EPA vessel to study impact of cruise ship-processed wastewater

January 1, 1970


Members of the Seward Chamber of Commerce learn about the safety and sanitation policies aboard Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas

A team of researchers aboard the 224-foot survey vessel Bold is using its monitoring and assessment equipment to study the potential impact of cruise ships on Alaska's waters.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is partnering with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to study the characteristics and behavior of treated wastewater discharged from stationary large cruise ships. The study will be conducted in Skagway Harbor. DEC's cruise ship program manager Denise Koch says Skagway was selected because it represents a worst-case scenario because of cruise ship density and the relatively calm and sheltered waters around Skagway.

The research will provide data on effects of wastewater from cruise ships once it has been processed by the onboard treatment systems and discharged to Alaska's waters. In addition to the dilution study, EPA is also interested in studying the impact of nutrients in the cold waters of Alaska.