The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) has posted a set ofFrequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the regulation of cruise ship wastewater discharge into Alaskan waters.

Alaska cruise ship law requires large cruise ships that discharge wastewater into state waters to first treat the wastewater using state of the art wastewater treatment technology. Alaska uses state of the art regulatory and permitting mechanisms to protect water quality and aquatic life

Q : How many cruise ships operate in Alaska?
A: In 2012, 28 large commercial passenger vessels (cruise ships) operated in Alaska. Large cruise ships are defined as having 250 or more lower berths. 15 small commercial passenger vessels (including 5 state ferries) were registered to operate in Alaska in 2012. Small cruise ships are defined as having between 50 and 249 lower berths.

Q: How many cruise ships are allowed to discharge wastewater in Alaska waters?
A: Of the 28 large cruise ships operating in 2012, only 17 of them were permitted to discharge wastewater in Alaskan waters and of those 17, only 7 were permitted to discharge while stationary (under more stringent discharge limitations). Of the 15 small commercial passenger vessels operating in Alaska in 2012, 13 were allowed to discharge in Alaskan waters under strict regulatory requirements

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