Now is the time to make your voices heard with regard to the impending permit process for any discharges from recreational boats, uninspected passenger vessels and commercial vessels. The public comment period is 45 days.
Recent court decisions have mandated that the EPA establish a permitting system for discharges from all vessels. Recreational boats had been exempted from such permitting until now. Unless Congress acts, the EPA, along with the states, will have to create a regulatory scheme by September 2008 in order to be in compliance with the court ruling. The EPA has announced their proposed permitting system, which is now available for public comment.
Here's the link to the EPA: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350
There are TWO permitting systems: One for large vessels 79 feet in length or longer and one for vessels smaller than 79 feet. They both include recreational vessels and uninspected passenger vessels. Be sure you're reading the right one for your concerns. I encourage all interested parties to voice their opinion during this 45-day public comment period. Feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested.
The EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard are co-hosting three public meetings, a webcast and a public hearing. Meetings will be held in Washington, D.C., Portland, OR, and Chicago, IL. The webcast is July 2nd. The Hearing is July 21st. See the website above for more details.
A letter I received from Senator Feinstein:
Thank you for writing to me to share your support for the "Clean Boating Act of 2008." I appreciate hearing your thoughts about this legislation, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you know, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must create and manage a Clean Water Act permit system for recreational boats by September 2008. I understand that recreational boating is a very popular activity in California, and I appreciate hearing your support for reinstating the recreational boat exemption.
I am pleased to inform you that I am a co-sponsor of the "Clean Boating Act of 2008" (S. 2766). This legislation would restore the exemption of recreational boats from EPA regulations regarding the discharge of pollutants such as engine cooling water, deck runoff, bilge water and gray water. Please know that I appreciate your interest in actively contributing to the legislative process, and I hope that you will continue to keep in touch on matters of importance to you.
Go to he web site and let her know how you feel: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.EmailMe
Let Boxer know too!!!: http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/email/policy.cfm?CFID=40408335&CFTOKEN=84100417