New environmental measures for cruise ships in waters under Canadian jurisdiction – 2022 season - SSB No.: 10/2022 (modified August 18, 2022)

RDIMS No .: 18490623
Date (Y-M-D): 2022-04-12

 
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Purpose

This bulletin outlines new measures to strengthen Canadian discharge requirements for cruise ships operating in waters under Canadian jurisdiction during the 2022 cruise season, and has been updated to include a summary report of the first period of implementation. This approach has been developed in cooperation with industry. These measures will help restore marine habitats, further protect Canadian waters, and set the foundation for a regulatory posture in 2023.

Scope

This bulletin applies to the authorized representatives of cruise ships (certified to carry more than 100 persons and equipped with overnight accommodations) that are Canadian vessels or foreign vessels operating in waters under Canadian jurisdiction during the 2022 cruise season.

What you need to know

For the 2022 cruise ship season, cruise ships will be subject to new non-mandatory environmental measures. These are:

  1. Prohibiting the discharge of greywater and sewage within three nautical miles from shore where geographically possible;
  2. Treating greywater together with sewage before it is discharged between three and twelve nautical miles from shore to the greatest extent possible;   
  3. Strengthening the treatment of sewage between three and twelve nautical miles from shore using an approved treatment device.

Reporting

The authorized representative of a cruise ship operating in waters under Canadian jurisdiction must also provide periodic reports outlining their compliance to Transport Canada. Reports are due on the following dates:

  • June 5, August 5, October 5, and December 5, 2022

Reports should be sent to the following email address: PollPrevCanada-PrevPollCanada@tc.gc.ca

This bulletin has been updated to include Annex 2, which provides a summary of the information received from the first reporting period in June.

Transport Canada will continue to inspect cruise ships during the 2022 season It will check the level of implementation of the new environmental measures and compliance with existing regulatory requirements. This information will support future regulations to control discharges from cruise ships in waters under Canadian jurisdiction. 

The authorized representative of a cruise ship operating in waters under Canadian jurisdiction should implement the new environmental measures where safely, technically, and geographically possible. When a cruise ship is unable to implement the new environmental measures, the authorized representative must make sure to meet current regulatory requirements (Annex 1). Cruise ships must make all relevant discharge information available to Transport Canada.

Annex 1

Current Regulatory and New Environmental Discharge Measures

For the purpose of this document the term ‘sewage’ and ‘greywater’ have the same definition as in the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations:

sewage means

  1. human body wastes and wastes from other living animals;
  2. drainage and other wastes from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or retain human body wastes;
  3. drainage from medical premises such as a dispensary or a sick bay via wash basins, wash tubs and scuppers located in such premises;
  4. drainage from spaces containing living animals; and
  5. other drainage or wastes when mixed with the drainage or other wastes referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d).

greywater means drainage from sinks, laundry machines, bath tubs, shower-stalls or dishwashers. It does not include sewage, or drainage from machinery spaces or workshop areas.

Substance and distance from shore

Current Regulatory MeasuresFootnote 1

New Environmental Measures – 2022 Season

Discharge of treated sewage within 3 nautical miles from shore

Cruise ships must treat sewage to fecal coliform counts equal to or less than 250/100 ml within 3 nm from shore. The discharge must not contain any visible solids and must not cause a sheen on the water, discoloration of the water or its shorelines or sewage sludge or an emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or on its shorelines.

Cruise ships certified to carry more than 100 persons and equipped with overnight accommodations must not discharge treated sewage within 3 nm from shore where safely, technically, and geographically possible.

Discharge of treated sewage between 3 and 12 nautical miles from shore

Cruise ships must ensure sewage is comminuted and disinfected before discharging between 3 and 12 nm from shore. The discharge must not contain any visible solids and must not cause a film or sheen on the water, discoloration of the water or its shorelines or sewage sludge or an emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or on its shorelines.

Cruise ships certified to carry more than 100 persons and equipped with overnight accommodations should endeavor to utilize an approved sewage treatment device capable of treatment to fecal coliform counts equal to or less than 14/100 ml before discharging between 3 and 12 nm from shore. The discharge must not contain any visible solids and must not cause a film or sheen on the water, discoloration of the water or its shorelines or sewage sludge or an emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or on its shorelines.

