No-discharge zone added in Long Island Sound

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Tuesday announced that a 760-square-mile area of Long Island Sound is now a “no-discharge zone.”

The EPA reviewed the New York agency’s proposal to establish a no-discharge zone for New York areas of Long Island Sound and determined that there are adequate facilities in the sound for boats to pump out their sewage. Boaters must now dispose of their sewage at these specially designated pumpout stations.

“Clean water is one of New York’s most valuable assets, and pumping sewage from boats into local waters is a practice that is both harmful and completely unnecessary,” EPA regional administrator Judith Enck said in a statement. “Establishing a no-discharge zone for the New York portions of Long Island Sound is an important step to further protect water quality and vital aquatic habitat in the sound.”

The designation of a no-discharge zone for New York waters of Long Island Sound will create one comprehensive policy for discharges into the water.

Connecticut, which has jurisdiction over half of Long Island Sound, previously designated its portion of the waters as a no-discharge zone.

The no-discharge zone for Long Island Sound will include the open waters, harbors, bays and navigable tributaries of the sound and a portion of the East River from the Hell Gate Bridge in the west to the northern bounds of Block Island Sound in the east.

The waters of Mamaroneck Harbor, Huntington-Northport Bay Complex, Port Jefferson Complex, Hempstead Harbor and Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Complex were previously designated as no-discharge zones.


9 comments on “No-discharge zone added in Long Island Sound

  1. cape may

    Good luck enforcing these measures. How many of these pump out stations are operational, and not in a state of “sorry, we’re closed”.

  2. Irwin Gelbart

    It is very refreshing to see that the various state governments are working in conjunction with envireomentalists to maintain a high standard or our natural resources. The Hundson River has shown the rewards of the mitigation of pollution and so have the estuaries, canals and bays on the south shore of Long Island. With the cooperation of the public and the education of boaters and users of our natural resources we can ensure that our heirs will enjoy the fruits of our labour.

    B Regards,
    Irwin Gelbart

  3. banjoman47

    Ok, so let’s say I have a late model yacht with a Raritan Electro-Scan hold and treat system. This system is approved by the USCG for sewage discharge as it has been proven to treat sewage to a level higher than any sewage treatment plant in the country and, by the use of electronics, will not allow the system to “dump” if these parameters are not detected.
    The owner is sitting in a no-discharge sound (no matter where). It’s been a week on the water. It’s 11:00 p.m. and the tank needs some relief. Does he push the button? Are the poop police diving under boats to ensure compliance? Oh! That’s right the poor boat owner will now need a log, right? What more proof? A receipt? Oh God, I lost that receipt as it seems inconsequential where a last anchored! Oh no! I’m being boarded! Quick honey everybody go below and run the toilets to prove I haven’t pumped overboard!!

    More ridiculous rules and laws to burden the boat owner, marinas, etc.
    I use some pump-out stations that are unmanned! How do I prove I pumped out.

    This government (EPA will not be happy until all (marine) business is destroyed.

  4. Kimberly

    So let’s say we anchor in one of these areas and decide we’re going to have a swim……is someone going to know if I have a tinkle in the water? What if the boats decide they want to pee over board under sail? Does anyone realize how many fish, lobsters, turtles, et al are in the sea that pee and poop on a constant basis? The stupid treatments you add to the tanks are probably more harmful than pee and turd! FYI…. I never throw paper in any of our heads either! The EPA is going to destroy the marine industry TOTALLY. Who will then move onto to get more tax $$. This is RIDICULOUS!

  5. Lawrence A. Husick

    Even when the pumpout stations are working, they just dump their contents into the local sewer, and the local sewage plant treats and discharges it. Since few sewage plants treat waste as effectively as a LectraSan or ThermoPure, all this does is concentrate the waste stream and add to the pollution of the waterways. But never mind the facts! The state has regulated, the EPA has blessed, and now we just have to cross our legs and smile weakly.

  6. suzanne Pogell

    It’s easy to complain about what isn’t working, such as pumpout stations that some marinas don’t bother to maintain, but I congratulate the State of New York and EPA for taking this action. I’m passing this on to Doug Gansler, Attorney General of the State of Maryland – my sailing school’s most frequent port of call. Doug believes that boating and fishable,swimmable waters go hand in hand and so do I.
    I’m hoping this notice will encourage Doug to bring “no discharge” before the State of Maryland Legislature again this year, with far greater support from the marine industry.
    P.S. If you’re an exhibitor or planning to visit the Annapolis Boat Shows, this year (Oct,6-16), please drop in to the GreenMarine Corner at the Market House across from the Show, to see what our indistry is doing to save our waterways and improve the sustainability and quality of life for all of us. Have an item you’d like us to include?, please contact me at

  7. Anthony Cavallo

    , So to all the people that think this is a joke, Shame on you,
    Did you know that most of the Lobsters that are caught in the sound come in from Mamaroneck to Montauck, Your tax dollars paid for the pump stations, So why would you not make sure they work, All you people are being silly and not going along with the program.
    You own a piece of the water then Take Care of It.
    And If you will not take care of it !
    Then take your Junk off the water so that the new Boater’s that want to take care of the water can enjoy there Boats.
    Thank You Anthony

  8. Going Coastal

    Going Coastal is a nonprofit operating free pumpout boat service for recreational boaters in the NYC waters of Western Long Island Sound, find out more at

  9. Allan W. Engler

    This a regulation meant to garner votes, not protect the enviroment. I sold my 1st Raritan LectraSan in 1979 and installed same on the last 2 boats I’ve owned. More raw sewage is discharged from municipal sewage plants during storms than all the pleasure boats. When they put diapers on ducks, I’ll install a holding tank.

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