A request by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to declare the entire New York portion of the Long Island Sound as a "no-discharge zone" has received tentative approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Currently the waters of the Huntington-Northport Bay complex, Port Jefferson complex, Hempstead Harbor and Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor complex are designated as no-discharge zones.
A no-discharge designation means that boaters are banned from discharging their on-board sewage into the waters.
The EPA determined that there are adequate facilities for boats in Long Island Sound to pump out their sewage. The EPA is accepting comments through May 11.
Boaters must instead dispose of their sewage at specially designated pump-out stations or pump-out boats, such as that available in Northport Village that can be summoned on Channel 9.
Northport Mayor George Doll said that while he thinks it’s a good idea, he believes pollution in the Sound comes from many sources.
“Sure, it’s a good idea," Doll said. "But studies have shown there are much bigger problems regarding what causes pollution in the Sound, like cesspools, for instance."
The DEC’s application states that “sewage often contains harmful levels of pathogens and chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenols and chlorine” and that “discharges harm water quality, pose a risk to people's health, and impair marine life and habitats.”
Connecticut designated its portion of the Long Island Sound as a no-discharge zone in 2007. A list of pump out facilities in the area and how to reach them is attached to this article in the EPA’s notice in the Federal Register.
To comment to the EPA on the DEC proposal, contact Moses Chang at (212) 637–3867 or firstname.lastname@example.org.