No Discharge Zone
Response to public comments on the Draft NDZ Petition
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 update for details on Ecology’s next steps.
What is a No Discharge Zone or NDZ?
A No Discharge Zone (NDZ) is a designated body of water where the discharge of sewage (blackwater/toilet waste) from boats, whether treated or not, is prohibited.
Under existing federal regulations, treated sewage may be discharged anywhere in Puget Sound, and untreated sewage may be discharged as long as the boat is more than three miles from shore.
If a NDZ is established no boat, whether a freighter, a cruise ship, or a sailboat, could discharge anywhere within the designated NDZ. All boats and vessels would have to store their sewage until they could safely dispose of it at an onshore or mobile pumpout facility, or hold it until it can be discharged in the open ocean beyond 3 miles from shore. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Vessel Sewage website has more information on NDZs. More than 80 NDZs have been established in 26 states, while there are currently no NDZs in Washington State. A full listing of these NDZs is provided on EPA’s NDZ website.
Maps of Resources Impaired due to Bacteria
Typical NDZ Process
A potential final petition to EPA will occur, at the earliest, in the fall of 2015.
Last updated February 2015
Where can I find out about available pumpout facilities?
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