Our priority: To support the cruise industry in their efforts to protect and preserve the environment through reasonable and attainable legislation.
Did you know that the Alaska Cruise Industry has spent millions of dollars on protecting the environment? They do this because they have made mistakes in the past and fully understand that if there are no pristine forests and waterways to come back to, there is no point cruising to Alaska.
Alaska Act members are individuals and businesses that are working together with the cruise industry to protect and sustain a clean environment.
Alaska ACT members and cruise lines agree that a healthy environment is good for business. Prior to the 2006 Ballot Measure the Alaska Cruise Industry was working in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to come up with new ways to help protect the environment with sophisticated high-tech waste-water treatment systems.
The environmental standards from Ballot Measure 2 are so high that the technology for cruise ships does not exist. There are huge land-based systems that could filter the wastewater to meet the limits, but are not practical for use on cruise ships due to the size.
The experts at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued a press release on March 25, 2008 that said, "The majority of large cruise ships operating in Alaska have advanced wastewater treatment systems that produce a very high quality discharge – much higher, for example, than shore-based municipal sewage treatment systems" and prior to the meeting the 2010 limits, "To qualify for a compliance schedule, permittees will have to meet interim effluent limits, conduct additional sampling and testing of their discharges, and submit a plan for how they will come into compliance no later than 2010. The department has determined that as long as ships comply with the interim effluent limits there will be no impacts on water resources or aquatic life."
The sponsors of the 2006 Ballot Measure stated that they were trying to make the cruise ship's follow standards similar to other industries and cities in Alaska. When the Ballot Measure passed, it created much higher standards for cruise ships than any other industry or city in Alaska. The Alaska cruise industry and Alaska ACT members would like to work with the Alaska Legislature and Alaska Department of Environmental conservation to make the Ballot Measure 2 sponsors original intent come true. The cruise lines are not trying to circumvent the rules or mislead the public, they are a partner in our success.
It's time to work with the Alaska Legislature and the experts at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to come up with more realistic, common and attainable environmental regulations. Alaska jobs depend on it.