Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/03/2004 01:50 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 522-SMALL CRUISE SHIP DISCHARGES                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM announced  that  the next  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 522,  "An Act relating to discharges from                                                               
small  commercial   passenger  vessels;  and  providing   for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0545                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff to  Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, testified, and noted  that HB 522 is sponsored                                                               
by the House  State Affairs Standing Committee.  She  said HB 522                                                               
was brought  forward by the  small commercial  passenger vessels.                                                               
She explained  that in  2001, the  legislature passed  the Alaska                                                               
Commercial Vessel  Environmental Compliance Program, which  was a                                                               
collaborative  effort that  was  initiated by  the Department  of                                                               
Environmental  Conservation (DEC),  Representative Kerttula,  and                                                               
the  cruise ship  industry itself.   It  was a  program that  was                                                               
designed to minimize  discharges into the waters of  Alaska.  The                                                               
program itself involved requirements  in which technologies would                                                               
be brought  on line and  wastewater would be processed  on board,                                                               
in  addition, the  small vessels  were  included in  this.   This                                                               
included the  large 3,000 passenger  cruise ship vessels  and the                                                               
smaller vessels,  which are defined as  passenger vessels between                                                               
50 and 249 passengers.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER   said  the  idea   behind  including   the  small                                                               
commercial  passenger  vessels  was   that  technology  would  be                                                               
developed  for processing  wastewater  and  the technology  would                                                               
filter  down  to the  smaller  vessel,  which  would be  able  to                                                               
implement those  and then comply with  the Act.  The  idea didn't                                                               
exactly  happen  that  way.     There  are  technologies  but  to                                                               
implement those  technologies, the small passenger  vessels would                                                               
be required  to undergo major  modifications, excess  holding, or                                                               
would have to  modify the structure to increase  the capacity for                                                               
storage  of  the  wastewater  and other  reasons,  which  is  not                                                               
practical for  this group  of vessels, she  said.   Ms. Sylvester                                                               
said the  total amount of discharge  from this group of  boats is                                                               
about 3  percent.  She  said the  Alaska Marine Highways  and the                                                               
small  passenger  vessels  combined  is the  total  amount  of  6                                                               
percent  of  wastewater  in Alaska,  and  Alaska  Marine  Highway                                                               
vessels are exempt  from this Act.  She said  this would only net                                                               
in the small vessels.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER  said the group was  waiting for a report  from the                                                               
DEC on  how the industry has  been doing and the  report was that                                                               
the industry  is doing  very well.   The large  passenger vessels                                                               
have done a great job and  Alaska is a true star in environmental                                                               
protection for  its waterways, she  said.  The small  vessels are                                                               
fine at sea  but have troubles when in port  and stationary.  She                                                               
said the group got together with  the department and worked out a                                                               
plan and  decided that if  the group  can't be perfect  and their                                                               
impact on the  environment is very minimal, the best  thing to do                                                               
would be  to work towards  best management practices and  come up                                                               
with  a regulatory  scheme in  which the  department can  oversee                                                               
what's going on  and still protect the environment.   The bill is                                                               
the regulatory scheme.  She  said essentially the department will                                                               
work  with each  individual operator  and eventually  a plan  for                                                               
best management practices  would be approved for  each vessel for                                                               
3 years and  "they would touch bases  in 3 years."   She said the                                                               
idea  is  that  the  department   would  have  latitude  to  make                                                               
determinations if there is technology  that comes on line, and in                                                               
its discretion,  the department might  feel they want  to require                                                               
the  small vessels  to  implement  those.   She  said the  3-year                                                               
period is technology based.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER said BMPs [Best  Management Practices] aren't going                                                               
to really change;  the thought is to ensure there  is latitude to                                                               
require the small vessels to  comply if technology develops.  She                                                               
