Skip to content

EPA Bans Ships from Dumping Waste off State Coast

Monday, February 13, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle

A federal rule banning ships from flushing their sewage into the sea within 3 miles of the California coast was approved Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The prohibition, which will go into effect next month, means cruise and cargo ships will no longer be able to discharge treated or untreated effluent or gray water anywhere along the coast, a practice that regulators blame for spreading bacteria and disease in marine mammals, fish and people.

The new rule will create the largest coastal no-sewage zone in the nation, covering the entire 1,624 mile coast from Mexico to Oregon 3 miles out into the ocean. It is expected to prevent the dumping of 22.5 million gallons annually of ship waste, a good portion of which has historically oozed into San Francisco Bay.


View the full story (San Francisco Chronicle)