Like Countable?

Install the App

senate Bill S. 1359

Regulating Cruise Ship Pollution

Argument in favor

The huge amounts of waste that cruise ships currently discard has serious negative impacts on the ocean’s ecosystems and our health. This industry’s pollution must be regulated and curbed.

Argument opposed

Environmentalists overstate the negative effects that cruise ships have on the ocean. Slapping regulations on the cruise ship industry will only have negative repercussions for the economy.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    IntroducedJuly 24th, 2013

What is Senate Bill S. 1359?

S.1359 — the Clean Cruise Ship Act of 2013 — aims to limit the amount of pollution discharged from commercial ships by creating national standards for how waste is discarded from cruise ships.

If passed, the bill would amend the Clean Water Act to:

  • Prohibit cruise ships carrying passengers of over 250 or more from discarding waste (sewage, gray water, bilge water, etc).

  • Give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to advertise new regulations and pollution limits and establish an inspection program that ensures compliance.

  • Require the Coast Guard to also monitor the discharge of certain commercial ship waste.

  • Administer a new fee on cruise ships to cover the costs of the bill.

The bill also defines the various types of waste cruise ships emit and sets limits based on each kind.


Cruise ship patrons and employees, marine animal and plant life in polluted waterways, the seafood industry, cruise ships that frequent U.S. waters, and the EPA.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1359

A CBO cost estimate in unavailable.

More Information

Of Note:

Cruise ships in the U.S. are currently allowed to dump waste three miles off the coast. How much waste are we talking about? One cruise ship alone can produce over 200,000 tons of human sewage in a week. Now times that by the number of cruise ships roaming global waterways — 230+ — and it doesn’t smell so good.

With the number of cruise ship passengers increasing each year, the amount of consumption (and dumping) is expected to grow. As Oceana, international organization focused on ocean conservation, explains:

“Sewage from sinks and showers can be dumped without treatment. Our coastal environment and marine life are at risk from the threats of bacteria, pathogens and heavy metals generated in these waste streams.”

Opponents of this legislation point to the fact that the cruise ship industry is a big player in the U.S. economy at large — raking in $32 billion annually and creating 330,000+ U.S. jobs. Cruise liners are also a very small portion of all watercraft business and targeting them, opponents complain, is unfair.


Sponsoring Sen. Richard Durbin (IL-D) Press Release


(Photo Credit: Cruise Law News)


Clean Cruise Ship Act of 2013

Official Title

A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish national standards for discharges from cruise vessels.

    There are currently no opinions on this bill, be the first to add one!