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Proposed No Discharge Zone
March 1, 2010
The BoatUS Government Affairs team would like to make you aware of legislative activity that may affect Maryland boaters. We encourage you to share your personal point of view with your elected representatives. We have included appropriate contact information below.
Here is what is being proposed:
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has introduced legislation that would establish a "No Discharge Zone" for all Maryland waters. This means there would be no discharge of boat sewage - treated or untreated - from any vessels into Maryland waters. Currently, treated sewage from Type I and II Marine Sanitation Devices (like a LectraSan) can be discharged. It is already illegal in all U.S. waters to discharge untreated sewage from boat toilets (black water).
House Bill 1257 and Senate Bill 513, which are identical, would change Maryland law to prohibit the discharge of treated sewage from Type I and II MSD's in all boats and ships in Maryland.
The bills would take effect June 1, 2010 (or after approval from the federal EPA).
If passed, the Dept. of Natural Resources must proceed to authorize routine inspections of sewage equipment (in all boats) and periodic dye flush tests of your boat's head(s).
The bills would create a $10,000 fine per occurrence for a violation.
Many BoatUS members have indicated they have strong opinions on this topic. We encourage you to:
Call or email your state representatives - especially those who are cosponsors of these bills (see list below).
To contact your Representatives, click here: http://mlis.state.md.us/mgaweb/mail32.aspx
You may also attend and speak at the Senate Committee Hearing on March 16. (This is an opportunity for the legislators to listen to comments and concerns about the bill's merits from their colleagues and from the general public before voting on the bill.)
Hearing Details: Tuesday March 16, 1 pm
2 West Miller Senate Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 http://mlis.state.md.us/2010RS/hearsch/0225_ehe.htm
The time and place of the hearing can change up until the last minute, so check the state website again before driving to Annapolis!
For Full Text of the Bills: