2006-05-25 / News

Discharge bill moving

The state Senate last week approved legislation to make a number of changes in a law enacted last year dealing with wastedischarge certificates required of Rhode Island boat owners.

The bill, 2006 S2991Aaa, introduced by Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva Weed (DDist. 13, Jamestown, Newport), delays from this July to July 2007 the imposition of penalties for violators of a new requirement that any boats, other than an open boat without sleeping accommodations, display an approved "no discharge certificate decal" verifying that the boat has been inspected and found in compliance with laws prohibiting discharge of sewage into state waters.

The 48-month certificate decals are administered through the state Department of Environmental Management at a cost of $10, in addition to the

inspection fee of $25 currently allowed by law to be charged by inspection agents.

The bill also amends a violations section of law dealing with sewage discharge, making nonpossession of the "no discharge certificate decal" a civil violation, rather than a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $100. In addition, if a municipality's harbormaster assists the DEM in prosecution of the violation, the fine would be evenly split between the DEM and the local community.

Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Bruce J. Long (R-Dist. 72, Jamestown, Middletown). That bill, 2006 H7791A, was passed by the House earlier this month and is currently before the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture.

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