A national report on cruise ship discharges will help the EPA determine whether the existing State of Alaska discharge standards for sewage and graywater from cruise ships operating in Alaskan waters are adequate, or if more stringent standards are needed, according to a press release issued yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The socalled Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report reviewed five waste streams from cruise ships: sewage, graywater, oily bilge water, solid waste and hazardous waste. For each waste stream, the report discusses the nature and volume of the waste stream generated, existing federal regulations applicable to the waste stream, environmental management (including treatment) of the waste stream, potential adverse environmental impacts of the waste stream, and actions by the federal government to address the waste stream.

In addition, the report presents a wide range of options and alternatives to address the specified waste streams from cruise ships and reviews the different advanced waste water treatment systems being used on cruise ships.

EPA said it invited comments on a draft of the report last year, and specifically requested public input on options, alternatives, and recommendations for addressing the waste streams being assessed.

The 162-page report is available on line from the EPA.