Rhode Island recently applied to the US Government to make all the coastal waters of Rhode Island a “No Discharge Zone”.

The ostensible purpose was to prohibit the discharge of sewage by boats into the state’s waters. However, discharge of raw sewage into the state waters was already illegal. What the “No Discharge Zone” actually did was make it illegal to discharge TREATED sewage from a boat into state waters. What now happens is that boats (whose treatment systems far outperform municipal sewage treatment plants) are now required to disable their sewage treatment systems, and carry their sewage to a shore-based facility, which then dumps the partially treated sewage back into Rhode Island’s coastal waters.