California – Clean Coast Act enacted

The State of California has now enacted the Clean Coast Act. This law, which comes into effect on 1 January 2006, will prohibit ocean-going ships from conducting onboard incineration while operating within three miles of the California coast, according to advice from U.S. law firm Holland & Knight. The law will also prohibit ocean-going ships from releasing hazardous waste, sewage sludge, oily bilge water and other waste into marine waters of the state. 

If there is a release of such material from an ocean-going ship into marine waters of the state, the owner or operator must, within 24 hours, notify the State Water Resources Control Board. Upon the departure of an ocean-going ship from its first port or place of call in California in 2006, the master, owner, or operator must maintain on board selected information regarding the ship, its ‘graywater’ and ‘blackwater’ systems, and California port of call information. This same information must be communicated to the State Lands Commission. 

The term “ocean-going ship” means a private, commercial, government, or military vessel of 300 gross registered tons or more calling on California ports or places.

For the full text of this legislation click on Senate Bill No. 771 (10/6/05). 

Contact: Dragos Rauta