Case co-sponsors bill
for ships’ wastewater

The measure prohibits discharges
into U.S. territorial waters

U.S. Rep. Ed Case has joined House colleagues in proposing national standards governing wastewater discharges from cruise ships, his office said.

Case, D-rural Oahu and neighbor islands, is a co-sponsor of H.R. 4101, the Clean Cruise Ship Act of 2004. The legislation would prohibit the discharge of sewage, graywater (galley, dishwater, bath and laundry wastewater), and bilgewater (water containing oily engine wastes) by cruise ships into U.S. territorial waters and set standards for discharge of adequately treated wastes within the U.S. exclusive economic zone (12-200 miles from land).

The bill would implement a key recommendation of the recently released report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, which noted that the cruise industry has "grown rapidly since the 1980s. By the end of 2002, U.S. ports handled 6.5 million cruise embarkations, an increase of more than 10 percent from 2001.

However, no comprehensive wastewater management regime is in place for all large passenger vessels operating in U.S. waters. Congress should amend the Clean Water Act to establish a new national regime for managing wastewater discharges from (such) vessels."

Case called the measures "a proposal whose time has clearly come. Much of the existing industry has acted responsibly to install and operate onboard wastewater treatment facilities. But the sheer volume of industry growth, nationally and especially in our Hawaii, mandates that we now provide standard nationwide expectations of all ships and all owners."

"I also believe it will be beneficial to the companies in and entering Hawaii's cruise industry in ensuring public confidence in their environmental practices, and I'm hopeful that they will be supportive," he said.


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