IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 21, 2009
Mr. Durbin introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish national standards for discharges from cruise vessels.
This Act may be cited as the
Clean Cruise Ship Act of
Findings and purposes
Congress finds that—
cruise ships carry millions of passengers through North American waters each year, showcase some of the most beautiful ocean and coastal environments in the United States, and provide opportunities for passengers to relax and enjoy oceans and marine ecosystems;
the number of cruise passengers continues to grow, making the cruise industry one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world;
in 2007, more than 10,000,000 passengers departed from North America on thousands of cruise ships;
during the 2 decades preceding the date of enactment of this Act, the average cruise ship size has increased at a rate of approximately 90 feet every 5 years;
an average-sized cruise vessel generates millions of gallons of liquid waste and many tons of solid waste;
in just 1 week, a
3000-passenger cruise ship generates approximately 210,000 gallons of human
sewage, 1,000,000 gallons of water from showers and sinks and dishwashing water
(commonly known as
graywater), 37,000 gallons of oily bilge
water, more than 8 tons of solid waste, and toxic wastes from dry cleaning and
in an Environmental Protection Agency survey of 29 ships traveling in Alaskan waters, reported sewage generation rates ranged from 1,000 to 74,000 gallons per day per vessel, with the average volume of sewage generated being 21,000 gallons per day per vessel;
those frequently untreated cruise ship discharges deliver nutrients, hazardous substances, pharmaceuticals, and human pathogens, including viruses and bacteria, directly into the marine environment;
in the final
report of the United States Commission on Ocean Policy, that Commission found
that cruise ship discharges, if not treated and disposed of properly, and the
cumulative impacts caused when cruise ships repeatedly visit the same
environmentally sensitive areas,
can be a significant source of
pathogens and nutrients with the potential to threaten human health and damage
shellfish beds, coral reefs, and other aquatic life;
pollution from cruise ships not only has the potential to threaten marine life and human health through consumption of contaminated seafood, but also poses a health risk for recreational swimmers, surfers, and other beachgoers;
according to the
Environmental Protection Agency,
Sewage may host many pathogens of
concern to human health, including Salmonella, Shigella, Hepatitis A and E, and
gastro-intestinal viruses. Sewage contamination in swimming areas and shellfish
beds poses potential risks to human health and the environment by increasing
the rate of waterborne illnesses;
the nutrient pollution from human sewage discharges from cruise ships can contribute to the incidence of harmful algal blooms;
algal blooms have been implicated in the deaths of marine life, including the deaths of more than 150 manatees off the coast of Florida;
in a 2005 report requested by the International Council of Cruise Lines, the Science Panel of the Ocean Conservation and Tourism Alliance recommended that—
“[a]ll blackwater should be treated”;
treated blackwater should be “avoided in ports, close to bathing beaches or water bodies with restricted circulation, flushing or inflow”; and
blackwater should not be discharged within 4 nautical miles of shellfish beds, coral reefs, or other sensitive habitats;
that Science Panel further recommended that graywater be treated in the same manner as blackwater and that sewage sludge be off-loaded to approved land-based facilities;
in a summary of recommendations for addressing unabated point sources of pollution, the Pew Oceans Commission states that, “Congress should enact legislation that regulates wastewater discharges from cruise ships under the Clean Water Act by establishing uniform minimum standards for discharges in all State waters and prohibiting discharges within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone that do not meet effluent standards.”; and
a comprehensive statutory regime for managing pollution discharges from cruise vessels, applicable throughout the United States, is needed—
to protect coastal and ocean areas from pollution generated by cruise vessels;
to reduce and better regulate discharges from cruise vessels; and
to improve monitoring, reporting, and enforcement of standards regarding discharges.
The purpose of this Act is to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) to establish national standards and prohibitions for discharges from cruise vessels.
Cruise vessel discharges
Section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Cruise vessel discharges
In this subsection:
The term bilge water means wastewater.
The term bilge water includes lubrication oils, transmission oils, oil sludge or slops, fuel or oil sludge, used oil, used fuel or fuel filters, and oily waste.
The term Commandant means the Commandant of the Coast Guard.
The term cruise vessel means a passenger vessel that—
is authorized to carry at least 250 passengers; and
has onboard sleeping facilities for each passenger.
The term cruise vessel does not include—
a vessel of the United States operated by the Federal Government;
a vessel owned and operated by the government of a State; or
a vessel owned by a local government.
The term discharge means the release, escape, disposal, spilling, leaking, pumping, emitting, or emptying of bilge water, graywater, hazardous waste, incinerator ash, sewage, sewage sludge, trash, or garbage from a cruise vessel into the environment, however caused, other than—
at an approved shoreside reception facility, if applicable; and
in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws (including regulations).
