Company Manager Gets One Year in Jail for Clean Air Act Violation

June 19, 2006

Charles Matlock, an executive with Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, was sentenced in federal court on June 12 to twelve months and one day in prison and a $20,000 fine for violating the federal Clean Air Act, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced. Pacific States, a division of McWane Inc. located in Springville, Utah, manufactures cast iron pipe for the water and sewer industry.

On February 8, 2006, Judge Benson also sentenced McWane to pay a fine of $3 million—the largest criminal environmental fine in Utah—and serve a three-year period of probation, after it pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act. At that time, Matlock also pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act by rendering inaccurate a stack emissions test required under the Act

“Protecting local communities from harmful air pollution depends upon honest reporting by regulated companies, and when senior corporate executives cheat on required tests, public health and the environment suffer,” said David M. Uhlmann, Chief of the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section. “Today's jail sentence of the former top official of McWane in Utah is further proof of the McWane legacy: a repeat offender that committed years of environmental and worker safety violations at facilities across the country.”

"Protecting the quality of life we enjoy in Utah is very important to residents of our state. Those individuals or companies who cause damage to the air quality of our state, putting residents at risk, can expect to be aggressively investigated and prosecuted," said Acting U.S. Attorney for Utah Stephen J. Sorenson.

“Today's sentencing of the former vice president and general manager of Pacific States Pipe Company underscores McWane's lamentable record of serious environmental misconduct nationwide,” said Granta Y. Nakayama, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance. “The message should be clear that prosecutions will go as high up the corporate hierarchy as the evidence permits and we will hold senior managers of corporations accountable, as well as the corporation itself. All company employees should definitely think twice about knowingly breaking the law because they should clearly understand that they will face incarceration and fines for harming the environment and putting the public at risk."

In November 2005, McWane, Matlock and another McWane employee were indicted for conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act by rendering inaccurate a September 2000 stack test; for making false statements in documents required under the Act, and for defrauding the United States. Matlock also was indicted for a separate violation of the Clean Air Act for rendering inaccurate the September 2000 stack test.

In 2001, 2002 and 2003, McWane submitted “emission inventory” documents that were based on the inaccurate September 2000 stack test. The emission inventory documents in turn falsely stated to the State of Utah that Pacific State’s emissions were at a level that McWane employees knew was not accurate.

In addition to the Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company litigation, four other McWane divisions and numerous individuals, have recently been convicted of or pleaded guilty to committing environmental crimes including: Tyler Pipe Company of Tyler, Texas (March 2005); McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company of Birmingham, Ala. (June 2005); McWane Union Foundry of Anniston, Ala. (September 2005); and the Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company of Phillipsburg, N.J. (April 2006).

The case in Utah was investigated by Special Agents of the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Richard Poole, Trial Attorney Aunnie Steward and Senior Counsel Claire Whitney, all from the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Leshia Lee–Dixon from the United States Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City.

DOT Adopts UN Standards for Gas Cylinders

 Aligning the HMR with the international standards promotes greater flexibility, permits the use of advanced technology for the manufacture of pressure receptacles, provides for a broader selection of pressure receptacles, reduces the need for special permits, and facilitates international commerce in the transportation of compressed gases.

Storm Water Rule Finalized to Comply with Energy Policy Act

 This action, implementing an amendment to the Clean Water Act passed in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, modifies water permitting program regulations to clarify that uncontaminated storm water discharged from oil and gas field activities does not require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

This rule encourages voluntary application of best-management practices for oil and gas field construction activities to minimize erosion and control sediment to protect surface water quality during storm events. It also retains the right of states to regulate these activities under other laws and authorities.

EPA will work with government, citizens, and industry to promote the importance of storm water management at oil and gas sites as it implements its rulemaking activities. 

EPA WaterSense Program Designed to Save Both Water and Money

"Efficient products and informed consumers lead to smart water use. EPA's WaterSense program will provide water solutions that are a win-win for our wallets and our environment. WaterSense just makes sense," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

The WaterSense program aims to raise awareness about the importance of water efficiency, ensure the performance of water-efficient products and provide good consumer information. The WaterSense label will be easily identified on products and services that perform at least 20 percent more efficiently than their less efficient counterparts.

