January 3, 1982: New York Times headline—Protests Bring a Review of Boat Sewage Rules. “Government regulations designed to control the discharge of sewage from pleasure boats are being reexamined because of complaints about their cost and complexity. The Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency have made no final decision on whether the rules should be revised, revoked or left alone.
But in a notice that appeared Christmas Eve in the Federal Register, the two agencies listed a number of options open for discussion, including getting the Government out of the matter entirely and leaving the control of such pollution up to the states. The two agencies said the review had been undertaken ‘because of the many complaints by the public regarding the costs and impracticability of the existing program.’
The rules went into effect in January 1980 after a decade of debate. At one point the Government considered regulations that would have required the more extensive use of sewage holding tanks and a generally higher level of treatment over all.
The rules that finally went into effect do not require pleasure boats to have installed toilets. Any owner of a pleasure boat can, for example, use a portable toilet that can be emptied on shore at an approved facility.”