Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/02/2009 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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01:02:09 PM Start
01:02:38 PM HB134
03:01:00 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 134 CRUISE SHIP WASTEWATER DISCHARGE PERMITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 134-CRUISE SHIP WASTEWATER DISCHARGE PERMITS                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
1:02:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                              
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  134,  "An Act  relating  to  the  terms  and                                                              
conditions  of commercial  vessel  permits  for the  discharge  of                                                              
graywater, treated  sewage, and  other waste water;  and providing                                                              
for  an  effective   date."    [Before  the  committee   was  CSHB
134(CRA).]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:03:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN  HARRIS, Alaska  State  Legislature,  Juneau,                                                              
Alaska,  sponsor of  HB 134,  began by  noting that  he agreed  to                                                              
bring the bill forward  on behalf of the cruise  ship industry and                                                              
in   consultation    with   the   Department    of   Environmental                                                              
Conservation  (DEC).   He  explained  that  HB 134,  as  currently                                                              
written,   would  eliminate   five  words,   ["at  the  point   of                                                              
discharge"], from the  statute.  Those five words  relate to where                                                              
and  how  the discharge  from  the  larger  cruise ships  will  be                                                              
measured,  he continued.    For all  other  discharges around  the                                                              
state,  DEC uses  a  mixing zone  method rather  than  a point  of                                                              
discharge method.   The cruise ship  industry believes it  is only                                                              
fair  that they  be subject  to the  same mixing  zone method,  he                                                              
said.   The 2006  Alaska Cruise  Ship Initiative  that became  law                                                              
requires the  larger cruise ships  to meet a much  higher standard                                                              
for  pollutants  than do  municipalities,  processors,  and  other                                                              
entities.    Under   HB  134,  the  Department   of  Environmental                                                              
Conservation  would  have  the ability  to  regulate  cruise  ship                                                              
discharge  using the  mixing  zone method,  if  the department  so                                                              
chooses.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:07:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  urged that the Department  of Environmental                                                              
Conservation  continue  to encourage  the  cruise  ship and  other                                                              
industries  to put  in  place  the best  environmental  techniques                                                              
possible that  are economical.   There must  be an equilibrium  in                                                              
regard to  cost over the  environment, he  said.  There  are times                                                              
when  something cannot  be allowed  because it  is too  polluting,                                                              
but this  is not  the case here  as the  majority of these  cruise                                                              
ships  are meeting  the  interim standard.    He reminded  members                                                              
that the  standard will  go higher  in a couple  of years  and the                                                              
cruise ship  industry is saying  that the higher standard  will be                                                              
even more  difficult for them to  meet with the  technologies that                                                              
are currently available.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  clarified that he is not  saying these five                                                              
words  are insignificant.   He credited  the  folks who put  forth                                                              
the 2006  initiative and  said protecting  the environment  is the                                                              
right thing  to do.   But, he continued,  how far the  environment                                                              
is protected versus  what municipalities and other  industries are                                                              
required to do must be challenged, and HB 134 does that.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:09:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN asked what communities have said about HB 134.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  answered that the Alaska  Municipal League,                                                              
a number  of coastal and other  communities around the  state, and                                                              
several chambers  of commerce have  written in support of  HB 134,                                                              
as it is currently written.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  added that  38 [entities]  from around  the state                                                              
have passed resolutions in support HB 134.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:12:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  inquired  whether  HB  134  dilutes  the                                                              
original intent of the voter initiative.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS  replied  no.   The  discharge  requirement                                                              
will not change,  it is where the test is taken  that will change.                                                              
When the  test is done at  the end of the  pipe, it is what  it is                                                              
in the pipe.   The proposed mixing  zone method is what  is in the                                                              
pipe mixed  with the  water, so  the standard  would be  easier to                                                              
reach.   The standard will  not change,  but the ability  to reach                                                              
it will.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:13:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  responded that  it  is  debatable as  to                                                              
whether this is  not actually changing the standard.   He surmised                                                              
that  Representative Harris  is  saying the  standards for  cruise                                                              
ships  should be  reduced to  meet the  same compliance  standards                                                              
for municipalities  which allow higher discharge  levels of copper                                                              
and ammonia.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  said he is not  at all saying that.   "This                                                              
bill does nothing  at all to change  the standard that  was put in                                                              
place by the initiative,"  he continued.  All it  does is possibly                                                              
change how the test  is conducted.  It gives the  authority to the                                                              
Department  of Environmental  Conservation to  use tried  and true                                                              
methods  that are  used  in other  places.    "The discharge  from                                                              
municipalities is set  at a much less stringent degree  than it is                                                              
for cruise ships and this does not change that at all," he said.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:15:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  suggested that perhaps the  standards for                                                              
effluent discharge should be raised for the state's communities.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  replied that he  thinks that point  will be                                                              
raised by folks  who will be testifying.   When a borough  is told                                                              
that  its sewage  rates will  likely triple  in order  to pay  for                                                              
increased standards, it  will not be easy for the  borough.  It is                                                              
different when  someone else  is paying the  bill.   The municipal                                                              
discharge  level is  not  changed by  HB 134  and  neither is  the                                                              
discharge rate  of the cruise ships,  he argued.  The  bill allows                                                              
- it does  not mandate - that  DEC use the tried and  true methods                                                              
that have been used  for many years to measure  the discharge from                                                              
the cruise ships.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:17:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  noted  that  most of  the  resolutions  of                                                              
support are  the same as  that of the  City and Borough  of Juneau                                                              
which reads as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     NOW, THEREFORE,  BE IT  RESOLVED ...  That the City  and                                                                   
     Borough  of  Juneau  urges  the  Alaska  Legislature  in                                                                   
     2009,  to  examine,  based  on  science,  the  standards                                                                   
     governing the  discharge of cruise ship  wastewater such                                                                   
     that those  standards will  continue to protect  aquatic                                                                   
     life   and   the   environment,    but   will   not   be                                                                   
     technologically   and   financially    unreasonable   or                                                                   
     impractical, and establish an effective date.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON understood  that  Representative Harris  is                                                              
not saying  to necessarily lower  the standards, but rather  to do                                                              
something that  is effective, reasonable,  and economical  for the                                                              
continuation of business.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS agreed  that the  bill does  not lower  the                                                              
standards or  diminish the  quality of  the environment.   Rather,                                                              
it gives DEC the  ability to allow mixing zones like  is done with                                                              
every other  discharge.  He  said he is  not encouraging  that the                                                              
standards  be reduced.   If  technology  can be  found that  would                                                              
provide  the  ability to  meet  these  end-of-the-pipe  standards,                                                              
then DEC  should encourage  the  ships to put  this technology  on                                                              
board.  A higher  standard goes into effect in two  more years and                                                              
HB 134  does not  stop that, but  it will  be even more  difficult                                                              
for the  ships to  meet this  higher standard  at  the end of  the                                                              
pipe.  The department  has said it will continue  to encourage the                                                              
large cruise ships  to have the best available  technology that is                                                              
affordable and can be done without undue harm, he related.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:20:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  FEATHERSON  HAUGH  (ph),   NovaTech  Consultants  (ph),  in                                                              
response to Co-Chair  Neuman, said he does not  have any specifics                                                              
to  add at  this point.   He  said he  is available  to offer  his                                                              
viewpoint  on  the  feasibility  of treating  ship  wastewater  on                                                              
shore, and  that it would be  better for that discussion  to occur                                                              
before  he provides  his  comments.   He  understood  that HB  134                                                              
would  not change the  quality of  discharge  from the ships,  but                                                              
rather the location at which it is measured.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FEATHERSON HAUGH,  in further response to Co-Chair  Neuman and                                                              
Representative  Seaton, explained that  NovaTech Consultants  is a                                                              
consulting   engineering   firm   that   specializes   in   marine                                                              
wastewater  treatment and  monitoring.   The  company samples  and                                                              
monitors  all of  the  Royal Caribbean  and  Celebrity ships  that                                                              
operate in Alaska  as well as one of the Carnival  ships.  He said                                                              
NovaTech was  retained by  the Alaska  Cruise Ship Association  to                                                              
provide  technical advice  at the  [February  2009] Department  of                                                              
Environmental  Conservation workshop.   In  further response,  Mr.                                                              
Featherson  Haugh  said  NovaTech  also works  in  the  land-based                                                              
municipal  and  industrial  wastewater   treatment  business,  has                                                              
offices in British Columbia, and works in Canada and the U.S.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:23:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNN  TOMICH KENT,  Director,  Division  of Water,  Department  of                                                              
Environmental  Conservation,  spoke  from  the  following  written                                                              
statement  [original  punctuation  provided, but  some  formatting                                                              
changes included]:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The Department  of Environmental Conservation  (DEC) has                                                                   
     been  working with  the cruise  industry and  regulating                                                                   
     cruise  ship  discharges  for  almost 10  years.    More                                                                   
     recently,  we've  been  implementing   the  Cruise  Ship                                                                   
     Initiative  that was passed  by Alaskan voters  in 2006.                                                                   
     The   initiative  included   three  main   environmental                                                                   
     provisions:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     A requirement to have an Ocean Ranger on board                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     A  requirement  for  vessels to  report  their  location                                                                   
     hourly to DEC                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     A  requirement  for  vessels that  intend  to  discharge                                                                   
     wastewater to obtain a permit from DEC.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     I would like  to provide an update on  the environmental                                                                   
     requirements of  the initiative including the  new Ocean                                                                   
     Ranger  program, the permit  requirements, studies  that                                                                   
     are underway, and the impact of HB 134.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:24:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Citizen's Initiative - Ocean Rangers                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The initiative  required an  Ocean Ranger (a  U.S. Coast                                                                   
     Guard-licensed  marine  engineer)  to  be on  board  all                                                                   
     large  cruise ships  entering Alaska  waters to  observe                                                                   
     vessel    compliance    with     state    and    federal                                                                   
     environmental,    sanitation,    health    and    safety                                                                   
     requirements.   The program is funded by a  $4/berth fee                                                                   
     that nets approximately $4.0 million/year.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     DEC implemented  a pilot program during the  2007 cruise                                                                   
     ship season,  using marine  engineers and  environmental                                                                   
     professionals   on  board   some  vessels  to   evaluate                                                                   
     training  needs for  the Ocean  Rangers;  to develop  an                                                                   
     Ocean Ranger  checklist for  observations; and  to learn                                                                   