Exclusive economic zone
The term exclusive economic zone has the meaning given the term in section 2101 of title 46, United States Code (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of Public Law 109–304 (120 Stat. 1485)).
The term Fund means the Cruise Vessel Pollution Control Fund established by paragraph (11)(A)(i).
The term garbage means solid waste from food preparation, service and disposal activities, even if shredded, ground, processed, or treated to comply with other requirements.
The term graywater means galley water, dishwasher, and bath, shower, and washbasin water.
The term graywater includes, to the extent not already covered under provisions of law relating to hazardous waste—
spa, pool, and laundry wastewater;
wastes from soot tanker or economizer cleaning;
wastes from photo processing;
wastes from vessel interior surface cleaning; and
miscellaneous equipment and process wastewater.
The term hazardous waste has the meaning given the term in section 6903 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6903).
The term incinerator ash means ash generated during the incineration of solid waste or sewage sludge.
The term new vessel means a vessel, the construction of which is initiated after promulgation of standards and regulations under this subsection.
The term no-discharge zone means an area of ecological importance, whether designated by Federal, State, or local authorities.
The term no-discharge zone includes—
a marine sanctuary;
a marine protected area;
a marine reserve; and
a marine national monument.
The term passenger means any person (including a paying passenger and any staff member, such as a crew member, captain, or officer) traveling on board a cruise vessel.
The term sewage means—
human and animal body wastes; and
wastes from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or retain human and animal body wastes.
The term sewage sludge means any solid, semi-solid, or liquid residue removed during the treatment of on-board sewage.
The term sewage sludge includes—
solids removed during primary, secondary, or advanced wastewater treatment;
portable toilet pumpings;
type III marine sanitation device pumpings (as defined in part 159 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation)); and
sewage sludge products.
The term sewage sludge does not include—
grit or screenings; or
ash generated during the incineration of sewage sludge.
The term trash means solid waste from vessel operations and passenger services, even if shredded, ground, processed, or treated to comply with other regulations.
Prohibition on discharge of sewage sludge, incinerator ash, and hazardous waste
Except as provided by subparagraph (C), no cruise vessel departing from, or calling on, a port of the United States may discharge sewage sludge, incinerator ash, or hazardous waste into navigable waters, including the contiguous zone and the exclusive economic zone.
Sewage sludge, incinerator ash, and hazardous waste described in clause (i) shall be off-loaded at an appropriate land-based facility.
Prohibition on discharge of sewage, graywater, and bilge water
Except as provided by subparagraph (C), no cruise vessel departing from or calling on, a port of the United States may discharge sewage, graywater, or bilge water into navigable waters, including the contiguous zone and the exclusive economic zone, unless—
the sewage, graywater, or bilge water is treated to meet all applicable effluent limits established under this section and is in accordance with all other applicable laws;
the cruise vessel is underway and proceeding at a speed of not less than 6 knots;
the cruise vessel is more than 12 nautical miles from shore; and
the cruise vessel complies with all applicable standards established under this Act.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, no cruise vessel departing from, or calling on, a port of the United States may discharge treated or untreated sewage, graywater, or bilge water into a no-discharge zone.
Scope of exception
Subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall not apply in any case in which—
a discharge is made solely for the purpose of securing the safety of the cruise vessel or saving human life at sea; and
all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent or minimize the discharge.
If the owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of a cruise vessel authorizes a discharge described in clause (i), the person shall notify the Administrator and the Commandant of the decision to authorize the discharge as soon as practicable, but not later than 24 hours, after authorizing the discharge.
Not later than 7 days after the date on which a discharge described in clause (i) occurs, the owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of a cruise vessel, shall submit to the Administrator and the Commandant a report that describes—
the quantity and composition of each discharge authorized under clause (i);
the reason for authorizing each such discharge;
the location of the vessel during the course of each such discharge; and
such other supporting information and data as are requested by the Commandant or the Administrator.
Disclosure of reports
Upon receiving a report under subclause (II), the Administrator shall make the report available to the public.
Effluent limits for discharges of sewage, graywater, and bilge water
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator shall promulgate effluent limits for sewage, graywater, and bilge water discharges from cruise vessels.
