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.