Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

03/06/2020 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 93 MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+ HB 27 REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
         HB  27-REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:44:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 27, "An  Act relating to the manufacture, sale,                                                               
distribution, and  labeling of child-related  products containing                                                               
certain  flame retardant  chemicals;  relating  to an  interstate                                                               
chemicals  clearinghouse;  adding  unlawful acts  to  the  Alaska                                                               
Unfair  Trade   Practices  and   Consumer  Protection   Act;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:44:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GERAN TARR,  Alaska State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor,   introduced   HB   27   and   provided   a   PowerPoint                                                               
presentation,  entitled  "House  Bill 27  Toxic  Free  Children's                                                               
Act."   She informed  the committee that  slides 1-3  discuss the                                                               
regulation of chemicals in the  environment in a federal context.                                                               
She  pointed out  that the  federal  laws that  exist are  dated,                                                               
adding  that  the   scientific  understanding  has  significantly                                                               
improved   over  time.     The   2008  Consumer   Product  Safety                                                               
Improvement  Act,  which  uses  children  as  the  benchmark  for                                                               
safety, is  a reflection of  that.  A  more recent reform  is the                                                               
Toxic Substances Control  Act (TSCA), as amended by  the Frank R.                                                               
Lautenberg  Chemical  Safety  for  the 21st  Century  Act,  which                                                               
improved  the way  chemicals are  managed at  the federal  level.                                                               
Nonetheless,  much remains  to be  done  and much  remains to  be                                                               
learned,  she said.   She  highlighted  a list  of worker  health                                                               
concerns  due   to  exposure  to  chemicals,   including  cancer,                                                               
reproductive health disorders,  developmental delays or cognitive                                                               
impairment,  birth  defects,  endocrine  disruption,  respiratory                                                               
disorders,  and  neurodevelopmental  disorders (slide  6).    She                                                               
emphasized  that everyone  has different  genetics and  different                                                               
exposure.    She said  that  the  challenge in  regulating  these                                                               
chemicals  is   the  attempt  to  create   a  strict  causational                                                               
relationship  between health  issues and  exposure to  a specific                                                               
chemical.  It's difficult because  humans aren't tested, genetics                                                               
are unique,  and exposure  is different,  she said.   Ultimately,                                                               
sometimes chemical exposure has a  different effect on one person                                                               
than it does another.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR continued  on to slide 7  and highlighted the                                                               
three  types of  exposure:  absorption,  inhalation, and  eating.                                                               
She   stated  that   HB  27   regulates   flame  retardants,   or                                                               
polybrominated  diphenyl  ethers (PBDEs),  which  are  used in  a                                                               
variety  of  commonplace  items, including  children's  products,                                                               
furniture,  electronics,  plastics,   building  materials,  motor                                                               
vehicles, airplanes, and textiles (slide  8).  She explained that                                                               
bioaccumulation is  the gradual accumulation of  substances, such                                                               
as  pesticides or  chemicals, into  an  organism, and  it is  the                                                               
primary  reason for  concern  regarding PBDEs.    She noted  that                                                               
bioaccumulation  of PBDEs  can lead  to numerous  health impacts;                                                               
furthermore, it  is the leading  cause of cancer  in firefighters                                                               
(slide 9).   She directed  attention to  a timeline on  slide 10,                                                               
mapping the use  of flame retardants in  household products since                                                               
1975 when  the first TSCA was  passed.  She pointed  out that the                                                               
need  for  such  products  has been  reduced  and  replaced  with                                                               
alternatives over time.  She  discussed the visuals on slides 11-                                                               
12,  which highlight  how children  are at  risk for  exposure to                                                               
these chemicals.   Slides 13-14 address the  endocrine system and                                                               
endocrine  disruption.   She  explained  that certain  chemicals,                                                               
once inside the bloodstream, can  mimic hormones and if they bind                                                               
to  the sites  intended for  hormone  binding they  can cause  an                                                               
inappropriate response,  such as excessive hormone  production or                                                               
insufficient  hormone production,  which have  adverse biological                                                               
impacts  on  human  health.   She  highlighted  policy  solutions                                                               
included in  this bill on slide  15, such as restricting  the use                                                               
of known  chemicals of concern,  restricting the use  of possible                                                               
substitutes, conducting  Alaska research, and  collaborating with                                                               
other states.   To conclude,  she informed the committee  that HB
27 is  comparable to  the Anchorage  ordinance that  prevents the                                                               
sale,  manufacture,  and  distribution   of  some  products  that                                                               
contain  prohibited flame  retardant  chemicals.   She noted  the                                                               
letters  of  support  from  furniture   stores  included  in  the                                                               
committee packet.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:59:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARLA  HART,  Staff,  Representative  Geran  Tarr,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Tarr, prime  sponsor,                                                               
presented  the sectional  analysis for  HB 27.   She  stated that                                                               
Section  1  presents  the  findings.    Subsequently,  Section  2                                                               
addresses the prohibited chemical  compounds.  She explained that                                                               
the "exemptions  section" exempts use in  second-hand upholstered                                                               
furniture unless  the furniture is  being rebuilt.   Products, or                                                               
components   of  products,   for   motor  vehicles,   watercraft,                                                               
