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"The more laws a government passes, the less freedom its people have" - Einstein

EPA Discharge Permit Requirement for Recreational Boats

Background:

For 34 years the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exempted discharges from recreational boats from the Clean Water Act permit system. Regretfully, a fall 2006 U.S. District Court ruling cancelled this permit exemption. EPA is now required by the court decision to develop and implement by September 30, 2008 a national permit system for ALL vessels in the United States for a variety of normal operational discharges.

The original lawsuit that led to this court decision sought to address ballast water discharges from large ocean-going ships, which can introduce damaging aquatic invasive species into U.S. waters. Keeping our waterways clean and preventing the spread of invasive species is of utmost importance to the future of boating. But taking a complex permitting system designed for industrial dischargers and applying it to recreational boats will not yield significant environmental benefits and it will come at a very high cost. Requiring recreational boaters to purchase a permit would not prevent the spread of invasive species.

If the permit system becomes a reality, you will be required to pay for a state permit for each of your boats. EPA will be potentially monitoring your deck runoff, grey water, bilge water, engine cooling water, and the use of copper bottom paints.

It is important to note that there are already federal laws restricting the overboard discharge of oil, fuel, garbage and sewage. The proposed legislation will not alter any of these existing restrictions.

November 28, 2008:

Action Needed:

We need your help to push Congress to pass legislation “The Recreational Boating Act of 2007” (H.R. 2550/S. 2067) that will reinstate the permit exemption for recreational boats.

Please contact your Congressman and Senators TODAY and ask that they co-sponsor or support H.R. 2550 and S. 2067.

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