Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

EPA Endorses DEC Sewage Plan For Boaters

On request of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed that a “no discharge zone” can be established for Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake and the Seneca River.

The DEC asked the EPA to prohibit boats from discharging sewage into these waters by establishing a “no discharge zone” for the area.

The EPA reviewed the petition and found there are adequate facilities around Lakes Cayuga and Seneca for boats to pump out their sewage, rather than dumping it in the water.

The EPA says sewage discharges from boats can contain harmful levels of pathogens and chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenols and chlorine, which have a negative impact on water quality, pose a risk to people’s health and impair marine life.

The EPA is encouraging the public to comment on its proposed approval until May 17, 2015.

The proposed “no discharge zone” for Cayuga and Seneca Lakes includes Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake, the Seneca River, and the connected navigable tributaries.

The EPA believes creation of a “no discharge zone” for these lakes would help protect the water quality and marine life.

The rule is part of an EPA/New York State Department of Environmental Conservation strategy to eliminate the discharge of sewage from boats into the state’s waterways. “No discharge zones” already exist on Lakes Erie, Ontario, Champlain, and George, the New York State Canal System and the Hudson River, among others.