The Department of Ecology regulates waste discharge from Cruise Ships in Washington State.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Department of Ecology (Ecology), the Cruise Lines International Association North West & Canada (CLIA-NWC) and the Port of Seattle was originally signed on April 20, 2004. It has been amended five times since then to strengthen the requirements.
The time period for accepting MOU amendment proposals has ended. The parties of the MOU are is in the process of considering proposals. Please see the process and criteria for further information.
The MOU covers large passenger ships that are members of the CLIA-NWC.
It does not cover ships such as:
The MOU prohibits discharges of both blackwater and graywater to Washington state waters from all cruise ships except discharges treated with advanced wastewater treatment systems (AWTS) and when stringent requirements are met. Such systems have been and are being installed on some of the cruise ships serving the Alaska market. AWTS are installed to provide treatment that meets or exceeds Alaska’s requirements under federal law.
The MOU defines the subject waters as being consistent with Washington marine waters. It requires sampling and monitoring of wastewater discharges and allows for vessel inspections by Ecology.
The MOU includes additional elements, such as:
Need to Report a Spill or MOU
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