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Connecticut Requests Additional No Discharge Area to Stem Boat Pollution Proposal covers Groton to Guilford Coastline
Release Date: 09/16/2005
Contact: David Deegan (firstname.lastname@example.org), EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017
For Immediate Release: September 16, 2005; Release # dd050905
(Boston) – Connecticut is seeking EPA approval of a proposal to designate the coastline between Groton and Guilford as a No Discharge area.
If approved, discharges of treated and untreated boat sewage would be prohibited within those state waters, and would significantly increase the amount of No Discharge areas in Connecticut’s coastal waters. The area between Groton and Guilford is adjacent to the Groton/Mystic area, which is already a designated No Discharge area.
Boat sewage can lead to health problems for swimmers, closed shellfish beds and the overall degradation of marine habitats.
This portion of Connecticut’s coast provides important economic and recreational resources," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "Establishing ‘No Discharge Areas’ can provide tangible improvements to coastal water quality throughout New England, resulting in cleaner beaches and shellfish beds, and healthier boating overall.”
The proposed designation seeking EPA approval of the No Discharge area was submitted by the Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), and is being released for a 45-day public comment period.
To qualify for a No Discharge designation, the applicant must show there are enough “pumpout” facilities where boaters can get their holding tanks pumped out. This particular area has an estimated 7,500 boats, of which only 4,000 are large enough to have a head or toilet on board. There are a total of 36 pumpout facilities the proposed area, 29 fixed shore-based facilities, four portable facilities, three pumpout boats and ten dump stations. Three of the fixed shore facilities offer additional portable facilities. In addition there are approximately 107 marinas, docking areas, and boatyards within the proposed No Discharge Area, and the majority of these marine facilities have restrooms available for theirs patrons.
"The establishment of additional No Discharge Areas is an important component of Connecticut's efforts to improve and protect water quality in Long Island Sound," said DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy. "These designations together with Connecticut's other efforts such as enhancements and upgrades to sewage treatment plants, non-point source pollution control, and tidal wetlands restoration will improve the quality of Long Island Sound habitats for recreation, shellfishing, and wildlife."
Other areas in New England with No Discharge areas include:
- All of Rhode Island’s marine waters, including Block Island’s Great Salt Pond;
- In Massachusetts: Barnstable, Harwich, Waquoit Bay, Nantucket Harbor, Wellfleet, and Buzzards Bay (including Wareham and Westport);
- In Connecticut: Stonington Harbor, Groton/Mystic area;
- In Vermont: Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Lake Memphremagog.
The 45-day comment period on Connecticut’s proposal will end on Oct. 31. More information on the State’s proposal