Alaskan Cruise Law Faces Adjustment

A cruise law Alaskan voters approved in August could face legislative change, according to an article in Friday's Anchorage Daily News. The law, which already requires steep passenger taxes to the tune of $50 per head, creates an observation program, wherein observers travel on large cruise ships in Alaska and monitor their wastewater disposals as well as sanitary, health and safety practices. Cruise lines want to scale back the role of the observers and have fought the initiative in court. The current law was put in place to police cruise ships, which have strayed from good environmental practices in the past. Critics say changing the law would lessen cruise ship accountability. "It moves them from being observers to meter readers," says Rep. Mike Doogan, D-Anchorage. The next hearing is set for Tuesday.

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