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Notice

New Jersey State Prohibition on Marine Discharges of Vessel Sewage; Receipt of Petition and Tentative Determination

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Notice is hereby given that a petition dated June 28, 1999 was received from the State of New Jersey requesting a determination by the Regional Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pursuant to Section 312(f) of Public Law 92-500, as amended by Public Law 95-217 and Public Law 100-4 (the Clean Water Act), that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waters of the Shrewsbury River, County of Monmouth, State of New Jersey.

This petition was made by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in cooperation with the North Coast Regional Environmental Planning Council (NCREPC), New Jersey Marine Sciences, Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Monmouth County Planning Board, Monmouth County Environmental Council and Monmouth County Board of Health. Members of the NCREPC include the Borough of Eatontown, the Borough of Fair Haven, the Borough of Little Silver, the City of Long Branch, the Borough of Monmouth Beach, the Borough of Oceanport, the Borough of Red Bank, the Borough of Rumson, the Borough of Sea Bright, the Borough of Shrewsbury, the Township of Shrewsbury, the Borough of Tinton Falls, and the Borough of West Long Branch. Upon receipt of an affirmative determination in response to this petition, NJDEP would completely prohibit the discharge of sewage, whether treated or not, from any vessel in Shrewsbury River in accordance with Section 312(f)(3) of the Clean Water Act and 40 CFR 140.4(a).

The Shrewsbury River is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and is part of the Atlantic Coastal Drainage Basin. The Shrewsbury River drains approximately 27 square miles of urban/suburban residential development and agricultural lands. The Shrewsbury River runs easterly from Eatontown, Tinton Falls, and West Long Branch, New Jersey and then joins the Navesink River and empties into Sandy Hook Bay. The proposed No Discharge Area (NDA) would include the navigable waters of the Shrewsbury River and all its tributaries downstream to the point where the Route 36 Bridge crosses the river. The eastern boundary of the NDA is a line from Lat./Long. 73°58′45″, 40°22′40″ to Lat./Long. 73°58′58″, 40°23′04″. The western boundary of the NDA is at Lat./Long. 74°06′48″, 40°19′12″.

Information submitted by the State of New Jersey and the Shrewsbury Regional Environmental Planning Council states that there are six existing pump-out facilities at five different locations available to service vessels which use the Shrewsbury River. Atlantis Yacht Club, located at 66 River Avenue, Monmouth Beach, operates a stationary pumpout. The pumpout is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning April until October and is operated by the marina staff. A $5.00 fee is charged for the use of the pumpout. Carriage House Marina, located at 1200 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright, operates a stationary pumpout and a portable pumpout. The pumpouts are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning May until October and is operated by the marina staff. A fee of $5.00 is charged for the use of the pumpout. Channel Club Marina, located at Channel Drive, Monmouth Beach, operates a stationary pumpout. The pumpout is available from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. beginning May until October and is operated by the marina staff. No fee is charged for use of the pumpout. Navesink Marina, located at 1410 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright, operates a stationary pumpout. The pumpout is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. beginning April until October and is operated by the marina staff. A $5.00 fee is charged for the use of the pumpout. Oceanport Landing, located at 417 River Street, Oceanport, operates a portable pumpout. The pumpout is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning April until September and is operated by the marina staff. A $5.00 fee is charged for use of the pumpout. In the case of slip holders and residents of Oceanport, the $5.00 fee is waived. None of the facilities have draft restrictions which would exclude boats access to the pumpouts.

Vessel waste generated from the pumpout facilities within the proposed NDA is discharged into municipal sewer lines and is conveyed to the Northeast Monmouth Regional Sewage Authority (NJPDES Permit No. NJ0024520) at 1 Highland Avenue in Monmouth Beach for treatment. Start Printed Page 17501

According to the State's petition, the maximum daily vessel population for the waters of Shrewsbury River is approximately 2115 vessels. This estimate is based on (1) vessels docked at marinas and yacht clubs (1303 vessels), (2) vessels docked at non-marina facilities (584 vessels) and (3) transient vessels (228 vessels). The vessel population based on length is 2240 vessels less than 26 feet in length, 700 vessels between 26 feet and 40 feet in length and 175 vessels greater than 40 feet in length. Based on number and size of boats, and using various methods to estimate the number of holding tanks, it is estimated that between two and four pumpouts are needed for the Shrewsbury River. As previously stated, five pumpout facilities are currently available to service the boating population. Additionally, three additional pumpouts have applied for pumpout grant funding.

The EPA hereby makes a tentative affirmative determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the Shrewsbury River in the county of Monmouth, New Jersey. A final determination on this matter will be made following the 30-day period for public comment and will result in a New Jersey State prohibition of any sewage discharges from vessels in Shrewsbury River.

Comments and views regarding this petition and EPA's tentative determination may be filed on or before May 3, 2000. Comments or requests for information or copies of the applicant's petition should be addressed to Walter E. Andrews, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region II, Water Programs Branch, 290 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, New York, 10007-1866. Telephone: (212) 637-3880.

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Dated: March 16, 2000.

Jeanne M. Fox,

Regional Administrator, Region II.

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[FR Doc. 00-8145 Filed 3-31-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-U