ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Senate has approved a measure to limit disposal of cruise ship wastewater in Alaska's Inside Passage.
The measure, introduced by Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski, would ban release of untreated sewage anywhere within Southeast Alaska waters. It would also only allow release of treated water from sinks, showers and basins if cruise ships are sailing at more than four knots.
Illegal disposal would be a felony, with guilty parties also subject to civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation.
The masure, approved Friday, would also reward whistleblowers with up to half of any fines if they turn in information about violations.
The Murkowski provision is part of a Coast Guard authorization bill that must still be approved by the House.
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