Click for Westport Click for Glendinning Click for CL Yachts Click for Lurssen Click for Mag Bay

Maryland Proposed changes for Chesapeake Bay

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by jhall767, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Middle River MD
    Marmot Very funny :) It almost sounds like you know what you are talking about.

    Now I'll give you that there is a definition on the wire tie. However I have been told different rules by DNR and USCG. If you have a single wire tie on it you should prevail in court.

    (ii) Any [installed in–line Y] valve THAT COULD DIRECT 22 SEWAGE INTO THE WATER shall be secured to prevent the overboard discharge of 23 sewage, TREATED OR UNTREATED, from any vessel utilizing a TYPE I, TYPE II, OR 24 Type III marine sanitation device, by bypassing, locking, securing, or disabling the 25 valve using a padlock or nonreusable wire tie wrap, or by removal of the valve handle, 26 or by any other method in accordance with federal regulations and standards or as 27 approved or required by the Department.

    Read The bill

    (f) A person who violates a provision of this section is subject to a civil 6 penalty not exceeding [$2,000] $10,000 PER OCCURRENCE.

    pretty clear.

    (G) THE FOLLOWING OFFICERS HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE 12 THIS SECTION AND TO INSPECT ANY VESSEL SUBJECT TO THIS SECTION: 13
    (1) NATURAL RESOURCES POLICE; 14
    (2) ANY SWORN STATE OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER 15 WITH JURISDICTION TO ENFORCE THE LAWS IN THE COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY 16 IN WHICH THE MARINA OR VESSEL IS LOCATED;

    pretty clear.
  2. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Middle River MD
    Well I know where the INTENT of portions of the law is directed. I also know how it works here in Maryland. It's about pretending to do something and collecting money. Why is the fine the same for a cruise ship as a 22' bayliner? There should be a reasonable middle ground.

    A local business (small strip mall) that we do business with had a sewer line break during that week of downpours back in September. They fixed it as soon as they could get equipment to it. Less than five days. I'd love to post the letter they got from Maryland Department of the Environment but I don't have permission so I'll have to summarize it.

    MDE is authorized to charge administrative penalties of $1,000 per day and civil penalties of $10,000 per day. MDE has determined that ... could be liable for the maximum penalty for each reported occurrence.

    However prior to filing a formal action MDE is offering you an opportunity to settle for $4,000 as long as you respond within the next 10 days.

    So hire an attorney to argue that the ground washing out was an act of god or whatever and that the company did everything it could to minimize the spill. Win and your lawyer gets the $4,000. Lose he still get's his money and the state will get even more. Maybe $55,000. Doesn't matter if you are 100% right - just pay the fine and move on.

    Now here's the kicker. The pumping station that their sewage goes to was reported as overflowing the whole time.

    So yeah I'm just a little skeptical about motives, intentions and outcome. I don't think its paranoid. More like experience. I'd like to see reasonable laws and regulations enforced. Not to be told I'm for polluting the bay because I see flaws in the legislation.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    One has very little to do with the other. Spill cleanup is big money and costs big money. 5 days to clean up a sewage spill is unconscionable. Sounds like someone was trying to find a cheaper way to do it. I've been on enough spills, land and water. The cleanup company should have been on scene within a very few hours. But I DK the details here.
    Funny you should mention the Bayliner because in a marina I used to run we had a Bayliner. It was owned by a couple of nickel millionaires who lived on it all summer and never moved. I caught them pumping out several times each summer and they'd just deny it. Nobody took it seriously. I'd have loved to see them hit with a $15,000 fine. Guaranteed those cheap sobs would be paying the pump out boat or be gone.
  4. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Middle River MD
    I see I am stymied by my use of the english language:) There was no spill to clean up. It was maybe a 6" sewer line that cracked when the ground was washed out from under it. They sent a crew immediately. The line was patched within 24 hours but they couldn't dig it up and replace the pipe until the flooding receded.

    However I've gotten off track. I was looking for some reasonable alternatives to applying a $10,000 fine whether it be 1 cup or 10,000 gallons. Cruise ship or deck boat. It's the same logic with a fuel spill. Big or little same fine. And there isn't a recreational boater out there who hasn't spilled at least one drop of fuel over the years.

    I see this bill as being a feel good measure that is attacking flea with a sledge hammer while ignoring real problems. Eliminate all the "Marina Queens" on the bay and it won't make enough of a difference to measure. Eliminate electro-scans that already discharge within the EPA guidelines and pump their waste to a treatment plant that may or may not discharge less nutrients. Even less of a difference. This bill is either going to be ignored by the DNR (as you said "Nobody took it seriously") or be randomly enforced. Probably to the point that most people will ignore it because they assume they won't get caught.

