Washington Fines Celebrity Cruises $100,000 for Discharging Wastewater

Nov. 17, 2006

The Washington State Department of Ecology has fined Celebrity Cruises, Inc., $100,000 for discharging over half a million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Mercury cruise ship violated the state’s water quality standards when it discharged the wastewater 10 times over a span of 90 days in September and October of 2005.

The state learned about the discharges during a review of the ship’s records this September.

An agreement signed in April 2004 between Ecology, the NorthWest CruiseShip Association and the Port of Seattle banned discharges into Washington waters.

A December 2005 letter from Celebrity to the Ecology Department stated that Mercury had not discharged wastewater, but the company’s records showed different information.

The wastewater contained untreated sink, shower and laundry water, and a small amount of treated sewage from a Coast Guard-certified marine sanitation device.

The president of Celebrity Cruises, Dan Hanrahan, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the company takes full responsibility.

Celebrity has 30 days to apply to Ecology to avoid the penalty, or appeal the fine to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer