New Regs Proposed For Cruise Ship Wastewater in Washington

Thanks for the attention to this effort and posting a link to our proposal. As you can see, there are two proposals under review by the parties to the Cruise MOU of the three offered by environmental community. I’m sure time precluded coverage of the 2nd alternative that we believe should still be seriously considered.

Rather than banning all discharges throughout the Sound as preferred (and which NOAA just did in the 2400 square mile Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary) we just ask that they not do so while docked.

A critical part of the cruise lines’ claims to the quality of their effluent is that the discharge is diluted by the wake of the vessel. Their highly concentrated waste (vacuum flushes) retains far higher quantities of ammonia than you find at Westpoint which is among the nutrients the Sound use less of. Furthermore cruise ships make their discharge at the surface, not affording opportunities for vertical dilution that facilities like Westpoint do for their less concentrated waste in the first place. Obviously the volumes are different, but these ships still can hotel 5000 passengers and crew.

Only two ships from Norwegian Cruise Line have sought to continue to be able to discharge in the Sound while at the dock. However, for the first time they chose not to do so last year so we know they don’t have to.

Here’s their chance to show their Puget Sound homeport that there can be some restraints on “Freestyle Cruising” by amending the MOU accordingly. I’m sure it would be appreciated by visitors and residents alike.


~ by fredfelleman on January 17, 2012.

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