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Thread: Whittier Tunnel Regulation Change

  1. #1
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Whittier Tunnel Regulation Change

    Below is a letter I sent to my representatives and to the Governor to propose a change to the Whittier tunnel regulations. Please feel free to plagiarize my letter and send your own letter and/or email. I think if we get enough folks to write, we can change this ridiculous regulation.

    December 31, 2008

    Senator Charlie Huggins
    State Capital Building
    Room 119
    Juneau, AK 99801-1182

    Dear Charlie,
    The reason for this letter is to bring to your attention an issue concerning the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel (Whittier Tunnel) regulations. Specifically:
    17 AAC 38.035. Prohibitions: (Chapter 38, Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel), Section 35(b)(5):
    (5) a vehicle transporting gasoline in a portable container not marked as approved for that purpose by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or in one or more UL-approved portable containers having a total combined capacity greater than 12 gallons;

    I am proposing placing a period after “(UL)” and deleting the rest of the paragraph to read as such:
    (5) a vehicle transporting gasoline in a portable container not marked as approved for that purpose by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

    Purpose for Change:
    Many of us that use North West Prince William Sound for both recreation and commercial charter business feel that the 12 gallon restriction is unwarranted, promotes unsafe transportation of fuel in un-approved containers and creates a monopoly for Whittier base fuel by Shoreside Petroleum Inc. They charge as much as $1.25 a gallon more for fuel than what I can get in Anchorage or as close as Bird Creek. The restriction makes no sense.

    Safety: There will be some that will argue that the restriction is due to safety reasons. This is an invalid argument. I store over 80 gallons of fuel in my riverboat tank. I have transverse to tunnel many times safely and without incident. As my fuel tank is part of the boat it is allowed. When I go to PWS if I need additional fuel I have to either load my boat and go to Bird Creek (with additional costs for tunnel fees) or I am forced to buy from the only fuel source in Whittier, which is at a substantial higher cost.
    If I have approved UL containers then they should be considered safe for transport through the tunnel. They are considered safe any where else in the country.

    Threat of Terrorism:
    This is also an invalid argument. If I am allowed to legally take a boat loaded with 80 gallons of gasoline pulled by a truck with 42 gallons of diesel fuel through the tunnel, how is restricting the amount of containers to 12 gallons going to stop a terrorist attack? Could I not just blow-up my truck and/or my boat load with fuel while in the tunnel? Common sense would dictate that restricting the containers to just 12 gallons has in no way any relationship with terrorism or safety.

    I am proposing changing this regulation eliminating the 12 gallon restriction to be effective spring of 2009. It will allow competition because there will no longer be a monopoly hold by Shoreside Petroleum Inc in Whittier. Plus it just makes common sense.

    Thank you for your time. If you have any questions, please contact me.


    Thomas Teseniar



    CC: Governor Sara Palin
    Representative Mark Neuman

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
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  2. #2
    Member AkBillyBow's Avatar
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    Cool

    I have heard they cannot legally request to look through your gear. They simply ask you what you have, and rely on you to them them the truth. See what I mean?!?!
    2007 Glacier Bay Cat 2690 Coastal Runner, Twin Honda 150's

  3. #3
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for bringing this up AKBassking, you have some great points and a good start in it. I have never understood this law and have thought of doing like AkBillyBow said.

    The same thing goes for transfer tanks in the back of trucks. None of it makes sense considering how much fuel our boats can hold in their tanks.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Default

    Nice! This is a great effort that may indeed help to lower the price of fuel at the dock. I'll send one in for sure!

  5. #5
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default

    I have been running outlaw for as long as the tunnel has been open. This might make me legal again!
    I started hauling fuel thru when I found out all I have to do is run a fuel hose to the barrel and mate it to the kicker. It could be a 55 gallon drum, but if you plug it to your kicker it is legal. Stupid law!

    Great idea, I'll write one. After I rep you.
    Last edited by bullbuster; 12-31-2008 at 18:40. Reason: rep
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    Although I may have missed it, I have never seen a sign on the Whittier side coming back into the tunnel that states I can't carry more than 12 gals through the tunnel nor have I ever had anyone question me me about it .

  7. #7
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default bushboy

    Good point!!!!!

  8. #8

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    Well of course there is no sign for fuel limitations when leaving Whittier -- since Shoreside only makes sales in Whittier. They don't mind us buying extra from them and transporting as much as we want to the other side - seems it helps their bottom line. Perhaps their fuel is "tunnel safe".

