Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

03/13/2020 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 91 NATUROPATHS: LICENSING; PRACTICE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 91(L&C) Out of Committee
+= HB 301 ELECTRICIAN & PLUMBER APPRENTICESHIPS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 27 REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ HB 146 MOTOR VEHICLE DEALERS: APPLIC.; INSURANCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB  27-REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:27:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced  that the next 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."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:28:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARLA  HART,  Staff,  Representative  Geran  Tarr,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  provided  an  overview  of  HB  27,  on  behalf  of                                                               
Representative Tarr,  prime sponsor.   She  stated that  the bill                                                               
regulates flame  retardants.  She  noted that its  similar  to an                                                               
Anchorage  law that  was passed  last year    provided  there are                                                               
several  differences.   She said  that Anchorage  bans all  flame                                                               
retardants above  1000 parts  per million, while  HB 27  bans all                                                               
levels   of  flame   retardants.     HB  27   bans  a   class  of                                                               
organohalogenated chemicals and  antimony, whereas Anchorage goes                                                               
further  by  linking  with laws  in  Washington  and  California.                                                               
Furthermore, HB  27 bans  toys and  electronic products  that are                                                               
primarily  used in  the home  and  removes child  seats from  the                                                               
definition  of    covered  items;    however,  the   industry  is                                                               
interpreting the bill as if  child restraint systems are covered.                                                               
She stated that the civil  penalties are also slightly different.                                                               
HB 27  has no enforcement  provisions, which makes  the penalties                                                               
 fairly  cosmetic,   she  said.     The  bill  still  allows  the                                                               
Department of Environmental Conservation  (DEC) to participate in                                                               
the Interstate  Chemicals Clearinghouse if they  desire; however,                                                               
there are no appropriated funds for  that.  She said if DEC would                                                               
like to  participate, dues  for the  clearinghouse are  $2000 for                                                               
the state population at this time.   She further noted that HB 27                                                               
has no  labeling requirement and  does not require  the retention                                                               
of records to  prove that products do not  contain the prohibited                                                               
flame retardants.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked for Ms.  Hart to email a comparison between                                                               
the Anchorage ordinance and HB 27.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART directed attention to  several documents on the members                                                                
desks.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:32:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GILLIS questioned  whether HB  27 would  conflict                                                               
with federal laws pertaining to flame retardants.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  answered no.   She explained that currently,  there are                                                               
no federal laws pertaining to  flame retardants, which is why the                                                               
states and municipalities are acting.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:32:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opened public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:33:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEN  GANN, Director,  American  Chemistry  Council, informed  the                                                               
committee  that   he  is  representing  the   American  Chemistry                                                               
Councils  North  American Flame Retardant  Alliance (NAFRA).   He                                                               
addressed three issues  with the legislation.  First,  he said, a                                                               
class-based  approach  to  regulating  flame  retardants  is  not                                                               
consistent with the current state  of the science because not all                                                               
flame retardants  are the same.   He explained that a  variety of                                                               
flame retardants  are necessary  because the materials  that need                                                               
to be made fire resistant  are different in their physical nature                                                               
and  chemical  composition,  as   are  the  end  use  performance                                                               
requirements of  the final product.   Second, HB 27  would remove                                                               
the possibility  for manufacturers  and product designers  to use                                                               
new  innovative  and sustainable  products  in  the research  and                                                               
development pipeline  that has not  yet come to market  and could                                                               
be essential to  helping these fire standards in the  future.  He                                                               
said Alaska  should not permanently eliminate  the possibility of                                                               
using  new  flame retardant  technologies  that  could help  save                                                               
lives  and property  from  fire.   Third,  he  stated that  flame                                                               
retardants  are reviewed  for their  safety by  regulators around                                                               
the world.   He said  this legislation would ban  substances that                                                               
government regulators  have already  determined do not  present a                                                               
risk.  HB 27 falls short  of the scientific standard by presuming                                                               
that   these  flame   retardant  chemicals   cannot,  under   any                                                               
circumstances,  be   safely  used  in  consumer   products.    To                                                               
conclude, he  said the approach  outlined in HB 27  runs contrary                                                               
to  sound science,  is openly  broad, discourages  development of                                                               
innovative   new  flame   retardants  to   meet  product   safety                                                               
standards,  ignores  safety  determinations  made  by  regulatory                                                               
authorities, and may increase fire safety risk.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:36:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN  AGUILAR,  Juvenile   Product  Manufacturers  Association,                                                               
stated  that her  critical concern  with HB  27 is  its deviation                                                               
from the Anchorage  city ordinance.  She said the  approach in HB
27  would have  negative impacts  with internal  and inaccessible                                                               
electronic and electrical components of  products, as well as car                                                               
seats.  She  opined that the Anchorage ordinance  is a reasonable                                                               
approach for  juvenile products.   She expressed her  interest in                                                               