aircraft,  and  other vehicles,  as  well  as products  that  are                                                               
primarily used  outside of the  home are  also exempt.   She said                                                               
that  the  civil  penalty  is  $500 each  day  for  a  violation;                                                               
however, she added  that there's no enforcement  mechanism in the                                                               
bill.  She  turned attention to the  "participation in interstate                                                               
chemicals   clearinghouse   [section],"  which   authorizes   the                                                               
Department   of   Environmental  Conservation   to   participate.                                                               
Finally, the definitions section is straightforward, she said.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:02:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN directed  attention to  Section 18.31.640,                                                               
the  participation  in  interstate chemicals  clearinghouse,  and                                                               
inquired  as to  the  cost  for participation  and  what kind  of                                                               
information it provides.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  explained that  before the TSCA  reform bill                                                               
was  passed,  there was  a  recognition  that the  states  needed                                                               
better collaboration.   She  said that  by participating  in this                                                               
clearinghouse  everyone  could  benefit through  the  sharing  of                                                               
information.     She   noted   that  some   larger  states   have                                                               
participated and put a lot of  resources into it, adding that the                                                               
smaller states benefit by having access to it.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN sought  clarification  on  whether it's  a                                                               
fixed cost.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR answered  no.   She said  it was  previously                                                               
based on population size, overall  state budget, and other things                                                               
to incorporate the diversity of participation.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  pointed out that state  agencies typically                                                               
don't  perform  research.     She  asked  if   it's  the  states'                                                               
university  systems that  participate  in  the clearinghouse  and                                                               
carry out the research.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  said yes; however, some  states are engaging                                                               
in  research  through  their  division   of  public  health,  for                                                               
example.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:06:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  questioned whether there  is anyone in  Alaska -                                                               
possibly at the University - who is studying flame retardants.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR said she doesn't  believe so.  She noted that                                                               
it was sad to lose  research capacity around endocrine disruptors                                                               
after  Dr.  Frank  von  Hippel  left  the  University  of  Alaska                                                               
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ added  that Dr. von Hippel  is an internationally                                                               
recognized expert  who is  originally from  Alaska.   She offered                                                               
her belief  that he  was recruited  to Arizona  State University,                                                               
adding that it's  a big loss for the state  when an Alaskan takes                                                               
their  expertise  elsewhere.    She asked  why  there's  no  cost                                                               
associated  with   allowing  the   DEC  to  participate   in  the                                                               
interstate   chemicals  clearinghouse   to   learn  about   flame                                                               
retardant chemicals.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:08:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR said  they want  to participate  and benefit                                                               
from  that collaboration  even if  there's no  additional funding                                                               
available  at  this  time.   She  stated,  "it's  permissive  and                                                               
there's  some  flexibility  within   their  budget  if  they  had                                                               
funding."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ sought  to clarify that there's  a membership fee                                                               
for  individual  states;  however,  in  order  to  maintain  cost                                                               
neutrality,  [states]  have  permission  to  participate  without                                                               
allowing them to become full members.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR confirmed that.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:10:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY questioned whether  the bill sponsor has had                                                               
conversations  with furniture  manufacturers in  Alaska regarding                                                               
how HB 27 would affect them if  passed, as well as any steps they                                                               
would have to take.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR directed attention  to the letters of support                                                               
included in the committee packet.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART noted that the  owner of Sadlers Furniture has testified                                                               
and given support in the past.   She said he has worked to figure                                                               
out  who is  providing  furnishings that  meet the  requirements.                                                               
She reported  that he  is finding it  difficult to  buy furniture                                                               
that do  not meet Anchorage's  regulation because  Washington and                                                               
California have  both passed laws that  encourage the manufacture                                                               
of compliant furniture.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:12:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN   pointed  out   that  there   aren't  any                                                               
furniture  manufacturers  in   Alaska.    Nonetheless,  furniture                                                               
stores  have  explained  that  they   have  plenty  of  compliant                                                               
wholesale options from California.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR confirmed that.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:14:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SU CHON,  Civic Engagement  Coordinator, Alaska  Community Action                                                               
on Toxics,  offered her  belief that access  to clean  air, clean                                                               
water, and  safe shelter is a  basic human right.   She said that                                                               
growing up  in Alaska, she  felt blessed because of  its pristine                                                               
lands;  however, she  has come  to realize  that in  reality, the                                                               
state  has many  contaminated  sites  and is  at  higher risk  to                                                               
exposure  from  global  contaminants  due to  the  way  chemicals                                                               
