Recreational Boating and the EPA - Page 2 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 04-04-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 8,951
Thanks: 10
Thanked 135 Times in 121 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
I received the invte from BoatUS to participate in the webinar series put on by the EPA on this subject. I registered for one in April and intend to provide constructive feedback. So much more can be done with the time and resources than to regulate gray water. For starters, how about easier and less expensive access to appropriate bio-degradable soaps. Make this stuff easier and less expensive and the public lines up to do the right thing. Pass a law and the black market is born.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #12  
Old 04-04-2011
travlineasy's Avatar
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,298
Thanks: 3
Thanked 59 Times in 49 Posts
Rep Power: 4
travlineasy will become famous soon enough
Think seriously about how many billions of dollars the EPA has pissed away since it was created. Now, think about all the stupid-a$$ed studies that have been done on Chesapeake Bay water quality, the first of which was done in 1900, studies that have resulted in nothing more than creating bureaucratic jobs for a number of universities. If anyone really believes the EPA is doing a great job, then they obviously still believe in the Tooth Fairy. I've been fishing and boating in both the Chesapeake and Delaware bays since 1948. Back then the fish were plentiful, they did not have a host of diseases, they were not covered with sores, you could safely consume raw oysters and clams harvested in Chesapeake Bay, and the best way to find the largest oysters was to dive for them among the pilings of Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Choptank River Bridge (U.S. 50 Bridge) and the old Kent Narrows Bridge. In early October you could see them nearly 20 feet beneath the surface on the Kent Island Oyster Bar.

That oyster bar has been dead since the new sewage discharge pipe was installed at Kent Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. Every species of fin-fish in Chesapeake Bay is covered with sores from a host of diseases, with mycobacterium heading the list. What's mycobacterium? This particular strain IS contagious to humans, and it's a form of wasting disease that's very similar and of the same genre as tuberculosis.

IMHO, every major body of water in the United States is in far worse condition today than it was a half-century ago. The main reason the EPA is going after recreational boaters is because they have the power to do so. They obviously don't have the power to go after the real culprits.

What's really perplexing is that a fair number of people still fall for the BS that the EPA and many state agencies spew out on an annual basis. Think about Maryland's $30 yearly annual flush tax. Yep, if you own a home, even one that has the most up-to-date septic system on the planet, you must still pay that $30 year after year after year. The state says "It's going to a good cause--it will really help clean up Chesapeake Bay. Now go look for that quarter under your pillow that the Tooth Fairy left while you were sleeping.

Gary
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #13  
Old 04-05-2011
Learning to sail
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 113
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 5
aaronwindward is on a distinguished road
(What follows is pro-environment, and perhaps somewhat vitriolic. My apologies.)

Someone mentioned "why don't they go after the real polluters" and it reminded me of the excuse of speeders to police, "why don't you go after the real criminals?"

Honestly, this is not a political position that I can find any respect for. I'm not even sure if it's a political position. It's just lameness.

I don't see articulate and reasoned justifications for why people think it's acceptable to discharge whatever they like into their waters. I see a bunch of nonsense antigovernment rhetoric, and then a bunch of other people who aren't interested in protecting the environment, and a lot of other people who just don't have any apparent connection to reality. If you don't think the CWA or EPA have made a massive impact on water quality, then I don't even know if we can have any rational discourse. I don't see any serious environmental groups even remotely opposed to the CWA--just a bunch of conservative and libertarian groups that aren't interested in the environment.

I like overreaching government even less than the next guy, but if this community doesn't man up at some point, we're going to become massively disenfranchised. We'll be thinking back to the current abusive Y-valve boardings as if they were the good ole days. travlineasy mentioned in a separate thread that it seemed to him that the EPA was not interested in input at this point, that they'd already made up their mind. It's true: at this point, saying "I just want to dumb dirty water because it's not very much" is just not interesting to the EPA. We're now at a "how," not an "if" part of the process.

The CBA is not the problem here. Even if all of this went away, it will just come back again in a few years. Most environmentally-minded people want all easily-preventable pollution to go away, in the long run. They want boaters to stop dumping waste for the same reason they don't want random dump people dumping waste into the storm sewers. Asking boaters to just, some sort of way, not dump nasty stuff into inland and coastal waters, is really not that unreasonable.

