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No Discharge Zone Will Stretch from Mexico to Oregon
Just in time for Spring Break a new federal regulation will prevent certain boats from discharging sewage -whether or not it’s treated- into California’s marine waters. The sewage ban will create the largest “No Discharge Zone” (NDZ) in the country stretching from Mexico to Oregon and includes waters around major islands. The ban will stop an estimated 22 million gallons or more of treated sewage from being dumped into the oceans, bays, and estuaries each year along 1,624 miles of coast. Under the Clean Water Act the state of California was able to ask the EPA to approve the NDZ to help restore water quality.
“This is an important step to protect California's coastline. I want to commend the shipping industry, environmental groups and U.S. EPA for working with California to craft a common sense approach to keeping our coastal waters clean," said California’s Governor Jerry Brown.
The bill is the Clean Coast Act and was signed today by the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld and authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto) and prohibits ships from dumping hazardous waste, sewage sludge, oily bilge water, “gray water” from sinks and showers, and sewage into state waters.
The ships affected are:
Large Passenger Vessels over 300 gross tons or more that have berths or overnight accommodations for passengers
Large Oceangoing Vessels over 300 gross tons, including private, commercial, government, or military vessels equipped with a holding tank with remaining capacity at time of entry or containing any sewage generated prior to entry to California marine
The ban will go into effect in March and will be enforced by the Coast Guard who will have the right to inspect vessels another provision under the Clean Water Act.
According to the EPA “several dozen cruise ships make multiple California port calls each year while nearly 2,000 cargo ships made over 9,000 California port calls in 2010 alone.” The amount of sewage they dump is polluting coastal waters diverse marine life call home and makes for unhealthy beaches that no tourist or surfer would care to visit.
"California's coastal waters will no longer serve as a sewage pond for big ships," said Cal/EPA Secretary Matthew Rodriquez. "For too long, pollution from these vessels has endangered our marine environment, jeopardized public health and threatened the coastal communities that rely on recreation and tourism dollars. I commend U.S. EPA for helping us ensure that our coastline remains pristine."
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.