concentrate in northern areas.  She  added that it's not just the                                                               
outdoor environments,  many harmful  pollutants have found  a way                                                               
into homes and  workplaces.  Flame retardants  are supposedly the                                                               
new lead  because of  the way  harm they  cause to  human health.                                                               
They are  widely found in  mattresses, carpets,  television sets,                                                               
and even children's' products and toys.   She noted that the name                                                               
"flame  retardant"  is a  misnomer,  as  the  have proven  to  be                                                               
ineffective  at providing  fire safety  benefits in  homes.   The                                                               
scientists  who   study  these  flame  retardant   chemicals  and                                                               
firefighters who battle  house fires can attest to  this and have                                                               
testified in support of HB 27  in previous years.  In March 2019,                                                               
the  Anchorage Assembly  unanimously passed  the "Protecting  the                                                               
Health  of  Children  and  Firefighters  Ordinance,"  a  landmark                                                               
ordinance  preventing   the  use   of  harmful   flame  retardant                                                               
chemicals  in  children's  products, furniture,  and  mattresses.                                                               
She urged  members to pass  HB 27, a substantively  similar bill,                                                               
to ensure  the protection  of the  health of  all Alaskans.   She                                                               
went  on to  say that  the Alaska  State Legislature  also has  a                                                               
responsibility  to  protect  firefighters and  taxpayer  dollars.                                                               
She  said   science  has  shown  that   certain  flame  retardant                                                               
chemicals increase  the risk  of cancer  in firefighters  and the                                                               
cost  to  health  care  for firefighters  with  cancer  can  cost                                                               
millions  of  dollars  per  person.   She  reported  that  HB  27                                                               
received   broad  support   from   the  firefighting   community,                                                               
healthcare   providers,   scientists,  parents,   teachers,   and                                                               
children's health advocates.   She urged the  legislature to pass                                                               
HB 27 this legislative session.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:17:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM   WESCOTT,   President,  Alaska   Professional   Firefighters                                                               
Association, He stated that  the Alaska Professional Firefighters                                                               
Association (APFA) supports  this bill and urges  its passage. HB
27  would  work  to  ban  chemicals proven  to  be  dangerous  to                                                               
firefighters and  the community,  such as PBDE  flame retardants.                                                               
He  reported that  the APFA  represents  500 firefighters  across                                                               
Alaska, and they support HB 27 and look forward to its passage.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ asked  Mr.  Wescott to  describe  what he  knows                                                               
about  the relative  effectiveness  of  flame retardants  slowing                                                               
down actual fires.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WESCOTT  noted that he is  not a chemical expert.   He shared                                                               
what  he's learned  from firefighting,  which is  that everything                                                               
will burn  eventually when  its heated  to a  certain point.   He                                                               
said there are  other ways to achieve the same  result.  He added                                                               
that firefighters  get cancer at  a higher rate than  the general                                                               
population  because  of the  products  of  combustion that  burn,                                                               
which they are exposed to through skin absorption.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  mentioned  HB  84  and  the  dangers  of  flame                                                               
retardants,  as  well  as  the   higher  rates  of  cancer  among                                                               
firefighters  and first  responders.   She asked  Mr. Wescott  to                                                               
describe the "better ways" to slow fire.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WESCOTT listed  wool  as an  alternative  material to  flame                                                               
retardants.   He said there  are other types of  flame retardants                                                               
that,  as  long  as  they're  tested to  ensure  that  they  lack                                                               
secondary harm, will work to replace the dangerous ones.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:22:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked what  the [APFA] does  for prevention                                                               
and to  bring awareness to  families about chemicals that  are in                                                               
products.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. WESCOTT  said he isn't the  right person to answer  that.  He                                                               
said  the APFA  works with  ACAT  to bring  this important  issue                                                               
forward  and bring  it to  the  attention of  the legislature  to                                                               
affect change.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:23:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ said HB 27 would be held over.                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 93 Secretary of Defense letter 09.18.2019.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93 Alaska Occupational Licensure Report 03.05.2020.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 27 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Bill Version U 1.11.19.PDF HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Bill Version U 1.11.19Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Fiscal Note - Dept of Law 3.29.19.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - CDC - Skin Exposures and Effects.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Expert Testimony Vytenis Babrauskas.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Federal Register CPSC 9.28.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Flame Retardants - NIH Fact Sheet July 2016.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Knoblauch article 1.24.18.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Letters of Support Received by 2.25.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Fiscal Note DOL 2.7.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Sponsor Presentation 2.25.20.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 AO 2019-15(S)_1_As Amended.pdf HL&C 2/26/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Explanation of Changes Ver U to Ver S 01.21.20.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Combined Letters and Emails in Support 1.21.20.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 93 Sponsor Statement 2.24.2020.pdf HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93 DCCED Military Licensing Flyer 2.24.2020.pdf HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93 Evaluation of Licensure Implementation 2.24.2020.pdf HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93 How Alaska is Meeting DOD guidelines for Military Spouse Licensure 2.24.2020.pdf HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93 Fiscal Note DCCED-CBPL 3.20.2019.pdf HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93 Testimony - Received by 4.3.2019.pdf HL&C 3/2/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93
HB 93 Follow-Up Information from DCCED 3.5.20.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 93