A public workshop on the draft rules for Florida’s new Clean Ocean Act (Releases from Gambling Vessels) is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 19, 2009, in the Canaveral Port Authority Commission Chambers at the Maritime Center, 445 Challenger Road, Cape Canaveral. It will offer citizens an opportunity for input on draft Chapter 62-606, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), which implements new state oversight of waste releases from gaming vessels into coastal waters.

“The Canaveral Port Authority has a long-time commitment to protecting our natural resources through its water monitoring program and other environmental initiatives,” says Stan Payne, CEO, Port Canaveral. “In response to concerns regarding waste release from gaming vessels and two years before the passage of the Clean Ocean Act, the Board pro-actively approved the installation of a pump-out facility at our south side terminals for use by vessels without more advanced wastewater treatment systems.”

The new law, Section 376.25, F.S., requires gaming vessels to register with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), which will track and publish the data online. The public workshop is the first step in the process.