Cruise ship lines are green leaders

The Tuesday article by InvestigateWest about environmental practices of cruise lines, “Cruise ships deliver tourism and pollution to Northwest waters,” falls short on providing important information to your readers.

The article is misleading. The author points out waste that is produced and conveniently omits how waste is managed. Solid wastes like glass, bottles, cans, paper and plastic are recycled and these recycling efforts have been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency. Hazardous wastes are stored properly and landed ashore, in accordance with local and international regulation.

North West &Canada Cruise Association member lines have invested more than $100 million on advanced technology for treating wastewater. Cruise Lines International Association members have a policy to treat all blackwater (sewage) prior to discharge anywhere in the world. Before discharge in U.S. waters, it is treated by an Advanced Wastewater Purification System, which produces an effluent cleaner than what is discharged from most municipalities. The cruise industry continues to develop state-of-the-art technology and practices to reduce air emissions. NWCCA and CLIA members have been burning lower sulfur fuels in certain coastal areas, using shore power where possible, and continue to develop a scrubber system that will remove harmful air emissions and particulate matter.

Finally, the author takes a gratuitous shot at Canadian regulations, which differ from U.S. regulations, but still provide strong environmental protection. Your readers should know this fact, and that the cruise lines are maritime environmental leaders, often exceeding applicable regulations.

John Hansen

President, North West &Canada Cruise Association