EPA reports that cruise ships dump massive amounts of poorly treated sewage & highly contaminated raw graywater into harbors & coastal waters
The report is available at http://www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/cruise_ships/disch_assess_draft.html. Key citations follow.)
“This report shows that cruise ship dumping is out of control and is only getting worse with more ships and more passengers,” said Teri Shore, Campaign Director for Marine Programs at Friends of the Earth. “Since the EPA won’t act, here’s all the evidence that Congress needs to step in to ban cruise ship dumping close to shore and in sanctuaries—and require the best treatment everywhere else.” The report responded to a lawsuit filed by the University of Washington Environmental Law Clinic on behalf of Friends of the Earth in May 2007 seeking a response to a seven-year-old petition calling on the EPA to analyze pollution from the rapidly expanding cruise ship fleet and find ways to prevent environmental harm. The EPA provided detailed pollution data, but no solutions. The EPA found that cruise ship discharges contain concentrations of bacteria, chlorine, nutrients, metals and other pollutants that often far exceed federal effluent and water quality standards and are harmful to human health and the marine environment. The report estimated that cruise ships produce an average of 21,000 gallons per day of sewage and 170,000 gallons per day of raw graywater that can contain as much bacteria as sewage. Large volumes of sewage sludge and oily water are also routinely dumped overboard.