Top executives from major cruise ship lines that operate in Alaska's coastal waters agreed to regulate and monitor discharges of marine wastewater. Governor Tony Knowles called the agreement a "good start toward addressing the serious problem of maintaining Alaska's pristine inland waters," as well as oceans. He continued, "The industry agreed on a shared goal of preserving Alaska's clean water through monitoring and regulating of their vessel's discharges, support for federal legislation now pending in Congress, and an industry funded state monitoring effort."
Tests revealed wastewater discharges that were far over acceptable standards. Of 80 water samples taken, only one met federal standards for suspended solids and fecal coliform.
Current legislation in Congress would prohibit the discharge of untreated sewage into Alaska waters, and it would prevent treated sewage and graywater from being discharged within a mile of shore. The bill would also establish effluent standards for treated sewage and graywater, as well as monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance. The cruise ship industry has said that it will support the legislation.
The cruise ship lines represented included World Explorer, Radisson Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean/Celebrity, Holland America/Westours, Princess, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Lines and the International Council of Cruise Lines.
(Source: Environment News Service)