said  this  bill  ultimately  sunsets,  which  is  structured  to                                                               
essentially grandfather the vessels  that are currently operating                                                               
in the  waters of  Alaska and to  control the  vessel's emissions                                                               
into the  water.   In 2016,  she said this  bill will  sunset and                                                               
those  small  vessels won't  be  allowed  to discharge  water  in                                                               
Alaska.     She  explained  that   any  vessel   currently  under                                                               
construction  would be  required  to  implement technologies  and                                                               
wouldn't be covered under this plan.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0988                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  asked  if   the  parameter  for  a  small                                                               
commercial passenger vessel is from 50 to 249 passengers.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER said  according to  the definitions,  a commercial                                                               
passenger vessel means a vessel  that carries passengers for hire                                                               
except  that  commercial  passenger  vessel does  not  include  a                                                               
vessel that's authorized to carry  fewer than 50 passengers.  She                                                               
said  the  Act  doesn't  concern itself  with  vessels  that  are                                                               
smaller than  50 passengers, so by  default it is between  50 and                                                               
249.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  asked Ms. Sylvester  if she knew  how much                                                               
the compliance fee would be.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER said she didn't know.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked Ms. Sylvester to find out.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1120                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAN  EASTON,  Director,  Division of  Facility  Construction  and                                                               
Operation, Department  of Environmental  Conservation, testified.                                                               
Mr. Easton told  the committee when DEC started  talking with the                                                               
industry about  the concept of  pulling the small vessels  out of                                                               
the full coverage of the  2001 legislation, it was suggested that                                                               
the department look for four things  in a bill, as follows:  One,                                                               
that the bill  applied only to existing vessels;  all new vessels                                                               
would be  expected to comply  with the  full force and  effect of                                                               
the  2001  legislation.   Second,  that  new and  existing  small                                                               
vessels would  comply with the registration  sampling, reporting,                                                               
and inspection  requirements.  The  bill includes more  than just                                                               
limits  on discharge  quality, it  includes these  other sort  of                                                               
requirements, and it  is thought that the  existing small vessels                                                               
could  comply with  those.    Third, it  is  thought [DEC]  could                                                               
develop regulations  specifying best management  practices (BMP).                                                               
Fourth,  [DEC]  saw  the  finite   end  point  in  time  to  this                                                               
arrangement,  and the  bill does  include  a 2016  deadline.   In                                                               
summary,  he said  this bill  includes everything  that [DEC]  is                                                               
looking for in a bill, and [DEC]  does support it.  He noted that                                                               
a zero fiscal note had been provided.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1242                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN   MICHAEL  JONES   (ph),  Director,   Marine  Operations,                                                               
Lindblad Expeditions  (LEX), testified.   Captain Jones  told the                                                               
committee  that he  was speaking  on behalf  of the  Alaska Small                                                               
Cruise  Vessel Association,  which  represents  3 companies  that                                                               
operate 10 small  vessels in Alaska.  Those  companies are Cruise                                                               
West, Clipper Cruise Line/New World  Ship Management Company, and                                                               
Linblad Expeditions.   He  said LEX  consists of  charter vessels                                                               
operating  natural history  voyages  in Alaska  since  1982.   In                                                               
1989,  LEX had  the opportunity  to purchase  the vessels  it was                                                               
chartering and  as such  are operating the  vessels Sea  Lion and                                                               
Sea Bird, to  date.  He said those vessels  are sister ships, 152                                                               
feet in length, and carry 70  passengers and 24 crewmembers.  The                                                               
ships operate between  Sitka and Juneau taking in  ports in areas                                                               
such as  Tracy Arm, Glacier  Bay National Park and  Preserve, and                                                               
Petersburg.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  JONES  provided  the  contact  information  for  Clipper                                                               
Cruise Line/New World  Ship Management Company.   He said Clipper                                                               
Cruise  Line/New  World  Ship  Management  Company  operates  the                                                               
Yorktown Clipper,  a 257 vessel  that carries 138  passengers and                                                               
42  crewmembers,  and the  Clipper  Odyssey,  a 300  vessel  that                                                               
