Cruise Ship Air Emissions


Where do I contact someone to report a cruise ship air complaint?

Denise Wiltse- Environmental Program Specialist
Telephone: 907-465-5278

Let us know the date, time, ship name, your location, whether the sun is behind you, and any pertinent atmospheric information (i.e. hazy, windy, overcast, raining, etc.) The information that you provide may assist us in compliance and enforcement actions. If you would like us to follow up with you, provide your contact information.

What regulation applies to cruise ship air emissions? Where can I find this regulation?

The Marine Visible Emission Standards are set in 18 AAC 50.070. This regulation applies to all marine vessels, not just to cruise ships.

How do I report excess emissions from my ship?

Use the Cruise Ship Excess Emissions Self Report.

Does DEC monitor air emissions from cruise ships?

The DEC Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance program regularly monitors air emissions from cruise ships and ferries. Since the summer of 2000, a contractor has completed opacity readings on large cruise ships in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska ports. In addition, DEC staff respond to public complaints.

What method is used to monitor cruise ship air emissions?

EPA Method 9 is used to monitor cruise ships and ferries. Visible emissions readers (smoke readers) are trained and certified using a standardized national method. The method requires readers to visually differentiate the opacity of the emissions. It is critical that the sun is behind the reader in order to reduce light scattering that makes the plume appear darker.

Have there been any violations of the marine visible emissions regulation?

Please see the 'CPVEC Reports' link on the Cruise Ship home page for information. Information on 2010-205 activities is contained in the 2015 annual compliance report.

Is any visible emission monitoring done in Tracy Arm or in National Parks?

DEC and the USDA Forest Service have partnered to share information on cruise ship visible emissions in Tracy Arm. Forest Service Rangers are certified in EPA Method 9 and conduct readings, which DEC may use for enforcement.

In Glacier Bay, Park Service employees conduct visible emissions monitoring on cruise ships. Any enforcement is coordinated through EPA.

DEC assisted with an 2008 Emissions Inventory for Skagway that was completed in 2010. This report also provides information on vessel emissions.

Do cruise ships create any ambient air quality problems?

Ambient air was monitored in downtown Juneau for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates (PM 2.5) during 2000 and 2001. The pollutant levels were found to be below federal and state health based standards. See the 'Alaska Cruise Ship Initiative 2000 Season: Part 2 Final Report' and the 'Interim Cruise Ship Sampling Data Summary' for more information.