Officials concerned budget cuts will take away Ocean Rangers

Photo: James Willamor / CC BY-SA 2.0 (MGN)
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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state official overseeing Alaska's cruise ship monitoring program is concerned about losing independent environmental inspectors on cruise ships.

CoastAlaska reports the inspectors, known as Ocean Rangers, are on the chopping block as Gov. Mike Dunleavy's budget cuts work their way through the legislature.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation's top budget official, Jeff Rogers, laid out the Dunleavy administration's case for removing inspectors from cruise ships.

But those that work in the state's cruise ship program note that without onboard inspectors, the state's authority to monitor pollution from ships would be limited.

The head of DEC's cruise ship monitoring program, Ed White, says the Ocean Rangers have been a "critical part" in the permitting process."

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