The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment from boaters and other stakeholders to help develop proposed regulations, as required by the 2008 Clean Boating Act, to reduce water pollution and the spread of invasive species in the nation’s rivers, lakes and other water bodies.
As an alternative to permits required for commercial vessels, the act directs EPA to develop and promulgate management practices for recreational vessels.
Agency officials say the input received through this process will help guide the development of proposed regulations to mitigate adverse effects from recreational boat discharges, such as bilgewater, graywater and deck runoff, that may contain substances harmful to water quality or spread invasive species.
The Clean Boating Act directs EPA to take steps to limit the impact of pollution and the spread of invasive species associated with the discharge from boats. As part of the public input, EPA is also seeking information from states that already enact standards to limit the impacts of boat discharges on waterways.
EPA will seek to develop appropriate management practices and performance standards that protect waterways while also working with the U.S. Coast Guard, which will establish regulations governing the design, construction, installation and use of management practices.
Implementation of these management practices will allow boaters and other water enthusiasts to continue enjoying our nation’s water bodies while protecting water quality, EPA officials say.
EPA is holding listening sessions and conducting webinars to inform interested parties about the Clean Boating Act and receive public input. The listening sessions will be held in Annapolis, Md. on March 18 and April 29.
More information about the Clean Boating Act: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/vessel/CBA/about.cfm