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Old 02-22-2019, 02:08 PM   #1
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AWO Lawsuit-Puget Sound NDZ

For those interested in the lawsuit the Tug Boat Association filed against the Federal EPA.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production...12.13.2018.pdf
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:04 PM   #2
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I wish I could pile on to this lawsuit, as it may be the dumbest legislation I've ever run into, enacted purely and simply for political reasons, vice actual benefit to the local ecology. Want affirmation? Simply ask anyone at the Department of Ecology when they're going to sue the City of Seattle for the West Point sewage spill several years ago. Trust me-they'll jitterbug around and refer to city government exemptions for ecological nightmares. Sigh.

However, I'm unclear on the concept of the American Waterways Operators suing the EPA, which is a federal entity. I understand that the Washington State Department of Ecology actually passed the law declaring Puget Sound a zero discharge area, and I also understand the EPA has simply ratified this law, allowing enforcement by federal law enforcement (the USCG, for instance). However, why didn't the American Waterways Association simply file against the Washington Department of Ecology directly?

I'm simply a dumb mariner trying to understand how to operate in compliance with all the legal entities that have their oars in the water (with VERY disparate agendas) around here.

And wrap my head around the concept of this state-enacted zero-discharge ordinance that now apparently allows non-federal law enforcement agencies (city police, for instance) aboard my boat without probable cause to inspect my sewage treatment facilities.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:37 PM   #3
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AWO Lawsuit-Puget Sound NDZ

Quote:
Originally Posted by jungpeter View Post
I wish I could pile on to this lawsuit, as it may be the dumbest legislation I've ever run into, enacted purely and simply for political reasons, vice actual benefit to the local ecology. Want affirmation? Simply ask anyone at the Department of Ecology when they're going to sue the City of Seattle for the West Point sewage spill several years ago. Trust me-they'll jitterbug around and refer to city government exemptions for ecological nightmares. Sigh.



However, I'm unclear on the concept of the American Waterways Operators suing the EPA, which is a federal entity. I understand that the Washington State Department of Ecology actually passed the law declaring Puget Sound a zero discharge area, and I also understand the EPA has simply ratified this law, allowing enforcement by federal law enforcement (the USCG, for instance). However, why didn't the American Waterways Association simply file against the Washington Department of Ecology directly?



I'm simply a dumb mariner trying to understand how to operate in compliance with all the legal entities that have their oars in the water (with VERY disparate agendas) around here.



And wrap my head around the concept of this state-enacted zero-discharge ordinance that now apparently allows non-federal law enforcement agencies (city police, for instance) aboard my boat without probable cause to inspect my sewage treatment facilities.



Regards,



Pete


Thatís not how it works, hence the confusion.

The locals apply to the EPA for the NDZ, and have a bunch of hurdles they have to clear to get it. The EPA decides, not the locals. They suit basically says the EPA didnít do proper diligence on the proposal from the locals.

It will be real interesting to see how this evolves.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:25 PM   #4
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Didn't perform their "due diligence" is way to nice. This is not unusual - lots of state/EPA save the planet types get together informally, map out what they want to do, and then after the fix is in, hope to slide it through more or less unnoticed until it's too late. State and federal environmental agencies routinely ignore their own regs and admin procedures if it's advantageous to their "save the planet" mindset or if a "brother" government agency is involved.

The typical municipal POTW (sewage plant) oopses are collossal compared to the marine industry output if they didn't treat their waste. 25-75,000 POTW releases per year with 1-3 billion gallons of raw sewage discharged. The POTW gets a really, really angry letter. Fixes the prob when they get around to it (or not). Usually that means it stopped raining hard.

Try that as a private citizen. Unicorn theory by knuckleheads. Hope AWO is successful, but I've seen this movie before in other venues. Logic many times counts for very little.
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:22 PM   #5
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Tugs hold all the cards. Without tugs the 10th largest container port in the country stops operations. Transport of oil stops. (Meaning Alaskans will be chopping a lot of wood)
If push comes to shove the tugs are heavy duty pushers. EPA will exempt them.
I seriously doubt holding tanks on commercial vessels are responsible for the ongoing pollution of Puget Sound. They need to address storm overflows from municipal sewer plants first.
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbu22 View Post
Didn't perform their "due diligence" is way to nice. This is not unusual - lots of state/EPA save the planet types get together informally, map out what they want to do, and then after the fix is in, hope to slide it through more or less unnoticed until it's too late. State and federal environmental agencies routinely ignore their own regs and admin procedures if it's advantageous to their "save the planet" mindset or if a "brother" government agency is involved.

The typical municipal POTW (sewage plant) oopses are collossal compared to the marine industry output if they didn't treat their waste. 25-75,000 POTW releases per year with 1-3 billion gallons of raw sewage discharged. The POTW gets a really, really angry letter. Fixes the prob when they get around to it (or not). Usually that means it stopped raining hard.

Try that as a private citizen. Unicorn theory by knuckleheads. Hope AWO is successful, but I've seen this movie before in other venues. Logic many times counts for very little.
Yeah...this.
In one 7 day period in February of 2017, the West Point wet weather sewage and storm water treatment plant dumped 244 million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Sound. To put that into perspective, that is the equivalent of 40,000 rec boats dumping a 50 gallon blackwater tank once per month for ten years. That plant takes care of about 700,000 of the 4 million humans living on the rain soaked hillside that drains into the Sound. Did I say it rains a lot here?


The state Department of Ecology which is a bedfellow of EPAs region ten suggested later that year that the West Point plant invest 1 million to correct its deficiencies. Don't expect that to go far.


I don't think rec boats should dump sewage.
I do, though, think it a bit ridiculous that we tie up agency time creating code for rec boats while we let over burdened, under capitalized, ill equipped for the load, municipal treatment plants let 'er rip every time it rains a little.

Hey, I have another idea....if you cannot pin the impact of the failed POTW on the rec boats, blame some livestock 200 miles from the Sound. That always seems to fly.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sbu22 View Post
...

The typical municipal POTW (sewage plant) oopses are collossal compared to the marine industry output if they didn't treat their waste. 25-75,000 POTW releases per year with 1-3 billion gallons of raw sewage discharged. The POTW gets a really, really angry letter.

Fixes the prob when they get around to it (or not). Usually that means it stopped raining hard.

...
Except there are no fixes, unless they stop the rain.

Waste treatment plants can't cope with any significant runoff. Though some communities have a storm drain system, that is unconnected to the waste treatment plant. They don't have the problem.

I'm don't how why the big cities got into treating 100% of waste water, whether it just evolved that way or was one of those political decisions, just like, NDZ, that said, "Look how wonderful we are, (just don't look behind the curtain).

Therefore these discharges happen everyplace.
Long Island Sound is even worse than Puget Sound in terms of runoff related discharges.

I think cruise ships are an issue for treated waste. They should have not been allowed to do so with in the 3 mile limit, but to extend that to recreational and small commercial boats never made any common sense.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:12 AM   #8
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...
Hey, I have another idea....if you cannot pin the impact of the failed POTW on the rec boats, blame some livestock 200 miles from the Sound. That always seems to fly.
Of course it does because it works.

How much did Washington spend to remove those dams that have caused the crash of salmon stocks?

That's money well spent.

As long as you don't look at the factory boats from China, Russia and Japan, that took 90% of the salmon before they ever made it near the coast.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:15 AM   #9
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Agree on raw waste dumping, klee. Just trying to make a point about magnitude.
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