Exemption lets some small boats ignore clean water rules
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Exemption lets some small boats ignore clean water rules

August 14, 2019


NEW AT SIX, IN THE POLLUTION PLAGUED INDIAN RIVER LAGOON AND ELSEWHERE, CONGRESS WANTS TO LOOSEN ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR BOATERS. A NEWLY PASSED MEASURE ALLOWS SMALL COMMERCIAL OPERATORS TO IGNORE SOME OF THE CORE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT. WESH 2’S DAN BILLOW REPORTS, IT WAS SOME BREVARD COUNTY RESIDENTS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT IT COULD MEAN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. BOATS FILLED WITH FISHERMEN RUN IN AND OUT OF PORT CANAVERAL WHILE TOUR BOATS AND SMALLER FISHING GUIDE VESSELS PLY THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON. CONGRESS HAS VOTED AN EXEMPTION TO THE CLEAN WATER ACT ALLOWING THE BOATS TO DISCHARGE WATER USED FOR CLEANING AND OTHER PURPOSES. SUPPORTERS SAY IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE FOR OWNERS OF SMALL COMMERCIAL BOATS TO COMPLY WITH REGULATIONS. I JUST HAVE A HARD TIME SEEING HOW THAT WOULD REALLY AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT HERE. OBVIOUSLY IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMEBODY’S COME TO THAT SAME CONCLUSION. SO I’M GRATEFUL FOR THAT. THE EXEMPTION GIVES BOATERS A THREE-YEAR PASS ON WATER DISCHARGES. THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY SAYS SMALL BOATS DO POLLUTE THE WATER A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME. AND WHEN YOU HAVE AS MANY SMALL BOATS AS WE HAVE AROUND CENTRAL FLORIDA, IT ADDS UP TO A LOT. WHERE ARE YOU FROM? DON QUINN OPERATES A TOUR AND FISHING BOAT BUSINESS ON THE LAGOON. HE WOULD RATHER HAVE EVERYONE COMPLY WITH THE CLEAN WATER ACT. HE AGREES WITH THE EPA THAT BOAT CLEANING PUTS OIL AND GAS IN THE WATER. MY OPINION I THINK THE LAGOON NEEDS ALL THE HELP IT CAN GET. DISCHARGE OF OIL OR GAS, THAT CAN HURT THE LAGOON TOO. THE EXEMPTION PASSED BY CONGRESS AWAITS THE PRESIDENT’S SIGNATURE. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO SEWAGE FROM

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