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EPA Draws A Line In The Water For Sewage

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The Environmental Protection Agency says it will outlaw the dumping of sewage from cargo and cruise ships within three miles of the California coast, but that may have little affect on San Diego's cruise ship traffic.

— The Environmental Protection Agency says it will outlaw the dumping of sewage from cargo and cruise ships within three miles of the California coast, but that may have little affect on San Diego's cruise ship traffic.

The Port of San Diego says more than 200 cruise ships dock every year in San Diego bay. Those ships can carry thousands of passengers and they dump large amounts of sewage.

News of the new EPA rule has been welcomed by coastal officials. Still, Environmental Director David Merk of the Port of San Diego suggests the rule may have little effect on local water quality. He said most of the ships coming into San Diego already hold to standards that exceed the EPA rule.

"So cruise lines are already of their own decision not discharging within 12 nautical miles of the California coast," said Merk.

Environmentalists point out there is no enforcement mechanism to assure cruise ships are following the rules. That's a statement David Merk does not disagree with.

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