NEW YORK, N.Y. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tentatively given a go-ahead to a proposal to declare Long Island Sound as a no-discharge zone for sewage.
This action is part of a joint EPA/New York State strategy to eliminate the discharge of sewage from boats into the state’s waterways.
The EPA determined that there are adequate facilities for boats in Long Island Sound to pump out their sewage and that a proposal by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to establish the zone can go forward. Under the proposal, boats are completely banned from discharging sewage into the water.
Instead, boaters would be required to dispose of sewage at specially designated pump-out stations. Discharges of sewage from boats can contain harmful levels of pathogens and chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenols, and chlorine, which have a negative impact on water quality, pose a risk to people’s health, and impair marine life.
EPA is taking public comment on its proposed approval until May 11.