Schwarzenegger Signs Cruise Pollution Law, While Sewage Dumping Bill Remains on His Desk

Oceana Urges Governor Not to Stop at Sinks and Showers,

to Also Sign Bill Banning Sewage Dumping From Ships' Toilets

Sep 24, 2004, 01:00 ET from Oceana

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today
 signed into law an ocean-protection bill that stops cruise ships from dumping
 sink and shower wastes in California coastal waters.  While Oceana praised
 that action, it urged him to enact the most important cruise pollution bill on
 his desk: AB 2672, which stops cruise ships from dumping sewage from toilets
 within three miles of shore.
     "By stopping the dumping of waste from cruise ships' sinks, showers and
 galleys, Gov. Schwarzenegger has helped California take a stride toward
 cleaner and safer coastal waters.  Anyone who cares about that type of
 wastewater would be even more concerned about the dumping of inadequately
 treated sewage from toilets," said Dana DuBose, director of Oceana's Southern
 California office.  "So we hope that the governor will also sign the sewage
 bill in the next few days."
     "Assemblymen Simitian and Nakano, who introduced these bills, deserve
 praise for standing up to the industry's political might and doing the right
 thing," added DuBose.  "We hope the governor will do the same."
     The enacted cruise pollution bill, AB 2093, by Assemblyman George Nakano,
 D-Torrance, bans cruise ships from dumping wastes from kitchens, sinks, and
 showers in state waters.  Such wastewater contains bacteria, pathogens and
 heavy metals.  Such pollution contributes to beach closures, seafood
 contamination, coral reef destruction and other serious marine and public
 health problems.  Sewage from toilets, which would be covered by AB 2672,
 written by Assemblyman Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, contains an even greater
 level of these pathogens.
     "I'm pleased the governor signed this bill into law.  It's important that
 we protect our beaches and coastal ecosystems from needless, damaging
 pollution by an expanding cruise ship industry," said Assemblyman Joe
 Simitian, author of AB 2672 which still awaits the Governor's signature.
 "These laws ensure that even as the industry continues to grow, it won't be at
 the expense of our air and water quality.  Simply put, these bills protect the
 environment, the public health and the economic vitality of our coast."
     A single large cruise ship can carry up to 5,000 people and generate an
 astonishing amount of pollution: up to 25,000 gallons of sewage from toilets
 and 200,000 gallons of sewage from kitchens, sinks and showers every day.
 California is the nation's second-largest cruise ship market, after Florida,
 and it experienced a 14 percent growth in cruise embarkations in 2003,
 boarding some 807,000 passengers.  The cruise industry predicts the number of
 ship visits to California to grow by 25 percent over the next decade.
     In May, after an 11-month campaign, Oceana persuaded Miami-based Royal
 Caribbean Cruise Lines, the world's second-largest cruise ship company, to
 agree to install advanced wastewater treatment technology fleet-wide.  Oceana
 has been fiercely advocating for stronger state and federal cruise pollution
 laws.  Current federal law allows the cruise industry to dump sewage from
 kitchens, sinks and showers anywhere, while sewage from toilets is only
 required to be treated if it's dumped within three miles of shore, and even
 then, by antiquated and ineffective marine sanitation devices.