carries  122 passengers  and  72 crewmembers.    He said  Clipper                                                               
Cruise Line/New World Ship Management  Company has been operating                                                               
in Alaska  since 1990,  starting with the  Yorktown Clipper.   He                                                               
said  Yorktown Clipper  has itineraries  similar to  that of  LEX                                                               
vessels, and the Clipper Odyssey  operates farther out.  He noted                                                               
that the  bill packet contained some  economic impact information                                                               
from each  of the  companies.  Captain  Jones talked  about LEX's                                                               
economic  impact  for 2004,  the  information  pertaining to  the                                                               
company's operations  in Alaska, and the  company's promotions of                                                               
Alaska  through  direct mailings  and  brochures.   He  said  one                                                               
brochure  goes to  over half  a million  households, and  another                                                               
brochure  in  which Alaska  is  featured  goes to  about  890,000                                                               
households.   He  concurred with  previously provided  testimony.                                                               
Captain Jones remarked:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  regulations  as  stated  and  in  the  term  small                                                                    
     passenger vessel,  we don't have  a lot of room  to add                                                                    
     things.   Over the  years, we've maintained  our marine                                                                    
     sanitation  devices.   In some  instances holding  out;                                                                    
     last year,  waiting for this new  technology to ideally                                                                    
     come  down in  size  to fit  within  the envelope,  the                                                                    
     footprint  of our  vessels, so  we could  actually take                                                                    
     out existing equipment and put in.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Unfortunately, the  footprint of this new  equipment is                                                                    
     too large, and the  process involves separating liquids                                                                    
     and solids, which requires  an immense holding capacity                                                                    
     to get  to another area to  pump out or in  the case of                                                                    
     larger vessels  where they actually dry  the solids and                                                                    
     burn it in there  incinerators, which the small vessels                                                                    
     just don't have ... that time.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1602                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  JONES  mentioned  a   letter  entitled  "Limitations  on                                                               
Modifying   Small  Commercial   Passenger   Vessels"  from   John                                                               
Waterhouse, P.E.,  President, Elliott Bay Design  Group, Ltd, who                                                               
helps  to articulate  the  situation of  the  small cruise  ships                                                               
trying to add new technology into existing vessels.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1655                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRYCE   BROCKWAY,  Vice   President,  Operations,   Cruise  West,                                                               
testified.    He  noted that  his  responsibilities  include  the                                                               
oversight of  all marine, hotel,  and technical operations.   Mr.                                                               
Brockway  explained that  Cruise West  operates six  small cruise                                                               
vessels in Alaskan waters, which  range in size from 78 passenger                                                               
vessels  to 114  passenger vessels.    He mentioned  many of  the                                                               
small  communities  that  Cruise West  vessels  visit  throughout                                                               
Alaska, and  he explained that  Cruise West was founded  by Chuck                                                               
West (ph)  in 1946,  in Fairbanks.   Mr. Brockway  explained that                                                               
Mr. West  started with some  tours out  into the Arctic  and over                                                               
the  years it's  transformed to  Alaska sightseeing  and then  to                                                               
what it  is today, Cruise  West.   He talked about  the financial                                                               
impact  information contained  in  the bill  packets that  Cruise                                                               
West had provided,  and explained that it  is essentially similar                                                               
to what  the other two  companies had  provided.  He  pointed out                                                               
the Cruise  West does employee  many Alaska residents  because it                                                               
does  have an  "over  the  road operation"  as  well through  the                                                               
Interior, and land offices in  Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg.                                                               
Mr. Brockway said he intended  to provide his testimony in person                                                               
but conflict wouldn't allow it.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1821                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHIP THOMA  testified.  He said  he had the opportunity  a couple                                                               
of years  ago to sit on  the cruise ship initiative  as a member.                                                               
Mr. Thoma said  what precipitated it is The  Anchorage Daily News                                                             
and  The New  York Times  uncovered instances  of [cruise  ships]                                                             
dumping  [in] "doughnut  holes."   He said  [doughnut holes]  are                                                               
large areas  3 miles from  shore, and there  are two or  three of                                                               
