For the cruise industry, scrubbers are a way to save money by allowing ships to burn cheaper, dirtier fuels. But the toxic chemicals removed from smokestack exhaust don’t just disappear.
A local port engineer who worked on the grant says his takeaway is that aging marine infrastructure in Haines and Cordova were higher priority than improving Juneau’s relatively new cruise ship docks to reduce emissions.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation received nine emissions complaints from Skagway this year.
Cruise lines that sail Alaska waters are installing new pollution-control equipment. Scrubbers are aimed at clearing the air — and meeting new regulations. But it’s also dodging some stronger, more expensive measures.