We’re almost there. After years of study and outreach, Puget Sound is on the brink of joining over 90 other waterways nationwide as a No Discharge Zone. This is an important step for our water resources and the health of the Sound. No Discharge Zones have been highly successful in other areas, protecting human health, shellfish resources, and sensitive habitat.
Thousands of you contacted the EPA to show your support last year. Now your voice is needed one more time. Tell the Department of Ecology you are in favor of designating Puget Sound as a No Discharge zone and keeping sewage out of our waterways.
Join us at a hearing:
In-person: Wednesday, November 15, 11:00 AM at South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus, 6737 Corson Ave South, Seattle, WA
Online public hearing: Monday, November 13, 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Dial 240-454-0887, Access code 805-088-513
Please RSVP to either the hearing or the webinar to receive talking points on the No Discharge Zone.
If you are unable to attend the hearing or webinar, you can submit written comments.
A Puget Sound No Discharge Zone will prohibit discharge of raw or partially treated sewage from boats by requiring all vessels with a permanent toilet to collect sewage in a holding tank and then pump it out for proper treatment. There are 100 pumpout facilities throughout the Puget Sound region available for boaters to use. Most boaters – over 97 percent – are already doing the right thing and utilizing this service to avoid dumping waste in our waterways.
Currently boats are allowed to discharge partially treated sewage anywhere in the Sound, and raw sewage more than 3 miles from shore. But Clean Water Act regulations do not require that treated sewage from vessels meets state water quality standards, and discharge isn’t monitored for pathogens, bacteria, and other pollution. Bacteria can live for more than 24 hours in the water, where currents may carry them to swimming beaches and shellfish beds.
We know the maritime community values Puget Sound and is committed to its protection. A No Discharge Zone is the right move for the health of our waters. Add your voice to help this important rule move forward!