     about  the  issues surrounding  reservation  of  berths,                                                                   
     scheduling   of   Ocean  Rangers,   and   communications                                                                   
     between Ocean Rangers and DEC.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Full   implementation  of   the  Ocean  Ranger   program                                                                   
     started with the 2008 season:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     An  Ocean Ranger  was on-board  88% of  the voyages  for                                                                   
     the full time they were in Alaska waters.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Other vessels were inspected while in-port.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     DEC  received  over  2,000 daily  Ocean  Ranger  reports                                                                   
     with  126 incidents  that required follow-up.   Most  of                                                                   
     the issues were immediately resolved by the vessels.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Citizen's Initiative - Vessel Tracking                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The citizen's  initiative requires the ships  to provide                                                                   
     hourly  location  information   to  DEC.    All  vessels                                                                   
     complied  with this  requirement and  DEC has been  able                                                                   
     to use the information to verify vessel compliance.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:26:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Citizen's Initiative - Wastewater Discharge Permit                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The initiative  required large cruise ships to  obtain a                                                                   
     wastewater  discharge  permit  from  DEC and  to  comply                                                                   
     with Alaska's  Water Quality Standards "at the  point of                                                                   
     discharge."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's  Water Quality Standards  are regulations  that                                                                   
     describe  how clean  Alaska's  fresh  and marine  waters                                                                   
     have  to  be to  protect  the  various uses  -  drinking                                                                   
     water,  contact recreation,  and  protection of  aquatic                                                                   
     life.   The  standards apply  to the  waterbody and  not                                                                   
     directly to  a wastewater discharge, except  in the case                                                                   
     of  discharges   from  large  cruise  ships   where  the                                                                   
     discharge must  meet the Water Quality Standards  at the                                                                   
     point of discharge.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     DEC  issued a  general permit  on March  25, 2008.   The                                                                   
     permit   contains  "long  term"   effluent  limits   for                                                                   
     ammonia,  copper, nickel,  and zinc  based on the  Water                                                                   
     Quality Standards.   These  strict effluent limits  must                                                                   
     be met by the 2010 cruise ship season.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The  permit  also  contains a  compliance  schedule  and                                                                   
     "interim limits"  that are  less stringent for  the 2008                                                                   
     and 2009 cruise ship seasons.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:27:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     HB 134                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  effect of  HB  134 would  be  to allow  DEC,  under                                                                   
     certain  circumstances, to  authorize  mixing zones  for                                                                   
     treated  wastewater  discharged from  cruise  ships.   A                                                                   
     mixing  zone is an  area where  Water Quality  Standards                                                                   
     can be  exceeded while  the wastewater  has a chance  to                                                                   
     mix   with  receiving   waters.     The  Water   Quality                                                                   
     Standards have  to be met at  the edge of  an authorized                                                                   
     mixing zone.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We have been  looking at the science around  cruise ship                                                                   
     wastewater for  years.  For  the last few years  we have                                                                   
     been   engaged  in   a  series  of   studies,  some   in                                                                   
     conjunction  with  the  U.S.   Environmental  Protection                                                                   
     Agency,  about  how  cruise  ship  discharges  mix  with                                                                   
     receiving waters.   We are also currently  investigating                                                                   
     potential wastewater treatment technologies.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Based on  our work  to date, the  following are  some of                                                                   
     the facts as we know them.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:28:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Quality of treated wastewater                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     All large  cruise vessels  discharging in Alaska  waters                                                                   
     have  installed  Advanced Wastewater  Treatment  systems                                                                   
     that produce a high quality effluent.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     During the 2008  cruise ship season, 20 of  the 31 large                                                                   
     cruise    ships    discharged     in    State    waters.                                                                   
     Cumulatively,  these   vessels  took  a  total   of  206                                                                   
     effluent   samples   to  satisfy   the   terms  of   the                                                                   
     wastewater  discharge permit.  Each sample was  analyzed                                                                   
     to determine the concentration of nine parameters.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Focusing  just on  the parameters  of concern  (ammonia,                                                                   
     copper, nickel  and zinc)-- out of 824 data  points (206                                                                   
     samples with  4 parameters),  there were 36  exceedances                                                                   
     of  interim permit  limits noted  on 11  vessels.   That                                                                   
     means  approximately 4%  (36/824 *  100 =  4.4%) of  the                                                                   
     data  points exceeded  the interim  limits for  ammonia,                                                                   
     copper, or  zinc. The most  frequent exceedance  was for                                                                   
     ammonia (21 of the 36 exceedances).                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     If  we look  at exceedances  of the  stricter 2010  long                                                                   
     term  limits, we  see  a different  picture.   Based  on                                                                   
     2008   effluent   monitoring,   there   would   be   563                                                                   
     exceedances  of the  long term permit  limits for  those                                                                   
     same   parameters.     That   means  approximately   68%                                                                   
     (563/824*100  = 68.3%) of the  data points would  exceed                                                                   
     the long term limits.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:29:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Dilution Studies                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     It  is important  to understand  the  effects of  cruise                                                                   
     ship  discharges  on Alaska  waters.    In order  to  do                                                                   
     that,  DEC  must  evaluate   both  the  quality  of  the                                                                   
     wastewater  discharge in conjunction  with the  dilution                                                                   
     that it  is subject  to.  This  information can  then be                                                                   
     used  to estimate  whether  the wastewater  would  cause                                                                   
     exceedances   of   Water  Quality   Standards   in   the                                                                   
     receiving waters.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEC convened  a Science Advisory  Panel to evaluate  the                                                                   
     results  of  a  field  study   that  [the  Environmental                                                                   
     Protection  Agency] conducted in  2001 to determine  the                                                                   
     effect of  discharges on Alaska  waters when  the vessel                                                                   
     is underway.   The Science Panel determined  that when a                                                                   
     typical large  cruise ship is moving at a  minimum speed                                                                   
     of  6 knots,  the wastewater  discharged  is subject  to                                                                   
     tremendous dilution.   For wastewater discharged  at 200                                                                   
     cubic  meters/hour,  the  dilution   factor  is  50,000.                                                                   
     When the  sample results of  the cruise ship  wastewater                                                                   
     are divided  by the 50,000 dilution factor,  the Science                                                                   
     Panel  concluded   that  the  wastewater   would  almost                                                                   
     instantaneously meet  Alaska Water Quality  Standards in                                                                   
     the receiving water.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     During  the 2008  legislative  session, the  legislature                                                                   
     directed  DEC  to  evaluate   how  treated  cruise  ship                                                                   
     effluent mixes  with and dilutes into  receiving waters.                                                                   
     We conducted  the study in  Skagway this past  season in                                                                   
     conjunction   with  research   the  U.S.   Environmental                                                                   
     Protection   Agency  was  performing   with  its   Ocean                                                                   
     Research Vessel  "Bold."  We provided an  interim report                                                                   
     of the study to the legislature on January 12, 2009.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:31:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  study last  summer was  designed  to collect  field                                                                   
     data in order  to calculate the dilution that  occurs to                                                                   
     wastewater  when  it  is  discharged  under  worst  case                                                                   
     conditions  --  from a  stationary  cruise ship  into  a                                                                   
     confined  receiving environment  with limited  flushing.                                                                   
     A  ship moored  in  Skagway  Harbor represents  a  worst                                                                   
     case situation for dilution.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The  results of  the study  were mixed.   Under  certain                                                                   
     assumptions,  Water Quality  Standards would  be met  in                                                                   
     the  receiving water  within  15 meters  of the  vessel.                                                                   
     Using  other   assumptions,  it  will  take   a  greater                                                                   
     distance   from  the  vessel   to  meet  Water   Quality                                                                   
     Standards.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     While  the dilution  study work is  not complete,  there                                                                   
     is some suggestion  that in certain worst  cases, mixing                                                                   
     zones may not be appropriate for moored vessels.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:32:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Technology Review                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     DEC  is not currently  aware of  treatment systems  that                                                                   
     are  readily available  to be installed  on all  vessels                                                                   
     by 2010  and that would  produce effluent meeting  water                                                                   
     quality standards without mixing zones.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We are  in the process  of evaluating the cruise  line's                                                                   
     efforts to reduce  ammonia, copper, nickel, and  zinc in                                                                   
     their  wastewater   effluent  by  evaluating   potential                                                                   
     source  reduction   and,  as  necessary   new  treatment                                                                   
     technologies.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     We  have  retained  a consultant  to  evaluate  new  and                                                                   
     emerging   technologies   that  could   potentially   be                                                                   
     installed  on cruise  ships  to meet  the water  quality                                                                   
     standards  at the point  of discharge.   A draft  report                                                                   
     is available  for review and a technology  workshop with                                                                   
     national   and  international   participants  was   held                                                                   
     Wednesday,  February  18 in  Juneau.   Information  from                                                                   
     the workshop  will be incorporated  into a final  report                                                                   
     expected April 13.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Preliminary  information  from  the  workshop  indicates                                                                   
     that  three  cruise  lines are  currently  piloting  new                                                                   
     treatment  technologies  or  optimizing  their  existing                                                                   
     treatment  technologies  on  one  vessel  each.    We've                                                                   
     learned  that  there are  land-based  treatment  systems                                                                   
     that  could potentially  be  adapted for  use on  cruise                                                                   
     ships,  but   the  lead  time   to  bring  them   to  an                                                                   
     operational  phase  could be  approximately  two  years.                                                                   
     The steps  include:  design  pilot technology to  fit on                                                                   
     a cruise  ship; obtain  necessary vessel  classification                                                                   
     system  approvals  to  use   a  new  system;  build  and                                                                   
     deliver system  to the vessel; install and  test system;                                                                   
     conduct  necessary  monitoring and  system  adjustments;                                                                   
     and then,  if successful,  adapt the  system for  use on                                                                   
     other vessels.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:33:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Existing Regulations                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     DEC  has existing  regulations that  allow a  wastewater                                                                   
     discharge  permittee to  apply  for a  mixing zone  with                                                                   
     their permit.   The regulations  include a 19  part test                                                                   
     that  must be  met  before DEC  can  authorize a  mixing                                                                   
     zone, including:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     That  the effluent is  first treated  to remove,  reduce                                                                   
     and disperse  the pollutants  using the most  effective,                                                                   
     technologically and economically feasible methods.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  anti-degradation policy  also requires  the use  of                                                                   