    How about we start by enforcing the current rules for a year. Test marina basins for bacteria. If you find it start testing boats. If a boat fails test it frequently. Escalate the fines for subsequent failures. Better dye test the pump out system too. Make the $10,000 fine apply to commercial vessels and marina's that dump their pump outs back into the bay.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Like with most laws there is descretion. Like with most there a sledge hammer available. If you feel that the penalties for commercial spills should be increased propose a law, lobby. If you think little pollutors should only face fines that won't bother them or that tax payers should pay to have agents repeatedly going back to slap offenders on the wrist, good luck with that. I'm on the water more than most and I'm not worried about it. Where no discharge zones are and how much the fines are for violations don't concern me. I consider all inside waters no discharge zones and if I screw up I'll pay the price.
    Now if you don't mind I'm going to step away from this thread. I think all that's to be said has been.
  6. coot

    coot New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Baltimore
    What they're doing is already illegal, and they can be fined under current law. When you reported it to the police, did they tell you why they did not take it seriously?

    And since these guys are already doing something illegal, why do you think banning somebody else from using a Type I MSD will help?
  7. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Ormond Beach, FL
    I'm surprised there is even such a thing as a "Y" valve. The other issue could be dirty oily bilges and the issues associated with pumping that nasty water overboard.

    I'm aware of a situation where ... a large boat was right at the marina where there was a pump out available ... but instead of using it, they went out in the water a little ways and pumped it all overboard ... 250 gallons or so.

    This is a very common attitude.

    Of course, the sewage treatment plant on the Potomac River pumps out raw sewage when it rains really hard. ... you can watch 1/2 of the river muddy looking and 1/2 of the river black where the input pipe comes in.

    My problem is that it's another example of beating up on the common man while allowing big government and big business (because of their political contributions and power) to run hog wild.

    Set one rule for the common man ... make the government exempt from the rules.
  8. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    716
    Location:
    Hudson River
    Is that a non-reusable tie wrap made of wire, or a non-reusable tie wrap intended to be used on wires, but could be made of nylon? If you use a nylon zip tie, while it's not intended to be reused, it is easily opened with a small pocket knife and reused. However, reusable safety wire such as used for securing bolts is almost never reused once bent and twisted. So which is better, or at least acceptable? Are the wire tie wraps with pressed lead seals such as used to seal shipping containers acceptable? they're made of wire, but not used to wrap wire. What about the wire numbered tags used to lock out our power meters? Are those acceptable? They're non-reusable. If they were used in conjunction with an OSHA-approved lockout-tagout device, would it be acceptable? The handle is not itself secured by a padlock or wire tie, but a wire tie or padlock could be used to secure the lockout-tagout device. This might be more secure than a nylon zip-tie but will it pass muster with the local trout trooper?

    I've read the bill about 20 times by now, but with each re-reading, more questions arise to the point where it is now clear as mud. The loopholes are growing, and it will be the larger boats whose owners and their attorneys can afford to jump through them who will be unaffected.

    Typical feel-good do-nothing legislation that makes illegal something that was already illegal. Some office schmuck probably spent 10-12 years of his life doing studies and proposing language before this bill came to light as a law. One more law and he retires at 80% on our tax dollars, while we have to suffer his myopia probably forever, or until the next egghead comes along and decides that law just wasn't strict enough, so let's write another. :rolleyes:
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Why worry about this when you have little ditties like this around:
    "Top Craziest Laws Still on the Books
    Stephanie Paul - Oct 2007
    Motorists take heed: If you ever find yourself driving at night through rural parts of Pennsylvania, state law requires that you stop every mile to send up a rocket signal. It's true. And if you see a skittish team of horses coming toward you, be sure to take your car apart, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes—unless, of course, you want to be in violation of state law.
    Seem implausible? Actually, this absurd Pennsylvania law is technically still on the books."
    And we pay these people to write this stuff.:(
  10. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,313
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    I love it! Next time I'm in PA I'm going to pick up a big box of rockets and drive around at night for a while just to see what happens.

    The only problem is there is probably another law that prohibits the launching of rockets within X many feet of a public thoroughfare after sundown. Either that or rockets have been declared illegal fireworks.

    Politicians are known for their extended palms, not their intellect, powers of reasoning, memory ("I have no recollection of ...), or knowledge of history beyond who gave them how much for what.
  11. Emerson

    Emerson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Homer, AK
    I don't see how that (70%) matters at all, I do see how it can be misleading. The Nitrogen in the Air is N2 while the nitrogen in the discharge is NO2-, NO3-, (NH2)2CO, and NH4OH primarily; the chemicals have very different effects on growth, with N2 doing almost nothing except in the hands of some very specialized cells in very specialized forms of bacteria (specifically amorphic Rhyzobium spp. within root nodules on legumes and a few other plants and crypt cells in blue green algae colonies).

    The comparison between boats and cities is a valid one, but just because they aren't fixing a big expensive problem doesn't mean that they shouldn't be fixing a small cheap (relatively) problem. Anyone dumping from their boat in the bay deserves the fines, and maybe that money will pay for the enforcement. The perfect shouldn't be the enemy of the good.
  12. coot

    coot New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Baltimore
    The Y valve has a purpose. From Norfolk to Bermuda is about 650 nautical miles. From Bermuda to the Azores is about 1900. That is a long way between pumpout stations.

