This comes to us from a concerned reader. Maybe we’re high, but
this almost seems inevitable, does it not?

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.

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.

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.

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, engine cooling water, and the use of
copper bottom paints.

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.

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.

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 [email protected] . 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 [email protected] , and your email needs to have a subject
line with Docket ID No. OW-2007-0483.

more information.