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NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 5/28/98
EPA Release #98059
CONTACT: See below

United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Region 2: NJ, NY, PR, VI
290 Broadway
New York, New York 10007-1866
      USEPA - Mary Mears 212-637-3669

EPA APPROVES NJ'S PLAN TO STOP BOATS FROM DISCHARGING SEWAGE IN THE MANASQUAN RIVER AND THE SHARK RIVER

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, May 28, 1998

(#98059) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) plan to prohibit boats from discharging treated or untreated sewage into the Manasquan River in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and the Shark River in Monmouth County. EPA Region 2 Administrator, Jeanne M. Fox and NJDEP Commissioner, Robert Shinn announced the designation at an event today in Belmar, New Jersey. The agencies determined that there are a sufficient number of pump-out facilities located in the area to receive the sewage from vessels. Sewage discharges from boats have been identified as a source of contamination affecting water quality in the rivers.

"The designation of these two rivers as 'No Discharge Zones' will help protect marine life in the Manasquan and Shark Rivers," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "The Manasquan and the Shark rivers are very important because they empty into the ocean near some of New Jersey's most popular beaches. The healthier the rivers, the healthier the near-shore ocean waters."

"I want to thank EPA and the local organizations who, with funding from the New Jersey Clean Vessel Program, installed additional pumpout facilities along the rivers. This is a viable and convenient alternative to discharging wastes into the water," said Shinn. "We are working with other estuary programs to create additional No Discharge Zones as part of our statewide watershed management initiative to reduce all sources of pollution."

The NJDEP petitioned the EPA to establish these "No Discharge Zones" last fall. Under national marine sanitation standards, vessels operating in the Manasquan River and the Shark River have always been prohibited from discharging untreated sewage, but were allowed to discharge treated sewage from approved marine sanitation devices. The designation of "No Discharge Zones" means that the discharge of both treated and untreated vessel sewage is prohibited.

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