Sewage ahoy! But three miles out, away from our coastlines or further, please.
Ships cannot dump sewage within three miles of the California coast, according to new rules approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The ubiqutious cargo vessels which sail through the Golden Gate, big cruise ships and other boats will now have to navigate "the largest coastal no sewage zone" in the nation, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Ships will no longer be allowed to discharge "treated or untreated effluent or gray water" near the coast. In the past, dumping waste water has led to disease in marine mammals, fish and people, regulators say.
Much of the 22.5 million gallons of ship waste dumped into the water annually ends up in San Francisco Bay, the newspaper reported.
The rule applies only to ships 300 tons or larger. The U.S. Coast Guard is in charge of enforcing the rule. The EPA will be in charge of applying fines.