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California Congressional Delegation Urges Obama Admin to Let State Protect Its Waters from Ship Pollution

Posted Jul. 8, 2009 / Posted by: RConnors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Neesha Kulkarni, 202-222-0724, nkulkarni@foe.org
Marcie Keever, 415-544-0790 x223, mkeever@foe.org

California Congressional Delegation Urges Obama Admin to Let State Protect Its Waters from Ship Pollution

Members of Congress say sewage dumping threatens state; Friends of the Earth praises delegation for taking action

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Members of Congress from California sent a letter today to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, urging the EPA to allow California to protect its waters and the public from harmful sewage and pollution discharges from large ships.

California passed the state Clean Coast Act in 2005 banning the discharge of sewage, polluted graywater, and other harmful substances from cruise and large ocean-going ships in all state waters. In 2006, due to the interaction of state and federal law, California applied to the U.S. EPA for authority to implement the sewage dumping ban (known as a “No Discharge Zone”), submitting a 96-page application demonstrating the environmental importance and sensitivity of California’s coastal waters. Several years have passed but the EPA has failed to grant California’s request.

“The people of California have waited long enough,” said Neesha Kulkarni, Legislative Associate at Friends of the Earth. “Members of California’s congressional delegation are standing up for their state by urging the EPA to allow California to protect its coast from sewage and other pollution from large ships. Cruise ships and ocean-going vessels are allowed to dump minimally treated sewage into coastal waters and untreated sewage just three nautical miles from shore. That’s disgusting, and it threatens public health.”

Marcie Keever, Friends of the Earth’s Clean Vessels Campaign Director, said, “The California coastline includes some of the most unique and productive waters in the world. It is home to many endangered species and is enjoyed by swimmers, surfers, and water sports enthusiasts. It’s long past time for the EPA to grant California’s application and allow the state to protect its own waters.”

Read the letter to the U.S. EPA from Members of Congress

More information about California’s efforts to protect its waters.

 

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