22nd Alaska State Legislature
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Sen. Rick Halford
President of the Senate
State Capitol, Room 111
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-4958
Fax: (907) 465-4928
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Rep. Brian Porter
Speaker of the House
State Capitol, Room 208
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-4930
Fax: (907) 465-3834
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Sectional Analysis for SB 260
Conference CS for HB 260

Updated: August 9, 2001
Contact: Annette Kreitzer, Staff to Senator Loren Leman, at (907) 465-2095

(Senate rejected Senate Finance version, leaving HB 260 as it passed the House before them as the vehicle. AM #1 failed, but was rewritten without its Section 2: Excise Tax on Travel Aboard Commercial Passenger Vessels and adopted as AM #3. This Sectional includes all of the Senate changes incorporated in that amendment and the conference committee amendment. The Letter of Intent is available separately.)

* Title Change

* Sec. 1 Findings - DELETED

* Renumbered Sec. 1. AS 46.03 is amended by adding new sections to read:

Article 6A. Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance Program.

Sec. 46.03.460. Program established.

  1. Establishes Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance Program. Minor word changes in (a) (1) and (2)
  2. Authorizes DEC to adopt regulations through negotiated regulation making, as appropriate.

Sec. 46.03.461. Registration requirements.

  1. Requires the owner or operator of every commercial passenger vessel operating in Alaska to annually register with DEC by providing identifying information, designating an agent for service of process in Alaska and agreeing to comply with certain terms and conditions of permitting discharges. State vessels including Marine Highway vessels are required to meet this provision (AM#3).
  2. Requires the registration to be executed under oath.
  3. Authorizes DEC to require electronic registration.

Sec. 46.03.462. Terms and Conditions of Discharges.

* Throughout this section, either the word "vessel or "allowed" has been substituted for "Permitted" or permitting" (AM#3)

* Throughout this section, "other wastewater" is added to the substances that may not be discharged (Conference Committee AM).

  1. Requires owner/operator to comply either with standard or alternative terms and conditions of vessel discharges.
  2. Specifies standard terms and conditions of vessel discharges including restrictions on discharges, maintaining records, sampling, reporting and permitting the department to access the vessels. Technical amendment to (b)(1) to ensure small cruise vessels' delayed applicability (suggested by drafter)(AM#3)
  3. Specifies circumstances under which DEC can establish alternative terms and conditions of vessel discharges.
  4. Allows the alternative terms and conditions to include a wavier of the requirements of AS 46.03.463 and .465, if the department considers it appropriate.

Sec. 46.03.463. Prohibited discharges; limitations on discharges

  1. Prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage from a commercial passenger vessel into the marine waters of the state.
  2. Prohibits the discharge of treated sewage from a commercial passenger vessel into the marine waters of the state where the suspended solids level is greater than 150 exceeds a fecal coliform count of 200. The Department may by regulation adopt a protocol for retesting the fecal coliform discharge limit if the discharge limit is exceeded, under which the discharger will be considered to be in compliance if the geometric mean of the fecal coliform count in the samples subject to the protocol does not exceed 200 colonies per 100 milliliters. (AM#3)
  3. Prohibits the discharge of graywater or other wastewater (CC AM) from a commercial passenger vessel into the marine waters of the state where suspended solids level is greater than 150 or exceeds a fecal coliform count of 200. The Department may by regulation adopt a protocol for retesting the fecal coliform discharge limit if the discharge limit is exceeded, under which the discharger will be considered to be in compliance if the geometric mean of the fecal coliform count in the samples subject to the protocol does not exceed 200 colonies per 100 milliliters. (AM #3)

