The little-regulated cruise ship industry releases hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw sewage and polluted water (containing fecal matter, bacteria, metals, viruses and harmful nutrients) into our oceans and coastal waters as close as three nautical miles from shore. According to EPA's Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report, sewage generation rates for large cruise ships can range as high as 74,000 gallons per day, per vessel. These discharges occur near shellfish beds, public beaches, and sensitive pristine marine ecosystems. Like floating cities, cruise ships carry thousands of passengers at any given time and are growing both in average ship size (increasing by approximately 90 feet every five years) and consumer demand.
The Clean Cruise Ship Act (S.1820/H.R.3888) would prohibit the discharge of hazardous waste, sewage sludge, and incinerator ash within all U.S. waters and prohibits the discharge of sewage, graywater, and oily bilge water within 12 nautical miles of shore. In addition, the bill establishes cruise ship water quality standards and monitoring and reporting requirements.
In light of the growing concerns of pollution in our oceans, it is time to make a move on pollution from the cruise ship industry. Cruise ships can and do release large amounts of pollution into our oceans. This pollution contaminates sea life and threatens humans when swimmers and surfers come into contact with the contaminated water. The pollution can also have devastating consequences for marine ecosystems.
To address the problem of cruise ships unrestrictedly dumping into our ocean waters, I am calling on you to support and co-sponsor the Clean Cruise Ship Act (S.1820/H.R.3888), which would prohibit discharges of sewage, graywater, and oily bilge water within 12 miles of shore and in protected areas, establish more stringent standards for discharges 12-200 miles from shore, prohibit discharges of sewage sludge, ash and hazardous waste in U.S. waters, and increase monitoring, reporting and inspection.
The Clean Cruise Ship Act represents an important change from the current state of the cruise industry and will help to protect America’s coastlines, food supply, and beautiful natural resources for future generations.
Thank you for your support.
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