Bill reestablishes standards for handling waste water

Legislation signed into law in mid-August reestablishes best management standards for handling wastewater discharged from small commercial passenger vessels, including Alaska state ferries. 

Senate Bill 3, signed into law in Sitka by Gov. Bill Walker, reestablishes effective standards the state has relied on for over a decade to assure that wastewater discharged from small commercial passenger vessels is managed to avoid environment harm to Alaska waters.  Those standards had “sun-sunsetted” under the prior statute.  

The governor’s office said that no changes have been made to the standards applicable to large cruise ships, which can accommodate larger, more complicated treatment systems on board. 

Senate Bill 33, signed by Walker in Ketchikan, officially names the two new Alaska Class Ferries currently under construction M/V Tazlina and M/V Hubbard. 

Senate Bill 88, also signed in Ketchikan, complements federal legislation to approve a land trade between the U.S. Forest Service and the Alaska Mental Health Trust.  

The bill trades more than 17,000 acres of Mental Health Trust land for roughly 20,500 acres of U.S. Forest Service land, protecting recreation and tourism opportunities while preserving watersheds around communities. The legislation also generates revenue and jobs through timber sales on other areas of the land.