ANCHORAGE - Three U.S. senators, including both of Alaska's, are pushing to gut the application of an Environmental Protection Agency discharge regulation to small fishing boats they say could punish cleaning up fish guts.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Alaska Republicans, joined Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) Thursday in sponsoring legislation which would remove the expiration date on a three-year moratorium for commercial fishing vessels, as well as commercial vessels under 79 feet long. The incidental discharge regulation was part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in December.

"The flawed regulation is written so broadly that it would penalize Alaska's fisherman and more than 8,000 boats statewide simply for rinsing fish guts off their deck, or rainwater washing other materials off their decks," Murkowski's office wrote in a statement on the 2014 bill Thursday.

In a December Senate speech on the proposed moratorium, Murkowski offered her colleagues a fisherman's perspective on what the regulations meant.

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