Action Alert: Protect Alaska’s Waters from Cruise Ship Dumping


Action Alert
Please Take 5 Minutes to Protect Alaska’s Waters from Cruise Ship Dumping

Background

Cruise ships are floating cities that produce and discharge large volumes of sewage and other harmful wastes.  In 2006, Alaska voters passed a statewide ballot initiative requiring cruise ships to reduce their pollution dumping in Alaskan waters (i.e., from the shoreline out to 3 miles).  In response, cruise ship lobbyists pushed through legislation in 2009 to establish an industry-dominated “Science Panel,” which immediately set out gathering information to weaken the 2006 citizen initiative (industry lobbyists excluded the most knowledgeable public interest voice in Alaska from the panel because they did not want any opposition to their pollution rollback plans).

cruise-ship-wasteThe Problem

The Parnell Administration – on behalf of the cruise ship corporations – has introduced companion bills in the Alaska House (HB 80) and Senate (SB 29) – which will once again allow cruise ships to rely on pollution “mixing zones” to meet state water quality standards.  Mixing zones embrace the long-discounted notion that “dilution is the solution to pollution,” and they create sacrifice zones which violate the fishable and swimmable goals of the Clean Water Act.

The Latest

Check back for the latest updates. Look for our alerts on Twitter @OceanDoctor.

UPDATE 2/7/2012:

HB 80 was passed again by the Alaska House on February 4th.

SB 29 will likely be heard by the Alaska Senate Finance Committee on Friday, February 8th. It may move to the Senate Floor by the following Monday.

Both bills are unamended.

As more people have time to contemplate the data on cruise ship discharges (location, volume, contaminants, technology being applied, environmental effects, the unknowns, etc.) important questions are being raised, especially about the science and technology.

Therefore, many believe that rather than rush this bill through, we should take a more time to contemplate a wise course of action for addressing the ever-present challenge of balancing cruise ship discharge treatment, ecosystem protection, public policy and voters’ will.

Latest Media Stories:

Alaska House passes cruise ship wastewater bill Anchorage Daily News (2/5/2013)

Tlingit, Haida tribes oppose cruise ship bill. San Francisco Chronicle (2/2/2013)

EPA fines Princess Cruise Lines for 2011 Clean Water Act violation in Glacier Bay KTOO, Juneau (Referenced EPA Report) (1/29/2013)

Public, scientists disagree on cruise ship wastewater KCAW Radio, Stika (1/28/2013)

Cruise ship wastewater standards testimony heard JuneauEmpire.com (1/28/2013)

 

Take Action

Write to Alaska Governor Parnell

For your convenience, use our Action Alert email form below. Alternatively, you can send an email to Governor Parnell at: governor@alaska.gov

Action Alert: Protect Alaska's Waters from Cruise Ship Dumping - Alert 2

Please use this form to send an email to Alaska Governor Sean Parnell
  • You may customize your email's subject line below.
  • Please customize your email below. Your email will automatically be signed with the name/email/address information you have provided above.
  • Subscribe and receive our complimentary newsletter full of the latest ocean conservation information. You’ll also receive the latest updates on our travel program and periodic dispatches from the field, including research expeditions. Our updates are infrequent and we'll never share your personal information or spam you.

Call Alaska Governor Parnell’s Office

Call: +1 (907) 465-3982

  • If you’re from Alaska, please explain how important a particular place in State marine waters is important to you (a bay, an inlet, a part of the coast, a diving reef, a sailing route, etc.) Ask the governor to call you back and ensure that your special place will be protected through holding the line with the current regulations (i.e.,  holding off on this bill for now), or ask him to make sure your favorite place for fishing, sightseeing, subsistence gathering, or your own beach is off limits to discharge of partially treated human waste from the nearly 1 million visitors on cruiseships.
  • If you’re not from Alaska, please mention where you have been in Alaska or where you hope to go as a worker, tourist or other purpose and how important the health of Alaska’s waters are to you.

 

Talking Points

  • Alaska should seek solutions to wastewater challenges using the best science and technology. Toward this end, rather than rushing this bill through, please support a time extension to meet water quality criteria AT THE POINT OF DISCHARGE, the only place discharge volume and content can be measured, tested and monitored.
  • Cruise are huge floating cities and the technology exists to reduce cruise ship pollution
  • Cruise ships corporations rake in huge profits and can afford not to use Alaskan waters as their dumping grounds
  • Alaskans spoke in 2006 and Governor Parnell and the legislature should listen to the will of the people
  • Alaskans rely on our coastal waters for recreational and business, and it makes no sense to pollute what makes Alaska special
  • Dilution is not the solution to pollution and cruise ships should not use mixing zones
  • If cruise ships are allowed to discharge in Alaskan waters, there should be exclusion zones around critical habitat areas, shellfish farm and important fisheries.

Media Stories

Alaska House passes cruise ship wastewater bill Anchorage Daily News (2/5/2013)

Tlingit, Haida tribes oppose cruise ship bill. San Francisco Chronicle (2/2/2013)

EPA fines Princess Cruise Lines for 2011 Clean Water Act violation in Glacier Bay  KTOO, Juneau (Referenced EPA Report) (1/29/2013)

Public, scientists disagree on cruise ship wastewater KCAW Radio, Stika (1/28/2013)

Cruise ship wastewater standards testimony heard JuneauEmpire.com (1/28/2013)

Additional Information

Statement from Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters (1/1/13)

ADEC Cruise Ship Website

Cruise Ship Bill Action Alert (316.9 KiB; 165 downloads)

Cruise Ship Bill Information Sheet (17.1 KiB; 211 downloads)

Print Friendly

Facebook comments:

Speak Your Mind

*

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required Email Address * First Name *