Congress Introduces the ?Clean Cruise Ship Act of 2004?

Bi-partisan legislators Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), California Congressman Sam Farr (D-17th), and Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays (R-4th) have introduced legislation to regulate environmental standards for the cruise line industry due to their popularity, passenger capacity, and the number of voyages in U.S. coastal waters.

According to Roger Rufe, President of the Ocean Conservancy, cruise ships are not subject to regulations that would help protect the beautiful and inspiring ocean ecosystems and marine wildlife that attract many cruise ship travelers.

Cruise ship impacts has increased with the industry?s tremendous growth. In 2002, 8.6 million passengers boarded cruise ships, and the industry is projected to grow by an average of 10 percent annually. It is expected that 49 new vessels will enter service by 2005.

?As cruise ships continue to grow in size and numbers, they are leaving 30 year-old ocean pollution regulations in their wake,? said Senator Richard J. Durbin. ?The cruise industry must accept greater responsibility in preventing irreparable damage to the very marine resources on which the industry thrives.?

Federal legislation will establish uniform regulation in all U.S. waters. Some of the pollutants generated daily by these giant ships include as much as 37,000 gallons of oily bilge water, 30,000 gallons of sewage, and 255,000 gallons of graywater from showers, laundries, and kitchens

To access a copy of the ?Clean Cruise Ship Act of 2004? and download a copy of The Ocean Conservancy?s Cruise Control report, visit its website at http://www.oceanconservancy.org.