New Canadian cruise ship rules don’t stop major source of wastewater pollution
The federal government has made new anti-pollution measures mandatory for cruise ships, but environmental groups say they don’t stop contamination of some of Canada’s most sensitive coastlines.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced recently that voluntary guidelines established in April are now mandatory. Those rules cover the discharge and treatment for so-called black water, or stuff from toilets, and grey water, kitchen water, water from laundry machines, and water containing cleaning products, food waste, cooking oils/grease and other pollutants.
But they don’t address the largest source of acidic water from cruise ships and other vessels, which continues to flow into the ocean unabated, said Anna Barford, shipping campaigner for Stand.earth Canada.
About 90 per cent of the discharge from cruise ships, she said, is discharge from engine-exhaust scrubbers that use water to trap pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, carcinogens and heavy metals and flush them into the ocean rather than the air.