The effluent limits shall—
be consistent with the capability of the best available technology to treat effluent;
take into account the best available scientific information on the environmental effects of sewage, graywater, and bilge water discharges, including conventional, nontoxic, and toxic pollutants and petroleum;
take into account marine life and ecosystems, including coral reefs, shell fish beds, endangered species, marine mammals, seabirds, and marine ecosystems;
take into account conditions that will affect marine life, ecosystems, and human health, including seamounts, continental shelves, oceanic fronts, warm core and cold core rings, and ocean currents; and
require compliance with all relevant Federal and State water quality standards.
The effluent limits promulgated under clause (i) shall require, at a minimum, that treated sewage, treated graywater, and treated bilge water effluent discharges from cruise vessels, measured at the point of discharge, shall, not later than the date described in subparagraph (C)—
satisfy the minimum level of effluent quality specified in section 133.102 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation); and
with respect to the samples from the discharge during any 30-day period—
have a geometric mean that does not exceed 20 fecal coliform per 100 milliliters;
not exceed 40 fecal coliform per 100 milliliters in more than 10 percent of the samples; and
with respect to concentrations of total residual chlorine, not exceed 10 milligrams per liter.
Review and revision of effluent limits
The Administrator shall—
review the effluent limits promulgated under subparagraph (A) at least once every 5 years; and
revise the effluent limits to incorporate technology available at the time of the review in accordance with subparagraph (A)(ii).
The Administrator shall require compliance with the effluent limits promulgated pursuant to subparagraph (A)—
with respect to new vessels put into water after the date of enactment of this subsection, as of the date that is 180 days after the date of promulgation of the effluent limits; and
with respect to vessels in use as of that date of enactment, as of the date that is 1 year after the date of promulgation of the effluent limits.
Sampling, monitoring, and reporting
The Administrator shall require sampling, monitoring, and reporting to ensure compliance with—
the effluent limitations promulgated under subparagraph (A);
all other applicable provisions of this Act;
any regulations promulgated under this Act;
other applicable Federal laws (including regulations); and
all applicable international treaty requirements.
Responsibilities of persons in charge of cruise vessels
The owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of a cruise vessel, shall at a minimum—
conduct sampling or testing at the point of discharge on a monthly basis, or more frequently, as determined by the Administrator;
provide real-time data to the Administrator, using telemetric or other similar technology, for reporting relating to—
discharges of sewage, graywater, and bilge water from cruise vessels;
pollutants emitted in sewage, graywater, and bilge water from cruise vessels; and
functioning of cruise vessel components relating to fuel consumption and control of air and water pollution;
ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that technologies providing real-time data have the ability to record—
the location and time of discharges from cruise vessels;
the source, content, and volume of the discharges; and
the operational state of components relating to pollution control technology at the time of the discharges, including whether the components are operating correctly;
establish chains of custody, analysis protocols, and other specific information necessary to ensure that the sampling, testing, and records of that sampling and testing are reliable; and
maintain, and provide on a monthly basis to the Administrator, electronic copies of required sampling and testing data.
The Administrator shall require the compilation and production, and not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection and biennially thereafter, the provision to the Administrator and the Commandant in electronic format, of documentation for each cruise vessel that includes, at a minimum—
a detailed description of onboard waste treatment mechanisms in use by the cruise vessel, including the manufacturer of the waste treatment technology on board;
a detailed description of onboard sludge management practices of the cruise vessel;
copies of applicable hazardous materials forms;
a characterization of the nature, type, and composition of discharges by the cruise vessel;
a determination of the volumes of those discharges, including average volumes; and
the locations, including the more common locations, of those discharges.
The Administrator shall require documentation of shoreside disposal at approved facilities for all wastes by, at a minimum—
establishing standardized forms for the receipt of those wastes;
requiring those receipts to be sent electronically to the Administrator and Commandant and maintained in an onboard record book; and
requiring those receipts to be signed and dated by the owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of the discharging vessel and the authorized representative of the receiving facility.
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator, in consultation with the Commandant, shall promulgate regulations that, at a minimum, implement the sampling, monitoring, and reporting protocols required by this subparagraph.
The Administrator shall establish an inspection program to require that—
regular announced and unannounced inspections be conducted of any relevant aspect of cruise vessel operations, equipment, or discharges, including sampling and testing of cruise vessel discharges;
each cruise vessel that calls on a port of the United States be subject to an unannounced inspection at least once per year; and
inspections be carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard inspections
If the Administrator and the Commandant jointly agree that some or all inspections are to be carried out by the Coast Guard, the inspections shall—
occur outside the Coast Guard matrix system for setting boarding priorities;
be consistent across Coast Guard districts; and
be conducted by specially-trained environmental inspectors.
