Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/20/2001 01:50 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB  22-MARINE PASSENGER VESSELS                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR MASEK  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL  NO. 22, "An Act relating to                                                               
certain passenger vessels  operating in the marine  waters of the                                                               
state;  and  providing  for  an effective  date."    [Before  the                                                               
committee is CSSSHB 22(TRA).]                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA, testifying  as  the sponsor,  explained                                                               
that  SSHB   22  is  a   sampling,  registering,   and  reporting                                                               
requirement  for  the  cruise  industry   in  Alaska.    Under  a                                                               
voluntary program last  summer, the cruise industry  took it upon                                                               
itself  to perform  water quality  sampling of  their discharges.                                                               
Those  discharge  samples  had  unexpected  high  fecal  coliform                                                               
counts in the graywater, which is  the water from the laundry and                                                               
showers.   Consequently, the cruise  industry has  worked towards                                                               
meeting higher  expectations.  Representative  Kerttula explained                                                               
that  SSHB  22  establishes  a  process  whereby  companies  will                                                               
[perform]   sampling   and   the  Department   of   Environmental                                                               
Conservation  (DEC)   will  be  able  to   obtain  the  sampling.                                                               
Furthermore, this legislation  will allow the state  to mesh with                                                               
federal  legislation that  U.S.  Senator Murkowski  put in  place                                                               
last  year.   She specified  that a  sponsor substitute  (SS) was                                                               
introduced  in  order  to  mesh  with  U.S.  Senator  Murkowski's                                                               
legislation.  The House  Transportation Standing Committee worked                                                               
on a  compromise with the  industry and  Representative Kerttula,                                                               
which  resulted  in  the  committee   substitute  (CS)  that  was                                                               
presented   to  the   House  Transportation   Standing  Committee                                                               
yesterday.     Fundamentally,   the   CS   remains  a   sampling,                                                               
registering, and reporting bill.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  informed the committee that  she has two                                                               
amendments  that  she  will  be   offering  for  the  committee's                                                               
consideration.    She  announced  that  she  would  withdraw  the                                                               
amendment  labeled  22-LS0238\P.2,   Lauterbach,  4/20/01,  which                                                               
reads as follows:                                                                                                               
     Page 3, lines 9 - 16:                                                                                                      
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
          Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                      
     "(c)   Except  as provided  in (f)  of this  section, a                                                                    
     person  may  not  discharge   graywater  from  a  large                                                                    
     passenger vessel  into the marine  waters of  the state                                                                    
     that  fails   to  meet   the  effluent   standards  for                                                                    
     graywater  established  by  the  Administrator  of  the                                                                    
     United  States  Environmental Protection  Agency  under                                                                    
     sec. 1407 of  the federal cruise ship  legislation.  If                                                                    
     the  Administrator   has  not  adopted   these  federal                                                                    
     effluent   standards  by   January 1,   2003,     then,                                                                    
     beginning   January 1,  2003,   and  ending   when  the                                                                    
     Administrator   does  adopt   these  federal   effluent                                                                    
     standards, a person may not,  except as provided in (f)                                                                    
     of  this  section,  discharge graywater  from  a  large                                                                    
     passenger vessel  into the marine  waters of  the state                                                                    
     that has a fecal  coliform bacterial count greater than                                                                    
     200 colonies  per 100  milliliters or  suspended solids                                                                    
     greater than 150 milligrams per liter."                                                                                    
She explained  that although there were  no performance standards                                                               
in SSHB  22, there  are now  a few  performance standards  in [AS                                                               
46.03].463 of  the CS.   For the record,  Representative Kerttula                                                               
stated  that she  intends  the performance  standards  to be  the                                                               
floor and  not the cap.   She related her belief  that the cruise                                                               
industry  would  probably  surpass  these  performance  standards                                                               
fairly soon.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA turned  to  Amendment 1  [22-LS0238\P.3,                                                               
Lauterbach,  4/20/01], which  is  merely  a housekeeping  measure                                                               
that  the  drafter  feels  appropriate.   Amendment  1  reads  as                                                               
     Page 5, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "and (d)"                                                                                                      
     Page 5, line 15:                                                                                                           
          Delete "(e) - (g)"                                                                                                    
          Insert "(d) - (f)"                                                                                                    
     Page 5, lines 22 - 30:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
     Reletter the following subsections accordingly.                                                                            
     Page 5, line 31, through page 6, line 1:                                                                                   
          Delete "other than a release covered by (c) of                                                                        
     this section"                                                                                                              
     Page 6, line 25:                                                                                                           
          Delete "(e)"                                                                                                          
          Insert "(d)"                                                                                                          
     Page 6, line 27:                                                                                                           
          Delete "(e)"                                                                                                          
     Insert "(d)"                                                                                                               
