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Alaska group to sue Princess and Holland America

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 3 - 2008

According to a report in the Anchorage Daily News, state inspectors are being denied access to waste treatment facilities on cruise ships operating in Alaska. The first report of the season on the state’s ocean ranger program found restricted access and/or a lack of cooperation on nine of 28 ships sailing Alaska waters.

Responsible Cruising in Alaska and Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters says it plans to file suit against Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Both groups say that the lines are restricting the access of the state’s ocean rangers, who go aboard ships operating in Alaska waters to monitor their adherence to environmental regulations.

Princess said it just recently received its first status report from Crowley Marine Services, the company retained by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) to carry out the new ocean rangers program.

In a statement Princess said: “We are continuing to work with the ADEC to ensure ocean rangers can and do fulfill all of their job duties while maintaining a safe and effective working environment on board all of our vessels in Alaska.”

Holland America stated it previously developed policies intended to provide ocean rangers the access they needed “while still giving due regard to safety and security concerns as well as the other work responsibilities of the ship’s crew.”

The line said it had not received complaints from ADEC or Crowley Marine Services prior to this week that had not been quickly resolved after meetings onboard the ship.

Based on this week’s report from Crowley, Holland America said it has already made changes to give unrestricted access to the ocean rangers. The line added that it is encouraging ADEC to send a staff member to sail with an ocean ranger to evaluate operations.

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