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    • Proof of Pump-out to be Required in Key West?

      Captain Kettlewell sends us this article by reporter Gwen Filosa in The Florida Keys and Key West’s Daily Inline News. The report details discussions between members of the Bight Management Board and Mark Tait, the manager of the City Marina, concerning enforcement of the current law requiring pump-outs. For the complete story, go to: http://keysnews.com/node/52348. Such enforcement will affect transients and live-aboards.

      Key West is considering requiring dinghies and visiting boats to show proof of pumpouts before docking!
      What about those of us who use composting or incinerating toilets or porta potties?
      John Kettlewell

      While I absolutely agree that no boat should ever pump raw sewage overboard, someone in the Key West city attorney’s office and Monroe County should read the Federal Clean Water Act! It clearly and specifically prohibits states (and, therefore, municipalities from regulating MSDs or their use! They can enforce the Federal law and regulations but cannot go beyond those requirements. The federal law and regulations were put in place to avoid just this type of hodgepodge of laws which would be impossible for vessels to know or follow as they transit different local jurisdictions.
      Larry Sherman s/v Enchantress

      As a follow-up to my recent email regarding Key West requiring proof of pumpout, here is the Federal law prohibiting the states and their political subdivisions from doing that! Perhaps you could have your friends at BoatUS look into this?
      (f) Regulation by States or political subdivisions thereof; complete prohibition upon discharge of sewage
      (1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), after the effective date of the initial standards and regulations promulgated under this section, no State or political subdivision thereof shall adopt or enforce any statute or regulation of such State or political subdivision with respect to the design, manufacture, or installation or use of any marine sanitation device on any vessel subject to the provisions of this section.
      (B) A State may adopt and enforce a statute or regulation with respect to the design, manufacture, or installation or use of any marine sanitation device on a houseboat, if such statute or regulation is more stringent than the standards and regulations promulgated under this section. For purposes of this paragraph, the term `houseboat’ means a vessel which, for a period of time determined by the State in which the vessel is located, is used primarily as a residence and is not used primarily as a means of transportation.
      Larry Sherman s/v Enchantress

      With respect to the federal law quoted, consider that Texas has an MSD Certification requirement (TEX WA. CODE ANN. § 26.044 : Texas Statutes ‘“ Section 26.044: DISPOSAL OF BOAT SEWAGE)
      That has been in place since 2009 without federal challenge.
      It applies thusly, `As used in this section, `boat’ means any vessel or other watercraft, whether moved by oars, paddles, sails, or other power mechanism, inboard or outboard, or any other vessel or structure floating on water in this state, whether or not capable of self-locomotion, including but not limited to cabin cruisers, houseboats, barges, marinas, and similar floating objects.’ The Gulf ICW is “water” in this state.
      Chris and Janet

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