Posted a year and 7 months ago
Topic: Admiralty and Maritime Law
In conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a ban prohibiting boaters from dumping sewage into Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake.
The ruling also extends to the Seneca River, which flows out of Seneca Lake, as well as to any other connected tributaries big enough for boats.
This action resulted after DEC petitioned the EPA to establish “no discharge zones” in April, 2015, in an effort to further eliminate sewage from the many waterways of New York, due to DEC’s concern that sewage in the water raises the levels of chemicals and can also transmit diseases, harming both people and wildlife. Drinking water is pumped from both Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, and the flora, fauna and marine life that live in the lakes exist are affected by the presence of the additional chlorine and formaldehydes usually found in sewage.
After reviewing the proposal and the areas surrounding the lakes, the EPA determined that boats have access to plenty of designated waste facilities to dump their sewage and do not need to dispose of waste directly into the water. The EPA determined that pump-out stations are located at strategic and convenient points around both lakes, allowing boaters to dispose of sewage and waste in a way that does not threaten the environment.
Effective immediately after the September ruling, Lakes Seneca and Cayuga were added to the Federal Register as protected “no dumping” zones. Other protected New York waterways include Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Hudson River, Lake Champlain and Lake George. The New York State Canal System is also protected as well as several other minor waterways.
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