Brent Allen

April 22, 2019

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In November 2018 I asked the Monterey Bay Air Resource District if the air pollution had been tested while cruise ships anchored in Monterey California . In short the current laws allow this to happen and therefore the air pollution from cruise ships are not tested while they sit anchored or come and go through the Monterey Bay .

Just so you know 2017-2018 would be round about 209 + hours of emissions either blowing over Monterey , Seaside , or Pacific Grove while cruise ships sit anchored . These heavy particle emissions would also be falling into the Monterey Bay , basically polluting the air , water , and local communities . Currently 2019 would 140 + hours of emissions . 

The City of Monterey’s link for cruise ship visits  :                                                                                                  

Another core reason the emissions are not tested is because ALL of these cruiships are registered under other countries which include Bermuda , Malta , the Bahamas, France ( Wallis & Futuna Islands) , Netherlands , and the Marshall Islands . These corporations are seeking to attract American dollars while skirting American safety and consumer protection laws.   When this massive National Marine Sanctuary was established in 1992 ,there would have been no way to create emission restrictions on what was and is a major shipping channel along the west coast. We are in a new era with events that have NEVER happened at this level. The Monterey Bay ( Monterey , CA ) has never had this many large vessels come in these amplified numbers in such a short amount of time . Basically the emission laws need to be revisited for the evolution of pollution in the Monterey Bay . Vessels this size should not be coming into a critical ocean environment such as the Monterey Bay.

“Flags of convenience ” trend dates back to Prohibition : ” Cruise lines have been circumventing U.S. statues and regulations since as early as the 1920’s .” Caitlin E. Burke of the University of Florida in her detailed analysis paper ” A qualitative study of victimization and legal issues relevant to cruise ships”.



Stand Earth created some core science in 2019 on cruise ship emissions. Check the link below

Links to California State laws regulating cruise ships related to emissions:


I also looked at the regulations governing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and wanted to point out Section 922.132 (a)(2)(ii) which appears to allow cruise ships to discharge vessel engine and generator exhaust.  This is not considered a prohibited activity which is probably one of the reasons why the cruise ships are allowed.


Section 922.132 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.

  1. Except as spec ified in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section, the following activities are prohibited and thus are unlawful for any person to conduct or to cause to be conducted:
  2. Exploring for, developing, or producing oil, gas, or minerals within the Sanctuary, except: jade may be collected (meaning removed) from the area bounded by the 35.92222 N latitude parallel (coastal reference point: beach access stairway at south Sand Dollar Beach), the 35.88889 N latitude parallel (coastal reference point: westernmost tip of Cape San Martin), and from the mean high tide line seaward to the 90-foot isobath (depth line) (the “authorized area”) provided that:
  3.  Only jade already loose from the submerged lands of the Sanctuary may be collected;
  4.   No tool may be used to collect jade except:
  5. hand tool (as defined at 15 CFR 922.131) to maneuver or lift the jade or scratch the surface of a stone as necessary to determine if it is jade;
  6. A lift bag or multiple lift bags with a combined lift capacity of no more than two hundred pounds; or
  7. A vessel (except for motorized personal watercraft) (see paragraph (a)(7) of this section) to provide access to the authorized area;

iii.        Each person may collect only what that person individually carries; and

  1.        For any loose piece of jade that cannot be collected under paragraphs (a)(1) (ii) and (iii) of this section, any person may apply for a permit to collect such a loose piece by following the procedures in 15 CFR 922.133.
  2.         Discharging or depositing from within or into the Sanctuary, other than from a cruise ship, any material or other matter, except:
  3. Fish, fish parts, chumming materials, or bait used in or resulting from lawful fishing activities within the Sanctuary, provided that such discharge or deposit is during the conduct of lawful fishing activities within the Sanctuary;
  4. For a vessel less than 300 gross registered tons (GRT), or a vessel 300 GRT or greater without sufficient holding tank capacity to hold sewage while within the Sanctuary, clean effluent generated incidental to vessel use by an operable Type I or II marine sanitation device (U.S. Coast Guard classification) approved in accordance with section 312 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (FWPCA), 33 U.S.C. 1322. Vessel operators must lock all marine sanitation devices in a manner that prevents discharge or deposit of untreated sewage;
  5. clean vessel deck wash down, clean vessel engine cooling water, clean vessel generator cooling water, clean bilge water, or anchor wash;
  6. For a vessel less than 300 gross registered tons (GRT), or a vessel 300 GRT or greater without sufficient holding capacity to hold graywater while within the Sanctuary, clean graywater as defined by section 312 of the FWPCA;
  7. vessel engine or generator exhaust; or
  8. Dredged material deposited at disposal sites authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (in consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE)) prior to the effective date of Sanctuary designation (January 1, 1993), provided that the activity is pursuant to, and complies with the terms and conditions of, a valid Federal permit or approval existing on January 1, 1993. Authorized disposal sites within the Sanctuary are described in Appendix C to this subpart.
  9.         Discharging or depositing from within or into the Sanctuary any material or other matter from a cruise ship except clean vessel engine cooling water, clean vessel generator cooling water, vessel engine or generator exhaust, clean bilge water, or anchor wash.

iii.        Discharging or depositing from beyond the boundary of the Sanctuary any material or other matter that subsequently enters the Sanctuary and injuries a Sanctuary resource or quality, except those listed in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) (A) through (E) and (a)(2)(ii) of this section and dredged material deposited at the authorized disposal sites described in Appendix D to this subpart, provided that the dredged material disposal is pursuant to, and complies with the terms and conditions of, a valid Federal permit or approval.

This information was provided by Amy Clymo ( engineering and compliance manager )



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