Washington issues aggressive boatyard pollution permit

SEATTLE, Wash. — A new general permit released by the Washington state Department of Ecology earlier this week provides clarity for boatyards following recent strides by the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) to become champions of clean water and environmental responsibility in the region.

The new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, issued on March 1, establishes benchmarks that all boatyards in the state must meet to eliminate contaminants in its stormwater runoff, with specific focus on the reduction of copper and zinc levels.

“This is an incredibly aggressive permit for boatyards in Washington to meet,” said George Harris, NMTA president. “Despite how difficult, and in some cases expensive, it will be to meet the new benchmarks, we believe it is a fair permit. We are pleased that the Department of Ecology recognized what boatyards may be able to achieve using the latest technology and our industry is eager to get to work to support our boatyards to meet their environmental responsibility.”

While awaiting the release of the new permit, NMTA has been busy pushing forward its own initiatives to help the industry become better stewards of clean water in the region.

The new permit becomes effective June 1, 2011.

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