Easily corrected household water leaks frequently rob consumers of eight percent of their water bill. At least 30 percent of water used by household irrigation systems is lost through wind evaporation and improper design, installation or maintenance. The average household adopting water efficient products and practices can save 30,000 gallons per year – enough to supply a year of drinking water for 150 of their neighbors.

Manufacturers can certify that their products meet EPA criteria for water efficiency and performance by following testing protocols specific to each product category. In addition, products will be independently tested to ensure EPA specifications are met. These products will be available to consumers and businesses early next year.

DOE Issues New NEPA Guidance

The Department of Energy has issued a new three-volume compendium of electronic files of laws, executive orders, regulations, policies, guidance, and other information to assist its NEPA practitioners in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act. 

$12,900 Penalty for Release of Drilling Mud

Kennecott Greens Creek Mining Company (Kennecott) and Connors Drilling LLC (Connors) have agreed to pay a $12,900 penalty to resolve two alleged federal Clean Water Act (CWA) violations at the Greens Creek Mine. The mine is located on Admiralty Island near Juneau, Alaska, and is owned by Kennecott.Connors is a contractor hired by Kennecott to conduct exploratory drilling operations at the mine.

On June 28, 2004, Connors was conducting exploratory drilling operations that resulted in a discharge of drilling mud and a discharge of diesel fuel into Zinc Creek.

“The mining industry is an important part of Alaska’s economy,” said Kim Ogle, Manager of EPA’s Northwest Regional Offices NPDES Compliance Unit, “but it must operate responsibly and manage its waste water in a way that protects the environment.”

To prevent further discharge of drill mud, Kennecott and Connors voluntarily placed silt fences and absorbent pads around the area to prevent more pollution from reaching the creek. They also began implementing new best management practices (BMPs), including better containment controls and employee training, to ensure similar discharges do not happen again.

Chemical Safety Handbook Issued by DOE

. Examples of best practices needed to institute high-quality chemical management within the context of a site's integrated safety management system (ISMS) are provided and would be useful to any non-DOE government agency or company.

DOE Policy 450.4, “Safety Management System Policy,” 48 CFR Chapter 9, and Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR) call for systematic integration of safety into management and work practice at all facets of work planning and execution. Material acquisition, handling, and final disposition are some of the key elements of management systems to which the integrated safety management (ISM) core functions are applied.

According to the handbook, consideration of environment, safety, and health risks for these elements is, in principle, the same as for all hazards, whether chemical, radiological, or physical. Therefore, a quality chemical management program is merely part of a site’s ISMS and need not call for new or additional requirements. This handbook is composed of three Volumes. Volume 1 contains the core material. Chapter 1 presents a discussion of how chemical management fits into ISM. The ISM core functions (define the scope of work, analyze the hazards, develop and implement hazard controls, perform work within controls, and provide feedback and continuous improvement) provide the structure needed to ensure all work activity is undertaken safely.

A number of DOE, OSHA and EPA directives, standards and requirements address chemical management both directly and indirectly. DOE examples include DOE-STD-3009-94 (CH3), “Preparation Guide for U.S. Department of Energy Nonreactor Nuclear Facility Documented Safety Analyses,” and 10 CFR 851, “Worker Safety and Health Program. Chapter 2 discusses the elements of a quality chemical management program. The elements are presented in the handbook in a logical sequence and each section includes information on applicable DOE, OSHA and EPA directives, standards and requirements.

DEC Confirms Virus in Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Fish

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the discovery of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus in several fish species from Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The virus is a pathogen of fish and does not pose any threat to public health.

The virus was first detected in preliminary tests in May in round gobies involved in a fish kill on the St. Lawrence River. This is the first time that VHS was found in fish within New York State. The virus was isolated and identified in a cooperative effort between DEC, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and the Western Fisheries Research Center of the United States Geological Survey. Because VHS is a reportable disease to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the presence of the virus was confirmed by the OIE Reference Laboratory in Denmark on June 9.