    Compliance for large commercial passenger vessels may be deferred until January 1, 2003 if owner/operator submits plan to DEC specifying interim protective measures. Small commercial passenger vessels must have a plan for interim protective measures, and may have time extended for compliance with (b) or (c) - notwithstanding Section 7, Page 16. (AM#3)
  4. Authorizes DEC to establish additional numeric or narrative standards for other parameters for treated sewage, graywater, and other wastewater (CC AM) taking into account best available science, the materials and substances handled on the vessels and available technologies. (AM #3)
  5. Requires that any discharge of treated sewage, graywater or other wastewater (CC AM) from a large commercial passenger vessel into the marine waters of the state only occur while the vessel is moving at a speed of at least 6 knots, the vessel is at least one nautical mile from shore, the discharge complies with all legal requirements and the ship is not in an area where discharges are otherwise prohibited.
  6. Small commercial passenger vessels may only discharge sewage that has been processed through a properly operated and maintained marine sanitation device.(AM #3)
  7. Adopts the federal law exception to the 'only underway, at least one nautical mile from shore' requirement in (e) to permit discharges that meet more rigorous standards (those used by DEC to regulate discharges in shellfish areas). This reflects the abilities of enhanced treatment equipment now being installed on some ships.
  8. Creates an exception to the no discharge rules in cases where the discharge is necessary for the safety of the vessel.

Sec. 46.03.465. Information-gathering requirements.

  1. Requires that records are maintained, and reports are provided, to DEC with respect to discharges of sewage, graywater and other wastewater. (CC AM)
  2. Requires that each commercial passenger vessel undertake a sampling and testing program of treated sewage, graywater and other wastewater. (CC AM) being discharged into the marine waters of the state using a sampling technique approved by DEC. At least two tests must be done annually, or more if testing frequency under federal law is higher than two. Redundant language on the testing was eliminated (AM#3) (was Page 8, lines 4-5 of House version).
  3. Authorizes DEC to require additional sampling and testing.
  4. Samples must be tested to measure fecal coliform, ammonia, residual chlorine, pH, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids and other parameters, (AM #3) as required by DEC, using a DEC approved testing method.
  5. Owner/operator to pay for routine sampling and testing under (b); DEC to pay for additional sampling and testing under (c).
  6. Allows a vessel owner or operator to comply with these record-keeping, reporting and testing obligations by providing DEC with substantially equivalent information gathered in the course of meeting federal or other state requirements.

Sec. 46.03.470. Record keeping requirements.

Requires the vessel owner or operator to maintain records required under AS 46.03.465 for at least 3 years.

Sec. 46.03.475. Reporting requirements.

  1. Requires owner/operator to self-report violations of the rules restricting sewage, treated sewage, graywater, or other wastewater (CC AM) discharges. No audit report privilege exists.
  2. Requires owner/operator to provide DEC with copies of all sewage, graywater or other wastewater (CC AM) test results that are provided to the U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. EPA.
  3. Requires that sampling results obtained under AS 46.03.465 are provided to DEC within 21 days after the testing is done. Allows this requirement to be satisfied by providing substantially equivalent information already being provided to the federal government.
  4. Requires owner/operator to provide DEC with copies of all notices and reports given to the U.S. federal government, the Canadian government or to a Canadian provincial/territorial government involving the generation, discharge or offloading in Alaska of hazardous wastes or hazardous substances.
  5. Requires owner/operator to provide DEC with a description of procedures being used to offload ashore in Alaska hazardous wastes and nonhazardous solid wastes; or disposing into marine waters nonhazardous solid waste other than sewage. (AM #3)
  6. DEC authorized to require reports to be submitted electronically.
  7. These reporting requirements are in addition to any other reporting requirements under other laws.

Sec. 46.03.480. Fees.

  1. Adopts an environmental compliance fee program. (AM #3)
  2. Sets the fee at approximately $1.00 per passenger per voyage, based on a vessel's lower berth capacity.
  3. Fees to be paid by Alaska Marine Highway for its vessels to be determined by agreement between commissioners of DEC and DOT/PF. These fees take effect January 1, 2004.
  4. Makes the vessel liable for the fee. Payments dates to be set by DEC.