Number 0619                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  moved that the committee  adopt Amendment                                                               
1.  There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  turned  to  the  final  amendment  [22-                                                               
LS0238\P.1,   Lauterbach,  4/20/01],   [Amendment  2]   reads  as                                                               
     Page 8, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "exemptions to"                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KERTTULA  characterized   [Amendment  2]   as  a                                                               
substantive amendment because it addresses  the fact that SSHB 22                                                               
grants  DEC the  authority  to  implement necessary  regulations.                                                               
Although  this legislation  doesn't propose  a large  program and                                                               
there is  a minimal fiscal note,  DEC will still try  to work out                                                               
exactly how the sampling will be  done.  Therefore, DEC does need                                                               
some  authority.    The  language  that came  out  of  the  House                                                               
Transportation Standing  Committee is somewhat  ambiguous because                                                               
it says "The department may  adopt regulations that are necessary                                                               
for the  implementation of exemptions".   Therefore,  the concern                                                               
is that the language may be  misread to mean that it only applied                                                               
to  the implementation  of exemptions.   Representative  Kerttula                                                               
acknowledged that  the industry,  as well  as herself,  have only                                                               
had a  short time to  view CSSSHB  22(TRA).  Although  she wasn't                                                               
sure of  their position on  the CS, she believes  that [everyone]                                                               
recognizes the  need for reasonable regulations  by [the state's]                                                               
agencies.   She  noted that  this legislation  does have  another                                                               
committee of referral  and thus the cruise industry  will be able                                                               
to  review  the [CS]  further  and  can  voice concerns  at  that                                                               
There  was   discussion  regarding  which  amendment   was  being                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE FATE asked if  AS 46.03.460-46.03.490 describe the                                                               
exemptions, if any.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA explained  that the [regulations section]                                                               
would  provide the  department  the authority  to  deal with  the                                                               
statutes  and  implement  anything necessary.    Unless  directly                                                               
stated in  the statute, the  department wouldn't have  to require                                                               
the company  to do it  and thus, in  that regard, there  would be                                                               
exemptions and additions.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE   FATE   expressed   his  discomfort   in   making                                                               
exemptions  when he  really isn't  familiar with  that particular                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  explained that Amendment 2  would delete                                                               
the  language  "exemptions to"  because  that  language could  be                                                               
interpreted to  mean that  DEC can  only implement  exemptions to                                                               
the statutes.   Normally, a statute is put in  place and then the                                                               
agency determines how the sampling would be done.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE   agreed  with   Representative  Kerttula                                                               
regarding  the possible  interpretation  of  the "exemptions  to"                                                               
language.  She  remarked, "In a sense, the bill  means nothing if                                                               
you have  no ability  to implement  it."   Representative McGuire                                                               
suggested that Amendment  2 could be amended on page  8, line 16,                                                               
delete  "to", insert  "and the  implementation of".   She  agreed                                                               
that Representative Fate has a  good point in that the [original]                                                               
deletion [in  Amendment 2]  may, in some  way, suggest  that "we"                                                               
don't want those exemptions implemented as well.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA said  she  accepted that  as a  friendly                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE   clarified  that  she  would   like  her                                                               
amendment  to Amendment  2 to  be  conceptual.   Amendment 2,  as                                                               
amended, reads as follows:                                                                                                      
     Page 8, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "to"                                                                                                           
          Insert "and the implementation of"                                                                                    
CHAIR MASEK  asked if  there were any  objections to  Amendment 2                                                               
[as  amended].    There  being  no  objection,  Amendment  2  [as                                                               
amended] was adopted.                                                                                                           
TAPE 01-38, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0010                                                                                                                     
ROBERT  REGES,  Member,  Cruise  Control,  Inc.,  explained  that                                                               
Cruise Control,  Inc., is  a citizens  group working  to mitigate                                                               
the impacts of  industrial tourism.  Mr. Reges said  that he has,                                                               
in the last 24 hours, reviewed  CSSSHB 22(TRA) and thus he wanted                                                               
to address  the following four  points.  First, Mr.  Reges turned                                                               
to  the issue  of  fees.   Drawing  on  his statutory  litigation                                                               
experience,  Mr. Reges  pointed out  that the  ability to  charge                                                               
fees  isn't necessarily  assumed.   Therefore,  he requested  the                                                               
inclusion  of  intent [language]  or  explicit  language to  that                                                               
effect.   The  explicit  language, "including  the assessment  of                                                               
fees"  would be  inserted  on page  8,  line 16.    He noted  his                                                               
preference for including the explicit language.                                                                                 
MR. REGES moved on to his  second point and directed attention to                                                               
page 7,  line 28, which  is the  penalty section.   He explained,                                                               
"Subsection  (a) is  designed to  preclude  operators from  using                                                               
Alaska's court  system if  they have failed  to register."   Such                                                               
statutes tend to  be narrowly construed because  they work [with]                                                               
forfeiture.   From his experience,  he believes that,  unless the                                                               
legislature is very  specific, the judges will  read that penalty                                                               