  9. #9
    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Buck View Post
    Well of course there is no sign for fuel limitations when leaving Whittier -- since Shoreside only makes sales in Whittier. They don't mind us buying extra from them and transporting as much as we want to the other side - seems it helps their bottom line. Perhaps their fuel is "tunnel safe".
    I don't think anybody fuels up when leaving Whittier. Why pay 20-30% more when you can fill up for normal prices once towing to Bird Creek or Anchorage? Shoreside will fight this tooth and nail, since they know that their only option will be to drop prices if this were to pass.

  10. #10

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    Was only joking.

    The rules for the tunnel on fuel applies for either direction - they just don't make the effort to question when leaving Whittier.

  11. #11
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default I have done the same

    I have two 32 gal drums I take with me. I hide them.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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  12. #12

    Default Here here!

    But this just makes too much sense so good luck!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Buck View Post
    Well of course there is no sign for fuel limitations when leaving Whittier -- since Shoreside only makes sales in Whittier. They don't mind us buying extra from them and transporting as much as we want to the other side - seems it helps their bottom line. Perhaps their fuel is "tunnel safe".
    Why yes it is as like others have pointed out, it is safe because it is non existent. How do they get the gas truck through there I wonder?

  14. #14
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    Default Fuel container change

    Has something changed since this summer, i was going through with a 50gal fuel tank in back of my truck. The only thing I had to do was fill out a form when going in to the tunnel. After that when i was asked about it i just said it was empty so i would not have to fill the form out evertime. They also told me that they cannot search the veh, or boat for cans
    Thanks for giving the heads up. T

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
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  15. #15
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Indeed this appears to be one of those obscure regulations that few seem to pay attention too. The dozen or more times we pulled our boat through the tunnel last year I was asked maybe 3 times if I was carrying gasoline in portable containers.
    Jay
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  16. #16
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Question Who had the form?

    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    The only thing I had to do was fill out a form T
    This is a new one on me. While rebuilding the powerline next to the tunnel entrance (Whittier side) they would not let our company trucks haul fuel for the excavator, compressor and trucks. I personally argued with the boothie and he said the only way was if we connected the 55 gallon drum to the truck engine.
    Now I have to write and get a response from the state, which I should have done already. We have done quite a few jobs down there over the years, mostly for the rail road and ferry system. We ran the power thru the utility tunnel. We are changing light poles now.

    If this turns out to be true, thanks!
    Last edited by bullbuster; 01-02-2009 at 10:39. Reason: add
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    Why yes it is as like others have pointed out, it is safe because it is non existent. How do they get the gas truck through there I wonder?
    fuel comes via train tank car

  18. #18
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default

    I have seen trucks refused entery becuase they had a utility tank in their bed. If it is UL listed and safe for highway use, then it should be safe for the tunnel. I am hoping these letters will do the trick. Although my wife pointed out I spelt Sara wrong....Sarah...... go figure.

    Now they will ban me from the tunnel.....

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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    MMSI# 338131469
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    This is a new one on me. While rebuilding the powerline next to the tunnel entrance (Whittier side) they would not let our company trucks haul fuel for the excavator, compressor and trucks. I personally argued with the boothie and he said the only way was if we connected the 55 gallon drum to the truck engine.
    Now I have to write and get a response from the state, which I should have done already. We have done quite a few jobs down there over the years, mostly for the rail road and ferry system. We ran the power thru the utility tunnel. We are changing light poles now.

    If this turns out to be true, thanks!
    Next time they argue with you turn their power off.....just kidding. But, wouldn't it feel good?

  20. #20
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Default One other thing to remember

    You may find the restrictions for portable tanks might be a Federal requirement.

    Ensure you are not transporting more then 99 gallons.....at 100 gallons or more you are required to have DOT placards. Even if you only have 99 gallons or less and the tank has a capacity for more then the 100 gallons you are required to have DOT placarding.

    This does not apply to inboard tanks or tanks permanently attached to the vessel/vehicle for use during operation. Tanks in the bed of the truck used to transfer fuel or auxillary tanks, tool box tanks, etc, must be 99 gallons or less.

    Another thing to check is if you are transporting the extra fuel will your insurance cover the spill in case of an accident.

    Anything (including water) more then 1000 gallons requires a tank endorsement.

    Most of this info is straight from DOT. It came up when I talked to them about the tunnel. Also the tunnel guardians do call the Troopers if they believe you are in violation of the DOT regulations.

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