As most know the EPA is working on a discharge permit for all US vessels and it goes into effect September 30, 2008. They are taking public comments until August 1, 2008 so get yours in now!
Important Facts about the Permit:
- All boats need the permit when in the ‘waters of the United States’ in all states and territories, and extending into the ocean three miles.
- You must allow EPA, their contractor, the USCG, or state authority to inspect your vessel, and take discharge samples.
- If you don’t comply with the permit requirements, each day is a seperate violation and each violation is subject to a $32,500 penalty.
- You may be sued under the Clean Water Act by citizen lawsuit provisions.
Submitting Comments: Comments may be submitted to EPA in the following ways:
- EPA Dockets. Use of EPA’s electronic public docket to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA’s preferred method for receiving comments. Go directly to EPA Dockets at www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once in the system, select “search” and then key in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0056. The system is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity, e-mail address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment.
- E-mail. Comments may be sent by electronic mail (e-mail) to firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0056. In contrast to EPA’s electronic public docket, EPA’s e-mail system is not an “anonymous access” system. If you send an email comment directly to the Docket without going through EPA’s electronic public docket, EPA’s e-mail system automatically captures your e-mail address. E-mail addresses that are automatically captured by EPA’s e-mail system are included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA’s electronic public docket.Disk or CD-ROM. You may submit comments on a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to the mailing address identified below. These electronic submissions will be accepted in Microsoft Word or ASCII file format. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption.By Mail. Send the original and three copies of your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC, 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0056.
By Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: Public Reading Room, Room B102, EPA West Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0056. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation as identified below. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
How it works:
The permit system starts off easy (just like income taxes that were supposed to go away at the end of the war). The initial permit is a 5 year national permit that automatically includes all boats and has no fee. The catch however is, every state is required to approved the national permit before 9/30/08, at which time they add their own set of requirements. If your state doesn’t meet this deadline then all boater’s are operating illegally until the state approves the permit. There is more to the how to’s but at present it’s not completely lined out. Public comment needs to be given.
For more information you can visit the EPA facts sheet
We as a group need to get on our representitives to pass the Clean Water Boating Act you can find the link to contact yours at this post.