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EPA Tentatively Approves NJ's Plan To Stop Boats From Discharging Sewage in the Manasquan River and the Shark River

Release Date: 03/18/1998
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(#98020) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tentatively approved the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) plan to prohibit boats from discharging treated or untreated sewage into the Manasquan River in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and the Shark River in Monmouth County.

EPA and NJDEP have tentatively determined that there are a sufficient number of pump-out facilities located in the area to receive the sewage from vessels. Sewage discharges from boats have been identified as a source of contamination affecting water quality in the rivers. EPA will take public comments on its proposal until April 13, 1998.

"The designation of these two rivers as ‘No Discharge Zones' will help protect marine life in the Manasquan and Shark Rivers," said William J. Muszynski, EPA Region 2 Deputy Administrator. "The Manasquan and the Shark rivers are very important because they empty into the ocean near some of New Jersey's most popular beaches. The healthier the rivers, the healthier the near-shore ocean waters."

"This tentative approval is great news for New Jersey. The establishment of ‘No Discharge Zones' is part of the state's watershed management program to reduce all sources of pollution. We are working with local organizations to prepare additional waterways to ‘No Discharge Zone' proposals this year," said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn.

The NJDEP petitioned the EPA to establish these "No Discharge Zones" last fall. Under national marine sanitation standards, vessels operating in the Manasquan River and the Shark River are currently prohibited from discharging untreated sewage, but are allowed to discharge treated sewage from approved marine sanitation devices. Once the "No Discharge Zones" are approved, both treated and untreated vessel sewage will be prohibited. EPA will issue a final determination after review of any comments it receives.

EPA will accept public comments until April 13, 1998, which is thirty days after the proposal was published in the Federal Register. Comments or requests for information or copies of the applicant's petition should be addressed to Walter E. Andrews, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region II, Water Programs Branch, 290 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, New York, 10007-1866. Telephone: (212) 637-3880.

For more information contact:

Mary Helen Cervantes-Gross, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3673 FAX: 212-637-4445 E-Mail: