EPA: Cruise Ship Sewage Discharge Banned

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal environmental regulators have given final approval to a rule that bans cruise ships and large cargo vessels from releasing sewage into the ocean within three miles of California's coast.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that the new rule will strengthen existing state law which bans cruise ships from releasing a host of toxic pollutants into coastal waters.

EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said the rule bans all sewage discharges, treated or not, along California's 1,624-mile coast and around major islands.

Blumenfeld said the "no discharge zone" will prevent more than 20 million gallons of vessel sewage from entering the state's coastal waters.

The rules will cover cruise liners, which can hold 6,000 people at a time, and cargo vessels of 300 gross tons or more.