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October 8, 2005

Schwartzenegger signs California ship pollution bill into law

California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger has signed into law California SB 7111, sponsored by state Senator Joe Simatian (D.-Palo Alto)., which imposes stricter than internationally mandated limits on ships than those provided by international conventions and federal laws.

Simitian was behind Calfornia legislation on cruise ships which Schwartzenegger signed into Califormia law last year. This latest legislation extends the cruise ship rules to all ocean going shipping.

SB 771 does the following:

Existing state law prohibits a cruise ship, as defined, from conducting onboard incineration while operating within 3 miles of the California coast. This bill will also prohibit an oceangoing ship, as defined, from conducting onboard incineration while operating within 3 miles of the California coast.

Existing law regulates the release of graywater, sewage sludge, oily bilgewater, hazardous waste, or other waste by large passenger vessels into the marine waters of the state and marine sanctuaries. Existing law also regulates, until January 1, 2010, the release of sewage by large passenger vessels into the marine waters of the state.

This bill will also regulate the release of graywater, sewage, sewage sludge, oily bilgewater, hazardous waste, or other waste by oceangoing ships, as defined, into the marine waters of the state and marine sanctuaries.

The bill will require the master, owner, operator, agent, or person in charge of an oceangoing ship who has operated, or has caused to be operated, the oceangoing ship in the marine waters of the state during 2006, to provide certain information relating to ports of call and sewage, graywater, and blackwater discharge, in electronic or written form to the State Lands Commission upon the vessel's departure from its first port or place of call in California beginning in 2006. The bill requires the commission to submit the reported information to the State Water Resources Control Board on or before February 1, 2007. The bill requires the board to submit the reported information to the Legislature on or beforeOctober 1, 2007.

This bill will also consolidate the provisions regulating the release of these substances from large passenger vessels and oceangoing ships.

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