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DEM to hold March 24 Virtual Training session for No-Discharge Compliance Inspection Program Inspectors, who help protect Narragansett Bay from pollution caused by boat sewage

PROVIDENCE -- The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will hold a Zoom training session on Thursday, March 24, for individuals interested in becoming trained inspectors for the state's No-Discharge Compliance Inspection Program. This 90-minute live digital webinar program is intended to further strengthen the state's efforts to protect Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island coastal waters from pollution caused by boat sewage.

The no-discharge law requires that all boats with permanently installed toilets have approved marine sanitation devices, and that the devices are properly configured or secured to prevent the overboard discharge of sewage while in state waters. All boats subject to the compliance certification program must obtain and display a no-discharge certification decal. A decal may be obtained from any authorized certification agent after an inspection to verify that the boat follows the no-discharge law.

After successfully completing the session, trained inspectors will be certified to conduct inspections of vessels subject to the requirements of the no-discharge law, or to delegate inspection duties to subordinates working under their direct supervision. Trained inspectors are typically employees of marinas, boatyards, marine surveyors, mobile repair businesses, or marine pump-out facilities.

Marinas, boatyards, established marine businesses with boat-sewage system experience, pump-out facilities, and local harbormasters or assistant harbormasters are eligible to be designated as certification agents following participation in the training session. Certification agents are authorized to use trained inspectors to conduct inspections of vessels subject to the requirements of the no-discharge law, issue no-discharge certificate decals to vessels found in compliance with RI's no-discharge law, to collect and retain a fee for each inspection and decal issued. Each decal is valid for four years. Agents may charge up to $35 per boat for each inspection and decal (plus an additional $25 for each additional toilet). Boats subject to the program that fail to display a decal may be subject to a fine of up to $100.

There are three categories of boats that are exempt from the state inspection requirement: boats with self-contained port-a-potties or no toilet at all; boats already subject to mandatory United States Coast Guard inspection; and transient boats operated or moored in Rhode Island waters for less than 30 days. Some 40,000 boats are registered in Rhode Island, and the state welcomes many thousands more visiting boats each year.

To register, contact Steven Engborg at, by emailing your name and affiliation before Wednesday, March 23, at 5 PM.

For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.

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  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
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  • Release date: 03-17-2022

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