Bill title: Clean Cruise Ship Act

Bill number: H.R. 3888

Date introduced: Oct. 21, 2009

Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. The bill was also introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

Summary: The legislation will strengthen the Clean Water Act to create coastal zones where cruise ships are prohibited from dumping waste, strengthen current waste treatment standards and increase surveillance to ensure compliance by the industry. Laws currently allow cruise ships to dump untreated sewage three miles from shore, a danger to health, environment and economy. Rep. Farr’s legislation would increase the anti-dumping zone to 12 miles from shore and would require waste treatment beyond 12 miles. The bill also creates an observation and monitoring program.

Following introduction of the bill, Rep. Farr said: “Big cruise ships make for big pollution, it’s an unavoidable truth. Unfortunately, responsible disposal of that waste hasn’t always been a given. The cruise ship industry is way overdue to take responsibility for its actions. It’s ironic that the cruise industry relies on a clean ocean and pristine coastlines for its livelihood, but doesn’t put in the effort to sustain them. This carelessness must not be allowed to continue.”