Feb 14 2012

Feds Approve Ban on Cruise Ship Sewage Discharge

“This is a great day for the California coast, which is far too precious a resource to be used as a dumping ground,” said Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto). “This ‘No Discharge Zone’ – the largest in the nation – protects our coastal economy, our environment and our public health.”

Local beach off Crissy Field in San Francisco, CA. Courtesy of the U.S. EPA.

Written by Dan Bacher | Staff Writer

The federal government on February 9 approved a landmark California proposal banning the discharge of more than 22 million gallons of treated vessel sewage to shorelines and shallow marine waters in California every year, drawing praise from environmental and shipping industry groups alike.

U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld signed a rule that will finalize EPA’s decision and approve a state proposal to ban all sewage discharges from large cruise ships and most other large ocean-going ships to state marine waters along California’s 1,624 mile coast from Mexico to Oregon and surrounding major islands.

The action established a new federal regulation banning even treated sewage from being discharged in California’s marine waters.

“This is an important step to protect California’s coastline,” said Governor Jerry Brown. “I want to commend the shipping industry, environmental groups and U.S. EPA for working with California to craft a common sense approach to keeping our coastal waters clean.”

“By approving California’s ‘No Discharge Zone,’ EPA will prohibit more than 20 million gallons of vessel sewage from entering the state’s coastal waters,” said Jared Blumenfeld. “Not only will this rule help protect important marine species, it also benefits the fishing industry, marine habitats and the millions of residents and tourists who visit California beaches each year.”

This action strengthens protection of California’s coastal waters from the adverse effects of sewage discharges from a growing number of large vessels, according to an announcement from the the U.S. EPA.

Read the rest of the story on Alternet.

 

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