Legislature(2019 - 2020)

2019-02-22 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2019-02-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0376
SB 70                                                                                                                         
SENATE BILL NO. 70 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                                                           
               "An Act repealing the ocean rangers program; and                                                                
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
was read the first time and referred to the Resources and Finance                                                               
The following fiscal information was published today:                                                                           
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                    
 Fiscal Note No. 2, Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                    
 Fiscal Note No. 3, Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                    
 Fiscal Note No. 4, Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                    
Governor's transmittal letter dated February 21:                                                                                
Dear President Giessel:                                                                                                         
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill repealing the Ocean Rangers                                                              
The Ocean Rangers Program, codified at AS 46.03.476, requires large                                                             
commercial vessels operating in state waters to have independent                                                                
observers, “ocean rangers,” on board to monitor compliance with                                                                 
marine discharge and pollution laws. To pay for the program,                                                                    

2019-02-22                     Senate Journal                      Page 0377
AS 46.03.480(d) imposes a $4 fee for each berth on commercial                                                                   
passenger vessels with 250 or more berths. The Department of                                                                    
Environmental Conservation (DEC) administers the program                                                                        
indirectly through a contractor that hires and supervises the rangers.                                                          
This program provides limited benefit to residents of the state but                                                             
imposes a $4 fee for each berth on large commercial passenger                                                                   
vessels. Repealing the program will reduce the state's budget by nearly                                                         
$4,000,000.00 each year.                                                                                                        
Eliminating this program does not significantly affect the regulation of                                                        
cruise ships in state waters. The program itself does not establish                                                             
substantive environmental standards. Department permitting and                                                                  
compliance staff will still monitor cruise ships for compliance with                                                            
state wastewater and air quality permits and regulations through                                                                
records reviews, inspections in port, opacity monitoring, and vessel                                                            
The existing Ocean Rangers contract expires on October 31, 2019. The                                                            
effective date of January 1, 2020 would allow the program to run                                                                
through the summer 2019 cruise ship season and complete any post-                                                               
season work or fee reconciliation.                                                                                              
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                        
Michael J. Dunleavy