State Weighs Ban on Sewage Discharge from Boats

Elaine Thompson/AP, February 20, 2014, Longview Daily News

State regulators are considering a proposal that would prohibit all boats from discharging sewage into Puget Sound, whether it is treated or not.


The Department of Ecology says the move would protect sensitive shellfish beds, marine life and swimming beaches from harmful bacteria, but some boat groups have raised concerns about costly retrofits.


The proposed “no discharge zone” would make it illegal to dump sewage — even when treated using certain marine sanitation devices — in Puget Sound waters.


It’s one of many strategies identified in the Puget Sound Action Agenda to improve and protect water quality in the region.


Ecology has been considering the idea for two years. It is taking public comment on a draft proposal, before it submits a formal petition to the EPA.

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