The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced in the Federal Register that it has tentatively determined that there are adequate facilities around Lake Erie for boats to pump out their sewage, allowing the establishment of a “no discharge zone” for 593 square miles of the lake, its tributaries and bays, and 84 miles of shoreline that comprise the New York State portion of the lake.
The no discharge zone, which was proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, means that boats would be banned from discharging sewage into the water. Boaters would instead dispose of their sewage at specially-designed pump-out stations. This action is part of a joint EPA/New York State strategy to eliminate the discharge of sewage from boats into the state’s waterways. The proposed no discharge zone for the New York State portion of Lake Erie includes the waters of the lake from the Pennsylvania-New York State boundary, as well as the Upper Niagara River and numerous other tributaries, harbors and embayments of the Lake, including Barcelona Harbor, Dunkirk Harbor and the Buffalo Outer Harbor.
EPA is accepting public comment on its proposed approval until January 6, 2013.