Ban on sewage dumping along California coast to get federal teeth

Cruise ships and large commercial ships will be banned from dumping any kind of sewage — even highly filtered wastewater — along California’s coast out to three miles from shore, under new rules from the Obama administration.

The rules, which are scheduled to be announced Wednesday at a news conference in San Francisco, give California among the strictest laws in the nation limiting pollution from large ships.

“This is going to cover the entire California coastline,” said state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. “Oceangoing vessels should not consider our coastline a place for dumping sewage.”

In 2005, Simitian wrote a bill that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed banning sewage discharges in state waters from cruise ships and commercial ships larger than 300 gross tons.

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