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Puget Sound No Discharge Zone

Reports & Studies

Ecology conducted a detailed four-year evaluation process which included gathering data on Puget Sound vessels, pumpout facilities, the conditions of Puget Sound, Marine sanitation device (MSD) performance, boater surveys, research on other states with NDZs, an analysis of pollutant movement in areas of Puget Sound, an evaluation of implementation, and outreach to stakeholders.

Studies and surveys conducted so far:

No Discharge Zone Petition Requirements and Petition Research

No Discharge Zone Petition Requirementsand Petition Research
This report summarizes the requirements and approaches to petition EPA for a NDZ and an overview of research on some other states petitions.

Puget Sound Condition, Vessel Sewage Discharge, and the Costs and Benefits of Establishing an NDZ

Puget Sound No Discharge Zone for Vessel Sewage
This report provides an inventory of Puget Sound conditions and identifies areas that are sensitive to nutrients and pathogens. It also has an overview of existing regulations and agreements governing vessel sewage discharges in Puget Sound and a basic assessment of the types and efficacy of MSDs. It summarizes the costs and benefits of establishing an NDZ.

Puget Sound Vessel Population and Pumpout Facilities
Phase 2 Vessel Population and Pumpout Facility Report

Part 3 - Puget Sound Vessel Population and Pumpout Facilities
Part 4 - Phase 2 Vessel Population and Pumpout Facility Estimates
These two reports provide an assessment of Puget Sound’s vessel population and the availability of pumpout facilities. The Phase II report fills in some of the data gaps identified in the first report.

Puget Sound Recreational Boater Survey Results

Part 5 - Puget Sound Recreational Boater Survey Results
This report summarizes the Puget Sound Boater Survey for recreational boats that was conducted in the summer of 2012 to collect data about sewage management practices and habits.

Commercial Vessel Sewage Management in Puget Sound

Part 6 - Phase 2 Commercial Vessel Sewage Management and Pumpout
This report summarizes the results of an information gathering effort about wastewater management practices of commercial vessels operating in Puget Sound.

Implementation of a No Discharge Zone in Puget Sound

Part 7 - A Review of Implementation Strategies in Other States
This report provides a summary of NDZ implementation done in other NDZ areas and recommendations for implementation of an NDZ in Puget Sound.

2013 advisory group meeting notes

2013 advisory group meeting notes
Ecology convened stakeholders to review the available research and address other potential issues related to an NDZ.

Draft Petition for a No Discharge Zone in Puget Sound in Washington State
Cover letter from Ecology to EPA for the draft NDZ petition

Here is our draft petition to EPA for a Puget Sound No Discharge Zone, 2014:
Draft Petition to Designate the Waters of Puget Sound as a No Discharge Zone
Cover letter to EPA requesting their review of the draft NDZ petition

This is an informal draft petition submitted for public comment in 2014.

Response to public comments on the Draft NDZ Petition

Response to Comments: 2014 Draft Petition to Designate the Waters of Puget Sound as a No Discharge Zone
In 2014, Ecology held a 60-day public comment period on the Draft Petition to Designate the Waters of the Puget Sound as a No Discharge Zone. We received more than 26,000 comments. Ecology has completed reviewing, tabulating and responding to the comments with a Response to Comments. See our status updates.

Puget Sound NDZ Commercial Vessel Economic Evaluation Memorandum (Herrera)

Puget Sound NDZ Commercial Vessel Economic Evaluation Memorandum (Herrera)
This memorandum summarizes an evaluation of potential cost impacts of an NDZ for commercial tugboats, commercial fishing, and small passenger vessels.

No Discharge Zone Implementation Strategy, A Framework for Action (Ecology publication)

No Discharge Zone Implementation Strategy, A Framework for Action
This report lays out the education, outreach and enforcement strategy for implementing an NDZ in Puget Sound.

Ecology's evaluation includes science based studies and reports such as:

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Small Cruiseship sample reports

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Small Cruiseship sample reports
Includes sample results including fecal coliform for type II Marine Sanitation Devices (MSD) blackwater from small cruise ships in Alaska for each year. The most recent report (2013) includes results ranging from zero to 4,600,000 fecal coliform/100 milliliters.

Assessment of Potential Health Impacts of Virus Discharge from Cruise Ships to Shellfish Growing Areas in Puget Sound (Washington Department of Health/University of Washington)

Assessment of Potential Health Impacts of Virus Discharge from Cruise Ships to Shellfish Growing Areas in Puget Sound. Washington State Department of Health/University of Washington, 2007
A study of potential human health impacts from virus discharges from large passenger vessels with results indicating that if advanced wastewater treatment systems malfunction, virus discharges from cruise ships may reach some shellfish beds at levels that may lead to illness. The report also provided a recommendation that no discharges from the advanced wastewater treatment systems should occur within 0.5 nautical miles of bivalve shellfish beds.

Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report (EPA)

Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report. U.S. Environmental Protection, December 2008
An assessment of 5 cruise ship waste streams and shows an average fecal coliform concentration in traditional type II MSD effluent of 2,040,000 most probable number (MPN)/100 milliliters (ml) (range of non-detect to 24 million, and more than half of the samples more than 200 MPN/100 ml).

Tracer modeling of water Movement in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea related to the draft proposed No Discharge Zone

Tracer simulations to investigate how waters move in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea to address questions related to the draft proposed No Discharge Zone petition
Addendum to Memo, CORMIX Modeling
This memorandum summarizes results from computer modeling that simulates potential vessel discharges of contaminants at six locations in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea using a conservative tracer, evaluating areas influenced by those discharges.

Evaluation of Improved Type 1 Marine Sanitation Devices: Performance Evaluation Report (Easter Research Group Corporation for EPA)

Evaluation of Improved Type 1 Marine Sanitation Devices: Performance Evaluation Report. Easter Research Group Corporation for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, January 2010
A study of performance testing of type I MSD effluent in a simulated laboratory setting showed fecal coliform ranging from 0 to TNTC with a mean concentration of 82 ±350 MPN/100 ml for the Electro Scan device.

Liberty Bay Marina Study 2010 (Kitsap County Health)

Liberty Bay Marina Study 2010, Kitsap County Health
An assessment of the impact to water quality from untreated sewage discharges, difference in water quality inside versus outside the marina and during high usage vs low usage. The results showed higher levels of fecal coliform bacteria inside marinas compared to areas outside the marinas and higher during weekend events. Follows the 1991 and 2006 studies which showed fecal coliform bacteria levels were significantly higher within marinas compared to areas outside of marinas.

 

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Last updated July 2016

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