No Discharge Zones in Region 7
A No Discharge Zone is an area of a water body or an entire water body into which the discharge of sewage (whether treated or untreated) from vessels is completely prohibited. Discharges of sewage from all vessels are prohibited at:
- Freshwater lakes, freshwater reservoirs, or other freshwater impoundments whose inlets and outlets prevent entry or exit by regulated vessels (those vessels with installed toilets) under their own power
- Rivers that do not support interstate vessel traffic
- All other waters designated by a state and approved by EPA as no discharge zones for vessel sewage
Completely enclosed freshwater lakes or bodies of water are, by definition, "no discharge" areas. Therefore, all inland lakes within Region 7 are no discharge zones. Within EPA Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska), there is one formal No Discharge Zone that was approved by EPA, pursuant to Section 312(f)(3) of the Clean Water Act. This specifically designated No Discharge Zone includes all waters of Missouri, except the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and the western portion of Bull Shoals Lake.
Rules for No Discharge Zones:
The Clean Water Act authorizes the designation of no discharge zones (NDZs). In an NDZ, all vessels are prohibited from discharging sewage, whether treated or not. The Act provides three different procedures for designating NDZs:
- Under Section 312(f)(3), a state can create an NDZ if it determines that certain waters warrant greater environmental protection and EPA determines that adequate pumpout facilities exist.
- Under Section 312(f)(4)(A), upon application by a state, EPA can create an NDZ if it is determined that certain waters warrant greater environmental protection.
- Under Section 312(f)(4)(B), upon application by a state, EPA can designate an NDZ as a drinking water intake zone.
For more information on no discharge zones, please contact:
Alex Owutaka, EPA Region 7
The following links provide more information: