NEW YORK -- A bill that would give Alaska the nation's toughest
cruise-ship waste-disposal regulations stalled in the state Senate
May 6, days after being passed by Alaska's House.
Sen. John Cowdery (R-Anchorage), chairman of the Transportation
Committee, said the measure won't make it out of his panel before
the session adjourns Tuesday. "It's not a good bill... and I don't
believe in passing it out and let[ting] the next committee
straighten it out."
Cowdery says the measure is unfair, in part because it would
require smaller vessels to meet the same enviromental standards as
large cruise ships. Cowdery added that unincorporated communities
in Alaska would not be held to the same environmental-disposal
standards as cruise ships.
The Alaska House of Representatives last week approved the
legislation, H.B. 260, which would give Alaska the authority to
set, monitor and enforce standards for cruise ship air emissions
and water and solid waste disposal.
The bill also would establish an environmental monitoring
program to be funded by a $1 per passenger fee on cruise ships.
The bill would furthermore require cruise lines operating in
Alaska to register with the state and agree to comply with state
Gov. Tony Knowles said the bill would give Alaska "all the tools
necessary to inspect, to enforce, to monitor all [cruise ship]
discharges and to identify pollutants."
In a statement issued Saturday, John Hansen, president of the
North West CruiseShip Assn., encouraged the Senate to approve the
legislation "without adding additional taxes" and said cruise
operators will proceed under the bill's environmental provisions if
the bill fails to pass.