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Cruise ship pollution – Garbage

The true sources, of course, are the persons aboard these vessels who generate garbage as a normal consequence of all the sundry activities they pursue.

The quantity and nature of vessel discards depend in part on the standards of crew or passenger accommodations. The amount of garbage is proportional to the community's standard of living; the higher the standard, the more seafarers are likely to use packaged prepared foods, supplies, and single-use items rather than provisions requiring added preparation and cleanup. (Moreover, the use of disposable items and packaging has been encouraged by changes in ship practices, sanitation concerns, and a desire for convenience.) The result is added waste.

When an individual is accustomed to a high standard of living on shore, he or she expects similar conveniences on a vessel, despite the cramped living space. Modem vessels are capable of providing many conveniences, even on long voyages.

Cruise ship pollution – Case Studies

11/07/2002 - Updated 07:15 PM ET

Cruise ship pollution fine draws criticism

By Marilyn Adams, USA TODAY

MIAMI — The stately cruise ship Norway, which sails to the Caribbean, evokes a gentler time. Beneath modern trappings such as an Internet cafe, the 40- year-old steamship with its grand ballrooms is reminiscent of ocean liners that crossed the Atlantic before the advent of the jet plane.

But the Norway, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, long kept a secret: It illegally dumped oily waste into the ocean, and the crew filed false records to mislead the Coast Guard. Three months ago, after the cruise line's new owner cooperated with the Justice Department, Norwegian pleaded guilty to one felony and paid a $1 million fine for falsifying records.

Now, some of the federal agents who investigated the case say the company's pollution went on for much longer and was much worse than the light fine suggests.

Environmental Protection Agency agents say — and court records support — that the Norway not only poured hundreds of thousands of gallons of oily bilge water into the ocean. It also dumped raw sewage mixed with hazardous, even cancer-causing, chemicals from dry cleaning and photo development into the waters near Miami for many years.

"The violations at Norwegian were some of the worst we've ever seen," Rick Langlois, EPA's Florida-based special agent in charge, said in an interview. "Almost every waste they had was going overboard."

The current CEO of the cruise line, Colin Veitch, acknowledged the company's past mistakes in a recent interview. "The presence of hazardous waste in that mix does seem to have been the case" before the late '90s, Veitch, who took over in 2000, told USA TODAY.

Langlois and several other investigators from government agencies that probed Norwegian wanted to see the cruise line pay more than a $1 million fine

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