For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Neesha Kulkarni, 202-222-0724,
Marcie Keever, 415-544-0790 x223,

Congress Begins Push to Stop Cruise Industry From Dumping Sewage

Senator Durbin and Congressman Farr Introduce Legislation to Stop Cruise Ship Dumping

Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) introduced
legislation today that would prevent cruise ships from dumping sewage and other
waste into coastal waters.

"Cruise ships are currently allowed to dump raw
sewage just three nautical miles from shore. This practice is not only
disgusting, it can threaten the public health, coastal tourism, fishing
economies, and marine ecosystems," said Neesha Kulkarni, Legislative
Associate at Friends of the Earth. "Advanced
technology is available to treat this waste, but the cruise industry has failed
to install this equipment on a majority of its ships.  The Clean Cruise
Ship Act would put a stop to this practice and hold the cruise industry

The Clean Cruise Ship Act would establish a no-dumping
zone in waters within 12 nautical miles of U.S. shores and strengthen outdated
standards for treatment of waste outside of this zone.  The bill would
also establish an onboard monitoring program to ensure that ships comply with
the law.

"Big cruise ships make for big pollution; it's an unavoidable
truth. Unfortunately, responsible disposal of that waste hasn't always
been a given. The cruise ship industry is way overdue to take responsibility
for its actions," Rep. Farr said. "The Monterey Peninsula
saw what happens when things go wrong when thousands of gallons of wastewater
were dumped off our coastline. It's ironic that the cruise industry
relies on a clean ocean and pristine coastlines for its livelihood, but
doesn't put in the effort to sustain them. This carelessness must not be
allowed to continue."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
over the last decade the cruise industry has grown nearly twice as fast as any
other travel industry.  Average ship size has grown about 90 feet every
five years and some ships now carry as many as 7,000 passengers and crew. 
In one week alone, an average cruise ship (3,000 passengers) can generate
200,000 gallons of sewage and 1 million gallons of graywater (water from
showers, floor drains, and kitchens).

More information about cruise ship pollution and the bill
can be found at


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