Local residents in Juneau recently lodged numerous complaints about exhaust emissions which belched into the air from the Norwegian Pearl to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in Alaska, according to a newspaper in Juneau.
The Juneau Empire reported that on Tuesday “exhaust emissions poured from the Norwegian Pearl’s exhaust stack” as the NCL cruise ship Pearl began to dock at around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, maneuvering into position after the Norwegian Bliss left the dock around this time.
The newspaper stated that it took a 45-minute video of the pollution, which was compressed into a video time lapse. The video (shown below) “shows the Pearl emitting nearly-opaque exhaust for much of the video.”
The newspaper explains that based on EPA guidelines, “air quality violations are based on percentage of opacity, where 0 percent means emissions are see through, while 100 percent opacity means one can’t see through it.” Ships are allowed to exceed 20 percent opacity for three minutes an hour while at the dock. When casting off, anchoring and docking, ship exhausts are only allowed to exceed 40 percent opacity for nine minutes out of an hour.”
The Juneau Empire reports that Ed White, who runs the Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance program, “couldn’t comment on whether DEC was in the process of issuing a fine to the Norwegian Pearl as he’s not allowed to comment on ongoing compliance issues.”
Early last month, Princess Cruises’ Star Princess cruise ship discharged sludge from its exhaust system scrubbers in the port of Ketchikan, according to the city of Ketchikan.
Scrubber systems are increasingly being used on cruise ships in order to reduce sulfur particles and engine exhaust particulates. Petroleum-based, non-combustible particulate matter accumulates as toxic sludge during the water-scrubbing process, and must eventually be removed from the ships and should be disposed of properly in certified facilities ashore. Many cruise ships often discharge the sludge into the ocean, while they are underway or even at port, rather than properly disposing of the sludge in facilities ashore.
Photographs shown on our Facebook page, courtesy of the city of Ketchikan, show that the sludge polluted the waters of Ketchikan and fouled the port facilities where the Princess cruise ship was berthed. Princess responded to new reports of the discharge by making the farcical claim that the sludge was “most likely sea foam discolored by natural microorganisms such as algae in the seawater, which is commonly experienced in northern climates in the summer season.”
There has been a long history of cruise ships violating the air and water standards of Alaska, which we have written about ever since we started this blog nine years ago. See our article three years ago – Alaska Alleges Cruise Lines Violated Air Emission Laws (photo below).
September 9, 2018 Update: The Pearl was observed continuing to spew emissions at port in Victoria.
— David Attwell (@adattwell) September 9, 2018
Photo Credit: Top – Norwegian Pearl– Michael Penn / Juneau Empire; Bottom – Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas cruise ship – AlaskanLibrarian’s Flickr photostream. Video Credit – Juneau Empire.