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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Cruise Ship Wastewater Legislation
By John Kimmel


February 08, 2013
Friday PM

I would just like to clarify some misunderstandings about the new cruise ship waste-water bills currently in the Legislature. Opponents have said that the Governor is "gutting" the 2006 Cruise ship initiative. That is far from the truth. Cruise ships in Alaska are NOT dumping raw sewage into state waters. The Cruise ships treat their waste-water to a higher standard than others that discharges into Alaska waters.

The Legislature created the science panel to carefully review existing and any emerging technology. The Panel concluded that the cruise ships have the best technology available today. The Panel also said that there is no system available now or even into the foreseeable future that can meet the point of discharge standard adopted in the 2006 voter initiative. The panel said that the treatment on cruise ships is very high quality and poses no risk to aquatic life. The panel heard testimony from Dr. Mearns (from NOAA) that considering the cumulative effects of discharges all season do not increase the natural conditions.

The cruise industry should be treated like all other discharges.

The opposition has mounted an effort to stop the bill by spreading false information. In addition, they raise issues such as discharging in doughnut holes throughout SE Alaska, which is not allowed under current law. Some of this information has been reported in the media.

Thank you.

John Kimmel
Ketchikan, AK

About: " I've lived in S.E.Alaska since 1990, in Ketchikan since 1996. I have worked in and around the maritime industry since 1990. "

Received February 07, 2013 - Published February 08, 2013



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Friday PM - February 08, 2013

House Republicans Repeal Citizen Initiative; GOP bill would discharge cruiseship sewage in Alaska waters - Today House Republicans passed Gov. Parnell’s bill to allow discharge of sewage and untreated wastewater in Alaska waters, repealing a provision of the 2006 citizen initiative that protected Alaskans’ health and state fisheries. Alaska Democrats aren't pleased..... More...

Monday - February 04, 2013



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