them in  Southeast.   Mr. Thoma said  large ships  were targeting                                                               
these areas,  actually dumping  waste in  them because  the ships                                                               
did not  comply, and they figured  this was outside the  realm of                                                               
state waters, and they could do  so.  He said legally they could,                                                               
and  that  brought on  the  actions  by then-U.S.  Senator  Frank                                                               
Murkowski, which  resulted in  the cruise  ship initiative.   The                                                               
results of  that were outstanding.   It took  a long time  to get                                                               
the  ships  tested  and  to  identify that  in  many  cases,  the                                                               
maintenance to the  systems on board had not been  done, he said.                                                               
Had the maintenance been done,  these systems would have worked a                                                               
lot better  than that.   He said there  were very high  levels of                                                               
discharge.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA  said this  came about because  the large  cruise ships                                                               
insisted that state  ferries and small ships be  included in this                                                               
program, and this  was an attempt to  do that.  He  said both the                                                               
small ships  and the ferries were  given a 3-year variance  to do                                                               
it, which he  thought was adequate at the time.   Since then it's                                                               
been stated that  the new equipment doesn't fit and  is not ready                                                               
to go, but he is not sure if  that's the case, and he hadn't seen                                                               
anything to  that affect yet, he  said.  Mr. Thoma  said it won't                                                               
replace  what's in  here.   He said  he did  appreciate the  work                                                               
that's been  done on  HB 522  and thought  it was  a well-written                                                               
bill, but  to say that the  ships can't feasibly comply  with the                                                               
program is questionable.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA said the bill  packet contains a marine engineer report                                                               
which  states that  the systems  cannot be  added, and  cannot be                                                               
readily changed; the combination  of U.S. Coastguard regulations,                                                               
licensing requirements,  and vessel construction  practices makes                                                               
the  addition  of  new  treatment  equipment  and  holding  tanks                                                               
technically  infeasible adding  additional volume  and increasing                                                               
the capacity  of wastewater tanks below  the main deck.   He said                                                               
he would  agree that adding  things to  small ships is  a problem                                                               
but  the possibility  of replacing  them had  not been  looked at                                                               
yet.   He said he  thought that's what  the state should  look at                                                               
and that  is why  it has  a good 3-year  program to  review these                                                               
things, so DEC can look at  the systems that are available to see                                                               
if some  of them can  be replaced.  He  said the only  problem he                                                               
has with  the bill  is on  page 3, [lines  20-24], which  read in                                                               
part:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The department may adopt  regulations to implement this                                                                    
     subsection but may not require  an owner or operator to                                                                    
     retrofit  a  vessel solely  for  the  purpose of  waste                                                                    
     treatment  if  the   retrofitting  requires  additional                                                                    
     stability testing  or relicensing by the  United States                                                                    
     Coast Guard.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2043                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA said he believes that  this is basically a "poison pill                                                               
clause"  for  the bill  that  negates  the  ability to  move  on,                                                               
actually  get  some changes,  and  then  retrofit some  of  these                                                               
ships.   He remarked,  "To say  that whatever we  do is  going to                                                               
require this,  we just  don't know  that."  Mr.  Thoma said  if a                                                               
marine  engineer  says it  is  going  to require  relicensing  or                                                               
retesting,  then [the  vessel operator]  is "off  the hook."   He                                                               
suggested  that it  should be  looked at.   Mr.  Thoma, directing                                                               
attention to  page 6, said  he thought [paragraphs]  (1)-(4) were                                                               
very good.  He referred to paragraphs (1) and (2), which read:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        (1)  the vessel is underway and proceeding at a                                                                         
     speed of not less than six knots;                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
             (2)  the vessel is at least one nautical mile                                                                      
     from the  nearest shore, except in  areas designated by                                                                    
     the department;                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA remarked:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     I  went to  the web  sites  for all  these companies  -                                                                    