In recent weeks, large numbers of dead round gobies have been observed along southern Lake Ontario and eastward through the Thousand Islands area. Gobies are an invasive species from the Black and Caspian Sea region, likely introduced into the Great Lakes by ocean-going ships in the mid-1990s. More recently, eighteen dead and dying muskellunge were collected in the Thousand Islands. The St. Lawrence River supports a world-famous trophy muskellunge fishery. The timing of these die-offs corresponds with spawning season for both species, which is a stressful period during which fish are more vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections.

DEC is working closely with fish pathologists at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine to determine if other fish species in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are susceptible to this strain of VHS, as well as which species may act as carriers of the disease.

VHS virus is relatively common in continental Europe and Japan, where it has affected both freshwater and saltwater fish. Prior to 2005, VHS outbreaks were limited in North America to saltwater fish species from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Systemic VHS infections are most often associated with trout and salmon, including rainbow, brown and lake trout, as well as Chinook and Coho salmon. In 2005, VHS was associated with die-offs of freshwater drum (sheepshead) and round goby in the Bay of Quinte (Ontario), as well as muskellunge in the Michigan waters of Lake St. Clair. To date, there is no indication that the strain of VHS identified in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is affecting trout and salmon species. It is not known how VHS virus was transferred to the Great Lakes, or how long it has been in these waterways.

For more information about VHS or to report new information about large fish mortality events, the public is encouraged to contact their local DEC regional office. 

EPA Issues Diesel Retrofit Guidance

Diesel retrofit technologies can reduce pollution from the existing diesel engine fleet by up to 50 percent for nitrogen oxides and up to 90 percent for both particulate matter and volatile organic compounds.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) mandated EPA to develop the guidance. Further, the president's FY07 budget request includes $49.5 million to support EPAct's Diesel Emissions Reduction provision.

The guidance also complements last year's Transportation Act (SAFETEA-LU). For the first time, the Act directs states and metropolitan planning organizations to give priority funding to diesel retrofits and other cost-effective mobile strategies under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

Precision Metalsmiths Fined for Hazardous Waste Violations

EPA Region 5 has reached an agreement with Precision Metalsmiths Inc.,a Cleveland, Ohio, casting foundry, to settle alleged hazardous waste violations. A penalty of $59,500 will be paid.

Precision Metalsmiths was cited for violating Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements for managing hazardous waste, including storing without a permit, and for failing to provide adequate training, maintain training and job description records and a complete list of emergency equipment in its contingency plan.

N.H. Environmental Consultant Fined for Toxic Waste Mishandling

An environmental consulting company based in Portsmouth, N.H., StoneHill Environmental, Inc., may pay an EPA fine of up to $25,800 for a violation of federal regulations regarding handling and disposal of toxic substances.

Under a complaint filed June 5 by EPA’s New England regional office, StoneHill is alleged to have violated regulations in the federal Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) regarding handling of polychlorinated biphenyls , a highly toxic compound.

In November 2004, StoneHill was hired to perform environmental response actions at the Rye Quarry on Wentworth Road, in Rye, N.H. Among other things, the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services (NHDES) had requested the removal of a pile of sandblast grit from the property because the grit contained unacceptable levels of beryllium.

As part of its efforts, StoneHill sampled the grit needing disposal and sent the sample for laboratory analysis. However, before all lab results were received, StoneHill shipped 6.37 tons of the contaminated grit to Aggregate Recycling Corp. (ARC) in Eliot Maine, which had indicated that it could accept the waste based on the metals results alone. ARC mixed the contaminated grit with other material to recycle it into asphalt.

A week after StoneHill shipped the grit to ARC, the remaining laboratory results came back, showing that the sandblast grit contained PCBs at levels of 1000 parts per million. However, contaminated grit had already been made into asphalt and used on ARC’s own property.

NHDES referred the case to EPA in the fall of 2005 after receiving StoneHill’s Supplemental Site Investigation and Initial Response Action Report, which described how StoneHill had managed the grit.

The EPA complaint alleges that StoneHill distributed PCBs for use in commerce, which violates existing PCB regulations. The error that led to this violation was the failure to fully characterize the waste before disposal, which is a common error according to EPA’s New England PCB Coordinators.

