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June 19, 2021

Headlines:

Legislature Takes Dump on Alaska

Despite massive public outcry, and good efforts by Democratic lawmakers, the legislature has voted to pass a bill that will loosen restrictions on the cruise industry, and lower water quality standards for coastal waters. HB80 now heads to the Governor’s desk. None of the Democratic amendments which would have required dumping at least 3 miles offshore, not next to marine parks or game refuges, public notification of the location of dump sites, and water monitoring passed. The bill was voted through as it was, and zipped through the senate with a vote of 16-4. The yes votes included Democratic Senator…

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Parnell Pees in the Pool

The critical vote on a controversial bill involving the dumping of cruise ship waste in Alaska waters has been put off until next week. This is good news. Your outrage, and contacts with your legislators are having an impact. The cruise ship dumping legislation favored by Governor Sean Parnell would kill key provisions of a 2006 citizen’s initiative, voted in by the people, that required cruise ships to meet clean water standards at the point of discharge by the 2016 cruise season, instead of allowing them to release sewage, heavy metals, and other waste into “mixing zones.” Mixing zones are…

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Alaskans Gone Wild – Say No to Frankenfish!

(Insert Jaws theme here) The Frankenfish is coming!  Unless we all speak up… The push to introduce a genetically-modified, farmed Atlantic-Pacific-Salmon-Eel hybrid into the marketplace continues, but we have time to stop it. Alaska’s entire congressional delegation is all on our side on this one, so no excuse to call it a “partisan political issue.” This is about Alaska’s greatest sustainable treasure, our wild and wonderful salmon. The FDA has already issued a draft Environmental Assessment with a finding that genetically modified Atlantic salmon caused no significant environmental impact. Really? Sorry, FDA. Alaskans are smarter than that. We know that contamination…

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Parnell Dumps Citizens’ Initiative Overboard

This just in from the Alaska Democratic Party. Republicans overthrowing the will of the people to serve their own self-interest and that of their corporate donors? I’m shocked. Shocked, I say. Today House Republicans passed Gov. Parnell’s bill to allow discharge of sewage and untreated wastewater in Alaska waters, repealing a provision of the 2006 citizen initiative that protected Alaskans’ health and state fisheries. Parnell’s bill would allow the release approximately 1,064,448,000 gallons of sewage and wastewater into Alaska state waters every year. Republicans rejected Democratic amendments which would have required disclosure of the location of sewage discharges and protected…

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