Monday, April 30, 2007

A Cruise Ship Dumping Ground


April 25, 2007 For Immediate Release


Ottawa, ON…. B.C. Senator Pat Carney today
called for implementation of rules prohibiting the dumping of sewage by cruise ships that are turning BC’s coastal waters into “cruise industry toilet bowls.”
She told senators that coastal communities welcome the cruise ship industry but are concerned about the ocean pollution it creates. Vancouver Port Authority estimates that the cruise sector creates more than 13,000 jobs and generates $1.3 billion in economic activity each year.
“Canada has no legal recourse to prevent cruise ships from dumping sewage except for voluntary guidelines developed by Transport Canada,” she said. “Because they are voluntary, there are no enforcement mechanisms or legal sanctions for breach of regulations.”

She cited the example of a cruise ship which was fined $100,000 for dumping sewage in US waters off Washington State but paid nothing to Canada despite acknowledging that it polluted Canadian waters three times. Cruise ships transport nearly one million passengers in BC during the cruising season, which starts in April, and have been described as being the equivalent of floating cities.
Existing rules under the Canada Shipping Act do not apply to the discharge of sewage by ships. Transport Canada published proposed regulations in June 2006 but they have not yet been finalized and put into effect.
Senator Carney has asked Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon to implement the new regulations as soon as possible “so that those who live in coastal communities can be assured that their offshore waters will not be one giant septic tank.”
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For further information:
Office of Senator Pat Carney
(613) 943-1433 or 1-800-267-7362

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