     "methods   of   pollution   prevention,   control,   and                                                                   
     treatment  found  by  the  department  to  be  the  most                                                                   
     effective  and reasonable"  and  that  wastes and  other                                                                   
     substances to  be discharged "be treated  and controlled                                                                   
     to  achieve ...  the  highest statutory  and  regulatory                                                                   
     requirements."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     If  mixing zones  were  allowed,  DEC would  modify  the                                                                   
     cruise  ship  wastewater  discharge  general  permit  to                                                                   
     include mixing  zones where  appropriate.  Any  proposed                                                                   
     permit  modifications  would  require a  public  review.                                                                   
     Mixing zones  may be prohibited in some areas  and would                                                                   
     only  be allowed  in other  areas  and under  conditions                                                                   
     that  would fully protect  aquatic life  and other  uses                                                                   
     of Alaska's waters.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  modified permit  would  still require  use of  best                                                                   
     available  treatment   technologies.     Existing  water                                                                   
     quality  regulations prohibit  backsliding in  treatment                                                                   
     technology or decreases in effluent quality.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Every  five years when  the general  permit is  renewed,                                                                   
     DEC  must  reevaluate  what   comprises  best  available                                                                   
     treatment  technologies.  Renewed  permits are  modified                                                                   
     to  reflect any  new, commercially  available  treatment                                                                   
     technologies.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Fiscal  Impact -  HB 134 has  no fiscal  impact for  the                                                                 
     Department.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:36:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  inquired whether DEC would still  monitor at the                                                              
point of discharge should HB 134 pass and allow mixing zones.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KENT  answered  that  most  of  the  permits  issued  by  the                                                              
department  for a  mixing zone  require that  monitoring occur  at                                                              
the point  of discharge  and at  the edge of  the mixing  zone, so                                                              
DEC would likely use this same approach.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  for  a description  of the  size                                                              
and shape of a mixing zone behind a cruise ship.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENT  responded that studies  by the Environmental  Protection                                                              
Agency (EPA)  found that  when a  vessel is  underway there  is no                                                              
mixing  zone  that would  show  on  a  map  or behind  the  vessel                                                              
because  the  effluent  mixes  so  quickly  while  the  vessel  is                                                              
moving.  The  DEC studies conducted last summer  on moored vessels                                                              
in Skagway  found that the mixing  zone tends to look  like a long                                                              
ribbon, depending on  what the tide is doing.  A  mixing zone in a                                                              
river  would go  immediately downstream,  she  continued.   Mixing                                                              
zones  authorized in  marine  waters from  shore-based  facilities                                                              
often go two directions because of the tides.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  inquired  where  the  monitoring  crew                                                              
would be located behind the ship to take the measurement.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENT replied  that DEC would not likely require  monitoring of                                                              
a mixing  zone behind  a vessel that  is underway because  nothing                                                              
would be found to  measure.  Monitoring is more  appropriate for a                                                              
vessel  that  is  moored,  provided   the  ship  is  moored  in  a                                                              
situation where DEC could authorize a mixing zone.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:39:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG   understood  that  DEC   is  currently                                                              
monitoring  at the discharge  pipe when  a ship  is underway.   He                                                              
surmised that if  HB 134 is passed, DEC would no  longer monitor a                                                              
ship  at  the  discharge  pipe while  it  is  underway  and  would                                                              
instead only monitor a mixing zone when the ship is in port.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KENT answered  that  the permit  would  likely still  require                                                              
monitoring at the  point of discharge because the  effluent limits                                                              
in the permit apply  there.  If DEC could authorize  a mixing zone                                                              
for a moored vessel,  monitoring would be required  at the edge of                                                              
the  mixing zone  for the  Water  Quality Standards.   In  further                                                              
response,  Ms. Kent  said the  permit  for a  moored vessel  might                                                              
describe the mixing zone in the shape of an oval.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:40:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  referenced   the   4  percent   discharge                                                              
exceedance [for  ammonia, copper,  nickel, and zinc  that occurred                                                              
in 2008  from large vessels].   He presumed  that if  mixing zones                                                              
were allowed there  would not have been any exceedance  because no                                                              
matter how  much the  current standards  were exceeded  the mixing                                                              
zone would take care it.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENT  responded that if DEC  were to authorize a  mixing zone,                                                              
those levels would likely be allowed while a vessel is underway.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  whether the  4  percent  exceedance                                                              
would  have  been acceptable  for  the  mixing  zone of  a  moored                                                              
vessel.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KENT replied  that  calculations  would have  to  be done  in                                                              
order to answer  that question; the department would  have to have                                                              
the permit with  an authorized mixing zone to know  whether or not                                                              
those would be in exceedance.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN requested  Ms. Kent to provide  information on how                                                              
all vessels  are treated,  not just  cruise ships,  when she  next                                                              
appears before the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENT agreed to do so.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:42:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  Ms.  Kent to  list  the Water  Quality                                                              
Standards from the most stringent to the least.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KENT explained  that  the  Water  Quality Standards  are  set                                                              
parameter by parameter  by the use.  For example,  a water quality                                                              
standard  for copper  for fresh  water may be  less stringent  for                                                              
drinking  water  purposes than  the  copper standard  for  aquatic                                                              
life use.   This is because  humans are more resistant  to copper,                                                              
and drinking  it, than are  fish.  In  further response,  Ms. Kent                                                              
said she  would need to  pull up the  Water Quality  Standards [to                                                              
outline the  Water Quality Standards  for copper from the  most to                                                              
least stringent].   She said  she would  get back to  members with                                                              
this information.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  inquired   whether  any  permits  have  been                                                              
declined and for what reasons.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. KENT answered  that DEC generally works with  the applicant to                                                              
ensure  that  an  application  is submitted  that  will  meet  the                                                              
department's requirements  and be able to be  permitted.  Projects                                                              
that do not  meet the requirements  are few and do not  happen and                                                              
DEC does  not keep records of  that.  The applicant  usually finds                                                              
a way  to meet  DEC's standards.   In  further response,  she said                                                              
she  would  get  back  to the  committee  with  an  example  of  a                                                              
declined permit.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:45:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN opened public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ALBERT JUDSON  stated that he disagrees  with HB 134 and  hopes it                                                              
will be  eliminated from  the legislative process.   He  posed the                                                              
question,  "What  would  happen if  the  Environmental  Protection                                                              
Agency reversed their  decision of 1973 when they  exempted vessel                                                              
discharges requiring a federal permit?"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JUDSON  offered   six  considerations,  the   first  being  a                                                              
historical  consideration.   He  said  HB  134 was  introduced  by                                                              
Republican  representatives  at the  request  of  the cruise  ship                                                              
industry.    It  would delete  language  in  the  2006  initiative                                                              
approved by  Alaska voters, that  language being "at the  point of                                                              
discharge".    A  major  conference  was held  in  the  1990s,  he                                                              
further  recalled, to  address the  wastewater  and air  pollution                                                              
that was being  generated by cruise ships in  Alaska.  Eventually,                                                              
a cruise ship program was established with the DEC.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JUDSON  said the  second  consideration  is that  the  Alaska                                                              
initiative  process   is  very   strict.    The   2006  initiative                                                              
satisfied  all   of  the  requirements,   was  certified   by  the                                                              
lieutenant governor,  the people voted for it, and  it became law.                                                              
He  said  the  reasons  for  the   "at  the  point  of  discharge"                                                              
requirement  include the  mobility of  the ships,  the areas  that                                                              
they travel,  and that  thousands  of people  travel on one  large                                                              
ship, sometimes as many as 5,000.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:49:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JUDSON  related that  the  third  consideration is  that  the                                                              
cruise  ship industry  has  until  2010 to  comply  with the  2006                                                              
initiative, and  technological advancements have  already occurred                                                              
and  more  are  likely  to occur.    Eventual  compliance  is  not                                                              
impossible because  the cruise ship  industry is a  billion dollar                                                              
trade.  A fourth  consideration is that the impact  on harbors and                                                              
docks  has  yet   to  be  determined  and  grievances   have  been                                                              
occurring  due  to  inadequate  space for  Alaskans.    The  fifth                                                              
consideration  is that  dumping by  cruise ships  in mixing  zones                                                              
would  conflict with  the commercial  and  subsistence efforts  of                                                              
Alaska people.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JUDSON said  the  sixth consideration  is  that Alaskans  are                                                              
confronting  the   negative  impacts  of  these   large  ships  as                                                              
portrayed in  the February 15, 2009,  "New York Times"  article by                                                              
Jennifer Conlin:   cruise ships  emit twice the carbon  dioxide as                                                              
airplanes;  most ships  use cheap  and  dirty bunker  fuel; and  a                                                              
one-week  voyage produces  210,000  gallons of  sewage, a  million                                                              
gallons  of gray  water,  25,000 gallons  of  bilge water,  11,550                                                              
gallons  of  sewage  sludge,  and  more  than  13,000  gallons  of                                                              
hazardous waste.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:51:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LEN  LAURANCE, spoke  on behalf  of  Alaska RainForest  Sanctuary,                                                              
Seahorse  Ventures,  and  Taquan  Air  located  in  Ketchikan  and                                                              
Alaska  Canopy Adventures  located in  Juneau and  Ketchikan.   He                                                              
testified in favor of HB 134 as follows:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  tours  offered  by these  businesses  are  pre-sold                                                                   
     aboard  cruise   ships.     The  four  shore   excursion                                                                   
     operators  employ  over  150 persons.    The  wastewater                                                                   
     standards   of  passenger   cruise   vessels  that   are                                                                   
     scheduled to  go into effect in 2010 will  require these                                                                   
     ships to go  to sea to discharge, resulting  in one less                                                                   
     port  call in  Alaska.   This  is because  the  upcoming                                                                   
     standards  for  these wastewaters  are  technically  not                                                                   
     achievable  at  this  time.   The  average  cruise  ship                                                                   
     makes  three-and-a-half  port   calls  on  a  seven  day                                                                   
     cruise.    The  major ports  are  Juneau,  Skagway,  and                                                                   
     Ketchikan.   The half port  call is mostly a  short stop                                                                   
     in Victoria,  B.C., to  satisfy Jones Act  requirements.                                                                   
     The  deletion  of  a  full Alaska  port  call  would  be                                                                   
     devastating to  shore excursion providers,  resulting in                                                                   
     loss  of jobs,  local sales  and property  taxes, and  a                                                                   
     general  economic  downturn   in  communities  that  are                                                                   
     hurting  from  declining populations.    The  wastewater                                                                   
     standards  for   cruise  ships  should   be  established                                                                   
     scientifically,  not  by  legislation.     I  have  been                                                                   
     involved  in Alaska  tourism  on a  statewide and  local                                                                   
     level  for over  40  years.   ...  There  should not  be                                                                   
