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Old 23-07-2007, 17:35   #1
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Your Tax Dollars at Work

I received the following alert today from Boat/US, and I include it in its entirety. (Note to Administrators: I do so based on the line in the copy which states, "Forward this Action Alert to your friends, your fishing and boat club, your marina neighbors, and your local press!")


July 23, 2007

EPA Discharge Permit Requirement for Recreational Boats

Dear BoatUS Member,
For 34 years the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exempted discharges from recreational boats from the Clean Water Act permit system. Regretfully, a recent court ruling cancelled this permit exemption. EPA is required by the court decision to develop and implement by September 30, 2008 a national permit system for ALL vessels in the United States for a variety of normal operational discharges.

We have been working behind the scenes with other boating organizations to get the exemption reinstated for recreational boats. Fortunately, the Recreational Boating Act of 2007 (H.R. 2550) has been introduced by Representatives Gene Taylor (D-Miss) and Candice Miller (R-Mich) which would protect recreational boats from being swept into this unnecessary and expensive permitting system.

It is critically important that H.R. 2550 be passed and your support is essential. Please contact your Congressman and Senators TODAY and ask that they co-sponsor or support H.R. 2550.

If the permit system becomes a reality, you will be required to pay for a state permit for each of your boats. EPA will be monitoring your deck runoff, grey water, bilge water, cooling water">engine cooling water, and the use of copper bottom paints.

The original lawsuit that led to this court decision sought to address ballast water discharges from large ocean-going ships, which can introduce damaging aquatic invasive species into U.S. waters. Keeping our waterways clean and preventing the spread of invasive species is of utmost importance to the future of boating. But taking a complex permitting system designed for industrial dischargers and applying it to recreational boats will not yield significant environmental benefits and it will come at a very high cost. Requiring recreational boaters to purchase a permit would not prevent the spread of invasive species.

BoatUS has been a leader in educating boaters about Clean Boating practices for more than a decade. Our nonprofit Foundation has funded local education projects on invasive species prevention, helped develop voluntary Clean Marina programs, and authored much of the country's Clean Boating outreach. These positive education efforts are making a difference.

Please ask your elected federal representatives to support H.R. 2550. It is common-sense legislation. As you send your emails to your Members of Congress, please copy BoatUS at GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com . We’d also like to ask you to send a copy of your correspondence to the EPA, so they can see how this will affect citizens. However, please know that if you choose to send it to EPA, it will become a part of the public record. EPA’s email is ow-docket@epa.gov , and your email needs to have a subject line with Docket ID No. OW-2007-0483.

For More Information:

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for a sample email letter

Click here to easily send an email to your Members of Congress.

Forward this Action Alert to your friends, your fishing and boat club, your marina neighbors, and your local press!

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

Margaret Podlich

BoatUS Government Affairs
GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
703-461-2864 or 703-461-2878 x8363

*****

PLEASE NOTE: This email was sent to ****************. If you prefer not to receive information such as this in the future, click here to unsubscribe.

© 2007 Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St.
Alexandria, VA 22304

All Rights Reserved
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Old 24-07-2007, 01:55   #2
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EPA Discharge Permit Requirement for Recreational Boats

See also: BoatUS Government Affairs
Congress Tackles Discharge Permits ~ BoatUS Magazine
July 2007 (press time early June - updated information at bottom)
At: BoatUS.com: Government Affairs

and TaoJones' original article at “Federal Alerts”:
EPA Discharge Permit Requirement for Recreational Boats
BoatUS.com: Government Affairs

And:

EPA Considers How to Develop Vessel Discharge Permit Program ~ EPA
EPA Considers How to Develop Vessel Discharge Permit Program | Newsroom | US EPA

Rulemaking Petition Related to Ballast Water ~ EPA
Rulemaking Petition Related to Ballast Water | Wetlands, Oceans, & Watersheds | US EPA

Don’t Equate Family Boating With Commercial Ballast Water ~ NMMA
http://www.nmma.org/lib/docs/nmma/gr/policy/Ballast_Water_Policy_Brief_(06-04-07).pdf
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Old 24-07-2007, 19:30   #3
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Thumbs up The EZ way to submit your form

TheBoaters.tv

She'll give you the address RallyCongress.com/BoatTestCom (notice the caps)

Do your part!............................................_/)
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Old 24-07-2007, 19:55   #4
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Thanks for the heads-up! Done, with an added comment that HR 2550 would not reduce existing restrictions on sewage or oil discharge.

