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Cruise Lines Violate Air Standards, Earn EPA Reprimand

Release Date: 2/29/2000
Contact Information: Don Dossett
(206) 553-8257

February 29, 2000 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 00-013

The EPA today issued Notices of Violation (NOVs) to six companies operating large cruise ships that fouled the air in Juneau, Seward and Glacier Bay last summer. The 13 ships were monitored as they toured southeast Alaska, at times emitting smoke that significantly exceeded state and federal limits for visible emissions.
Responding to dozens of citizen complaints and media reports of large volumes of smoke billowing from the stacks of cruise ships, EPA investigators found numerous violations of the state’s Marine Vessel Visible Emission Standards which govern the amount and duration of particulate matter discharges into the air. To assist the state in enforcing its smoke limits within Glacier Bay National Park, EPA investigators also worked with park rangers to monitor smoke emitted from ships visiting the area.

The NOVs were issued to the following companies:
            • Holland America Line-Westours, Inc. (operating the Nieuw Amsterdam, Statendam, Veendam, Westerdam ships);
            • Princess Cruises, Inc. (Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Sun Princess);
            • Celebrity Cruises, Inc. (Galaxy, Mercury);
            • Norwegian Cruise Lines, Inc. (Dynasty, Wind);
            • Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. (Jubilee); and
            • World Explorer Cruises, Inc. (Universe Explorer)

The EPA NOVs allege failure to comply with emission standards and failure to report excess emissions to the state. The companies will have the opportunity to meet with the EPA to discuss the violations before EPA takes any further enforcement action which could include compliance orders and/or assessment of penalties.

“Last year, over 550 cruises to southeast Alaska were taken by nearly 600,000 people from all corners of the earth,” said EPA Regional Administrator Chuck Clarke. “Clearly, the strength of the cruise industry in Alaska is due entirely to the breathtaking beauty of the environment, the tourist industry’s greatest asset.

“Since the cruise industry profits so handsomely from Alaskan environmental jewels it should understand that it needs to protect them as well.”