     Lindblad, Cruise  West - all  the companies  that we're                                                                    
     talking  about   today.    Each  one   of  these  ships                                                                    
     specifically  targets wildlife  areas.   They're  going                                                                    
     exactly to  these doughnut holes; they're  going to the                                                                    
     Brothers Island,  and Frederick  Sound.   They're going                                                                    
     to Point Adolphus, and they're  going to Neka Sound off                                                                    
     of  Sitka  to look  at  Sea  Otters.   So  that's  what                                                                    
     they're doing is targeting wildlife.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMA said  he  thought this  [paragraph],  except in  those                                                               
areas  designated by  the department,  should be  looked at  very                                                               
closely  to see  if  "that can  actually  expand these  discharge                                                               
areas."   He  said there  really should  be a  two or  three mile                                                               
buffer  around the  Brothers Island,  which  is a  huge sea  lion                                                               
rookery that whales  coming in from Mexico and Hawaii  go to.  He                                                               
said  the same  [should be  done]  with Point  Adolphus and  Neka                                                               
Sound.   Mr. Thoma said he  thought there are some  special areas                                                               
that need some further work by DEC,  and if that could be done to                                                               
"bring this  bill up to  snuff," he was  very much in  support of                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2115                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked  if the big ships  insisted that small                                                               
ferries be included.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA said correct; into the program.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  asked,  "Who   says  they  can  insist  on                                                               
anything?"                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMA said  the [cruise  ship industry]  was a  part of  the                                                               
cruise ship initiative, and as  far as the consensus process that                                                               
was worked  up, it had  a very big  part in determining  how [the                                                               
initiative] was going  to proceed.  He indicated  that the cruise                                                               
ship  industry was  not  going to  cooperate  unless the  state's                                                               
ferry  system and  small ships  also  complied.   Mr. Thoma  said                                                               
there  was  a lot  of  testimony  given  that the  smaller  ships                                                               
couldn't add the  extra tanks.  On the bigger  ships it was found                                                               
that the  ballast tanks  could be  converted into  holding tanks,                                                               
and it wasn't  necessary to have them all for  ballasts.  He said                                                               
the small  ships just didn't  have that,  which is why  they were                                                               
given three years to look at further technology and changes.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTO   expressed   concern  about   the   words                                                               
"consensus" and "insisted" almost being used together.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA  said in a  consensus situation, a consensus  cannot be                                                               
reached unless  there are  some parameters.   He said  he guessed                                                               
that the parameters  were set up so that small  ships and ferries                                                               
be  included, and  that's what  everybody agreed  to.   Mr. Thoma                                                               
said "we" wanted to address  all of the problems, especially, the                                                               
large  boat's  problems, which  have  hundreds  of passengers  on                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2187                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  asked Mr. Thoma  what he would  suggest to                                                               
take the "poison out of the pill."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA said by  taking out this clause, so the  onus is not on                                                               
DEC that  every time  it comes  up with  an idea  that it  is not                                                               
going to  "fly" because  it's going  to require a  new test.   He                                                               
said   he  thought   DEC  and   the  small   ships  should   work                                                               
cooperatively,  which he  thought they  are.   He said  he didn't                                                               
think there is any animosity at  all, and there is certainly none                                                               
on his part.  Mr. Thoma noted  that he thought [DEC and the small                                                               
ships] should work more collaboratively together.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2227                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA thanked  Mr. Thoma  for his  work.   She                                                               
asked what stability testing and relicensing encompasses.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMA replied that he didn't know.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked why  the section was  drafted this                                                               
way to say  that the department couldn't  require retrofitting if                                                               
it   was  going   to  cause   additional  stability   testing  or                                                               
relicensing.   She  asked about  the  kinds of  testing and  what                                                               
relicensing encompasses.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN JONES  referred to Mr.  Waterhouse's letter, and  he said                                                               