     relief  for  increased  wastewater  discharge  standards                                                                   
     for cruise  ships, it  will be  the most negative  thing                                                                   
     to  impact  Alaska  tourism  during  that  entire  time,                                                                   
     including 911.  I urge you to pass HB 134.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:54:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  inquired whether Mr. Laurance's  opinion on                                                              
the discharge  of pollution  would change if  a solution  could be                                                              
found that  would not  cause cruise  ships to  spend less  time in                                                              
port or miss a port call.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAURANCE  responded yes.   He said  he believes  the standards                                                              
should be  established by DEC  because the department  is familiar                                                              
with the latest  technology and can scientifically  apply whatever                                                              
technology is available at that time.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN requested  that  Ms. Kent  explain the  standards                                                              
and how DEC meets and evaluates them at the next hearing.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHAUNA  LEE,  Tour  Manager, The  Great  Alaska  Lumberjack  Show,                                                              
offered her support for HB 134.  She spoke as follows:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The  cruise ship  industry has  become a  vital part  of                                                                   
     life in  Ketchikan.  As  fishing and logging  have waned                                                                   
     over   the  years,   the  cruise   industry  has   grown                                                                   
     exponentially and  there is no arguing that  it supports                                                                   
     many  people and businesses  here in  Southeast.   While                                                                   
     that  growth   has  brought  prosperity,  it   has  also                                                                   
     brought  the question  of  environmental  impact to  our                                                                   
     beautiful state.   In response the cruise  line industry                                                                   
     was very  pro-active in bringing  their ships up  to the                                                                   
     highest  standards   possible  and  even   exceeded  the                                                                   
     standards  that our  own cities  were held  to.  It  was                                                                   
     unfortunate,  then,  that a  simple mistake  in  wording                                                                   
     came to threaten  the industry.  With the  passage of HB
     134 we can  put the burden of proof on  the organization                                                                   
     best equipped  to make those decisions that  protect our                                                                   
     waters.        The    [Department    of    Environmental                                                                   
     Conservation's] function  is to set standards  and to be                                                                   
     a  watchdog for  those  standards.   Let  them do  their                                                                   
     job.   The initial sponsors  of the bill said  that they                                                                   
     wanted  to even the  playing field  in regard to  cruise                                                                   
     ship discharge  and HB 134 would  do just that.   I urge                                                                   
     you to  pass [HB]  134 and  put the decisions  regarding                                                                   
     cruise ship  emission standards into the hands  of those                                                                   
     best equipped and best informed.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB  WEINSTEIN, Mayor,  City  and Borough  of  Ketchikan, said  he                                                              
would  like  to  address  the  amendment   to  the  bill  that  he                                                              
understands will be proposed today.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  replied that amendments  will not be  proposed or                                                              
addressed until  after public testimony when  committee discussion                                                              
occurs.  In  further response to Mayor Weinstein,  Co-Chair Neuman                                                              
said the mayor is welcome to call back at that time.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MAYOR  WEINSTEIN stated  that the  City of  Ketchikan supports  HB
134,  as written.    He  said the  city  feels that  science,  not                                                              
politics,  should govern  the  standards regulating  pollution  of                                                              
any kind.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:57:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STACY  STUDEBAKER,  Conservation  Chair, Kodiak  Audubon  Society,                                                              
noted  that she is  a biologist  and retired  science teacher  who                                                              
has lived  in Alaska  for nearly  40 years.   She said  the Kodiak                                                              
Audubon  Society was  established in  1982 and  its mission  is to                                                              
"conserve Alaska's  natural ecosystems,  focusing on  birds, other                                                              
wildlife,  and their  habitats for  the benefit  and enjoyment  of                                                              
current  and future  generations."   She testified  as follows  in                                                              
opposition to HB 134 and suggested an amendment:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Kodiak  has  been  receiving   more  interest  from  the                                                                   
     cruise  ship  industry recently  with  24 to  27  visits                                                                   
     scheduled  for this year.   That  is nearly double  what                                                                   
     we had  just a  few years  ago.  As  cruise ships  enter                                                                   
     our  waters that support  our fishery  economy, we  must                                                                   
     hold  them   to  the   strictest  standards  for   water                                                                   
     quality.    Cruise  ships  will  come  and  go  but  our                                                                   
     fishery economy  is what sustains  us.  If we  are going                                                                   
     to  give ...  the cruise  ship industry  the benefit  of                                                                   
     visiting  our  beautiful  island,   then  they  need  to                                                                   
     reciprocate  by investing in  better onboard  technology                                                                   
     that ensures  that their wastewater doesn't  pollute our                                                                   
     marine ecosystem and jeopardize our seafood industry.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     We  oppose   HB  134.     The  bill  is  premature   and                                                                   
     unnecessary.    If  it  passes it  removes  the  ban  on                                                                   
     mixing  zones and  would allow  harmful pollutants  from                                                                   
     cruise ship  wastewater, such as copper and  ammonia, to                                                                   
     be  directly discharged  into marine  waters.   Research                                                                   
     has   identified   copper  as   specifically   affecting                                                                   
     salmon.    Given  the  nature  of  the  main  pollutants                                                                   
     associated   with  cruise   ship  operations,  such   as                                                                   
     metals,  it  is imperative  that  these  discharges  are                                                                   
     regulated  and that  every  effort is  made to  minimize                                                                   
     discharge directly  into the marine environment  so that                                                                   
     our  seafood remains  safe to  eat and  our marine  food                                                                   
     chain is intact  for all marine life.  Mixing  zones are                                                                   
     rules  that  allow  for  pollutants   to  be  discharged                                                                   
     directly into  the environment and diluted  before water                                                                   
     quality  is  tested.   Mixing  zones  are  not  science-                                                                   
     based.   They are engineering-based, risk  analyses that                                                                   
     assume that  organisms will  either not be present  when                                                                   
     the  discharge occurs,  not be  harvested and  consumed,                                                                   
     or   represent  a   small  enough   percentage  of   the                                                                   
     population  as to not  result in  long-term harm  to the                                                                   
     environment  or   people.    When  the  water   you  are                                                                   
     impacting supports  the food you  eat, the base  of your                                                                   
     economy, and  the habitat of wildlife, mixing  zones are                                                                   
     unacceptable.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:00:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  cruise ship  initiative  was passed  by a  majority                                                                   
     vote of  the people in 2006  with the intent  to protect                                                                   
     water quality  from the harmful  impacts of  cruise ship                                                                   
     wastewater  pollution.   In a recent  poll conducted  by                                                                   
     Anchorage   Channel   2   News,  81   percent   of   the                                                                   
     respondents  asked  if  they   think  the  state  should                                                                   
     loosen   wastewater   regulations   for   cruise   ships                                                                   
     answered  no.     The  2006   initiative  was   a  major                                                                   
     milestone  towards realizing  the  fundamental goals  of                                                                   
     the  Clean Water  Act to  protect  our marine  ecosystem                                                                   
     and  the integrity  and  image  of our  Alaskan  fishery                                                                   
     industry.    The Alaska  voter  initiative  created  the                                                                   
     demand  for  a  solution  to  the  problem.    Advancing                                                                   
     technology  to   deal  with  removing   pollutants  from                                                                   
     cruise ship  wastewater either  onboard or onshore.   HB
     134  would  remove  the  incentive   that  is  currently                                                                   
     driving these  advances.   The voter initiative  created                                                                   
     the original  deadline for cruise ships to  meet the new                                                                   
     standards.   We are in  favor of extending  the deadline                                                                   
     a year  or two  which would  allow developers more  time                                                                   
     to  work  on  better  and   more  innovative  wastewater                                                                   
     methods to  fit onboard ships.   In the meantime  cruise                                                                   
     ships must comply with existing laws.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:01:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNANEVA PEARSON  (ph) said  she has lived  in Kodiak  since 1941                                                              
and lived  in Ketchikan in  1939.  She  maintained that HB  134 is                                                              
jumping the gun  because future technology will  enable the cruise                                                              
ships to  comply with  the law as  it was  proposed and  passed by                                                              
the people  of Alaska.   The legislature  should honor  the wishes                                                              
of the  majority of the  people of this  state.  "There  is always                                                              
the way  of doing  things right  and there  is always  ample funds                                                              
for  achieving that  goal,"  she said.   She  urged  that this  be                                                              
played out as the voters mandated.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:02:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER GIBBINS,  Soundkeeper/Executive Director,  Prince William                                                              
Soundkeeper, explained  that her organization's board  and members                                                              
are  comprised  of  residents from  Prince  William  Sound's  five                                                              
communities  and the organization's  mission  is to protect  water                                                              
quality in  the sound.  She said  she has a background  in tourism                                                              
and destination  marketing and  serves on  the Cordova  Chamber of                                                              
Commerce.   Ms. Gibbins spoke as  follows in opposition  to HB 134                                                              
and suggested an amendment:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In 2006 the  voters voted to protect clean  water, plain                                                                   
     and simple.   Or, in this case, pure and  simple.  Clean                                                                   
     water is essential,  not only to the region,  but to the                                                                   
     state  -  to  our  environment,  our  culture,  and  our                                                                   
     economy.    ...  We  depend  on  clean  water,  and  the                                                                   
     cumulative   impacts   of   the  pollutants   that   are                                                                   
     associated  with  cruise ship  wastewater  are  serious.                                                                   
     HB 134  does one thing  - it removes  the ban on  mixing                                                                   
     zones  and this  is  a very  significant  change and  we                                                                   
     should  not take  this lightly.   It  will diminish  the                                                                   
     quality   of  the   environment   and   it  will   allow                                                                   
     pollutants  to be  directly discharged  into the  marine                                                                   
     environment.    And  how  you can  argue  that  that  is                                                                   
     neither significant nor serious, I don't know.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ... Why  do we need this  law?  Because,  unfortunately,                                                                   
     the  cruise industry  has shown  us that  they need  the                                                                   
     incentive  of law  to protect  water quality.   And  the                                                                   
     cruise  industry   itself  has  acknowledged   that  the                                                                   
     current law  has been the  driving force for  technology                                                                   
     advancement.    I've spoken  with  folks trying  to  ...                                                                   
     make  sure that  I'm understanding  everything  properly                                                                   
     here.   I've spoken  to some  of the  folks involved  in                                                                   
     the  report  that  was commissioned  by  DEC,  and  I've                                                                   
     asked them what's  the bottom line.  Is this  or is this                                                                   
     not   possible?    And   they  said   it  is   possible,                                                                   
     technology is  advancing, it's possible, we just  need a                                                                   
     little  more time.   So, let's  not throw  the baby  out                                                                   
     with the  gray water here.   Let's do something  that is                                                                   
     actually quite  simple - extend the deadline  and we can                                                                   
     realize  the goal as  the voters  intended, which  is to                                                                   
     protect  water  quality.   ...  HB 134  does  absolutely                                                                   