-Steve
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Old 25-07-2007, 14:02   #5
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Ive sent my Congressman a letter referencing this as requested....

But dont hold your breath anyone. The key phrase in all this is "permits".

"Permits" = $$$$$

At the end of the day, this kind of thing has little to nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with revenue. Boat owners are a minority. Politicians always follow the first rule of politics as outlined by Huey Long: "Don't tax you... Don't tax me.... tax the feller behind the tree!"

If your a boat owner, that means you. New permit requirements simply mean new tax revenue from sources small enough and lacking enough organization to represent any voting threat. Any enforcement efforts to follow will equally focus on revenue. This is just how the system works.


Terry
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Old 25-07-2007, 14:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tspringer
New permit requirements simply mean new tax revenue from sources small enough and lacking enough organization to represent any voting threat. Any enforcement efforts to follow will equally focus on revenue. This is just how the system works.
I guess I'm more sanguine than you about getting this reversed, Terry, otherwise why even bother contacting our reps. If a congressman or senator (or, really, the right people on their staffs) can be made to recognize the patent unfairness of this requirement, then it can be changed. One major problem, though, is that they take the month of August off and have a full plate awaiting them when they return in September, so it will be difficult to get this very high on their priority list in such a short time.

TaoJones
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Old 25-07-2007, 22:16   #7
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Excuse me . . .

I beg your pardon, everyone, as in my post above I state that there isn't much time to get this thing changed before the end of September. In re-reading the alert from Boat/US, I now note that the operative date is September 30, 2008. My bad.

Still, the sooner we all get on this, the better.

TaoJones
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Old 31-07-2007, 15:51   #8
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Sounds like more useless decals to be placed on my boat.
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Old 31-07-2007, 21:50   #9
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Sounds like more useless decals to be put on my boat.
If only it was so easy! To get a clean water permit is not trivial. The amount of paperwork and useless hassel for the EPA as well as for boaters is beyond your imagination if you have had no contact with such regulations.

One way or another this will be modified. My own opinion is that regulating ballast water discharge via the clean water act permit system even for commerical vessels is very, very stupid. After all, the problem with ballest water is that it comes from remote places almost always via non-US flagged ships, which are not subject to the clean water act. There are other ways to do this, better simpler ways. The environmental group that brought this suit in the first place should be ashamed of itself.

Like all things governmental, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:31   #10
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Originally Posted by GreatKetch
Like all things governmental, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
You mean the material used to pave the road is good intentions, or the pavers had good intentions in doing so? Look at it this way, if there was no road to hell, all those who are there would still be here!

The government, which we own, takes each and every task we charge it with and turns it against us for money, and they'll never, never, have enough. It's like a spoiled, rebellious child and sometimes I think we should put it up for adoption.
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Old 14-03-2008, 05:35   #11
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Less than 6 months to go

Don’t Equate Family Boating With Commercial Ballast Water

A court ruling, about pollution being dumped from commercial ship ballast water, will also require all recreational boats to get permits by September, 2008 - despite the fact that 99% of recreational boats do not have ballast tanks?

EPA Fact Sheet:
http://www.nmma.org/lib/docs/nmma/gr...Permitting.pdf

NMMA Policy Statement:
http://www.nmma.org/lib/docs/nmma/gr...f_11-30-07.pdf

Two bills in Congress, “The Recreational Boating Act of 2007,” (H.B. 2550 in the House and S. 2067) permanently exempts boaters from this requirement.
unfortunately, it normally takes Congress more than 2 years to pass a bill.
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Old 14-03-2008, 05:44   #12
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This is an important thread.

However, I can't see how the govt could ever find the staff to bring this part to reality:

"EPA will be monitoring your deck runoff, grey water, bilge water, engine cooling water, and the use of copper bottom paints."

That said, thanks for the reminder, Gord. I hadn't seen this post before.
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Old 14-03-2008, 05:54   #13
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... However, I can't see how the govt could ever find the staff to bring this part to reality ...
The Feds could download the responsibility to the States.
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Old 14-03-2008, 06:44   #14
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I'm a little curious, does that include the Navy and all military craft?
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Old 14-03-2008, 10:12   #15
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not sure current navy regs, but I do remember something about having to pump and flush our ballast tanks when coming back from overseas prior to making US landfall.
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