Environmental Protection

Towns in Maine Seek 'No Discharge' Designation

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to approve the No Discharge designation for the coastal waters of Camden, Rockport, Rockland and portions of Owls Head. If approved, discharges of any type of boat sewage would be prohibited within the town boundaries, according to a July 30 press release.

EPA has in turn published the request in the Federal Register and will accept public comments on the proposal until August 12.

Before EPA will endorse a No Discharge Area designation for any area, the applicant must demonstrate that there are enough “pumpout” facilities where boaters can get their sewage holding tanks pumped out. This particular area has an estimated 1,150 boats, of which 815 may have a head or toilet on board.

There is one large marina, a yacht club and public boating facilities in Camden, and a boatyard, a large city-owned park and dock in Rockland, and three large marinas, two boat repair facilities, working fishing wharves and a city waterfront operation. There are six pumpout facilities in the proposed area.

The proposed no discharge area is important ecologically as well. The proposed area is identified as a High Value Wildlife Habitat by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The area constitutes almost 17 square miles of marine habitat, 450 acres of wetlands, and essential habit for bald eagles. The area is adjacent to and bordered by several state parks including the Clam Cove Scenic Area, and the Owls Head Regional Recreation Area.

To comment on the proposal, visit www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2009/July/Day-13/w16488.htm

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