Draft Rules Aim to Reduce Phosphorus in Ohio Streams

Ohio EPA (OEPA) is seeking public comments on draft rules that would help reduce phosphorus from the state's waters. Statewide, excess nutrients (particularly phosphorus) are the second largest cause of water pollution; excess silt ranks first among stream pollutants. The new rules would allow municipalities and farmers to develop incentive packages to help reduce phosphorus in Ohio's streams.

Phosphorus enters streams from nonpoint sources such as runoff from agriculture fields and more directly from human wastewater. Sometimes wastewater comes from failing septic systems and leach beds; other times it is discharged from wastewater treatment plants.

Ohio EPA regulates wastewater treatment plants and has added phosphorus removal requirements in many new wastewater discharge permits and recent permit renewals. This step is costly to implement. Ohio EPA does not regulate phosphorus application to farm fields. The draft rules would allow wastewater dischargers to work within their communities to reduce excess nutrient levels in the streams from unregulated sources.

Working with a third party, such as a conservancy district or soil and water conservation district, wastewater dischargers could pay farmers within their watershed to use less phosphorus or apply it in ways that do not cause severe runoff. Paying a third party to offer farmers incentives to reduce phosphorus runoff would yield water quality benefits at a lower cost to wastewater treatment plants. The owners of wastewater treatment facilities must be able to show how paying for these practices improves stream quality; in exchange, they would be allowed to delay reducing their own facility's phosphorus outputs.

The Agency is soliciting initial input regarding the draft rules and will accept comments until June 30. Comments or requests to be placed on a mailing list for more information about this proposal may be sent to Gary Stuhlfauth, Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049 o

After reviewing comments received, OEPA will propose rules for adoption. That will begin a second comment period that will include one or more public hearings. After the close of the second comment period, OEPA will review the comments, make any necessary changes and then adopt final rules.

Ohio EPA expects to file the proposed rules for adoption in late summer. The final rules could be adopted by the end of December.

Computer Monitor Disposal Ban Takes Effect July 1

Starting July 1, Minnesota residents will no longer be allowed to put televisions and computer monitors in the trash, according to state law. Televisions and computer monitors are hazardous because they contain up to eight pounds of lead and can cause an environmental problem if discarded with regular garbage.

Minnesota residents can take advantage of the expanding number of recycling options for old electronic equipment including community collection events, retailers, and manufacturers. Recyclers most often charge a fee to handle monitors and televisions.

World’s Largest Marine Conservation Area Created in US

On June 15, the world’s largest marine conservation area was established off the coast of the northern Hawaiian Islands in order to permanently protect the area’s pristine coral reefs and unique marine species. The President used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the area a national monument.

The monument will be managed by the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in close coordination with the State of Hawaii.

 “Relatively untouched by human activities, these isolated waters and coral reefs provide vital habitat for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the threatened Hawaiian green sea turtle and other rare marine species.”
 “Approximately one quarter of the species here are found nowhere else in the world and a marine national monument will provide comprehensive, permanent protection to this region.”

The national monument is located in waters off the Hawaiian Islands Reservation established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, site of the key World War II sea battle and the Battle of Midway National Memorial.

Permits will be required for activities related to research, education, conservation and management, native Hawaiian practices and non-extractive special ocean uses. The commercial and recreational harvest of precious coral, crustaceans and coral reef species will be prohibited in monument waters and commercial fishing in monument waters will be phased out over a five-year period. Oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction will not be allowed anywhere in the monument.

The action means immediate protection, immediate implementation of the management measures included in the plan that was developed during the National Marine Sanctuary designation process, and immediate start of the "seamless" federal/state management process that will include ongoing consultation and involvement with the public.

Under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which is celebrating its 100th year of enactment, the President is authorized to declare by public proclamation, historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the government of the United States to be national monuments.

