May 6, 2004
Royal Caribbean commits to cleaner wastewater
Calling it "a good step toward cleaning up the world's oceans," environmentalist group Oceana said yesterday that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has committed to installing Advanced Wastewater Purification technology (AWP) on all its ships, meaning each vessel will meet strict water quality standards.
In a letter sent to Oceana on May 4, Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said the company was committed to installing Advanced Wastewater Purification facilities on each of its ships during normal drydocking operations, as well as on all newly constructed ships.
"We're extremely gratified about Royal Caribbean's decision," said Andrew Sharpless, Oceana's Chief Executive Officer. "They deserve a lot of credit for making this commitment to preserve and protect the health of our oceans, which we believe will result in upgrading their entire fleet before 2008. As a result, we will suspend our campaign activities against Royal Caribbean. Of course, we will be watching closely to make sure that the company follows through on its commitment. Ultimately, we believe that federal legislation is necessary to level the playing field for the entire industry. We will continue to fight for effective laws here in Washington, laws that will address enforcement and no discharge areas, for example."
"While a few cruise ships are using advanced wastewater treatment technology already, we're glad Royal Caribbean is going to use these systems on its entire fleet," said Dr. Michael Hirshfield, Oceana's Chief Scientist. "However, it is critical that the systems also be operated properly. We are pleased that the company will have independent, third-party auditors monitoring this new, state-of-the-art technology, and we are glad that they will let the public know how the systems are performing."