Industrial Ocean Dumping in EPA Region II — Regulatory Aspects
The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (PL 92–532) mandates that the Environmental Protection Agency “prevent or strictly regulate” the disposal, via vessel, of waste materials into the ocean.
The majority of ocean dumping, past and present, in the United States occurs at dump sites managed by EPA Region II. In 1977, for example, over 90 percent or 6.1 million metric tonnes of the U. S. ocean dumping occurred at sites managed by this Region.
EPA’s implementation of this Act, beginning in April 1973, spurred industrial dumpers at sites managed by the Region to develop and construct land-based treatment facilities and/or implement other environmentally acceptable alternatives for the handling their wastes. of the roughly 150 industrial waste generators in 1973, as of April 1979 only 13 remain. Ten are under EPA orders to cease ocean dumping by the end of 1981. The other three, Allied Chemical Corp., NL Industries, Inc., and E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co. (Grasselli Plant), have demonstrated that their wastes are not harmful to the marine environment and that no feasible alternative exists at present which is more environmentally acceptable than ocean dumping. Thus, the level of ocean dumping activities in Region II represents a significant reduction from that prior to the passage of the Act.
KeywordsEnvironmental Protection Agency Sewage Sludge Industrial Waste Dump Site PUERTO RICO
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