Binkley defends Cruise Ships' Waste Water Efforts


The president of the Alaska Cruise Association is labeling as "reckless" claims surrounding a bill that would change how the state regulates cruise ship wastewater.

John Binkley says companies aren't dumping raw sewage and have taken steps to protect Alaska's waters.

Binkley testified before the Senate Finance Committee Thursday on the bill proposed by Gov. Sean Parnell.

A version of the bill has passed the House.

Binkley said he's read reports from groups like the Alaska Democratic Party "talking about raw sewage being dumped" into Alaska waters.

Binkley said that's not happening.

Democrats said Binkley was mischaracterizing their statements.

Democratic Party Chairman Mike Wenstrup earlier this week labeled the measure "Parnell's sewage bill."

He said it would legalize discharge of cruise ship "sewage and untreated wastewater" into Alaska waters.

Binkley also spoke to the importance of the visitor industry to the Alaska economy, and the many businesses that rely on the income from guests - citing experience from his family's ownership and operation of the Riveboat Discovery here in Fairbanks.