Author Archives: Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News

Bill reinstates ferry discharge rules, cuts costs

Extra ferry life rings lean against other spare parts at the Ketchikan Marine Engineering Facility at Ward Cove last January.A Southeast lawmaker introduced a bill this week to help Alaska ferries meet state pollution-control rules. It would also exempt new ships from a law requiring a percent of construction spending go toward art.

British Columbia will clean up mine near Juneau

A Tulsequah Chief Mine settling pond overflows at the site about 40 miles northeast of Juneau Sept. 26, 2016. (Photo courtesy of British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines)British Columbia says it will stop polluted Tulsequah Chief Mine water from entering a salmon-rich river that flows into Southeast Alaska near Juneau.

Alaska, B.C. detail transboundary mine pact

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott opens the first teleconferenced meeting of a bilateral working group on transboundary mines Dec. 16. Shown are, from the left, Meghan Topkok, First Alaskans Institute; Barbara Blake, senior advisor to Mallott; Mallott; and David Rogers and Jackie Timothy, Department of Fish and Game. (Photo courtesy Governor’s Office.)Alaska and British Columbia are working out details of how they will handle transboundary mine concerns. Critics say the effort needs federal involvement.

Engine trouble delays Alaska ferry Matanuska

The ferries Matanuska, right, and Fairweather, left, tie up at Juneau's Auke Bay Ferry Terminal May 19, 2016. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)The ferry Matanuska is sailing an altered schedule for about a week due to mechanical problems. It will delay Juneau-to-Prince-Rupert sailings.

Congress boosts plans for new Craig boat harbor

Craig 2011 Bob ClausA bill on its way to the president’s desk authorizes most of the money needed to build a new boat harbor in Craig. But the funding itself will wait for future congressional action.

Ferry Lituya to get new payment system

The ferry Lituya loads vehicles onto its car deck at the Ketchikan Ferry Terminal before sailing to Metlakatla. (Photo by Linda Hall/Alaska DOT&PF)People ferrying from Ketchikan to Metlakatla will soon pay double for their tickets. But the return trip will be free.

Feds OK selling or scrapping ferry Taku

(Creative Commons photo by Ted McGrath)The marine highway is moving ahead with plans to sell or scrap the ferry Taku. But it’s keeping its options open for a second sidelined ship, the Chenega.

Wood-energy grants again offered in Alaska

Andrew Haden of Wisewood, Inc., a Portland-based design firm, explains how the Ketchikan Airport's biomass boiler works. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)The U.S. Forest Service grants have helped design boilers and plan wood-pellet mills in Southeast and Interior Alaska communities.

Tying up ferries costs nearly half a million dollars

The ferry Taku sails into Juneau’s Auke Bay terminal. It’s tied up for the year, affecting seafood processors who transport their fish via Prince Rupert, British Columbia. (Photo by LCGS Russ/Wikimedia Commons)The Alaska Marine Highway System is paying more than $1,200 a day for long-term storage of two unused ferries. One critic says it would be better to sell them than to tie them up.

Transboundary mine agreement signed

Eight transboundary watersheds feed Southeast Alaska rivers. A new agreement with British Columbia aims to protect them from mining pollution. Critics say it doesn't do the job. (Map by Alaska Department of Natural Resources.)Alaska and British Columbia officials signed a statement of cooperation Thursday aimed at protecting rivers that flow through the province and the state.