California Reps. Urge EPA to Let State Protect Its Waters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Neesha Kulkarni, 202-222-0724 Marcie Keever, 415-544-0790 x223
California Congressional Delegation Urges Obama Admin to Let State Protect Its Waters from Ship Pollution
Members of Congress say sewage dumping threatens state; Friends of the Earth praises delegation for taking action
WASHINGTON, D.C.Members of Congress from California sent a letter yesterday to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, urging the EPA to allow California to protect its waters and the public from harmful sewage and pollution discharges from large ships. California passed the state Clean Coast Act in 2005 banning the discharge of sewage, polluted graywater, and other harmful substances from cruise and large ocean-going ships in all state waters. In 2006, due to the interaction of state and federal law, California applied to the U.S. EPA for authority to implement the sewage dumping ban (known as a No Discharge Zone), submitting a 96-page application demonstrating the environmental importance and sensitivity of Californias coastal waters. Several years have passed but the EPA has failed to grant Californias request. We know how important Californias coastal waters are for our state, said Representative Sam Farr, one of the members of Congress who sent the letter. Fishing and recreation rely on clean and safe water, as does our coastal tourism industry, so protecting these interests is a no brainer. California already passed a law to apply for this no-discharge zone, and the EPA should give full consideration to this application. The people of California have waited long enough, said Neesha Kulkarni, Legislative Associate at Friends of the Earth. Members of Californias congressional delegation are standing up for their state by urging the EPA to allow California to protect its coast from sewage and other pollution from large ships. Cruise ships and ocean-going vessels are allowed to dump minimally treated sewage into coastal waters and untreated sewage just three nautical miles from shore. Thats disgusting, and it threatens public health. Marcie Keever, Friends of the Earths Clean Vessels Campaign Director, said, The California coastline includes some of the most unique and productive waters in the world. It is home to many endangered species and is enjoyed by swimmers, surfers, and water sports enthusiasts. Its long past time for the EPA to grant Californias application and allow the state to protect its own waters. The letter to the U.S. EPA from members of Congress can be found at https://foe.org/sites/default/files/CA_Del_to_EPA_on_CA_NDZ.pdf. More information about Californias efforts to protect its waters: https://foe.org/california-congressional-delegation-tells-epa-stop-sewage-discharges-ships. ### Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the worlds largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.