Additional Maine Communities Protect Coastal Waters

Feb. 5, 2010

“No Discharge Area” aims to end boat sewage in Camden, Rockport, Rockland and portions of Owls Head

The Maine coastal communities of Camden, Rockport, Rockland and portions of Owls Head have joined several other Maine coastal towns by protecting their coastal water quality with a “No Discharge Area” designation.

This status prohibits the discharge of treated and untreated boat sewage in these areas. Boat sewage can lead to health problems for swimmers, closed shellfish beds and the overall degradation of marine habitats. The additional Maine areas designated as “no discharge” increases the significant portions of New England waters that prohibit boat sewage in coastal waters.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a request by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to make the designation with a publication in the Federal Register. EPA’s decision is based on the availability of sufficient pumpout facilities to the boating public in this area. There are six pumpout facilities in this area and an estimated 1,151 boats, approximately 813 of which are large enough to have a "head" or toilet on board. EPA worked with state and local officials, and conducted site visits to the area to determine that the six facilities were sufficient to meet the needs of the local boating public.

“A clean environment is one of the bedrock foundations for vibrant, healthy and prosperous communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “Clean coastal water means more days when people can enjoy the beach in the summer, healthy shellfisheries and a resilient tourist economy.”

"The quality of our waters is a huge asset to the state," said Maine DEP Commissioner David Littell. "The new ‘no discharge’ designation will only increase economic opportunities for area fisherman who rely on clean waters for healthy fisheries."

Source: U.S. EPA

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