     nothing to  enhance DEC's ability to  make science-based                                                                   
     decisions.   If you  want science-based decisions,  then                                                                   
     ask a biologist, don't ask the cruise industry.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:06:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROLINE HIGGINS, Chair, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce,                                                                      
testified in favor of HB 134 as follows:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The state chamber  membership has adopted as  one of our                                                                   
     top legislative  priorities support  for changes  to the                                                                   
     point  of discharge  standard  govern  ring cruise  ship                                                                   
     wastewater  permitting.   The  state  chamber urges  the                                                                   
     adoption  of   HB  134  which   deletes  the   point  of                                                                   
     discharge   standard    governing   the    cruise   ship                                                                   
     wastewater  permits.   HB  134  simply fixes  a  mistake                                                                   
     made in  the original language.   The state  chamber ...                                                                   
     asks  the state  to apply  the best  available data  and                                                                   
     technology  when  setting   standards  for  cruise  ship                                                                   
     wastewater   discharge  permits.     The  Alaska   State                                                                   
     Department  of  Environmental   Conservation  holds  not                                                                   
     only  cruise ships,  but also  ships such  as our  state                                                                   
     ferries,  to a different  standard  than it holds  every                                                                   
     other discharger  in Alaska.   This new permit  measures                                                                   
     effluent at  the point of discharge instead  of allowing                                                                   
     a  dilution  zone,  which  every  state  in  the  United                                                                   
     States  allows   and  the   State  of  Alaska   statutes                                                                   
     contemplate.   This  is a different  standard from  what                                                                   
     is  required   for  coastal  communities,   the  fishing                                                                   
     industry, or oil platforms in Cook Inlet.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     We   strongly  urge   the   legislature   to  give   due                                                                   
     consideration to  modifying the standards  governing the                                                                   
     discharge of  cruise ship wastewater  for a  lower level                                                                   
     based on science  that will continue to  protect aquatic                                                                   
     life   and   the   environment,    but   will   not   be                                                                   
     technologically   and   financially    unreasonable   or                                                                   
     impractical.   Should the cruise  ship industry  need to                                                                   
     comply  with  the statutes  of  this permit,  the  ships                                                                   
     will  have to  hold  their wastewater  discharges  until                                                                   
     they  are out  of Alaska  waters.   Not  only will  this                                                                   
     shorten time  in port, but  will likely result  in fewer                                                                   
     ports of call.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:08:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Both results  will negatively  impact Alaska  businesses                                                                   
     and   financially   harm  port   communities.      Small                                                                   
     businesses   that   offer   services   to   tour-related                                                                   
     companies  may well  go out  of  business without  these                                                                   
     suggested  changes.   Alaska's  Water Quality  Standards                                                                   
     contemplate the  use of dilution factors such  as mixing                                                                   
     zones  or  short-term  variances.   According  to  ADEC,                                                                   
     mixing  zones are provided  for in  the Clean Water  Act                                                                   
     and used by  every state in the nation.   Without mixing                                                                   
     zones wastewater  would have to be treated  to the point                                                                   
     where  it could  serve  as a  source  of drinking  water                                                                   
     before being  discharged, and that is just  not feasible                                                                   
     here  or anywhere  else.   Sewage  treatment plants  and                                                                   
     seafood processors  in Alaska could not  operate without                                                                   
     a  mixing zone  and this  is  also true  for the  cruise                                                                   
     ships.   Alaska  should hold  cruise ships  to the  same                                                                   
     stringent standards  as its coastal communities.   It is                                                                   
     not in  the state's  best interest  to shorten the  time                                                                   
     cruise   visitor's   have  ashore   or   to  force   the                                                                   
     elimination  of  some  ports  of call.    State  Chamber                                                                   
     urges you vote favorably on HB 134.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:09:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  BINKLEY,  President,  Alaska Cruise  Association,  began  by                                                              
asking the  question, "What was the  will of the people  when they                                                              
passed  [the  2006]  initiative?"   He  said  the  initiative  was                                                              
primarily about  the head tax  issue.  However,  the environmental                                                              
aspects of  the initiative  can best be  described by  quoting two                                                              
of the  initiative's  sponsors during  that time.   He quoted  Dr.                                                              
Gershon  Cohen  of  Campaign  to  Safeguard  America's  Waters  as                                                              
having  said,  "If  passed,  the new  initiative  will  level  the                                                              
economic and environmental  playing field between  the cruise ship                                                              
industry  and other  major  dischargers  of polluted  wastes  into                                                              
Alaska waters."   He quoted attorney  Joe Geldhof as  having said,                                                              
"This  would  make   the  cruise  industry  adhere   to  the  same                                                              
pollution  standards as  fisheries,  municipalities,  and gas  and                                                              
oil  companies."   Few people  look  at the  nuances of  technical                                                              
law,  Mr. Binkley  maintained,  and Alaska  voters  relied on  the                                                              
initiative's  authors to  be straight  with  them as  to what  the                                                              
initiative meant.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:11:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BINKLEY said  HB 134 would fix the initiative  that was passed                                                              
and make  the law adhere  to what  the initiative's  sponsors told                                                              
the  people  of Alaska.    The  bill would  let  DEC's  scientists                                                              
decide  these  complicated  and difficult  issues,  he  continued.                                                              
The  department  is  the  best  equipped  to  protect  the  marine                                                              
environment, aquatic  life, and human health.  The  tried and true                                                              
permitting  process has been  in place  for many  years and  is an                                                              
open public process.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BINKLEY argued  that the will of the people  is also expressed                                                              
by  the 44  resolutions passed  by  communities and  organizations                                                              
around  the state,  including the  Alaska  Municipal League  which                                                              
represents  all elected  municipalities  in the  state of  Alaska.                                                              
He  related that  just  prior to  the  2006 initiative  vote,  the                                                              
Anchorage  Daily News  advised that  the  initiative had  problems                                                              
but urged voters  to pass it and  then rely on the  legislature to                                                              
fix the problems.   This is one  of those problems, he  said.  The                                                              
legislature  fixed the  other two  problems, one  of which  was to                                                              
exempt the Alaska  Marine Highway and small cruise  ships from the                                                              
initiative's   requirements  and   the  other   of  which   was  a                                                              
disclosure  requirement.     He  urged  that  HB   134  be  passed                                                              
unamended.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  HESS,  Owner, River  Adventures,  supported  HB  134.   She                                                              
spoke as follows:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     I  believe  that  [HB  134]  is  the  most  logical  and                                                                   
     reasonable  position  for  the legislature  to  take  to                                                                   
     correct  a  gross  injustice  that  was  caused  by  the                                                                   
     initiative.   When Ballot Measure  2 came for a  vote of                                                                   
     the  people and the  voter pamphlet  was distributed  to                                                                   
     Alaskans,  there was  a statement that  was prepared  by                                                                   
     the  ADEC  that simply  stated,  "The  initiative  would                                                                   
     require  DEC  to  develop  and  maintain  a  new  permit                                                                   
     program  for  large  commercial   passenger  vessels  to                                                                   
     replace  the   current  program  for   regulating  these                                                                   
     vessels."  However,  several pages later it  also stated                                                                   
     that the cruise  lines must meet standards  at the point                                                                   
     of  discharge.   These  five  words virtually  took  the                                                                   
     power  away  from  DEC to  regulate  as  the  initiative                                                                   
     itself was the  regulating document after it  was passed                                                                   
     and became  law.  One would  have to have looked  up ...                                                                   
     on the  Internet or somewhere  to find the  Alaska Water                                                                   
     Quality  Standards  to know  the  full extent  of  those                                                                   
     five words.   If the intent  was for DEC to  develop and                                                                   
     maintain  a permit  program,  then I  ask  you today  to                                                                   
     pass HB  134 to  give DEC the  tools to make  permitting                                                                   
     decisions.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HESS  quoted a statement  written by initiative  sponsors that                                                              
was  in the  voter  pamphlet:   "The  cruise  lines are  'selling'                                                              
Alaska  - while  impacting our  docks,  roads, public  facilities,                                                              
wildlife,  and quality  of our  lives.   This  initiative will  do                                                              
nothing to turn  visitors away; it will keep  our tourism industry                                                              
sustainable  while protecting  the needs  of all  Alaskans."   She                                                              
warned that one  ship has already been pulled from  Alaska in 2010                                                              
and  more  will  follow  if  this  is not  fixed.    This  is  not                                                              
sustaining  the  tourism  industry   and  will  negatively  impact                                                              
Alaskan's quality of life.  She continued:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In   2006  I  believe   that  the   voters  passed   the                                                                   
     initiative  simply because  it was  labeled as a  cruise                                                                   
     ship head tax.   I trust DEC to protect  the environment                                                                   
     and  regulate the  cruise  industry  accordingly, and  I                                                                   
     trust  you, our  legislators,  to protect  our  economic                                                                   
     environment.   I  ask you  to help  sustain the  tourism                                                                   
     industry  by  passing  HB  134  out  of  your  committee                                                                   
     today, unamended.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:17:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  RICHARDS  noted  that he  is  a  CPA  and member  of  the                                                              
Fairbanks  Chamber  of  Commerce,  but  that he  is  speaking  for                                                              
himself.  He  said that when the tourism industry  is economically                                                              
healthy in  Southeast Alaska, it  is also economically  healthy in                                                              
Fairbanks.   While he does not  think the cruise ship  that pulled                                                              
out for 2010  did so because of  the current law, he  said he does                                                              
think that  the current law is  one more barrier that  could cause                                                              
cruise ships  to think  twice about coming  to Alaska  and instead                                                              
go where fewer  costs will be incurred.   He related that  many of                                                              
the clients at  his CPA firm derive their businesses  from tourism                                                              
and he  has seen  that tourism  trickles down  even to  the corner                                                              
coffee  shop.   He said  a  decrease in  tourism  will affect  all                                                              
businesses and  industries; he therefore  supports HB  134 because                                                              
it is good for all of Alaska's economy.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:18:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEB  HICKOK, President,  CEO,  Fairbanks  Convention and  Business                                                              
Bureau, testified in favor of HB 134 as follows:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The board of  directors of the Fairbanks  Convention and                                                                   
     Business  Bureau did  pass a resolution  on January  12,                                                                   
     [2009], which  advocates a modification of the  point of                                                                   
     discharge  permit  established  by the  passage  of  the                                                                   
     cruise ship  ballot initiative  in 2006.  The  Fairbanks                                                                   
     Convention  and Business Bureau  was the  twenty-seventh                                                                   
     of  the  forty-four  communities  and  organizations  to                                                                   
     pass  similar resolutions.   Why  is Fairbanks  weighing                                                                   
     in?   Well, Cruiseland Tours  makes about 50  percent of                                                                   
     the  summer  visitation  to  Fairbanks,  so  any  cruise                                                                   
     industry issue  is one of ours and any Alaskan  issue is                                                                   
