No-discharge zone planned for Lake Ontario

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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the Environmental Protection Agency plans to "tentatively approve" a request to make Lake Ontario a no-discharge zone and aims to make that decision permanent after a 30-day public comment period.

“I applaud the EPA’s decision to swiftly review and tentatively approve New York’s request to establish a no-discharge zone in Lake Ontario,” Schumer said in a statement.

“It is imperative that we take the necessary steps to safeguard [boaters ’ and swimmers’] health and protect the lake’s marine life and habitats, and the EPA agrees with the urgency and importance of this petition,” he added. “I urge the EPA to move swiftly through the final steps required in putting human health and water quality first and swiftly establish a no-discharge zone.”

In response to Schumer’s June 27 letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, the EPA said it agrees with the urgency and importance of the petition for a no-discharge zone in the lake.

The action, according to Schumer, will protect the water quality of the lake, which includes 13,500 square miles and 326 linear shoreline miles of navigable portions of the lower Genesee, Oswego, and Black rivers and numerous tributaries, harbors and embayments of the lake.