Take a look at other sports that have tried to oppose strong public opinion. Sport shooting in the US is a good example. Gun advocates have generally refused to make any concessions whatsoever, even ones that probably wouldn't be that big of a deal, and in return, have faced wide and severe bans all across the board. A lot of the government action on firearms is straight up unconstitutional by any reasonable measure. Well, gun owners are probably still going to end up having universally microstamped chambers; it's just most of the guns and ammo worth shooting will be banned by then.

The pro-boating lobby is not nearly as powerful. I'm not sure if it even has any power; everything recreational boaters have seems to be hand-me-downs from the merchant marine. And we definitely don't have a constitutional guarantee of boat ownership, or even basic 4th amendment protection against unreasonable searches, inexplicably. If the boating community doesn't make reasonable compromises with the environmental community, they're going to take what they want, and they're not going to be nice about it: more "protected waters," more abusive boardings, impoundments, overreaching bans on boat equipment, restrictions on marinas, etc.

Last edited by aaronwindward; 04-05-2011 at 12:49 AM. Reason: typographical fixes
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #14  
Old 04-05-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 8,951
Thanks: 10
Thanked 135 Times in 121 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
Personally, I'm supportive of black water retention and biodegradable soap in discharged gray water. If your argument is to lay this at the doorstep of conservatives and libertarians, then you sir, are emblematic of the fuel behind the real waste in our country.

This isn't a political issue, its a logical one. Going to zero impact is not how nature has evolved to this point. That's hard for narrow minded people to really understand. The goal should be sustainable impact and, even the EPA admits, this initiative was forced through a clever legal battle waged by extreme environmental activists. The EPA themselves tried to avoid this. Given their propensity for these measures, that should tell everyone that is lining up in favor to take a breath and think.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #15  
Old 04-05-2011
primerate84's Avatar
Just a Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 272
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
primerate84 is on a distinguished road
Unfortunately, the EPA is all political. Don't think for one minute that they will take a practical approach to things versus a "letter of the law" interpretation of some of the most rediculous laws ever passed by Congress. (Remember the snail darter and the spotted owl?) Just ask some of the unemployed miners in West Virginia about the impact of the Clean Air Act in the 80's. Totally destroyed an industry because of the restrictions placed on burning high sulfur coal. All could have been avoided by phasing in scrubbers on the stacks of the coal-fired power plants. Saved jobs, improved the environment, makes sense... But, the experts and their enforcement arm, the EPA, took the radical approach. Remember, one of the cardinal rules of DC is when a law is passed to solve a problem, the opposite usually occurs.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #16  
Old 04-05-2011
PaulfromNWOnt's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Fort Frances, ON, CA
Posts: 342
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 5
PaulfromNWOnt is on a distinguished road
Personally, I really don't like the cost approach to ecology management. People are always going off about how much it will cost Soand So to do Whatzit, and that no one can afford it. If 'Those' people get their way, do you have any idea how much your taxes are going to go up?!

This is the Wrongheaded approach.

Let's try instead to think about how much this is going to cost in 20 to 50 years.
Let's use a boating analogy for perspective: Your mooring is in need of repair, but that's going to be pricey. Let's leave it for this year. Next year it's the same thing. Eventually you find yourself saying "well it's held this far".
Then the storm.
Boat winds up as fiberglass slivers on a once pristine shoreline.

Oops. Maybe should have repaired the mooring. 20/20 hindsight.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #17  
Old 04-06-2011
Learning to sail
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 113
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 5
aaronwindward is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulfromNWOnt View Post
Let's try instead to think about how much this is going to cost in 20 to 50 years.
Let's use a boating analogy for perspective
I think long-term cost-based measures are really the only rigorous method of protecting the environment. Defining an actual monetary cost for the environmental impact, and then pricing it in, helps everyone make sane solutions. The obvious usefulness are cases where a small amount of pollution will create enormous value, meaning we still want to pollute, as long as the absolute quantity of all pollution is actually small. The result of a system like this is joe citizen or joe corporation can simply make the best economic choice, and they're also making a good environmental choice automatically. Cap and trade-type systems are a good choice, but there are others. The detractors for these types of systems generally aren't opposed to the economics; they're really opposed to the cause.