     one  of  ours.   We  sell the  pristine  environment  of                                                                   
     Alaska;  that  is part  of  our  product.   HB  134  ...                                                                   
     allows   the  experts   at  DEC  to   impose  the   most                                                                   
     environmentally  effective and  the most  scientifically                                                                   
     possible  standards  for  discharge.     DEC's  work  is                                                                   
     impressive.  They  are the experts.  Please  let them do                                                                   
     their job and approve HB 134.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:20:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL METIVA,  Executive Director,  CEO, Greater Wasilla  Chamber                                                              
of  Commerce, said  the  chamber  fully supports  HB  134 and  has                                                              
passed a resolution  in support of the bill.   The cruise industry                                                              
is a viable  cornerstone to tourism  in the state,  she continued.                                                              
The  industry has  exceeded  all  expectations in  fulfilling  its                                                              
commitment  to provide top  quality wastewater  at point  of exit.                                                              
The  chamber's  board of  directors  visited  a number  of  cruise                                                              
ships  this  past  summer,  she  noted,  and  the  directors  were                                                              
extremely impressed with  what they found.  She urged  that DEC be                                                              
allowed  to  provide  the  tools  and  expertise  to  fulfill  the                                                              
requirements.   Currently, no community  in Alaska could  meet the                                                              
same  end-of-the-pipe standards  that  are being  required of  the                                                              
cruise ships.   It  would be unrealistic  and cost prohibitive  to                                                              
require  communities to  come up  to  these same  standards.   The                                                              
cruise ship  industry is  being required to  take actions  that no                                                              
other community, citizen, or business could afford to take.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:22:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROGER  MAYNARD  noted  that  he   works  summers  in  the  tourism                                                              
industry.   He  related  that according  to  Alaska Department  of                                                              
Labor  & Workforce  Development  statistics, the  total income  of                                                              
Haines  is about  $98 million  per  year and  the cruise  industry                                                              
accounts  for about  $4.4  million  or about  4.5  percent of  the                                                              
income  for the  Haines  Borough.   Haines  receives  most of  its                                                              
cruise ship  passengers via  shuttle from  Skagway, he  continued.                                                              
The tourists  that come  to Haines  devote four  to five  hours to                                                              
the whole process  of taking the tours.  If HB  134 does not pass,                                                              
and the  cruise ships cannot meet  the standards, they  will leave                                                              
Alaska's waters  to dump their effluent  in federal waters.   This                                                              
would  result  in shorter  port  times.    Shorter port  times  in                                                              
Skagway  would mean  that visitors  would no  longer have  time to                                                              
come  to Haines  for tours.   In  this case,  the Skagway  shuttle                                                              
ferry would  likely cease to exist,  which would cause  a complete                                                              
collapse  of the  cruise  ship tourist  industry  in  Haines.   He                                                              
urged that HB  134 be passed to  fix the mistake that  was made in                                                              
the  Alaska statutes.    The Water  Quality  Standards remain  the                                                              
same and  there would be no  major difference other  than allowing                                                              
the  cruise ships  to continue  to operate  in Alaska.   The  bill                                                              
does  not preclude  DEC from  making  the standard  higher as  the                                                              
technology and the science show that it is available.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:24:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHIP THOMA, Responsible  Cruising Alaska, said his  advocacy group                                                              
helped  win  passage  of  the  2006   initiative  on  cruise  ship                                                              
pollution,  fair taxes,  and  consumer protection.    The law  has                                                              
been  a great  success  in all  of  these regards.    He said  the                                                              
reason he is involved  in this issue is because  salmon and whales                                                              
all feed  in and migrate  through the exact  same areas  for which                                                              
mixing zones are  being proposed - and mixing  zones are pollution                                                              
zones.  He continued:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Regarding  HB 134,  un-amended,  my  initial comment  is                                                                   
     that  this  legislation is  premature  and  unnecessary.                                                                   
     Many  ships  in the  Alaskan  cruise fleet  are  already                                                                   
     meeting  our Water  Quality  Standards  on both  ammonia                                                                   
     and copper,  those discharged substances that  most harm                                                                   
     salmon  and other  marine life.   Most  ships need  only                                                                   
     make  a   few  attachments  and  adjustments   to  their                                                                   
     present  systems  to make  them  fully legal  and  fully                                                                   
     compliant with the 2010 law.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     ...  I  recently  reviewed  the  Notices  of  Violations                                                                   
     issued by  DEC for the  2008 cruise ship discharges  and                                                                   
     was  amazed to  find that  three-quarters  of the  fleet                                                                   
     were not  cited for any  metals violations, but  five of                                                                   
     the seven metals  violations are with one  of the cruise                                                                   
     lines  - Princess.   I  believe the  copper problem  has                                                                   
     now been  identified.  Those  high metal discharges  are                                                                   
     centered  in  older  ships,  like  the  Princess  fleet,                                                                   
     whose   copper  plumbing   is   leaching  into   treated                                                                   
     discharge  water.  Dissolved  copper  is a big  problem.                                                                   
     It  never goes  away, it  builds  up in  the water,  and                                                                   
     disorients  returning  salmon.   ...  Most  other  ships                                                                   
     have  solved  their  onboard copper  problems  by  using                                                                   
     flex  hose  plastic  plumbing....    However,  suspended                                                                   
     metals removal  technology is improving at a  very rapid                                                                   
     pace, pioneered  by the need for absolutely  clean water                                                                   
     in  U.S.  computer  manufacture.    I'm  confident  that                                                                   
     copper  can  soon  be  removed   from  all  cruise  ship                                                                   
     discharges.   ... Regarding ammonia, the sole  source is                                                                   
     urine    and   that   technology    is   also    readily                                                                   
     available....   I am also very confident  these problems                                                                   
     can be  solved onboard  as most ships  in the fleet  are                                                                   
     doing now.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ...  The cruise passengers  want clean  ships.   Alaskan                                                                   
     subsistence,  commercial,  and  sport users  want  clean                                                                   
     ships  that  take no  chances  to  harm state  fish  and                                                                   
     wildlife and  marine resources.  We should  all agree to                                                                   
     fully  protect  clean marine  waters  by statute.    The                                                                   
     cruise laws  passed in 2006  accomplish that.   However,                                                                   
     HB  134, unamended,  rolls  back those  protections  and                                                                   
     allows potentially  harmful discharges.  Also,  [HB] 134                                                                   
     primarily  exempts  one  cruise   line  from  the  water                                                                   
     quality standards  being met by most of the  28 ships in                                                                   
     the  Alaska fleet.   HB 134  would financially  penalize                                                                   
     ships that  make discharge  improvements and now  comply                                                                   
     with  Alaska cruise  law.   And  finally, Alaskans  want                                                                   
     these  discharge  problems  solved, either  onboard  the                                                                   
     cruise  ships or at  onshore plants,  but not by  mixing                                                                   
     in our pristine waters.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:31:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  TROLL,  Executive Director,  Alaska  Conservation  Alliance,                                                              
explained  that  her  organization  is  an umbrella  group  of  40                                                              
member groups  representing about 38,000  Alaskans.  She  said she                                                              
is opposed  to HB  134 as drafted,  but would  like to  suggest an                                                              
amendment.   Given that  her two  children financed their  college                                                              
educations  by working  summers for  the cruise  industry and  her                                                              
inclination to find  solutions that work for  economic development                                                              
and protecting  the environment,  Ms. Troll  said she  was pleased                                                              
when  John  Binkley  requested  a  meeting  with  her.    In  that                                                              
meeting, Mr. Binkley  explained the dilemma regarding  the ammonia                                                              
and  copper  standards  and the  performance  records  of  various                                                              
cruise  ships.   However,  it  was  clear that  advancements  were                                                              
being made.   Based  on that conversation,  she related,  she told                                                              
Mr. Binkley  she would be interested  in looking at  language that                                                              
he  might propose  to fix  the copper  and ammonia  problem.   She                                                              
said she  was therefore surprised  that instead of a  surgical fix                                                              
to deal with  the ammonia and copper,  HB 134 proposes  to go back                                                              
to the  old water quality standard  of "the solution  to pollution                                                              
is dilution".                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:33:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TROLL said  she does  not believe  that voters  wanted to  go                                                              
back  to   that  standard  when   they  passed  the   cruise  ship                                                              
initiative.    Voters  are  fully aware  that  dilution  is  still                                                              
pollution,  she maintained,  and Alaska's  waters and  world-class                                                              
marine resources deserve  better.  She said she  feels that Alaska                                                              
still needs  this law.  According  to DEC's website,  she related,                                                              
it  can  take  one   to  two  years  to  go  from   the  stage  of                                                              
characterizing  the  cruise ship's  effluent  to  having a  system                                                              
installed  and  working  correctly.    The  consultants  say  that                                                              
vessel  operators may  be able  to  achieve the  standards of  the                                                              
cruise  ship  initiative  through adaptation  of  existing  shore-                                                              
based technology,  new combination  of multiple systems  that each                                                              
eliminates  one  or  more  chemicals,   or  shore-based  discharge                                                              
facilities, she  continued.   In other words,  the law  is working                                                              
to spur  innovation, so  why backtrack  now?   As a solution,  Ms.                                                              
Troll  suggested   that  Section  2  be  amended   by  moving  the                                                              
effective date back  to 2012.  This would honor the  intent of the                                                              
cruise ship  initiative and  accommodate the  needs of  the cruise                                                              
ship industry, she said.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:35:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEREMY  WOODROW,  Communications   Coordinator,  Alaska  Municipal                                                              
League, presented testimony as follows:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The Alaska  Municipal League  is in favor  of HB  134 as                                                                   
     it stands  today.  The AML  is troubled in this  time of                                                                   
     economic  downturn  with  standards  imposed  on  cruise                                                                   
     ships  that seem  to be  ahead of  technology and  which                                                                   
     only  lead   to  cruise  ships  taking   their  business                                                                   
     elsewhere  and  leaving a  large  financial  gap in  the                                                                   
     budget  of many  coastal  communities.   At  our  annual                                                                   
     local   government   conference    in   Ketchikan   last                                                                   
     November,  AML passed Resolution  2009-08, a  resolution                                                                   
     urging the state  to modify the standards  governing the                                                                   
     discharge  of cruise  ship  wastewater  such that  those                                                                   
     standards  will continue  to  protect  aquatic life  and                                                                   
     the   environment.     While  those   of  us  in   local                                                                   
     government  obviously do not  wish to pollute  the place                                                                   
     we  call   home,  we  believe   there  should   be  some                                                                   
     flexibility  on the  part of  the  Alaska Department  of                                                                   
     Environmental  Conservation  as  they  enforce  policies                                                                   
     intended   to  maintain  Alaska's   healthy  ports   and                                                                   
     harbors.   However,  as the  law now  reads, the  cruise                                                                   
     ships will  most likely  not be able  to conform  to the                                                                   
     ever-tightening   regulations  set  under   the  current                                                                   
     timeframe.    The  AML strongly  believes  that  healthy                                                                   
     municipalities need  healthy business and industry.   We                                                                   