Public Warned to Watch for Toxic Algae in Washington Lakes

Following the deaths of two dogs after drinking from Anderson Lake in the Chimacum area of Jefferson County, Wa., the Department of Ecology (Ecology) is warning Washington residents to watch for toxic algae in the state's lakes. The two dogs died after drinking lake water tainted with blue-green algae, according to Jefferson County health officials.

"Unfortunately, as our lakes are developed and age, they are more prone to blue-green algae blooms," said Kathy Hamel, an aquatic weed specialist at Ecology. "While not all blooms turn toxic, many of them have the ability to do so and it can happen in a heartbeat."

Blue-green algae, or Cyanobacteria, typically occur in lakes rich with nutrients such as phosphate. The algae can multiply rapidly to form extensive "blooms" that can accumulate near shore as a thin bright green surface scum. When a bloom dies, the water surface may become colored with a mixture of bright blue and white material, often mistaken for a paint spill. Some blue-green algae blooms may contribute to potential health and water quality problems.

Thread-like (filamentous) green algae is different from blue-green algae and is harmless, though some lake residents consider it to be a nuisance. Thread-like green algae feels slimy when handled and can be raked, while blue-green algae cannot be raked out of the water. People should keep their pets and children out of the water when they see algae scum on the water's surface. While blue-green algae is most dangerous to pets, people can suffer health effects including intestinal discomfort or skin problems.

Anyone with concerns about a possible blue-green algae bloom in a lake should contact the local county health department. Watering and rain can wash fertilizers out of the yard and garden and into the lake, which can cause nutrients to build up in the water. Careless discarding of lawn clippings and yard debris near the lake will also cause excess nutrients to pollute the lake.

Amazon Stops Selling Mercury-Containing Products has taken a significant step to protect purchasers from hazardous mercury-containing products, but consumers need to beware because it is still possible to buy products that are illegal to sell in some states.

Since January 2006, it has been illegal in Washington to sell mercury-containing products such as thermometers, blood-pressure gauges, and novelty items such as toys and jewelry. The Legislature enacted the ban of sales within the state's borders to protect Washington residents from the toxic effects of mercury.

But it is still possible to purchase mercury-containing products online. When the state Department of Ecology researched the largest sales sites,,, Craig's List, eBay and, it found mercury-containing items on Amazon and eBay. Amazon responded immediately and is the first major online sales site to prohibit the use of its Web site to sell mercury-containing products. eBay has not removed these products from its site.

"We are pleased with the speed and professionalism of Amazon's response," said Miles Kuntz, Ecology's mercury-products ban coordinator. "They want to meet the requirements of the law and even said they would take action against any merchant who continues to list mercury products on Working with them was a great experience because they showed concern for Washington laws and human health."

Retailers within Washington cooperated voluntarily with the state departments of Ecology and Health and removed the mercury-containing items that are part of the ban. However, the law does not apply to Internet sales that originate outside the state. Ecology is hoping that eBay will follow Amazon's example, banning products that are hazardous to human and environmental health.

"Until they do, it's 'let the buyer beware' when it comes to online sales," said Kuntz. "If an online auction company won't voluntarily pull toxic products from its sales, Washington residents will need to watch out for themselves. They may be buying something that could contaminate their homes and endanger their families' health."

It is unlawful to transport mercury or mercury-containing products through the U.S. Postal Service. Yet, it is possible for Washington residents to unknowingly purchase dozens of mercury-containing items online, many of which are then shipped to the buyer through the mail without the knowledge of the Postal Service.

The potential danger of continuing this practice became a real-life emergency recently when a mercury spill on a Connecticut loading dock of the shipping company DHL was traced to a purchase on eBay. Twenty blood-pressure gauges containing mercury had been purchased on eBay and were shipped to the buyer in Connecticut, where the sales of mercury blood pressure gauges are illegal. During shipping, a mercury spill occurred creating the very hazard that the law banning the sales of these products was intended to prevent.

Mercury is a known toxic material that builds up in body tissue. In fetuses and young children, mercury exposure can lead to learning disabilities and damage to the heart and blood vessels. In adults, exposure to mercury may result in problems in the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. The main source of mercury exposure is through consumption of fish.

Products such as thermometers are not dangerous when intact. The problem arises with breakage and the resulting contamination.

