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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 25th, 2004, 07:21 AM
ShannonWynne
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Default Support the Clean Cruise Ships Act

Hi! Thought I should post this here, since I have spoken with others who were unaware of this and were interested. Please forgive me if this is old news to you all here!

I'm sure we've all heard about the outbreaks of things like e coli at the beaches in south Florida, and about air and water pollution from cruiseships. Even if you think some of these things might be exaggerated, even if you don’t care much, you’ve got nothing to lose & potentially a lot to gain by supporting the Clean Cruise Ships Act of 2004, which was recently introduced to Congress. And it only takes a second to let your lawmen know. As I see it, if this act becomes a bill, only good can come from it, don't you think?

To contact your congressmen, you can go to this link & they’ll send a message for you. http://www.workingforchange.com/acti...m?itemid=16924

Here's a little more info about cruise ship pollution, if you're interested.
http://www.alaskaoceans.net/sao/ships.htm
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Old July 25th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Support the Clean Cruise Ships Act

Sharon;
I know the Cruise Lines will have a large lobby in place to block this. One of the main reasons is the "Cruise Observer Pilot Program". This places an agent(s) of the U.S. government onboard to make sure all laws concerning discharge and any other Federal regulations are being enforced. They also have free access to crew members at any time. I don't know if this is right or wrong but I do know that the cruise lines and the captains will take this as a "snoop" onboard the vessel.

It also seems to concentrate on cruise ships. From what I can discern, other Alaskan vessels have up to 10 years to come into compliance. I know that one cruise ship can create more pollution in 10 minutes than 100 smaller vessels can in a year but I just want to point that out.

I also saw that each vessel must receive a certificate of compliance from the Commandant of the Coast Guard before being cleared for sailing in Alaskan waters. I could not find if there is a charge for this certificate.

I also see that many of the sections of the bill address laws that are already in place, in regard to waste discharge. Perhaps our own government, like the cruise lines has a problem with enforcing it's own rules.

I do see that there is a portion that does protect "whistle blowers" regardless of citizenship. This is a good thing but I do think it is hard to enforce when so many of the crew are foreign nationals.

Last but not least their will be a $10 per passenger, fee imposed for all ships entering Alaska. This fee can be increased or decreased every two years based on the Consumer Price index or at the discretion of the Commandant of the Coast Guard. There is an almost certainty that this fee will be passed on to the passenger.

I am completely in favor of the EPA rules and government laws in place for gray and black water discharge of any ship and that a ship that violates these laws should be fined heavily and/or not allowed to sail in the waters where the offense occurred. Both of these penalties are already in place and should be utilized

The actual link to the bill is:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:H.R.+4101:
Warning: It's long, boring and written in legalese. Read it and you will know why your legislators do not read all of the bills they vote on. :-)

Take care,
Mike

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Old July 25th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Support the Clean Cruise Ships Act

I'm not sure I understand how passengers have "nothing to lose" from this legislation. Could you expand on your assertion a bit? It seems that there are fees involved, and added costs to the cruise line that could be passed-back along in the form of higher fares, etc. Putting aside the question of whether it is a good idea or not (it probably is), I think it is clear that passengers do have something to lose.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Re: Support the Clean Cruise Ships Act

At most, like the earlier poster said, maybe you'd "lose" $10? If that. And IMO, that'd be the most worthwhile $10 of the entire fare. If it could help ensure a better future for the oceans we're there to enjoy, I'd say it's a small price to pay. Yes, other ships are guilty of pollution, too, but this needs to start somewhere... even if it starts with cruiseships.

I see that as "nothing to lose". And we can't be sure it'd cost passengers anything - I don't even know where that amount really came from in the earlier post, if it has validity. If it does, it should be included in the price of cruising - the costs of cruising to the environment must be paid somewhere.... don't we all have a responsibility to help clean up after ourselves?

Yes, I believe freight ships need to be regulated just as strictly, and I'm looking into that. But in the mean time, here's an easy way to do what we can, while we're planning our next cruise.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Support the Clean Cruise Ships Act

" I don't even know where that amount really came from in the earlier post, if it has validity. "

The $10 amount came from the bill itself. Refer to the link that I included in my previous post.. When advocating legislation it would be helpful to your cause to be as familiar with the legislation as possible.

It would also be helpful if you kept the same name when responding.

Thanks,
Mike M

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Old July 25th, 2004, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Support the Clean Cruise Ships Act

Fact is that m ost of these 'incidents' are greatly exaggerated. Cruise ships do very little in pollution. Certainly far less than individual boaters, not to mention commercial shipping and the biggest polluter of all are people who dump raw sewage into the rivers and ocean from land, including right here in the USA. This act will cause quite a bit of expense, (lots more than the additional $10pp proposed) as it will result in much higher costs to the cruiselines themselves which must be passed on plus you will have another government agency to fund, etc. etc. While I support the enviroment it is much more feasible and intelligent to enfore the current regulations and go after those that do more damage then after the easy and highly visable targets.
Jim

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Old July 26th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: Support the Clean Cruise Ships Act

Sorry, but there is a big difference between $10 and "nothing." It isn't a matter of the amount of money, but rather a matter of honesty and integrity. The political process is rife with hyperbole and downright deception. Any "cause" that starts out by approaching me from a position of hyperbole and deception has no chance of gaining my trust, much less gaining my support.

Regardless, Jim's got a point. This looks a lot like a thinly-veiled attempt to apply a new tax, and have our inefficient government regulate an industry that appears to be regulating itself far more efficiently than the government can, as evidenced by the fact that mainstream cruise lines actually support the bill, because they already more than comply with it.
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