     would like  to work  with DEC and  with the cruise  ship                                                                   
     industry  to make sure  that cruise  ships feel  welcome                                                                   
     while  yet  helping  us  maintain  clean  water  in  our                                                                   
     coastal communities.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:37:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHELLY WRIGHT, Executive Director, Southeast Conference,                                                                        
testified in support of HB 134 as follows:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Southeast    Conference   is    the   Alaska    regional                                                                   
     development organization  for Southeast Alaska.   We are                                                                   
     designated as  the economic development district  by the                                                                   
     U.S. Economic  Development Administration.  We  are also                                                                   
     the  governing  board  of  Southeast  Alaska's  Resource                                                                   
     Conservation  and   Development  Council.     We  are  a                                                                   
     membership  organization and  our members include  local                                                                   
     governments,  visitors  bureaus, chambers  of  commerce,                                                                   
     as well  as local businesses, agencies,  and individuals                                                                   
     -  all  interested  in  clean  water  and  commerce  and                                                                   
     economic development  in Southeast Alaska.   Our mission                                                                   
     is  to   undertake  and  support  ...   activities  that                                                                   
     promote  strong economies,  healthy  communities, and  a                                                                   
     quality  environment in  Southeast Alaska.   As part  of                                                                   
     that  mission we  encourage  responsible development  of                                                                   
     Southeast's  economy  and preserving  the  environmental                                                                   
     quality.   Our members  are very  concerned about  water                                                                   
     quality, and  support the level of standards  determined                                                                   
     and enforced  by the Alaska Department  of Environmental                                                                   
     Conservation.   It is our belief that the  standards for                                                                   
     the cruise vessels  should be determined by  science and                                                                   
     the    expertise   of   the    Alaska   Department    of                                                                   
     Environmental  Conservation.   We urge  you to let  them                                                                   
     do their  job as  they have  been doing  so well for  so                                                                   
     many years.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:39:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    GUTTENBERG    asked    whether    any    fishing                                                              
organizations are involved in the Southeast Conference.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. Wright said the conference has a fisheries committee                                                                        
comprised of several different fishing entities and fishermen.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG inquired whether this fisheries                                                                       
committee has made any recommendations in regard to HB 134 that                                                                 
are different than Ms. Wright's testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT responded that nothing was reflected to her by                                                                       
members during the vetting process of her testimony, but that is                                                                
not to say there is not someone out there.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:40:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTOPHER   KRENZ,    Ph.D.,   Oceana,   explained    that   his                                                              
organization  is an  international ocean  conservation group  with                                                              
two offices  and 11 staff  in Alaska.   The staff represents  over                                                              
250  years of  life  experience  in Alaska,  he  added.   He  said                                                              
Oceana opposes HB 134 as written.  He testified as follows:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Cruise ships  bring a large  number of people  to Alaska                                                                   
     each  year.   They enjoy  a lot  of what  Alaska has  to                                                                   
     offer.   They bring  enormous benefits  to the state  as                                                                   
     well.   They also  produce a  lot of  waste and that  is                                                                   
     obviously  the issue here.   A lot  has been made  about                                                                   
     science and  letting science lead  the way.  I  think it                                                                   
     is important  to clarify that science can  tell you what                                                                   
     is a  healthy level  and what  is not.   It is a  policy                                                                   
     decision as far  as where the level needs to  be met and                                                                   
     here it  is the  policy decision of  whether or  not one                                                                   
     wants  a mixing  zone or  to monitor  pollutants at  the                                                                   
     ... tailpipe.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Dilution, we  know, is not  the solution; we've  learned                                                                   
     this  over and over  again from  many places  throughout                                                                   
     the world.   Basically,  a mixing zone  is an area  that                                                                   
     does not meet  standards ... that are given by  DEC.  It                                                                   
     is  an area  of  a polluted  water.   And,  in terms  of                                                                   
     cruise  ships, this  basically  leaves  ... opening  for                                                                   
     ... moving  pollution zones that would  basically follow                                                                   
     the cruise ships around....                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     [HB  134] would amend  the initiative  and is  basically                                                                   
     taking   a  hatchet   where  a  scalpel   may  be   more                                                                   
     appropriate.   ... Oceana  believes  it is important  to                                                                   
     maintain   incentives.      There   is   promising   new                                                                   
     technology  out there that  we have  heard about  and we                                                                   
     are concerned  especially about the copper....   We know                                                                   
     that  it affects  organisms from  the microscopic  algae                                                                   
     that feed  larger animals, including  all the way  up to                                                                   
     salmon.   ... For salmon, it  may affect their  sense of                                                                   
     smell; migration  is dependent  on that sense  of smell.                                                                   
     It  affects other  aspects  of salmon  as  well at  non-                                                                   
     lethal levels, including their immune response....                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  whether  the "new  technologies"                                                              
being  mentioned  by  the  various   witnesses  are  actually  new                                                              
technology or just engineering problems that are being solved.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR.  KRENZ  replied  that  he was  unable  to  attend  the  recent                                                              
conference held  by the Department of Environmental  Conservation,                                                              
but he  understood that  the technology  currently exists  and the                                                              
issue is one  of engineering and figuring  out how to do  it in an                                                              
economical way on a cruise ship.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN closed public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:46:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   offered   Amendment   1,   labeled   26-                                                              
LS0570\E.2,  Bullard, 3/2/09,  which  reads  as follows  [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "waste water;"                                                                                               
          Insert "wastewater, to wastewater, sewage, and                                                                      
     treatment  projects  in certain  communities,  including                                                                 
     shore-based wastewater  treatment facilities  that serve                                                                 
     commercial  passenger vessels,  and  to the  disposition                                                                 
     of proceeds  of the excise  tax levied on travel  aboard                                                                 
     commercial passenger vessels;"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 4:                                                                                                  
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
        "* Section 1. AS 43.52.230(a) is amended to read:                                                                   
          (a) The proceeds from the tax on travel on                                                                            
     commercial   passenger   vessels   providing   overnight                                                                   
     accommodations  in  the state's  marine  water shall  be                                                                   
     deposited in  a special ["] commercial  vessel passenger                                                                   
     tax  account ["] in  the general  fund. The  legislature                                                                   
     may  appropriate   money  from  this  account   for  the                                                                   
     purposes  described  in (b)  -  (d)  [AND (c)]  of  this                                                               
     section,  for state-owned  port  and harbor  facilities,                                                                   
     other  services  to  properly   provide  for  vessel  or                                                                   
     watercraft   visits,   to   enhance   the   safety   and                                                                   
     efficiency  of  interstate   and  foreign  commerce,  to                                                               
     plan,    design,    build,   modify,    construct,    or                                                               
     rehabilitate   wastewater   and   sewage   systems   and                                                               
     treatment  works, and  [SUCH] other  lawful purposes  as                                                               
     determined by the legislature.                                                                                             
        * Sec.  2. AS 43.52.230  is amended  by adding  a new                                                                 
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
          (d) The legislature may appropriate up to 50                                                                          
     percent  of  the money  deposited  into  the  commercial                                                                   
     vessel  passenger  tax  account  to  the  Department  of                                                                   
     Environmental  Conservation   for  planning,  designing,                                                                   
     building,  modifying,  constructing,  or  rehabilitating                                                                   
     wastewater  and sewage  systems and  treatment works  in                                                                   
     ports  of call  in  which commercial  passenger  vessels                                                                   
     load  or  unload passengers  to  ensure  that  untreated                                                                   
     sewage,   treated    sewage,   graywater,    and   other                                                                   
     wastewater  generated  by   the  community  and  treated                                                                   
     wastewater  generated  by commercial  passenger  vessels                                                                   
     is  not  discharged  in  a   manner  that  violates  any                                                                   
     applicable effluent  limits or standards under  state or                                                                   
     federal  law, including Alaska  Water Quality  Standards                                                                   
     governing pollution at the point of discharge."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "The"                                                                                                          
          Insert "Except as provided under AS 46.03.464(a),                                                                 
     the [THE]"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "[AT THE POINT OF DISCHARGE]"                                                                                  
          Insert "at the point of discharge"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Sec. 4.  AS 46.03.462(b), as amended by  sec. 3 of                                                               
     this Act, is amended to read:                                                                                              
          (b)        The   [EXCEPT    AS    PROVIDED    UNDER                                                               
     AS 46.03.464(a),   THE]  minimum   standard  terms   and                                                                   
     conditions  for all discharge  permits authorized  under                                                                   
     this section require that the owner or operator                                                                            
               (1)  may not discharge untreated sewage,                                                                         
     treated  sewage, graywater,  or other  wastewaters in  a                                                                   
     manner that  violates any applicable effluent  limits or                                                                   
     standards under  state or federal law,  including Alaska                                                                   
     Water  Quality  Standards  governing  pollution  at  the                                                                   
     point of discharge;                                                                                                        
               (2)  shall maintain records and provide the                                                                      
     reports required under AS 46.03.465(a);                                                                                    
               (3)  shall collect and test samples as                                                                           
     required under  AS 46.03.465(b) and (d) and  provide the                                                                   
     reports   with  respect   those   samples  required   by                                                                   
     AS 46.03.475(c);                                                                                                           
               (4)   shall  report  discharges in  accordance                                                                   
     with AS 46.03.475(a);                                                                                                      
               (5)   shall  allow  the department  access  to                                                                   
     the  vessel   at  the  time  samples  are   taken  under                                                                   
     AS 46.03.465 for  purposes of taking the samples  or for                                                                   
     purposes  of verifying  the  integrity  of the  sampling                                                                   
     process; and                                                                                                               
               (6)    shall  submit   records,  notices,  and                                                                   
     reports   to   the   department   in   accordance   with                                                                   
     AS 46.03.475(b), (d), and (e).                                                                                             
        *  Sec.  5.  AS 46.03  is amended  by  adding  a  new                                                                 
     section to read:                                                                                                           
          Sec. 46.03.464. Shore-based wastewater treatment                                                                    
     facilities.   (a)  Notwithstanding   AS 46.03.462(b)(1),                                                                 
     the   Department  of   Environmental  Conservation   may                                                                   
     provide  a   waiver  effective  July 1,   2011,  through                                                                   
