The Alaska cruise industry is having trouble getting traction with legislators to abolish a strict water-pollution rule approved by voters in 2006, Anchorage Daily News reports.
The cruise lines and some communities see the environmental rule as detrimental to tourism.
The 2006 law requires cruise ships to meet tougher pollution standards and puts new taxes, fees and environmental monitoring on the industry. It also bans cruise lines from applying for state permission to use mixing zones. Mixing zones allow cruise lines to discharge pollution that exceed the state’s water-quality standards. The mixing ban for cruise lines goes into effect in 2009.
House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, says revising the pollution rules may be a hard sell and seems premature because the cruise lines have until next year to comply.
Cruise ships emit three times more CO2 than airplanes, EL reported last year.
Cruise ships contend they are working hard to lessen their environmental impact. Royal Caribbean said it had installed advanced water purification systems on board and smokeless gas-turbine engines and that it also burns bio-fuel when available.