New Report, Cruise Ship Discharges

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A final national report on cruise ship discharges will help EPA determine whether the existing State of Alaska discharge standards for sewage and graywater from cruise ships operating in Alaskan waters are adequate, or if more stringent standards are needed.

The Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report reviewed five waste streams from cruise ships: sewage, graywater, oily bilge water, solid waste and hazardous waste. For each waste stream, the report discusses the nature and volume of the waste stream generated, existing federal regulations applicable to the waste stream, environmental management (including treatment) of the waste stream, potential adverse environmental impacts of the waste stream, and actions by the federal government to address the waste stream. In addition, the report presents a wide range of options and alternatives to address the specified waste streams from cruise ships.

EPA invited comment on a draft of the report last year, and specifically requested public input on options, alternatives, and recommendations for addressing the waste streams assessed by EPA. The report includes suggestions from the public comments. Much of the information in the draft report also helped EPA develop a Clean Water Act vessel general permit.

The report can be accessed at www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/cruise_ships/disch_assess.html

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