Black Water Spill in Alaska

May 8, 2001
Not a great beginning to this year's Alaska cruise season: In the notoriously environmentally-conscious Alaska, Norwegian Cruise Lines recently – and accidentally – discharged "treated black water" (another term for polluted water) en route from Juneau to Ketchikan. According to a company statement (Norwegian proactively announced the accidental faux pas and has reported it to the U.S. Coast Guard), "although the black water was processed through an...approved treatment plant...NCL's policies prohibit any discharge of black water unless the vessel is more than three miles outside of Alaskan water." NCL, like every other cruise line that wants to sail the Inside Passage and other popular Alaskan itineraries, is under incredibly restrictive environmental laws and rules and requirements initiated by the state's eco-friendly governor. More from the company's statement: "NCL deeply regrets this incident...(and) is cooperating fully with the U.S. Coast Guard and is conducting its own investigation."