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A Cleaner Act

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It looks like Boston Harbor will get much cleaner because federal, state and local officials said they expect to have a no-discharge plan in place by Memorial Day 2008. This means boaters can no longer dump treated head waste into the water. Instead, they will have to go to a pump-out station at a local marina, or hail a pump-out vessel plying the harbor. Violators would be fined up to $2,000.

This move is the next step toward cleaning up the harbor. A recent $4 billion cleanup included renovations to waste-water treatment plants and sewage systems.

Massachusetts already has several no-discharge zones, and state officials hope to have the entire coastline designated a no-discharge zone by 2009.

The Bay State’s neighbors Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire have designated their entire coastlines as no-discharge zones.

This makes sense to us. Boaters benefit from cleaner waters. It’s also better for swimming and fishing.

But we also recognize this move poses challenges to boaters and marinas.

Are there enough pump-out facilities to accommodate the boaters? Is there enough manpower to take care of the docks? Will the boaters know about this incentive?

What are your thoughts?

- Lois Caliri and JoAnn Goddard
Soundings Trade Only

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