Friday, February 26, 2010

HB1257 Hearing on 3/19/10 at 1pm

The hearing for HB1257 will be held on March 19, 2010 at 1pm.

For anyone interested in speaking, I will have more information about doing such in the coming days.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

MTAM Comments on Bay-wide No Discharge Zone

Marine Trades Association of Maryland comments on proposed Maryland NDZ legislation.

Read full document here.
Please read this article as it puts some things into a proper perspective. Keep in mind that the area where this occurred is already a NDZ and has been for years. 2.5 million gallons of raw sewage discharged is the eqivalent of 62,000 boats each with a 40 gallon holding tank being discharged all at once. The officials know that sewage is dumped into the nations waters all the time and they know they can't prevent these events from happening. The notion of banning responsible use of TYPE I & II MSD's under the pretense that this will improve water quality is nothing more than an emotional/political ploy that would never stand up to a scientific justification.

Dale Weatherstone.
Raritan Engineering
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update 2/18/10

The Maryland Senate Hearing on SB513 will be held  on 3/16/10 at 1pm.

The bill has also made it to the House as HB1257.

Please contact the House Environmental Matters Committee by phone as well as e-mail.  Use this tool for e-mail:
(follow instructions at top)

Committee Members:
Chair: Maggie McIntosh

*Vice Chair: James E. Malone, Jr.
Saqib Ali
*Tom Hucker
*Pamela G. Beidle
*Stephen W. Lafferty
Elizabeth Bobo
*Doyle L. Niemann
Rudolph C. Cane
H. Wayne Norman
*Alfred C. Carr, Jr.
Anthony J. O'Donnell
Virginia P. Clagett
Andrew A. Serafini
*Barbara A. Frush
Tanya T. Shewell
*Cheryl D. Glenn
Richard A. Sossi
*Anne Healey
*Dana M. Stein
*Marvin E. Holmes, Jr.
Paul S. Stull
Michael H. Weir, Jr.


On a related note, there is a bill in the House concerning delaying, weakening storm-water pollution controls. It will be interesting to see which bill gets more support.,0,3385183.story

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SB513 Sponsors ignore the facts

Vic Willman, from Raritan Engineering, took a look at this link:

and did some math. Take a look and then ask why are the sponsors of SB513 going after Type I and Type II MSD owners who do not pollute at all (and even if you believe their "nutrient" claims, then we contribute
.00034 or three thousands of 1% of the annual nutrient load to the Bay).  Then use this link to contact the members of the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Committee and let them know you oppose SB513.

(Follow the instructions to click the first Senator's name, then shift-click the last name to select all of them)

Vic's Figures:

I tallied up the numbers for 2009 and it came to a little over 26,000,000 gallons, just from Baltimore City and Baltimore County! Twenty-six million gallons! On 10/28/09, there were over 800,000 gallons and on 12/26/09, 22,000,000 gallons! Twenty-two million gallons in just one day! It was the day after Christmas and the overflow lasted for 9 1/2 hours, and went into the Patapsco River - which incidently, empties into the Chesapeake. And these are the figures right from the State of Maryland, plus about 1/3 of the entries didn't put in an estimate of the overflow; they just left it blank! Maybe another 200,000 (?) gallons or so, that weren't even counted.

To match that, at approximately 1/2 gallon of water per flush of a marine toilet, there would have to be 52 million flushes of marine toilets during 2009 somewhere on the Bay, and their discharges would all have to be untreated, which they are not.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sanitary Sewer Overflows

I spent my morning calling the Senators on the committe this SB513 is in.  Senator Joan Carter-Conway was nice enough to return my call.  But she was rather scary when I told her that the only item in question with Type I and Type II MSDs is nutrient output.  She said "every little bit helps".  I responed that we're talking three thousands of 1 percent of the bay's annual nutrient load.  Hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw sewage are dumped into Maryland waters every year by municipalities, and she wants to go after three thousands of 1 percent of the nutrient load.  SCARY!

Here's a fun little link. Take a look at all the RAW sewage that municipal waste treatment plants dump into Maryland waters:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

SB513 is in the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Committee.  Please contact the committee members to let them know how you feel about this legislation.  Remember, Type I and Type II Marine Sanitation Devices do a much better job of treating waste than municipal waste treatment plants.  The AG's office tries to focus on nutrient output from these devices, but the EPA never required Type I or Type II to do anything with nutrients.  And the facts are that of all the Type I and Type II devices on use in the Chesapeake (somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000), the nutrient output of all devices combined is less than a fraction of 1% of the annual nutrient load to the Bay.  I repeat, a FRACTION of 1%!

Senate Education, Health & Environmental Committee members (note: some are *sponsors!):

*Joan Carter-Conway - 3145# -
Roy P. Dyson - 3673# -
Richard F. Colburn - 3590# -
*David C. Harrington - 3745# -
Andrew P. Harris - 3706# -
*Mike Lenett - 3151# -
*Paul G Pinsky 3155# -
Edward R. Reilly - 3568# -
James C. Rosapepe - 3141# -

(To contact by telephone, enter the extensions above after 1-800-492-7122, followed by the # sign)

You may also use this tool to easily e-mail all members of the committee (although phone calls are also recommended):

Follow the instructions to click the first Senator's name, then shift-click the last name to select all of them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I met with Erin Fitzsimmons at the AG's office this morning.  While the meeting was very polite, the outcome was as expected.  The bill has already been introduced in the Senate (SB513), and will be introduced in the House this coming Friday, 2/5/10.  I will try and get the names of the Senate members on the Education Health and Environmental Affairs committe and post them here.

One interesting point from the meeting.  Even thought I don't agree that Type I or Type II approved marine sanitation device output is any problem whatsoever, I asked Ms. Fitzsimmons what percentage of the overall problem she thought boaters as a whole were.  Her answer:  "less than 1 percent".

Wow, thousands of us are either going to have to spend thousands of dollars to modify our boats, or we become instant criminals.  Lovely.

Here's the bill for your reading pleasure.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Maryland Attorney General to propose all Maryland waters as NDZ

I have a meeting tomorrow morning at the Attorney General's office in Baltimore concerning their upcoming legislation to try and designate all Maryland waters (including the Chesapeake Bay) as a No Discharge Zone (NDZ). As I'm sure you're aware, it is ALREADY ILLEGAL to discharge untreated waste into the Chesapeake. However, treated waste may be discharged in all of the Bay except Herring Bay outside of Annapolis. Treated waste must come from a Type I or Type II USCG approve Marine Sanitation Device (MSD). I know many of you have a Type III device (a holding tank), but many of us have Type I. The output of Type I and Type II devices is much cleaner than what a municipal waste treatment plant discharges. Thus, it makes no sense for a boat on Rock Creek that has a Type I device to have to pump-out untreated waste, have it hauled up the creek to the Pasadena plant, treated less, and then discharged back into Rock Creek. Boat US estimates that there are close to 5,000 Type I devices in use on the Chesapeake. Can you imagine the lines for pump-outs on the weekends if 5,000 more boaters need to pump-out?

I'll update again after the meeting.  If the AG's office continues to move forward and introduce the bill, the next step will be to try and kill this horrible legislation in committee.  

Stay tuned.