and dock in Rockland, and three large marinas, two boat repair facilities, working fishing wharfs and a city waterfront operation. There are a total of six pumpout facilities in the proposed area.

The proposed no discharge area is important ecologically as well. The proposed area is identified as a High Value Wildlife Habitat by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The area constitutes almost 17 square miles of marine habitat, 450 acres of wetlands, and essential habit for bald eagles. The area is adjacent to and bordered by The area constitutes almost 17 square miles of marine habitat, 450 acres of wetlands, and essential habit for bald eagles. The area is adjacent to and bordered by several state parks including the Clam Cove Scenic Area, and the Owls Head Regional Recreation Area.

More information:

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No Discharge Areas in New England (www.epa.gov/ne/eco/nodiscrg/index.html)

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How to comment on proposal (www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2009/July/Day-13/w16488.htm)

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