     June 30, 2013,  from the point of discharge  requirement                                                                   
     imposed  under   that  paragraph  for  a   discharge  of                                                                   
     treated  wastewater from a  commercial passenger  vessel                                                                   
     that is capable  of discharging treated wastewater  to a                                                                   
     shore-based  wastewater treatment  facility. The  waiver                                                                   
     may be extended for an additional two-year period if                                                                       
               (1)   not later  than July  1, 2013, at  least                                                                   
     one  shore-based wastewater  treatment facility  becomes                                                                   
     fully operational; and                                                                                                     
               (2)  as  a  condition  of  the  waiver,  while                                                                   
     present  in a  community with  a shore-based  wastewater                                                                   
     treatment  facility to  load or  unload passengers,  the                                                                   
     vessel   discharges  its  treated   wastewater  to   the                                                                   
     facility.                                                                                                                  
          (b)  A waiver granted under (a) of this section                                                                       
     may be  extended for an  additional two-year  period if,                                                                   
     during the previous two years,                                                                                             
               (1)    at  least  one  additional  shore-based                                                                   
     wastewater    treatment     facility    becomes    fully                                                                   
     operational; and                                                                                                           
               (2)  as  a  condition  of  the  waiver,  while                                                                   
     present  in a  community with  a shore-based  wastewater                                                                   
     treatment  facility to  load or  unload passengers,  the                                                                   
     vessel   discharges  its  treated   wastewater  to   the                                                                   
     facility.                                                                                                                  
          (c)  In this section, "shore-based wastewater                                                                         
     treatment   facility"  means   a  wastewater   treatment                                                                   
     facility  located in  a  community in  which  commercial                                                                   
     passenger vessels load or unload passengers that                                                                           
               (1)  does not violate any applicable                                                                             
     effluent  limits or  standards  under  state or  federal                                                                   
     law,   including   Alaska    Water   Quality   Standards                                                                   
     governing pollution at the point of discharge; and                                                                         
               (2)  is capable of receiving discharges of                                                                       
     treated wastewater from commercial passenger vessels.                                                                      
        * Sec. 6. AS 46.03.464 is repealed.                                                                                 
        * Sec. 7.  The uncodified law of the  State of Alaska                                                                 
     is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                
          CONDITIONAL EFFECT OF SECS. 4 AND 6. (a) Sections                                                                     
     4  and 6  of this  Act take  effect only  if, not  later                                                                   
     than June 30, 2020,                                                                                                        
               (1)  a court of competent jurisdiction                                                                           
     enters  a  final  judgment  on the  merits  that  is  no                                                                   
     longer  subject to  appeal  or petition  for  certiorari                                                                   
     holding  that the  excise tax  levied  on travel  aboard                                                                   
     commercial  passenger  vessels   under  AS 43.52.200  is                                                                   
     unconstitutional; or                                                                                                       
               (2)  AS 43.52.200 is repealed.                                                                                   
          (b)  If the excise tax is found unconstitutional                                                                      
     as described  in (a) (1)  of this section,  the attorney                                                                   
     general shall  promptly notify the revisor  of statutes,                                                                   
     the  commissioner  of  environmental  conservation,  and                                                                   
     the  commissioner  of  revenue  of  the  date  that  the                                                                   
     excise tax was found unconstitutional.                                                                                   
        * Sec.  8. Sections 3 and  5 of this Act  take effect                                                                 
     January 1, 2011.                                                                                                           
        * Sec. 9.  If, under sec. 7 of this Act,  secs. 4 and                                                                 
     6  of this  Act take  effect,  they take  effect on  the                                                                   
     earlier of the date                                                                                                        
               (1)  a court of competent jurisdiction                                                                           
     enters  a  final  judgment  on the  merits  that  is  no                                                                   
     longer  subject to  appeal  or petition  for  certiorari                                                                   
     holding  that the  excise tax  levied  on travel  aboard                                                                   
     commercial  passenger  vessels   under  AS 43.52.200  is                                                                   
     unconstitutional; or                                                                                                       
               (2)  AS 43.52.200 is repealed.                                                                                   
        * Sec.  10. Except  as provided in  secs. 8 and  9 of                                                                 
     this  Act,  this  Act  takes  effect  immediately  under                                                                   
     AS 01.10.070(c)."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI objected to Amendment 1.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN commented that Amendment 1 is almost like                                                                       
another bill, thus he will query committee members later as to                                                                  
how they would like to proceed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:47:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to amend Amendment 1 as follows:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 12, after "effective"                                                                                         
          Delete "July 1, 2011"                                                                                                 
          Insert "January 1, 2010"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 19, after "January 1,"                                                                                        
          Delete "2011"                                                                                                         
          Insert "2010"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:48:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There  being no objection  to the  amendment  to Amendment  1, the                                                              
amendment to the amendment was passed.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Amendment 1, as amended, was now before the committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  he  shares the  sponsor's desire  "to                                                              
enforce   high  quality   standards   and   continue  to   develop                                                              
technology  that will allow  ships to  have the cleanest  possible                                                              
discharges".    He  related that  the  DEC  technology  conference                                                              
found  that technologies  are available  to  meet these  standards                                                              
and these standards  are being met on land-based  systems in other                                                              
parts  of  the  U.S.   However,  the  problem  is  converting  and                                                              
squeezing  these systems  onto a  passenger vessel.   Amendment  1                                                              
would instead convert  the municipal systems at the  ports of call                                                              
to  meet  the   end-of-the-pipe  standards  and   these  municipal                                                              
systems would receive the cruise ship discharges for treatment.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:51:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON further  explained that  Amendment 1  would                                                              
provide  for up  to  50 percent  of  the current  head  tax to  be                                                              
allocated  for sequential  upgrades  of sewage  facilities at  the                                                              
ports of call.   Once the upgrades were on line,  the cruise ships                                                              
would  be required  to discharge  to  those municipal  facilities.                                                              
Thus,  Amendment  1  would  provide   for  meeting  the  standards                                                              
without  imposing  any further  taxes  or requiring  major  vessel                                                              
modifications.   The  waiver  provision in  Amendment  1 would  be                                                              
through 2013  to provide enough  time for design  and construction                                                              
of the  first community  facility and  sequentially for  two years                                                              
after that.   The waiver would stay  in place as long  as progress                                                              
is being made.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  said he did  not see where  there is a  gain with                                                              
Amendment  1  as  far  as  discharge   quality.    He  asked  that                                                              
Representative  Seaton  get  reports  from  the  communities  that                                                              
would be  affected as  to how  Amendment 1  would affect  them and                                                              
what it  would cost  them.   Co-Chair Neuman  pointed out  that in                                                              
Juneau it  is common  to have six  or seven ships  in port  at one                                                              
time  and this  would be  a tremendous  amount of  effluent for  a                                                              
community to deal with at once.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  reiterated that Amendment 1  would allocate                                                              
up  to  50  percent  of  monies  from  the  existing  cruise  ship                                                              
passenger head  tax to upgrade  municipal treatment  facilities in                                                              
a sequential manner.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:54:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON related that  the head  tax brought  in $46                                                              
million  in  2008.    She  noted  that  some  communities  in  her                                                              
district have  absolutely no system  in place right now  and waste                                                              
is dumped  directly into  the water.   She  drew attention  to the                                                              
sixth  to the last  page in  the committee  packet which  compares                                                              
what  the cruise  ship industry  is being  asked to  do with  what                                                              
seven  communities are  asked to  do.  She  cited statistics  from                                                              
the page  that showed  three communities  are  100 times over  the                                                              
level for copper  that cruise ships  are asked to do and  the rest                                                              
of  the  other communities  are  over  two  times  as much.    For                                                              
nickel,  there  are no  communities  that  meet the  standard  for                                                              
cruise  ships.   She cited  several  other standards.   She  cited                                                              
another statistic  on the fifth  to the  last page that  shows the                                                              
daily discharge  from these  same seven  communities and  one mine                                                              
is equivalent  to the  daily discharge  of 388  cruise ships,  and                                                              
these discharges  are not  meeting the  standards being  requested                                                              
of the  cruise ships.   Representative  Wilson  said she wants  to                                                              
know how  much it will cost  communities to meet  the requirements                                                              
of Amendment  1, especially for  those communities  that currently                                                              
have no waste system in place.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN commented  that  taking money  out  of the  state                                                              
budget to do  this would impact schools, roads,  and public safety                                                              
elsewhere in the state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:57:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON requested  that  the Department  of Law  address                                                              
whether the  cruise ship  tax can  be used to  pay 100  percent of                                                              
the cost for something  that the cruise ships would  only be using                                                              
50  percent of  the year.    If the  tax cannot  be  used for  100                                                              
percent  of the  cost,  then the  cities would  be  liable for  50                                                              
percent of the cost, he surmised.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  countered that if  this was the  case, then                                                              
this same principal  for proportional usage would  have applied to                                                              
something  like a  dock,  boardwalk, or  other  facility that  has                                                              
been  built  and  utilized  by  the  cruise  ship  industry.    He                                                              
therefore  urged that this  wastewater treatment  proposal  not be                                                              
singled out.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON  said he  would  still  like  to hear  from  the                                                              
Department of Law in this regard.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:59:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  added that he  would also like  to hear                                                              
from the Department  of Law or Department of  Commerce, Community,                                                              
& Economic  Development about the  current allocation of,  and the                                                              
projected  income from,  the cruise  ship head  tax.   He said  he                                                              
would  also like  to  hear from  the Department  of  Environmental                                                              
Conservation  as to whether  there would be  a problem  in meeting                                                              
the  requirements  of Amendment  1  since  the ships  are  already                                                              
meeting a  higher standard  than the  communities; thus,  the only                                                              
problem might be the capacity of community sanitary facilities.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:00:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN  held  CSHB  134(CRA).    He  said  that  in  the                                                              
meantime he  will host  a discussion  between the various  parties                                                              
in regard to Amendment 1.                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 134 (CRA) Resources Committee Pkg.pdf HRES 3/2/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB 134 amendment 26-LS0570.E.2.pdf HRES 3/2/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB 134(CRA) Community Resolutions addressing Waste Water Permits.pdf HRES 3/2/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 134