So none of this matters if people don't believe in the cause. Boaters tend to be a nature-loving bunch, but there's sure a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to environmental issues--and a good part of it seems to be wilfull.

An exemplary example is John Vigor's Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Sailing, which I read cover-to-cover as I was thinking about buying a book. The book is full of good advice, but somewhere in there is some nonsense about (paraphrasing from memory) how it is probably OK to poop in coastal waters because lots of fish poop in there, and stuff. It's true, in the past six years, people have wised up a bunch about this sort of thing, but it's still nonsense, and could have confirmed it with any legitimate expert of his choice, such as an environmental engineer. Or jeez, doesn't this guy have Google?

To reply indirectly to Minnewaska, with respect, I think he's decided first that he doesn't want a gray water tank, and is then forming convenient rationalizations. Biodegradable soap? This is in no way helpful, other than an ineffective attempt at greenwashing. Biodegrading of soap doesn't help, because the base constituents that the soap would degrade into are still harmful because they inevitably upset the nutrient balance. And there will still be soap bubbles on the water until the stuff 'degrades.' This isn't secret information; responsible biodegradable soap manufacturers put this right on the bottle. Biodegradable soap is only meant to be used at a distance from bodies of water. This is what I mean by wilfull ignorance.

Please don't claim this has something to do with logic. If you've got some logic, I'm more than willing to examine your modus ponenses and demorganizations. No, the difference is of opinion is that you don't think the environment is worth protecting, or you personally just don't want to be bothered.

I'll be clear about what I want. I want water that is as practically clean as if humans weren't dumping their crap into it. I'm not opposed to small amounts of mitigated pollution, such as generated by carefully dispersed or treated effluent. Maybe you're OK with how things are now, with most water bodies being too polluted to safely cook with or drink from, but I don't think it needs to be this way, and it really isn't that hard: people just basically need to not dump untreated stuff into the water.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #18  
Old 04-06-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 8,951
Thanks: 10
Thanked 135 Times in 121 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwindward View Post
...........I'm not opposed to small amounts of mitigated pollution, such as generated by carefully dispersed or treated effluent......
Ironically, while you misunderstood my point, you ended up making it.

I'm not suggesting that biodegradable soaps have zero impact, I'm suggesting their limited impact is acceptable and insignificant, or making them so should be the effort here. I also suggested that our time and resources would be better spent in providing the best of these.

Your house, car (even a Prius), road, clothing and food supply all have an arguable negative impact on the environment. That should be sustainable, not eliminated.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #19  
Old 04-06-2011
tommays's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,245
Thanks: 1
Thanked 25 Times in 25 Posts
Rep Power: 7
tommays will become famous soon enough
Well

Right now my black water goes to the plant in Northport that does not WORK so until they get it working and NOT doing the million gallon dump every-time it rains i am not seeing the gray water thing ?
__________________
1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1981 J24 Tangent 2930
Tommays
Northport NY


If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #20  
Old 04-06-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 8,951
Thanks: 10
Thanked 135 Times in 121 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
There is another practical issue to be addressed, which I intend to make during the EPA webinar. There are hardly any recreational boats capable of making room for a suitably sized gray water holding tank. Your gray water discharge is usually multiples that of blackwater. Should tankage capacity be stressed, I think this could actually encourage the illegal dumping of the blackwater to make room.

It's the prohibition issue. You make a law that sounds right and can't believe that it just goes underground and gets worse.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
US Recreational Vessel Decal coyemory General Discussion (sailing related) 15 07-23-2010 08:14 PM
Recreational Boating Act of 2007 k1vsk General Discussion (sailing related) 31 12-27-2007 06:02 PM
Re: Recreational Boating Panel Survey NewsReader Mass Bay Sailors 0 05-18-2006 03:15 PM
Recreational Boating Panel Survey NewsReader Mass Bay Sailors 0 05-18-2006 12:15 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:25 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.