he thought  Mr. Waterhouse did a  pretty good job on  the section                                                               
entitled   "Regulatory   environment",   which   read   [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Small Commercial  Passenger vessels that  operate under                                                                    
     the U.S.  flag are  regulated by  the U.S.  Coast Guard                                                                    
     and   carry  a   certificate   of  inspection   showing                                                                    
     compliance with  all safety  requirements.   To qualify                                                                    
     as a  small passenger  vessel they must  admeasure less                                                                    
     than 100  gross tons.   Please note that  gross tonnage                                                                    
     is a measure of internal  volume and not weight.  Their                                                                    
     design  and  construction   are  principally  regulated                                                                    
     under  Subchapter  K  of  Chapter 46  of  the  Code  of                                                                    
     Federal  Regulations  which  applies  to  vessels  that                                                                    
     carry  50 or  more passengers  in overnight  service or                                                                    
     more than  150 passengers in  day service.   If changes                                                                    
     are made  to a vessel that  increase its admeasurements                                                                    
     to more  than 100 Gross  Tons, the vessel is  no longer                                                                    
     considered a  small passenger vessel by  the U.S. Coast                                                                    
     Guard  and  is  subject  to a  different  "license"  or                                                                    
     certification.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN JONES remarked:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     When we say additional  stability testing and licensing                                                                    
     that  the  Coast Guard  ...  may  require, is  sort  of                                                                    
     what's  encapsulated here  in  this ...  letter is  the                                                                    
     vessel  now becomes  a  different  animal, a  different                                                                    
     ship, [and] is no longer  a small passenger vessel.  It                                                                    
     would  then   potentially  become  a   large  passenger                                                                    
     vessel, which  would have a regulator  under subchapter                                                                    
     H,  which  requires ...  a  whole  lot more  equipment,                                                                    
     space,  [and] personnel  on board;  the  licenses is  a                                                                    
     certification  itself for  the  vessel and  potentially                                                                    
     people operating the vessel.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     ...  It just  becomes a  whole different  vessel, so  I                                                                    
     think that's why,  in the bill, that  provision was put                                                                    
     there,  because  of  the major  modification  that  was                                                                    
     discussed  earlier   [it]  certainly  ...   wasn't  the                                                                    
     intention  when  we  worked with  ADEC  [Department  of                                                                    
     Environmental Conservation]  and the industry  to draft                                                                    
     this bill that we're going to  be ... forced to cut the                                                                    
     ship  in half  to  stretch it  lengthen  it, [and]  put                                                                    
     sponson on it.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Those  sort of  issues that  would then  kick in.   ...                                                                    
     Virtually,  what  it  would  mean is  we'd  be  out  of                                                                    
     business.  ... We wouldn't  be able to spend the money,                                                                    
     take  the ship  out of  revenue, lose  passenger space,                                                                    
     and add all this.   It'd be multi-million dollars to do                                                                    
     that.   ... In  the letter,  it's pretty  unfeasible to                                                                    
     think  that you  would  be able  to  have subchapter  K                                                                    
     vessel  and operate  under the  existing licensing;  it                                                                    
     would  become something  different,  which  is not  our                                                                    
     business.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2267                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  related   her  understanding  that  the                                                               
requirement to  do stability  testing means  that the  vessel has                                                               
dramatically changed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  JONES  replied  yes.    He  said  he  thought  stability                                                               
modeling and  different testing are  things that can be  done and                                                               
is something that goes on within the parameters.  He remarked:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     In  this  bill  is   this  something  that's  going  to                                                                    
     drastically  turn this  ship into  something that  then                                                                    
     kicks  in  the  major modification  clause  within  the                                                                    
     regulations,  which then  again  makes it  a ...  whole                                                                    
     different vessel.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked if  stability testing would only be                                                               
