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Water Quality Program

No Discharge Zone

Public Comment Period on DRAFT NDZ Petition

The 60-day Public Comment Period for the Draft NDZ Petition has ended.

Thank you to everyone that submitted comments. We received more than 25,000 comments and will be issuing a summary of comments by summer of 2014.

For more information please contact:

Amy Jankowiak, amy.jankowiak@ecy.wa.gov
Washington Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
Attn: Amy Jankowiak, 3190 160th Ave SE, Bellevue WA 98008

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

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 an 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.

Status of NDZ

Steps for NDZ

Why an NDZ

How this NDZ Affects Boaters

Why it Matters




Typical NDZ Process

A potential final petition will not occur until February 2015 at the earliest, following an analysis of stakeholder input.

Why it matters

Where can I find out about available pumpout facilities?
Pumpout Station Information

We want your input on this project.
Please contact
Amy Jankowiak