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EPA O.K's New York's Plan to Ban Boat Sewage in Huntington-Northport Bay Complex on Long Island

Release Date: 06/07/2000
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(#00114) New York, New York -- In a move that will improve shellfish bed and beach water quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) plan to prohibit boats from discharging treated or untreated sewage into waters of the greater Huntington-Northport Bay Complex, which includes Lower Huntington and Northport Bays, Centerport, Northport, Duck Island Harbors and Price Bend. EPA and NYSDEC have 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 near shore water quality. EPA and NYSDEC have previously banned the discharge of treated boat sewage in Huntington Harbor and Lloyd Harbor.

"Banning boat sewage will improve water quality at and the quality at public and private beaches in the area and local shell fish beds," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "Long Island's north shore beaches play a key role in summer fun for hundreds of thousands and shell fishing bolsters Long Island's economy. This declaration of a ‘No Discharge an">' will ensure that the beaches and beds are better than ever."

"Long Island Sound is one of the great treasures of New York and the entire nation," NYSDEC Commissioner John P. Cahill said, "the designation of a ‘No Discharge an">' for Huntington and Northport Bays is another significant step in the S Roman">*s efforts to improve water quality in Long Island Sound and protect the abundant natural resources that provide recreational and economic opportunities for thousands of New Yorkers."

NYSDEC petitioned EPA in June 1999 to establish this "No Discharge Area." Under national marine sanitation standards, vessels operating in the bay complex are currently prohibited from discharging untreated sewage, but are allowed to discharge treated sewage from approved marine sanitation devices. Now that the "No Discharge Area" is approved, both treated and untreated vessel sewage is prohibited.