backs Recreational Boating Act
The Recreational Boating Act,
designed to protect recreational boaters from
new commercial ballast water permitting regulations,
was introduced in the U.S. Senate.
U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla.,
last week introduced the Senate version of H.R.2550.
“Requiring family boaters to secure a Clean
Water Act permit so they can wash their boat,
fish or go water skiing is ridiculous,”
Martinez said in a statement. “This permit
requirement is unnecessary and onerous.”
For 34 years the federal Environmental
Protection Agency has exempted discharges from
recreational boats from the Clean Water Act permit
system. However, a recent court ruling (Sept.
26 U.S. District Court) intended to address the
ballast water issue permitting issue cancelled
approval of the Recreational Boating Act, the
court’s existing decision means that everyday
boaters will have to apply for the same expensive
permits as ocean-going commercial vessels”
said Thom Dammrich, president of the National
Marine Manufacturers Association, in a statement.
Large ocean-going vessels are
blamed for some 10,000 invasive species introduced
into U.S. waters.
NMMA is strongly backing passage
of the Recreational Boating Act of 2007 and encourages
the public to take action before the ruling goes
into effect next year. A court-mandated deadline
is set for September 2008, which would require
the EPA to have the permitting requirements in
“We now have the enormous
task ahead of passing a legislative fix before
time runs out,” said Dammrich.
The NMMA, in partnership with
the Boat Owners Association of the United States
and other outdoor recreation partners, created
a grassroots Web site at www.boatblue.org
to mobilize the boating community on the ballast
water permitting issue.