ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Just a day after Gov. Tony Knowles blasted Sen. Frank Murkowski for weakening the Clean Water Act in a bill on cruise ship pollution, the senator's Republican colleague in the House, Rep. Don Young, launched a torpedo at him for going too far.
''Hysteria produces bad law,'' Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said Friday. ''Senator Murkowski's bill has every opportunity in the Senate, but we're very busy over here in the House.''
That doesn't bode well for the Murkowski provision, part of the Senate version of a Coast Guard reauthorization bill.
The House will have to accept the Murkowski legislation if there's any hope for it to become law. Young is a senior Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that has a strong voice in what goes into a final compromise measure.
Murkowski says his provision is intended to stop cruise ships from slipping out beyond the three-mile offshore boundary and dumping raw sewage in federal waters. But the bill also changes federal regulations on ''gray water,'' generally thought of as sink and shower discharges.
Knowles and U.S. Attorney Bob Bundy charged Thursday that the gray water provision could permit diluted toxics like dry-cleaning solvents and photo-processing chemicals to be dumped in state waters.
Murkowski said he can clear up any misunderstandings.
''This appears to be a case of different interpretations by different lawyers, but my intentions always have been very clear, and we will be happy to clarify the language to ensure there can be no mistake,'' Murkowski said in a statement Friday. ''Under the hazardous waste laws, you can't make a hazardous waste 'nonhazardous' by diluting it.''
Young says Congress shouldn't be messing with cruise ship pollution at all. The industry is doing everything it can to clean up its act, he said, and Murkowski's restrictions could hurt other industries.
''My fishing fleet,'' said Young, meaning commercial fishermen who Young said may toss wastes into the ocean that don't meet the tougher standards.
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