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Puget Sound No Discharge Zone

What is the status of the Puget Sound NDZ?

proposed no discharge zone map

On July 21, 2016, Ecology issued a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a NDZ ban on vessel sewage in Puget Sound area waters.

Read the petition and supplemental letter requested by EPA

The decision to petition EPA came after more than four years of evaluation, extensive stakeholder outreach and a 2014 draft petition that went out for public comment.

What happens next?

EPA reviewed our petition and has determined that a no discharge zone can be established for Puget Sound. EPA found that there are adequate facilities in Puget Sound for vessels to pump out their sewage and Washington state may move forward with a designation. With EPA’s approval in place, we are initiating rulemaking to make Puget Sound off limits to vessel sewage. The rule will allow five years for some commercial vessels without holding tanks to add them.

EPA’s determination in the Federal Register

Ecology’s current rulemaking process

We will continue to work with stakeholders and improve infrastructure for both recreational and commercial pumpouts as part of an ongoing process to assure continual pumpout option. As part of this, we are adding at least one commercial pumpout as part of a National Estuary Program grant funded process.


Last updated July 2017

Read the petition

Give us your input on the NDZ