    Obviously, a 25 foot Bayliner was not designed to make that trip, but there are plenty of boats in Maryland that can.

    Again, if you want the existing law enforced, you have to report these things. This is already illegal, so making it illegal for somebody else to do something different (i.e. use a Type I MSD) doesn't help.
  13. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Ormond Beach, FL
    I just don't think people would violate if the boat were not designed to do it with the Y valve or in the case of my 54, the ability to pump out the holding tank (into the Ocean or Bay) at will.

    And ... the Bertram 54, even though it holds 1400 gallons of fuel, will not make Bermuda. So my boats have no real reason to have a Y valve or pump overboard ability.

    It wouldn't be too difficult to have a boat stop at a certified shop where a Y valve would be installed for the purpose of making a major crossing.

    Allowing a boat to have a Y valve on board but NOT use it is a little like saying it's ok for people to possess drugs as long as they don't use them.

    I'm not sure I understand what a big deal it is to pump out the holding tanks while getting fuel. Do people really have that little respect for the environment?

    I don't throw trash out the window. When I walk the dog, I pick up the dogs poop and trash that might be laying around the beautiful community.

    So ... I don't get it ... but I can tell you that two very very experienced boaters I know, discharge at will. Kind of like pouring motor oil out in the back yard .. we used to do that as kids.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,058
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    That's not true. It is legal to pump overboard in international waters. So off of South Florida anything more then 3 miles and you can legally dump your holding tank and most all of the east coast. So that is why it is there. You can also pump overboard in the Bahamas anywhere in ocean waters......

    Also I could get your boat to Bermuda with it's 1400 gallons. If you run the boat at 800rpms and run it at cruise for 30mins every 6hrs, you have enough range to troll your way to Bermuda. I'd take another 200 gallons in a bladder tank, but it can be done with plenty of range leftover if done correctly.
  15. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Ormond Beach, FL
    That explains why they are going to have a hell of a time stopping a practice that has been the norm. And why my more experienced boating friends don't hesitate at all to pump overboard.

    I'll need to try that Bermuda trip sometime:)
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hopefully they do that 3 miles offshore. SF are a prime examples of why a Y valve. Although they occassionally cruise marina to marina for lunch, more often they're running to the fish with a 1/2 dozen guys, beer and a bunch of food. Many of these boats have a very small holding tank (why waste space on a holding tank where you might stick a bait well). Easy math.:D
  17. ronbo

    ronbo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    cheasapeake bay
    UPDATE on Maryland No Discharge Zone Legislation

    Update on Maryland No Discharge Zone Legislation‏

    From: David B. Kennedy (dkennedy@boatus.com) on behalf of govtaffairs (govtaffairs@BOATUS.com)
    Sent: Wed 3/17/10 2:25 PM


    Dear BoatU.S. Member,

    You’ve asked for us to keep you up to date on the proposed Maryland No Discharge Zone legislation.

    Yesterday, SB513 was heard in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. The hearing was very well attended, with more than 30 people testifying and a full hearing room. We’d like to send our thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts with their Senators ahead of the hearing and those who gave up a beautiful Tuesday afternoon to show up in Annapolis. Those boaters who spoke did a great job of telling their story, and what they thought of the bill. The committee members were given a wide array of information from the witnesses, and now they have much to think about.

    The Committee Chair spoke of proposed Amendments to the bill that would give the commercial sector more time to comply, and lower the fine. However, these don’t appear to have been written yet, so we can’t confirm exactly what is under consideration.

    On Friday afternoon the companion bill HB 1257 will be heard in the House Environmental Matters Committee. We encourage boaters to show up and let this Committee also understand your perspectives. Keep in mind that unlike Tuesday, we expect Friday’s hearing to be run with strict time limits on testimony of 3 minutes or less. Submit your full thoughts in writing, but if you will be testifying be ready to summarize your thoughts efficiently.

    Details for Friday’s hearing:

    * Room 250, House Office Building, Annapolis, MD 21401
    * Start time is scheduled for 1:00 pm.
    * Anyone wishing to testify must sign the witness register before the hearing begins. If you are submitting written testimony you must submit 40 copies to the committee staff for distribution one hour prior to the hearing.
    * The Committee’s web site is: http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/hearsch/0304_env.htm
    * Map of the House Office Building Location: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=38.98...8.98035,-76.492047&spn=0.002932,0.004812&z=18

    The time and place of the hearing can change up until the last minute, so check the state website again before driving to Annapolis!

    Margaret Podlich
    VP Government Affairs
    BoatU.S.
    703-823-9550 x8355
    Govtaffairs@boatus.com
  18. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    Lighthouse Point, FL
    Here's a couple of questions-

    Is the entire Bay a no discharge zone? If not, I guess it is legal to pump more than 3 miles from shore? Is that area considered Federal waters?

    I tried researching this and came up empty!
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
  20. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    Lighthouse Point, FL
    Thanks for the info on California pump out laws. Do you have the info in the Chesapeake Bay?