Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has introduced legislation that would establish a “No Discharge Zone” for all Maryland waters. This means there would be no discharge of boat sewage, whether treated or untreated, from any vessels into Maryland waters. Currently, treated sewage from Type I and II Marine Sanitation Devices (like a LectraSan) can be discharged. It is already illegal in all U.S. waters to discharge untreated sewage from boat toilets (black water).
House Bill 1257 and Senate Bill 513, which are identical, would change Maryland law to prohibit the discharge of treated sewage from Type I and II MSDs in all boats and ships in Maryland.
Please note the following:
- This does not include grey water (sinks/showers). It covers black water from installed toilets.
- The proposed fine for a violation is $10,000 per occurrence for a violation, while the state’s fine for manslaughter is $500 or bribing a voter is $500.
- There is no grandfather clause for current owners of Type I or Type II MSDs.
- The bills would take effect June 1, 2010 (or after approval from the federal EPA).
- If passed, the Dept. of Natural Resources must proceed to authorize routine inspections of sewage equipment (in all boats) and periodic dye flush tests of your boat’s head(s).