Some mercury-containing products are not part of the ban. They include thermostats (only if the manufacturer is participating in a recycling program), fluorescent bulbs and batteries. Fluorescent bulbs are not illegal to sell, but the same law requiring the ban in January 2006, mandated that the bulbs be clearly labeled as mercury-containing since 2004.

TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $610,338

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved penalties totaling $610,338 against 59 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations. The TCEQ's commissioners approved agreed orders in the following enforcement categories: 10 air quality, three Edwards Aquifer, one industrial hazardous waste, three multi-media, two municipal solid waste, nine municipal waste discharge, 12 petroleum storage tank, eight public water system, one agricultural, and four water quality. The commissioners also approved one on-site sewage facility default order, one petroleum storage tank default order, and one licensed irrigator default order. Finally, the commissioners approved three petroleum storage tank orders following contested case hearings.

Included in the total fine figure is a penalty of $204,603 against Goodyear Tire & Rubber in Houston. The agreed order resulted from violations found during investigations in 2004 and 2005. The 22 violations covered in the agreed order consist of a wide variety of air quality violations, including failure to install equipment, failure to test equipment, failure to prevent particulate emissions and emission events, failure to comply with emission caps, failure to monitor for air emissions, and permitting and record-keeping violations.

Rhode Island Initiates No-Discharge Rule

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is reminding boaters that Rhode Island's new no-discharge compliance program went into effect on June 1 The program requires all boats with permanently installed toilets to be inspected for compliance with Rhode Island's no-discharge law.

Several changes to the program were recently enacted by the RI General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Carcieri. In response, DEM has developed and issued a revised Notice to Boaters, which summarizes the changes as well as the current status of the program.

The program now applies to all boats with permanently installed marine toilets. The program was originally slated to apply to all boats with sleeping accommodations. That is no longer the governing standard.

There are three categories of boats that are exempt from the new state inspection requirement: boats with self-contained port-a-potties or no toilet at all, boats already subject to mandatory US Coast Guard inspection, and transient boats operated or moored in Rhode Island waters for less than 30 days.

All boats subject to the program must obtain and display a "no-discharge certification decal." A decal may be obtained from any authorized certification agent, following an inspection to verify that the boat is in compliance with the no-discharge law i.e., that the proper steps have been taken to prevent the overboard discharge of sewage. Each decal is valid for four years. Agents may charge up to $35 per boat for each inspection and decal (plus an additional $25 for each additional toilet).

Boats subject to the program that fail to display a decal may be subject to a fine of up to $100. However, in accordance with a new provision, the enforcement of the decal requirement will not take effect until June 2007. This has been done to accommodate the large number of boats needing inspections. Despite the delayed enforcement provision, all boaters are strongly urged to get inspected and obtain a decal during the current boating season. Those choosing to wait until next spring may have to contend with workload delays during the busiest time of year for certification agents.

The delayed enforcement provision pertains only to the new decal requirement. All boats, including transient boaters and others that are exempt from the inspection program, remain subject to the state's no-discharge law, in effect since 1998, whenever they are in Rhode Island waters. Thus, all boats with permanently installed toilets must have approved marine sanitation devices, and the devices must be properly configured or secured to prevent the overboard discharge of sewage while in state waters. DEM, local harbormasters, and the US Coast Guard will continue to vigorously enforce the no-discharge law. Violators may be issued summonses and required to appear in district court; penalties may include fines up to $500 and/or prison terms of up to one year. The law provides for even stiffer penalties for repeat violators.

Rhode Island was the first state in the country to have all of its marine waters designated "no discharge" by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Over the past eight years, DEM has been educating boaters about the law, and working to assure a sufficient number of pump-out facilities for boaters' convenience. To date, DEM has awarded more than $500,000 in Clean Vessel Act funds for pump-out facilities to make it convenient for boaters to discharge their boat sewage properly. There are currently more than 40 shore-side facilities and more than a dozen pump-out boats available to boaters in Rhode Island.

The new inspection program is intended to further strengthen the state's efforts to protect Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island coastal waters from pollution caused by boat sewage.