The Alaska State Chamber has joined several municipal governments in urging the legislature to “apply the best available data and technology” when setting wastewater discharge standards for cruise ships like the Diamond Princess, shown here in Tracy Arm.

The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has adopted five priorities for the 2009 legislative session, including one that supports modifying wastewater discharge standards for cruise ships.

“The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce urges the Governor and the Alaska State Legislature to delete the ‘point of discharge’ standard governing the cruise ship wastewater permits. The State Chamber Commerce asks the 2009 legislature to apply the best available data and technology when setting standards for cruise ship wastewater discharge permits,” the chamber stated.

The chamber also adopted the following legislative priorities:

  • Progress on a Natural Gas Pipeline Project and essential infrastructure improvements
  • Ballot Initiative Reform
  • Workers Compensation Fee Freeze
  • Support for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development in Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Waters

More than 80 State Chamber members considered over 35 proposals to come up with the five priorities. In addition to these priorities, the State Chamber has taken a position on a number of other critical issues facing the State of Alaska. The board ratified both the priorities and positions at its Oct. 31 meeting in Anchorage.

The legislative priorities will be delivered to the Governor and all 60 members of the State Legislature. “These priorities will serve as the cornerstone of our advocacy efforts with the legislature during the upcoming session,” said Caroline Higgins, Chair of the State Chamber.

State Chamber members employ the vast majority of private sector workers. Action on the five priorities will remove barriers to job creation and create opportunities for business development.

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