done for something major rather than for minor changes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  JONES  said  correct.   Under  this  context  there  are                                                               
different stability tests and models  that are done all the time.                                                               
There are  stability booklets  and letters  for the  operation of                                                               
the vessel as it is built.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROCKWAY said basically the  vessels are fixed tonnage and if                                                               
anything is adjusted  or taken off and replaced with  a new piece                                                               
of equipment  that is the  same weight, stability testing  is not                                                               
required.  He  said the plan is to keep  looking at new equipment                                                               
as Mr.  Thoma suggested.   As long as  the new equipment  used to                                                               
replace the  old equipment  doesn't change the  weight.   He said                                                               
changing weights is a "whole  new game" because the weight change                                                               
has  to  be overcome  by  adding  more  buoyancy.   He  said  Mr.                                                               
Waterhouse's  letter explains  what  the  buoyancy and  stability                                                               
means  to the  small vessel.   The  large ship  was able  to take                                                               
"tankage"  that  was  used  for ballasts  and  change  them  into                                                               
graywater and black  water storage.  He said in  order for [small                                                               
vessels] to  do that,  the weight  has to  be overcome  by adding                                                               
buoyancy, and by doing that, in  most cases, vessels will have to                                                               
add "sponsity"  or be lengthened.   Mr. Brockway noted  that this                                                               
clause was put in the bill to explain that.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2590                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM  noted  that  the committee  was  under  time                                                               
constraints due to commitments to hear  other bills.  She said it                                                               
is apparent that  the committee has some work to  do on this bill                                                               
and that  it is the  last committee of  referral.  She  asked the                                                               
sponsor  to  continue  to  work  on  the  issues  that  had  been                                                               
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2626                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  asked  how  often  vessels  go  into  the                                                               
doughnut holes during a summer and how much waste is dumped.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN JONES  said he  didn't think the  doughnut hole  issue is                                                               
and  issue for  [LEX].   He suggested  the issue  was brought  up                                                               
because  of  untreated  sewage   being  dumped  in  those  areas.                                                               
Furthermore,  he  said  [LEX's]  waste  is  treated  and  can  be                                                               
discharged anywhere.   Captain Jones  said [LEX] does  not target                                                               
doughnut holes and "we may very  well, trying to get from point A                                                               
to  point  B, be  in  different  areas,  but an  itinerary  isn't                                                               
designed because  of a doughnut  hole."  He reiterated  that this                                                               
is not  really an issue for  these vessels.  Captain  Jones noted                                                               
that 3 percent  is the total discharge for this  group of vessels                                                               
and is a factual number in the report.  He remarked:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     To try to look at it in  the case of my two vessels ...                                                                    
     in the entire  Alaska season where I  have 14 seven-day                                                                    
     trips on one vessels and  16 seven-day trips on another                                                                    
     vessel, I'll be carrying  probably just over a thousand                                                                    
     passengers total for  the entire summer, so  if you put                                                                    
     that against one  that's doing a thousand or  more at a                                                                    
     time.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN JONES referred to a graph,  and he said saltwater is used                                                               
to flush  the toilets  on the ship,  which includes  seawater and                                                               
graywater.   He  said his  vessels  were using  2,000 gallons  of                                                               
graywater and 3,000  gallons of black water for  a 24-hour period                                                               
of time.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   DAHLSTROM  asked   Captain  Jones   to  provide   that                                                               
information  to Representative  Weyhrauch's staff,  and she  said                                                               
she thought  having that  information will  answer some  of these                                                               
questions, which can be addressed during the next bill hearing.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  JONES said  the information  was already  in the  report                                                               
contained in the bill packets.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2785                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  said  3  percent  sounded  like  a  small                                                               
number, but she was trying to define what was really going on.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DAHLSTROM said  the bill would be brought up  as soon as                                                               
possible.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[HB 522 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                

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