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Confusing Mess

EPA

Confusing Mess

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday published
its Clean Water Act proposal in the Federal Register. The proposed EPA
regulations would require recreational boaters to follow specific practices
about operating their boats and regulating discharges.

The EPA’s official notice represents a race against time
for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and other boater
groups trying to get the US Congress to extend a regulatory reprieve to
recreational boaters. The proposed law that NMMA is championing, the Clean
Boating Act, would exempt boaters from the EPA regulations.

The new EPA proposals add up to a "confusing mess"
for boaters, according to an NMMA statement. "EPA’s Clean Water Act
proposal unnecessarily creates a cumbersome, complex and confusing permitting
scheme for recreational boaters, throwing them into a regulatory regime
designed for land-based industrial facilities like sewer treatment plants,"
said the statement. "As a result, America’s 18 million recreational
boat owners will be required to observe a multitude of new rules and practices,
yet they won’t be provided clear information as to how to comply with
these new federal requirements by EPA."

The new rules, which are scheduled to go into effect on
October 1, 2008, could also expose boaters to penalties of US$32,500 per
violation per day. Recreational boats above 79 feet will also be categorized
as commercial ships and will be required to follow a different and more
complex set of permit rules.

"Now
more than ever, it is critical that we unite, and compel Congress to pass
the Clean Boating Act of 2008," said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president,
in the statement. "Boaters everywhere must reach out to their state
and local representatives and ask that they support this key piece of
legislation." Thanks to IBI News and click
here
to read the story.