amending HB  27 to be consistent  with that approach.   She added                                                               
that if  HB 27  is passed  in its  current form  there will  be a                                                               
broad  ban on  lifesaving  juvenile products  that require  flame                                                               
retardants  to  meet  safety  and  performance  standards.    She                                                               
requested   that   the   committee   contemplate   the   negative                                                               
consequences  of  HB   27  in  its  current   form  and  consider                                                               
amendments  to  make  it  fully  consistent  with  the  Anchorage                                                               
ordinance if it is to move forward.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:39:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA  MILLER, Executive  Director, Alaska  Community Action  on                                                               
Toxics, conveyed  three key messages  in support  of HB 27.   She                                                               
said  that toxic  flame  retardants do  not  provide proven  fire                                                               
safety  benefits and  fire safety  standards can  be met  without                                                               
them.   She  noted  that  the bill  has  the  support of  diverse                                                               
organizations,  including those  representing firefighters,  such                                                               
as  the Fire  Chiefs Association.   She  offered her  belief that                                                               
Alaska  has an  opportunity to  build  on the  foundation of  the                                                               
landmark Anchorage  ordinance and  to protect  the health  of all                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:42:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked if electronic  products and child restraint                                                               
systems should be included or excluded.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILLER  shared  her  belief  that  both  product  categories                                                               
present  a hazard  to  children.   Nonetheless,  said noted  that                                                               
there are car  seats that meet fire safety  standards without the                                                               
use of  flame retardant chemicals.   She reiterated  her interest                                                               
in passing a bill that  is substantively similar to the Anchorage                                                               
ordinance.    She  suggested  the   inclusion  of  three  product                                                               
categories: toys, electronics, and car restraint systems.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:44:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRANT   JOHNSON,  Policy   &   Government  Affairs   Coordinator,                                                               
International Sleep Products Association,  urged the committee to                                                               
vote no on HB 27 or  to amend the legislation to address existing                                                               
flaws.   He explained  that the  bill would  prohibit the  use of                                                               
antimony  trioxide,  which is  an  important  ingredient in  some                                                               
materials used  in mattresses to help  manufacturers meet federal                                                               
mattress  flammability   standards.    He  provided   a  detailed                                                               
explanation  of federal  flammability  standards administered  by                                                               
the  CPSC [Consumer  Product Safety  Commission].   He urged  the                                                               
committee to  vote no on  HB 27 or amend  the bill to  strike the                                                               
reference  to antimony  trioxide and  exclude products  that must                                                               
meet the  open flame mattress standard  set by the CPSC  from its                                                               
scope.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:49:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN   INGLIS,  Executive   Director,  Sustainable   Furnishings                                                               
Council, explained  that the  Sustainable Furnishings  Council is                                                               
an organization of companies  involved in residential furnishings                                                               
and  committed to  sustainability.   She  reported findings  from                                                               
consumer  research  and  urged  the   passage  of  HB  27.    She                                                               
reiterated that  chemicals leech out of  products exposing people                                                               
to harmful toxins that are directly  related to a range of health                                                               
problems including various  cancers, endocrine system disruption,                                                               
and more.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:53:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ closed public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:53:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GERAN  TARR,   Alaska  State  Legislature,  prime                                                               
sponsor of  HB 27, directed  attention to a document  on members                                                                
desks  addressing workplace  safety issues  for first  responders                                                               
and potential health impacts for  people inside their homes.  She                                                               
reported  that currently,  75 percent  of mattresses  do not  use                                                               
antimony.    She   added  that  the  removal   [of  antimony]  is                                                               
consistent with the Anchorage ordinance.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  expressed her concern about  firefighters facing                                                               
a higher risk of some cancers compared to the general public.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:55:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked how this  legislation differs from the                                                               
Anchorage ordinance.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR acknowledged  that there  are reasons  to be                                                               
concerned about the flame retardants  used in electronics as well                                                               
as  car  seats; however,  in  considering  safe alternatives  and                                                               
pushing  policy,  those products  were  included  to encourage  a                                                               
conversation  and   to  educate   people  on  the   health  risks                                                               
associated with exposure to them.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:57:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that HB 27 would be held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 146 Sectional Analysis v. S 2.25.2020.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Sponsor Statement v. S 2.25.2020.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Supporting Document - Alaska Automobile Dealers Association Bill Narrative 2.25.2020.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/20/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Supporting Document - AS. 45.25.400-45.25.990 Motor Vehicle Dealer Practices 11.25.2019.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Supporting Document - Dealer Licensing Requirements (WA, TX, HI, OR, MT, DE, OH, AK) 2.25.2020.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Supporting Document - Letter received 3.11.2020.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/18/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/20/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Supporting Document - Letters Received by 3.2.2020.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Supporting Document - Surety Bond Requirements (All 50 states and Washington, D.C.) 2.28.2020.pdf HL&C 3/13/2020 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 3/18/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 146