Feds Ban Cruise Ships From Dumping Sewage Near California

Cruise ships and other large vessels will be banned from dumping sewage within three miles of the California coast under a new federal rule.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the ban is set to take effect early next year. The rule adds teeth to a state law and allows the U.S. Coast Guard to cite vessels for violations.

California's beaches and bays are threatened by some 20 million gallons of sewage dumped off the coast each year, EPA officials say. They didn't specify who is doing the dumping - large container ships are among other vessels covered by the dumping ban.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents all the major cruise lines, was quick to point out its members already follow discharge regulations that exceed the new standards.

"They don't discharge within three miles of the California coast and have been following that for a number of years," says Michael Crye, CLIA's executive vice president.

The ships do release treated sewage farther out at sea.

Carnival Cruise Lines photo
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