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News Releases from Region 10

MEDIA ADVISORY: EPA Seeks Input on Preliminary Decision Re: Sewage Pump-Out Facilities for Puget Sound Vessels

Contact Information: 
Suzanne Skadowski (skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a preliminary affirmative decision that adequate sewage pump-out facilities are available for recreational and commercial vessels to support the Washington Department of Ecology’s proposed “No-Discharge Zone” for Puget Sound.   

Ecology has proposed to establish a “No-Discharge Zone” for Puget Sound which would prohibit the discharge of vessel sewage - both treated and untreated - into Puget Sound waters. Ecology’s petition concluded that there is sufficient need for establishing a No-Discharge Zone to protect water quality and the related ecological, economic, and recreational benefits provided by Puget Sound.

Under Section 312(f)(3) of the Clean Water Act, EPA’s role in the No-Discharge Zone process is to determine whether adequate pump-out facilities for recreational and commercial vessels are reasonably available.  EPA is seeking comments from the public, tribes, and industry stakeholders on its preliminary affirmative decision. The decision was based on information that the Department of Ecology included in its petition package and a supplemental submission.  

EPA’s preliminary determination was published in the Federal Register on November 7, and is available for review at the link below.  EPA is providing a 30-day comment period on the availability of pump-out facilities, with comments due by December 7, 2016.

Those interested in commenting on EPA’s preliminary determination are asked to visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for submitting comments.  Once submitted, comments can’t be edited or withdrawn.

Commenters are asked to not submit Confidential Business Information or any other information or material whose disclosure is restricted by law. Any multimedia (audio, video, etc.) comments must be accompanied by a written comment. For additional submission methods, the full EPA comment policy and general guidance on making effective public comments, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets

For more about the Department of Ecology’s petition:  http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/nonpoint/CleanBoating/nodischargezone.html

Learn more about EPA’s Preliminary Affirmative Determination and provide comments at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA_FRDOC_0001-19949.