The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated a federal rule that will ban ships from flushing their sewage into the sea within 3 miles of California's coast. The regulation was approved February 9, but it will not go into effect until next month.
This new prohibition means that cargo and cruise ships may not release treated or untreated waste or gray water anywhere along the coast. This practice is thought to spread bacteria and disease in marine mammals, fish and people. It will create the nation's largest coastal no-sewage zone, spanning the 1,624-mile coast from Mexico to Oregon 3 miles out into the ocean.
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