Season starts without environmental updates

April 29, 2007

Letters to the Editor

It’s ironic that the first cruise ship to call on Elliott Bay this season, Celebrity Cruise’s Mercury, graced the cover of the P-I to illustrate the Port of Seattle’s purported economic benefits of the cruise industry (“Cruise season sets sail,” Tuesday). The photo caption didn’t mention that Ecology fined Celebrity $100,000 last year for the Mercury’s discharge of a half-million gallons of untreated wastewater into Juan de Fuca Strait in 2005.
Celebrity’s president, Dan Hanrahan, stated in Ecology’s Nov. 16, 2006, news release, “We sincerely regret that the location of the discharges were the result of a misunderstanding regarding the reach of Washington state waters.”

Ecology crafted a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the state, the cruise lines and the Port of Seattle.

The MOU is supposed to be updated annually, but this cruise season has gotten started without any of the updates in place. California and Alaska have both regulated cruise ship discharges because the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress have not.

Fred Felleman
Friends of the Earth


~ by fredfelleman on April 29, 2007.

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