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Clean Boating Act--A WIN for Rec. Boaters!

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Old 07-02-2008, 02:02 PM
  #111
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Yeah, one Republican catering to the fishing lobby interests, and the other trying to save our collective boater's arses from more government red tape. I was just getting ready to respond to your message when it went POOF, deleted. Many issues are not partisan, this is one of them.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:05 PM
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I miss read the statement....that's why I deleted. Just another politician catering to who gives them money....
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:50 PM
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I miss read the statement....that's why I deleted. Just another politician catering to who gives them money....
Like I said, partisanship should be dead. Don't encourage the scoundrels. But cheer up, another R is against her.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:00 PM
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Done that is very bad news for all of us if it passes.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:57 AM
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Done!
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:37 AM
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In the paper today, it's ridiculous!

Permit requires boaters to hold 'gray' water
BY JIM WAYMER • FLORIDA TODAY • July 22, 2008

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Careful swabbing the deck. Better not let any soapy suds spill overboard. It could soon be a violation of the Clean Water Act.


By Sept. 30, most recreational boats less than 79 feet in length are due to fall under a new federal permit that forces captains to keep better tabs of their suds, drips and spills.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to bring most recreational boats under the same regulations that affect large commercial vessels, removing an exception that has protected them for 35 years.

Boaters would be tasked with preventing the discharge of soapy and oily "gray" water from sinks, showers, engine cooling systems or just from washing their boat.

Those with vessels less than 79 feet long won't have to fill out any form or do anything to get the permit. But after it takes effect, contract inspectors would be allowed to board their boats to check for compliance.

Fines could run up to $32,500 per day for some violations.

"Concerned? It's the stupidest thing we've ever heard of," said Bob Becker of Satellite Beach, education officer with the Banana River Sail and Power Squadron.

"There's no way you can get away from having rain water dropping off your deck."

Untreated "gray water" can contain oils, grease, bacteria, toxic metals and cancer-causing organic and inorganic compounds, as well as nutrients that can cause harmful algae blooms, which spur fish kills.

The new permit would ban batteries, oil, and used oil products from being released in effluent.

It would also require boats to minimize gray water discharge in heavily trafficked areas and in marine sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, national wild and scenic rivers, and national wilderness areas.

Boaters also would not be able to dump spent bait and fish waste overboard.

Both commercial and recreational boaters are lobbying Congress to exempt them from the new regulations, originally intended to prevent the introduction of invasive species from ship ballast water into ecologically fragile estuaries.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, is helping to lead an effort to exempt recreational boats from the restrictions, but not smaller commercial fishing boats.

Ray Coyle, 49, a commercial fisherman from Indialantic, has no problem taking extra steps to keep the lagoon clean.

His livelihood depends upon a healthy river, full of pompano and other fish.

He just wants the same rules to apply to everybody, not only to commercial fishermen.

"That's just selective enforcement. There are only a handful of fishermen left," Coyle said.

The new EPA permits originated from a lawsuit filed by environmental groups seeking better control of invasive species released when ships empty ballast water near or inside of ports.

The Indian River Lagoon already has a few alien invaders, some thought to have been introduced by boats.

The Australian spotted jellyfish, the Asian green mussel and South American charru mussel all have been introduced within the past seven years.

While the original lawsuit aimed to stop such invaders, a federal judge's 2006 ruling in the case ordered the EPA to expand its regulations to bring "gray water" from normal boat operations under the Clean Water Act.

The EPA appealed the ruling but plans in the meantime to administer the new permit program to comply with the judge's order.

The EPA would run the permit program for at least the next five years.

Then states could take it over, something boaters fear could lead to a fee being imposed.

"In terms of realistic enforcement, the Coast Guard and state, in my mind, already have their hands full," said Margaret Podlich, a lobbyist for BoatUS, the largest national group of recreational boat owners, with about 650,000 members.

Most boaters already take pride in keeping the lagoon clean, said Steve Smith, manager of SunDance Marine, a marina off U.S. 1 in Melbourne.

"A majority of the people are good, safe boaters," Smith said. "But you've got a group out there who don't care. They don't care if they drip a cup of oil in the water."
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:20 AM
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As posted by Dean on this thread:http://www.offshoreonly.com/forums/s...d.php?t=191705

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Finally, some common sense coming from the Congress/Senate.

'Gray water' plan sinks in Congress
Recreational boats spared hefty fines
BY JIM WAYMER • FLORIDA TODAY • July 23, 2008

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Congress bailed out nearly 1 million Florida boaters, including about 40,000 in Brevard, on Tuesday who could have faced stiff fines under new rules this fall limiting the dirty waters that can spill overboard.


Lawmakers exempted recreational boats from proposed federal permits that would have made the discharges from vessel sinks, showers, engine cooling water and even just soapy suds from washing the boat subject to spot checks.

The permits proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would have been the first time such discharges from recreational boats were regulated under the Clean Water Act, after 35 years of being exempt.

EPA had planned the new permits to take effect Sept. 30.

But both houses of Congress gave their unanimous support Tuesday to the Clean Boating Act, cosponsored by Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., which restores the exemption for recreational boaters.

It now heads to the president for his signature.

"This was a matter of common sense," Nelson said in a statement. "Imagine: the federal government applying measures that cover big tankers to millions of little boats."

Bob Becker of Satellite Beach was thrilled. "Fantastic. That's the best news," said Becker, educational officer for the Banana River Sail and Power Squadron, a boating group. "Ninety-nine percent of the boaters adhere to not polluting anything. I think everybody's going to be extremely pleased."

Both houses of Congress on Tuesday also passed a separate measure establishing a 2-year moratorium on EPA's proposed permits for commercial fishing boats and for all other commercial boats under 79 feet. In the meantime, EPA will study the impact of such discharges.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:33 AM
  #118
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Fantastic!

Thanks to all that contributed.
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