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Fwd: [ML:] Oceana Hails Introduction of Federal Legislation Curbing Cruise Ship Sewage and Waste Pollution

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  • Potter at Island Resources
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    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2004
      >Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 10:07:32 -0800
      >From: TJ Research <research@...>
      >To: L- BlueStar <bluestar@...>,
      >Subject: [ML:] Oceana Hails Introduction of
      >Federal Legislation Curbing Cruise Ship
      > Sewage and Waste Pollution
      >Oceana Hails Introduction of Federal Legislation
      >Curbing Cruise Ship Sewage and Waste Pollution;
      >Bill Would Set Tougher Limits on Waste Dumped by
      >Cruise Ships off American Shores and Require
      >Independent Monitoring to Ensure Industry
      >4/1/2004 11:46:00 AM
      >To: National Desk
      >Contact: Sam Haswell of Oceana, 202-467-1906
      >WASHINGTON, April 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Oceana
      >Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharpless spoke
      >at a press conference on Capitol Hill today to
      >urge the passage of a bill introduced in the
      >U.S. Congress that would set strict pollution
      >limits on cruise ship wastewater. The Clean
      >Cruise Ships Act of 2004, sponsored in the
      >Senate by Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and in
      >the House by Congressman Sam Farr (D-Calif.),
      >would prohibit discharges of sewage, graywater
      >and bilge waste within 12 miles of U.S. shores,
      >require state-of-the-art treatment for any
      >releases beyond 12 miles in U.S. waters, require
      >regular inspections of discharge operations and
      >equipment, and create a three-year program
      >placing independent observers onboard cruise
      >vessels to monitor compliance with environmental
      >"Cruise companies benefit from legal loopholes
      >that allow them to dump raw sewage once a ship
      >is three miles offshore," said Sharpless. "One
      >of Oceana's primary aims is to stop cruise
      >pollution in our oceans, and we are extremely
      >excited about this bill's potential to do that.
      >It has been a pleasure working with Senator
      >Durbin and Congressman Farr on this legislation.
      >They deserve tremendous credit for spotlighting
      >this critical issue and doing something to clean
      >up our seas."
      >Though wastes generated by cruise ships are
      >equivalent to those of a small city, the
      >industry is currently exempt from many Clean
      >Water Act requirements that apply to wastes
      >generated by municipalities and land-based
      >industries. Cruise ships are not required to
      >monitor or report wastes discharged into the
      >oceans, and cruise lines have paid more than $40
      >million in fines and penalties since 1999 for
      >violating the few federal laws that regulate
      >cruise pollution. Moreover, most of the cruise
      >industry has been unwilling to upgrade onboard
      >sewage treatment systems outside of Alaska,
      >where stricter standards apply.
      >"It is time to put away the cruise ship
      >brochures and vacation pictures and do more than
      >dangle our toes in the water," said Senator
      >Durbin. "We need to wade in and insist on policy
      >changes at the local, state and national levels.
      >This bill is a call to elected leaders and
      >Administration officials to close the cruise
      >ship loophole and make development of a
      >sustainable ocean policy a priority before it is
      >too late."
      >"Every week a typical 3,000 passenger cruise
      >ship generates over a million gallons of black
      >water, gray water and oily bilge water -- and as
      >the law stands now they are free to dump this
      >waste water almost anywhere along our coastline
      >except in Alaska. And, as my constituents in the
      >Monterey Bay area well know, often 'voluntary
      >agreements' are not enough to ensure that
      >dumping won't happen: that's why we need this
      >legislation to prevent cruise ship dumping
      >within 12 miles of the U.S. coast," said
      >Representative Farr. "We live off our oceans,
      >from fishermen to scientists to cruise ship
      >operators, and we need to start being better
      >stewards of our oceans if we want them to
      >survive for future generations."
      >In addition to restricting waste discharge
      >within twelve miles of shore and requiring
      >independent monitors, the Clean Cruise Ships Act
      >would substantially reduce the levels of fecal
      >coliform and chlorine in treated sewage and
      >graywater discharged beyond twelve miles It
      >would require the U.S. Coast Guard and the
      >Environmental Protection Agency to issue final
      >standards taking into account the best available
      >technology, with the goal of zero pollutant
      >discharges from sewage or graywater by 2015. It
      >would also implement whistleblower protection
      >for employees who report employers'
      >noncompliance with the Act and empower citizens
      >to enforce the law.
      >For more than a year, Oceana has been engaged in
      >a national campaign to reform waste treatment
      >practices in the cruise industry. It has called
      >for fleet-wide installation of advanced
      >wastewater treatment technology, as well as
      >independent, third- party monitoring of waste
      >treatment practices. Oceana has made its cruise
      >campaign one of only three primary
      >organizational priorities for protecting the
      >Oceana is a non-profit international advocacy
      >organization dedicated to restoring and
      >protecting the world's oceans through policy
      >advocacy, science, law and public education.
      >Founded in 2001, Oceana's constituency includes
      >members and activists from more than 150
      >countries and territories who are committed to
      >saving the world's marine environment.
      >Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Oceana has
      >additional offices in key U.S. coastal areas, a
      >South American office in Santiago, Chile, and a
      >European office in Madrid, Spain.
      >/© 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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