BOSTON - The federal Environmental Protection Agency has extended the state's clean water protections by banning boats from discharging sewage in coastal waters off southeastern Massachusetts.
The ban on treated and untreated sewage announced Friday applies off Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Mount Hope Bay, located between Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Massachusetts environmental chief Richard Sullivan said the prohibition means nearly all of the state's coastal waters are now protected from boat pollution. He said that means cleaner beaches and water for residents, tourists and fishermen.
The EPA said it worked with the state on the ban for five years. Among the needed changes: the Steamship Authority, which runs trips between the Cape and islands, had to retrofit their vessels and install a pumpout facility for them.