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This is from Newsday. If you read into this new law it could affect kayaks, I hope not (no more draining the sea water out of my yak or using my livewell).
Federal boater permits could cost hundreds of dollars
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May 27, 2008
A federal regulation aimed at reducing pollution caused by discharge from commercial ships could force recreational boaters to buy costly permits this fall, said Sen. Charles Schumer, who is supporting legislation to reverse the rule.

In the past, small boats were not required to obtain discharge permits because they do not have bilge tanks and don't take on ballast water.

Large commercial vessels have bilge tanks in their hulls that hold a mix of water runoff from the deck and oil from the engine room. Commercial ships also hold ballast water - salt water taken on for stability, then discharged elsewhere. Ballast water can contain invasive species, such as zebra mussels, that are released into new environments when ballast water is discharged.

"It's a ruling that was supposed to affect ballast water in large ships, and now it affects any kind of water, even in 10-foot little sailboats," Schumer (D-N.Y.) said yesterday. "And any time there's a water runoff, whether you're cleaning the deck or there's a little water runoff from the motor, you'd be subject to fines."

The price of the new permits, which take effect Sept. 30, has not been determined. Schumer said they could cost hundreds of dollars.

Boaters without a permit could be fined up to $32,000 a day, he said.

The Clean Boating Act of 2008, introduced in March by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), would exclude recreational boaters and anglers from the permitting requirements.

Jon Ten Haagen, commodore of the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs, called the new permitting rule "absurd."

"If you have a 15-, 16-foot sailboat, you're going to worry about the rainwater coming off your deck?" he said.

The new permitting rule is the result of a 2006 court decision on a federal law designed to keep tankers and freight ships from polluting waterways. The ruling overturned a 35-year-old exemption that applied to incidental water discharges from all vessels, including recreational boats.

Kayak Fishing Association of New York
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