As we reported late last week, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House bill 131, legislation sponsored by Representative Paul Seaton of Homer to add agencies in the push to clean up derelict and abandoned vessels in Alaskan waters.
Rep. Seaton(R-Homer): “It is important across the state because the municipalities didn’t have authority to take care of vessels, just simply because our statutes haven’t kept up with the state getting out of the harbor businesses, and transferring that authority to the municipalities, now the people with the responsibly have the authority to deal with the problem”
The Homer Republican outlined one instance which led him to draft such legislation…
Rep. Seaton(R-Homer): “Down in Homer, Jakolof Bay, there were two vessels that sunk this year, they were denied entrance in the harbor because they were in such derelict condition, then they were anchored in the state waters and sunk. And then the state was left with the responsibly because they were also leaking some fuel. So what this does, is says, if you are denied entrance into a harbor, if you store for more than 14-days in state waters, you have to remove all the hazardous waste and so that takes all the criticality out of the problem. Then people can deal in a more legalistic fashion with something, when you’re not having hazardous waste spills.”