NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Media Alert: Hearings on Boat No Discharge Zone Bills in MD
BoatUS Encourages Boaters to Share Point of View with Elected Representatives
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What and Where:
Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee Hearing
Tuesday March 16, 1 pm.
(Senate Bill 513)
2 West Miller Senate Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
House Environmental Matters Committee Hearing
Friday March 19, 1 pm.
(House Bill 1257)\
Room 250, House Office Building, 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
These hearings are opportunities for the legislators to listen to comments and concerns about the bill’s merits from their colleagues and from the general public before voting on the bill.
The time and place of the hearing can change up until the last minute, so check the state website again before driving to Annapolis!
Full Text of the Bills:
Under current law, it is illegal to discharge untreated sewage from vessels in MD waters. Vessels with a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I Marine Sanitation Device (for boats less than 65’) or a Type II MSD (for bigger boats and ships) can treat their waste and discharge it, similar to what shore-side sewage treatment plants do.
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has introduced legislation that would establish a “No Discharge Zone” for all Maryland waters, which includes much of the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River and other tributaries.
House Bill 1257 and Senate Bill 513, which are currently identical, would change Maryland law to prohibit the discharge of treated sewage from Type I and II MSD’s in all recreational boats and commercial ships in Maryland waters. The bills would take effect June 1, 2010 (or after approval from the federal EPA). If passed, the MD Dept. of Natural Resources must proceed to authorize routine inspections of sewage equipment (in all boats) and periodic dye flush tests of your boat’s head(s). The bills would create a $10,000 fine per occurrence for a violation.
BOATERS URGED TO VOICE OPINIONS:
Boaters with interest in this legislation are encouraged to attend the Senate Committee Hearing Tuesday March 16, 1 pm or the House Committee Hearing Friday March 19, 1 pm.
If attendance is not possible, may contact their state representatives here:
Or, contact Bill Co-Sponsors:
Co-Sponsors HB 1257
Co-Sponsors SB 513