Cruise line to improve waste water management

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2003

BELLEVUE, Wash. - The Washington state Department of Ecology on Thursday ordered Norwegian Cruise Line to improve its waste water management and establish a system to guard against the accidental release of waste water.

The order came after an investigation into the May 3 release of 40 tons of human waste into the Strait of Juan de Fuca by the Norwegian Sun, a ship that docks in Juneau several times this summer.

The 853-foot cruise ship had been using a new waste water treatment system when the spill occurred. The new equipment changed the use of on-board storage tanks and a crewmember mistakenly discharged a sewage tank.

Ecology concluded the release could have been prevented with proper training and procedures. The cruise line must coordinate with the department in developing its new system, and gain final approval from the agency.

If a temporary agreement cannot be reached within 90 days, a civil penalty will be imposed, the department said.

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