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator, in consultation with the Commandant, shall promulgate regulations that, at a minimum—
designate responsibility for conducting inspections;
require the owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of a cruise vessel to maintain and submit a logbook detailing the times, types, volumes, flow rates, origins, and specific locations of, and explanations for, any discharges from the cruise vessel not otherwise required by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (done at London on November 2, 1973; entered into force on October 2, 1983), as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (done at London, February 17, 1978);
provide for routine announced and unannounced inspections of—
cruise vessel environmental compliance records and procedures; and
the functionality, sufficiency, redundancy, and proper operation and maintenance of installed equipment for abatement and control of any cruise vessel discharge (including equipment intended to treat sewage, graywater, or bilge water);
all crew members are informed of, in the native language of the crew members, and understand, the pollution control obligations under this subsection, including regulations promulgated under this subsection; and
applicable crew members are sufficiently trained and competent to comply with requirements under this subsection, including sufficient training and competence—
to effectively operate shipboard pollution control systems;
to conduct all necessary sampling and testing; and
to monitor and comply with recording requirements;
require that operating manuals be on the cruise vessel and accessible to all crew members;
require the posting of the phone number for a toll-free whistleblower hotline on all ships and at all ports using language likely to be understood by international crews;
require any owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of a cruise vessel, who has knowledge of a discharge from the cruise vessel in violation of this subsection, including regulations promulgated under this subsection, to report immediately the discharge to the Administrator and the Commandant;
require the owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of a cruise vessel to provide, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, to the Administrator, Commandant, and on-board observers (including designated representatives), a copy of cruise vessel plans, including—
piping schematic diagrams;
construction drawings; and
drawings or diagrams of storage systems, processing, treating, intake, or discharge systems, and any modifications of those systems (within the year during which the modifications are made); and
inhibit illegal discharges by prohibiting all means of altering piping, tankage, pumps, valves, and processes to bypass or circumvent measures or equipment designed to monitor, sample, or prevent discharges.
Disclosure of logbooks
The logbook described in subparagraph (C)(ii) shall be submitted to the Administrator and the Commandant.
Cruise observer program
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commandant, in consultation with the Administrator, shall establish and carry out a program for the hiring and placement of 1 or more trained, independent, observers on each cruise vessel.
The purpose of the cruise observer program established under subparagraph (A) is to monitor and inspect cruise vessel operations, equipment, and discharges to ensure compliance with—
this subsection (including regulations promulgated under this subsection); and
all other relevant Federal and State laws and international agreements.
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commandant, in consultation with the Administrator and the Attorney General, shall promulgate regulations that, at a minimum—
specify that the Coast Guard shall be responsible for the hiring of observers;
specify the qualifications, experience, and duties of the observers;
specify methods and criteria for Coast Guard hiring of observers;
establish the means for ensuring constant observer coverage and allowing for observer relief and rotation; and
establish an appropriate rate of pay to ensure that observers are highly trained and retained by the Coast Guard.
Cruise observers participating in the program established under subparagraph (A) shall—
observe and inspect—
onboard liquid and solid handling and processing systems;
onboard environmental treatment systems;
use of shore-based treatment and storage facilities;
discharges and discharge practices; and
documents relating to environmental compliance, including—
sounding boards, logs, and logbooks;
daily and corporate maintenance and engineers’ logbooks;
fuel, sludge, slop, waste, and ballast tank capacity tables;
installation, maintenance, and operation records for oily water separators, incinerators, and boilers;
receipts for the transfer of materials, including waste disposal;
air emissions data; and
electronic and other records of relevant information, including fuel consumption, maintenance, and spares ordering for all waste processing- and pollution-related equipment;
have the authority to interview and otherwise query any crew member with knowledge of cruise vessel operations;
have access to all data and information made available to government officials under this subsection;
immediately report any known or suspected violation of this subsection or any other applicable Federal law or international agreement to—
the owner, operator, master, or other person in charge of a cruise vessel;
the Commandant; and
maintain inspection records to be submitted to the Commandant and the Administrator on a semiannual basis; and
have authority to conduct the full range of duties of the observers within the United States territorial seas, contiguous zone, and exclusive economic zone.
The cruise observer program established and carried out by the Commandant under subparagraph (A) shall include—
a method for collecting and reviewing data relating to the efficiency, sufficiency, and operation of the cruise observer program, including—
the ability to achieve program goals;
cruise vessel personnel cooperation;
necessary equipment and analytical resources; and
the need for additional observer training; and
a process for adopting periodic revisions to the program based on the data collected under clause (i).
