Thursday, October 7, 2010

Maryland Department of the Environment goes after Marinas, Boaters, and Gray Water

From 2010 Proposed Permit

Found at the Maryland Department of the Environment website.

Don't use your bilge pumps or bathe!

"Where the vessel does not have adequate storage capacity to eliminate such

discharges, gray water production and discharge should be minimized while moored or

in nutrient impaired waters subject to this permit (e.g.,the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries).."

"Bilge waters shall not be discharged to waters of the State if solvents, detergents,

emulsifying agents or dispersants have been added to the bilge (this includes soaps)."

Don't clean your bottom!

"Vessel washing can cause discharges of harmful pollutants either directly discharged to waters of the State or intermingling with storm water. The permit identifies specific conditions on where and how vessels are to be washed, where and how maintenance activities are to be performed and how to prevent exposure of storm water to these activities. Washing of boat bottoms painted with soft ablative paints, or paints which create a visible plume, may not be performed in water. Additionally, the removal of any paints while a vessel is in the water is prohibited. Discharges that contain visible oil sheen, persistent foam or floating solids are prohibited from being discharged to waters of the State."

Don't wash your boat!

"Recommend cleaning vessels on land in a non-compact area and for best filtration, at a
distance from surface waters"

Last year they tried to go after treated discharges from Type I and Type II MSDs. I knew gray water would be next. So for all those boaters with Type III MSDs (holding tanks) who think a "no discharge zone" is just fine, think again! They're coming after you next. They want us off the water!

I suggest we boaters start lighting up the switchboard at MDE: (410) 537-3000