In an op-ed that appeared in the Sept. 17 Seattle Times, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark says he wants to crack down on discharge of sewage from large and small vessels into Puget Sound.
"I am calling on the Washington State Department of Ecology to petition the federal Environmental Protection Agency to designate Puget Sound a No-Discharge Zone, which will legally prohibit the dumping of all boat sewage into the Sound," Goldmark writes.
"Under current law, recreational vessels can legally dump untreated sewage three miles from shore and minimally treated sewage anywhere in the Sound — over shellfish beds, salmon runs and prime hunting territory for orcas and bald eagles. Large cruise ships and commercial vessels can discharge huge volumes of concentrated sewage into the Sound if they utilize more advanced marine-sanitation devices."
Goldmark is elected to his post, and is in charge of the Department of Natural Resources. DNR controls the state's "aquatic lands, " the legal term for land covered with water.