Discharge of greywater within 3 nautical miles from shore

Cruise ships built after 2013 and certified to carry more than 500 passengers must treat greywater within 3 nm from shore. Any release of greywater must not result in the deposit of solids in the water or leave a sheen on the water.

Cruise ships certified to carry more than 100 persons and equipped with overnight accommodations must not discharge greywater within 3 nm from shore where safely, technically, and geographically possible.

Discharge of greywater between 3 and 12 nautical miles from shore

No specific treatment requirements in place. Any release of greywater must not result in the deposit of solids in the water or leave a sheen on the water.

Cruise ships certified to carry more than 100 persons and equipped with overnight accommodations must treat greywater together with sewage before discharging between 3 and 12 nm from shore to the greatest extent possible. Any release of greywater must not result in the deposit of solids in the water or leave a sheen on the water.

Annex 2

First Summary Report of the Implementation of New Environmental Cruise Ship Measures

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians and the environment from the potential risks of marine pollution. This includes working to improve water quality and our marine environments from coast to coast to coast, to build a new world class environmental regime.

In support of these efforts, and to coincide with the restart of cruise ship operations, Transport Canada worked with the cruise ship industry to successfully implement new environmental measures. These measures are a first step in building this new environmental regime, and to address concerns raised by the Canadian public and environmental organizations with respect to vessel-sourced pollution in Canadian waters.

On April 4, 2022, Transport Canada announced these new environmental measures prepared in cooperation with the cruise industry. These measures included the following:

  1. Prohibiting the discharge of greywater and sewage, treated or untreated, within 3 nautical miles (nm) from shore where geographically possible;
  2. treating greywater together with sewage before it is discharged between 3 and 12 nm from shore to the greatest extent possible; and
  3. strengthening the treatment of sewage between 3 and 12 nm from shore using an approved treatment device.

These enhanced environmental measures are in addition to existing international discharge requirements that Canada follows, which are detailed in the International Maritime Organization International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). These international requirements are implemented in Canada through the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and its associated regulations, the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemical Regulations.

All told, these new environmental measures exceed international standards, strengthen Canada’s existing discharge regime, and place Canada amongst the countries with the most stringent requirements for these discharges in the world.

Transport Canada is also continuing to work with the cruise ship industry to implement the environmental measures for cruise ships on a mandatory basis beginning in 2023 and will initiate further engagement with the entire shipping industry and any interested partners to develop and implement further discharge measures for other areas of concern, such as scrubber discharges.

While Transport Canada works to make the new cruise ship changes permanent through amendments to the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations, the measures will be implemented through an interim order, which has the same effect as a regulation, but allows for action to be taken immediately while the mandatory, longer term regulatory process is followed.

The new measures include a requirement for cruise ships to provide reports to Transport Canada every two months, from June to December 2022, outlining their implementation of the new environmental measures. The results for the first reporting period are summarized below and clearly demonstrate the success of these measures.

Reporting period: April 9 to June 5, 2022

Number of reports received by Transport Canada: 47

Implemented all Canadian wastewater requirements under existing laws and regulations: 47

Implemented all new environmental measures: 46

Partially implemented new environmental measures: 1Footnote 3

Did not implement any new environmental measures: 0

Table 1: Implementation of New Measures by Region: June Reporting Period

Region

Ports Visited

Number of Cruise ShipsFootnote 2

Implementation

Pacific

Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert

35

Full

Quebec – St. Lawrence / Atlantic

Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Sept-Iles, Havre-St-Pierre, Gaspé, Baie-Comeau, Cap-Aux-Mueles, Halifax, Sydney, Yarmouth, Lunenburg, Louisbourg, St. John, St. Andres, Grand Mannan Island, Charlottetown, Corner Brook, Îles de la Madeleine, Woody Point

12

Full

1Footnote 3

Partial

Great Lakes

Toronto, Port Colborne, Windsor, Midland, Parry Sound, Little Current

4

Full

Keywords

1. Cruise Ships
2. Sewage
3. Greywater

Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:

AMSEE

Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Contact us at: Email: marinesafety-securitemaritime@tc.gc.ca or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).