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commandant, in consultation with the Administrator, shall implement a program to provide support to observers, including, at a minimum—
training for observers to ensure the ability of the observers to carry out this paragraph;
necessary equipment and analytical resources, such as laboratories, to carry out the responsibilities established under this subsection; and
support relating to the administration of the program and the response to any recalcitrant cruise vessel personnel.
Not later than 3 years after the date of establishment of the program under this paragraph, the Commandant, in consultation with the Administrator, shall submit to Congress a report describing—
the results of the program in terms of observer effectiveness, optimal coverage, environmental benefits, and cruise ship cooperation;
recommendations for increased effectiveness, including increased training needs and increased equipment needs; and
other recommendations for improvement of the program.
Payments to individuals
The Administrator or a court of competent jurisdiction, as the case may be, may order payment, from a civil penalty or criminal fine collected for a violation of this subsection, of an amount not to exceed ½ of the amount of the civil penalty or criminal fine, to any individual who furnishes information that leads to the payment of the civil penalty or criminal fine.
If 2 or more individuals provide information described in clause (i), the amount available for payment as a reward shall be divided equitably among the individuals.
No officer or employee of the United States, a State, or an Indian tribe who furnishes information or renders service in the performance of the official duties of the officer or employee shall be eligible for a reward payment under this paragraph.
Payments to Indian tribes
The Administrator or a court of competent jurisdiction, as the case may be, may order payment, from a civil penalty or criminal fine collected for a violation of this subsection, to an Indian tribe providing information or investigative assistance that leads to payment of the penalty or fine, of an amount that reflects the level of information or investigative assistance provided.
Payments divided among Indian tribes and individuals
In a case in which an Indian tribe and an individual under subparagraph (A) are eligible to receive a reward payment under this paragraph, the Administrator or the court shall divide the amount available for the reward equitably among those recipients.
Liability in rem
A cruise vessel operated in violation of this subsection or any regulation promulgated under this subsection—
shall be liable in rem for any civil penalty or criminal fine imposed for the violation; and
may be subject to a proceeding instituted in any United States district court of competent jurisdiction.
A cruise vessel may operate in the waters of the United States, or visit a port or place under the jurisdiction of the United States, only if the cruise vessel has been issued a permit under this section.
Nonapplicability of certain provisions
Paragraphs (6)(A) and (12)(B) of section 502 shall not apply to any cruise vessel.
Statutory or common law rights not restricted
Nothing in this subsection—
restricts the rights of any person (or class of persons) to regulate or seek enforcement or other relief (including relief against the Administrator or Commandant) under any statute or common law;
affects the right of any person (or class of persons) to regulate or seek enforcement or other relief with regard to vessels other than cruise vessels under any statute or common law; or
affects the right of any person (or class of persons) under any statute or common law, including this Act, to regulate or seek enforcement or other relief with regard to pollutants or emission streams from cruise vessels that are not otherwise regulated under this subsection.
Establishment of Fund; fees
Cruise vessel pollution control fund
is established in the general fund of the Treasury a separate account, to be
known as the
Cruise Vessel Pollution Control Fund (referred to
in this paragraph as the
The Fund shall consist of such amounts as are deposited in the Fund under subparagraph (B)(vi).
Availability and use of amounts in Fund
Amounts in the Fund shall be—
available to the Administrator and the Commandant as provided in appropriations Acts; and
used by the Administrator and the Commandant only for purposes of carrying out this subsection.
Fees on cruise vessels
The Commandant and the Administrator shall establish and collect from each cruise vessel a reasonable and appropriate fee for each paying passenger on a cruise vessel voyage, for use in carrying out this subsection.
Adjustment of fee
The Commandant and the Administrator shall biennially adjust the amount of the fee established under clause (i) to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Department of Labor during the most recent 2-year period for which data are available.
The Commandant and the Administrator may round an adjustment under subclause (I) to the nearest 1/10 of a dollar.
Factors in establishing fees
In establishing fees under clause (i), the Commandant and Administrator may establish lower levels of fees and the maximum amount of fees for certain classes of cruise vessels based on—
economic share; and
such other factors as are determined to be appropriate by the Commandant and the Administrator.
Any fee schedule established under clause (i), including the level of fees and the maximum amount of fees, shall take into account—
cruise vessel routes;
the frequency of stops at ports of call by cruise vessels; and
other applicable considerations.
Collection of fees
A fee established under clause (i) shall be collected by the Administrator or the Commandant from the owner or operator of each cruise vessel to which this subsection applies.
Deposits to Fund
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all fees collected under this paragraph, and all penalties and payments collected for violations of this subsection, shall be deposited in the Fund.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator and the Commandant such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014.