Sec. 46.03.482. Alaska commercial passenger vessel environmental compliance fund. (AM #3)

  1. Establishes the passenger vessel environmental compliance fund in the general fund.
  2. The fund includes the passenger fees, any amounts paid for civil violations, additional appropriations and earnings.
  3. Authorizes the legislature to appropriate from the fund to pay for DEC's operational costs for this program and for the marine vessel visible emissions program. (AM #3)
  4. Provides that the unexpended and unobligated balance lapses into the fund December 31 following the end of the period for which the appropriation was made. (AM #3)
  5. Does not create a dedicated fund.

Sec. 46.03.485. Recognition program.

Authorizes DEC to establish a program to recognize superior environmental protection efforts made by the owners or operators of vessels.

Sec. 46.03.487. Exemption for vessels in innocent passage.

In order to comply with international treaty requirements, this provision makes the registration and fee programs inapplicable to vessels that are only going through Alaska waters on their way between two points outside Alaska (in innocent passage). The limitations established in this legislation do not apply.

Sec. 46.03.488. Activities of the department.

Authorizes department to conduct certain monitoring, studying and research as to the environmental effects of discharges or releases of sewage, graywater and other wastewater (CC AM) into Alaska's marine waters and opacity of air emissions. Allows research for ways to reduce effects of cruise ships on marine waters and other coastal resources.

Sec. 46.03.490. Definitions.

Specifies definitions.

"commercial passenger vessel" includes all vessels with overnight capacity for more than 50 passengers for hire, except those vessels operated by the U.S. or a foreign government;

"fund" reflects name change of the fund

"large commercial passenger vessel" means vessels with overnight capacity for 250 or more passengers (determined by number of lower berths) (including state vessels, although there are none in this category)

"small commercial passenger vessel" means vessels with overnight capacity for 249 or fewer passengers (determined by number of lower berths) (including state vessels - five of the nine AMHS vessels fall into this category.)(all of the above AM #3)

"other wastewater" means graywater or sewage that is stored/transferred to another holding tank not customarily used for storing graywater or sewage. (CC AM)

* Renumbered Sec. 2. AS 37.05.146(b)(4) is amended by adding a new subparagraph to read:

Included to reflect creation of the new environmental compliance fund.

*Renumbered Sec. 3. AS 46.03.760(e) is amended to read:

Amends existing environmental civil violation statutes to make them also applicable to violations of these new requirements. Requires the court to take into consideration the volume of sewage, graywater or other wastewater (CC AM) discharged in determining the amount of a fine.

* Renumbered Sec. 4. AS 46.03.790(a) is amended to read:

Amends existing environmental criminal statutes to make them also applicable to violations of these new requirements.

* Renumbered Sec. 5. Provides that first registration is due by July 3, 2001. Rewritten (a) ensures that vessels in innocent passage would not inadvertently be swept up in this transition provision. (AM #3)

* Renumbered Sec. 6. Provides that the first fee payment is due by July 31, 2001. Technical amendment inserts "marine" before waters in this section. (AM #3)

* Renumbered Sec. 7. Rewritten to provide an exemption from limitations on discharges (AS 46.03.463 (a)- (d) for vessels with 249 or fewer passengers (includes all affected AMHS vessels) until January 1, 2004, and longer if the vessel has a plan for interim protective measures. These vessels must process sewage they intend to discharge through a properly operated and maintained marine sanitation device (Page 5, Line 31- Page 6 Lines 1-3), and comply with the registration, reporting, testing and sampling programs in AS 46.03.461, 46.03.465 and 46.03.470. Fees (AS 46.03.480) must be paid beginning January 1, 2004. (AM #3)

* Renumbered Sec. 8.

  1. By December 1, 2002 DEC is to submit an Assessment Report evaluating the information received by DEC for the period 2000-02 related to small commercial passenger vessels. The report is to include recommendations for future action. (AM #3)
  2. By January 15, 2004, DEC is to submit an Assessment Report evaluating the information received by DEC for 2000-2003 related to all commercial passenger vessels subject to HB 260.

* Renumbered Sec. 9. Allows DEC to begin work immediately on regulations.

* Renumbered Sec. 10. Section 9 to take effect immediately.

* Renumbered Sec. 11. July 1, 2001 effective date.

# # #

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