out of existence.   Therefore, he suggested the  following:  page                                                               
7, line  28, after  "claim", insert  "crossclaim".   He explained                                                               
that there are basically the following  three types of claims:  a                                                               
claim, a counterclaim, and a crossclaim.                                                                                        
MR.  REGES continued  with  his third  point  of discussion,  the                                                               
title  and  its   notion  of  permits.     He  acknowledged  that                                                               
initially, permits  weren't part  of this bill,  but were  in the                                                               
governor's proposed bill.  Mr.  Reges related his belief that the                                                               
current title doesn't  allow for an open  and thorough discussion                                                               
regarding  whether   a  permitting  regime  might   be  the  most                                                               
efficient way to implement "what it  is we're trying to do here."                                                               
He pointed out  that his industrial clients are  often pleased to                                                               
have a specific permit for them  because it can take their unique                                                               
needs into account.   Furthermore, a specific permit  would be an                                                               
excellent  vehicle by  which  the  department typically  accesses                                                               
fees.   He  reiterated  that  the title  doesn't  leave room  for                                                               
discussion regarding whether there  should be a permitting regime                                                               
or not,  which he  finds regrettable.   Therefore, he  hoped that                                                               
the title could be loosened in order to allow such a discussion.                                                                
MR. REGES concluded with his  fourth point regarding the deletion                                                               
of the monitoring, reporting, and  recordkeeping of air emissions                                                               
from CSSSHB  22(TRA).   He recalled that  the rationale  for that                                                               
deletion  was that  air emissions  are  addressed under  existing                                                               
law.  He  noted that he has worked extensively  with air emission                                                               
laws.    However, if air  pollution from cruise ships  is left to                                                               
fall  under  the existing  statutes,  there  will be  ambiguities                                                               
because  these laws  and regulations  weren't written  with these                                                               
sources  of  air  pollution  in  mind.    Therefore,  monitoring,                                                               
recordkeeping,  and reporting  under existing  air emission  laws                                                               
would wind  up being  done in  court or  under an  executive fiat                                                               
under  the existing  authorities.   For  that  reason, Mr.  Reges                                                               
advocated  that  the  very   minimal  air  emission  requirements                                                               
contained  in SSHB  22 be  reinserted.   He  specified that  this                                                               
language appeared on page 2, lines  25-31, of SSHB 22.  Mr. Reges                                                               
acknowledged  that the  cruise industry  is concerned  that self-                                                               
reporting  would "lead  to turning  oneself  in for  violations."                                                               
However,  Mr. Reges  indicated the  ability and  his [preference]                                                               
for  immunizing that  kind of  data  [self-reported air  emission                                                               
data] as  is done  with other self-audits.   Mr.  Reges explained                                                               
that this  type of data  would allow knowledge regarding  what is                                                               
the best  available control technology  and who does  and doesn't                                                               
break the standard.  He  recognized that operators are engaged in                                                               
a  variety of  efforts in  order to  reduce their  emissions, but                                                               
there is  no way  to compare  and contrast  the success  of those                                                               
efforts unless  the monitoring,  reporting, and  recordkeeping is                                                               
reinserted into the bill.                                                                                                       
Number 0618                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR SCALZI addressed  Mr. Reges' points on the  fees and the                                                               
permitting title change.  Co-Chair  Scalzi asked if the expansion                                                               
of fees, included in [sub]section  (a), would suffice so that the                                                               
title wouldn't have to be changed.                                                                                              
MR.  REGES said  that  he was  not  an expert  in  regard to  the                                                               
legislative permutations of the title.                                                                                          
Number 0689                                                                                                                     
RANDY   RAY,  U.S.   Cruise  Ship   Association,  testified   via                                                               
teleconference.  He  informed the committee that  the U.S. Cruise                                                               
Ship Association is compromised  of the small U.S.-flagged cruise                                                               
ships.   Mr. Ray noted that  he had obtained the  bill last night                                                               
and thus the  association didn't have a  definitive position yet.                                                               
However, he  related the belief  that the  bill is moving  in the                                                               
right  direction and  due to  the short  timeframe, he  urged the                                                               
committee to  keep the bill  moving forward.   He noted  that the                                                               
[association]  would work  with the  sponsor and  the legislature                                                               
through the process.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  MASEK  asked  if  there  was anyone  else  who  wished  to                                                               
testify.   There being no  one, the public testimony  portion was                                                               
closed and the committee discussion began.                                                                                      
Number 0779                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA remarked  that  she believes  she is  in                                                               
agreement  with  Mr.  Reges'  suggestion   to  include  the  word                                                               
"crossclaim"    in   the    penalties   section.       Therefore,                                                               
Representative  Kerttula  moved  that  the  committee  adopt  the                                                               
following conceptual amendment, Amendment 3:                                                                                    
     Page 7, line 28, after "claim",                                                                                            
          Insert "crossclaim"                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE objected  and asked  if [Amendment  3] would                                                               
change the intent of that particular clause.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA replied no.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE FATE related his  understanding that [Amendment 3]                                                               
would add  one more claim  in order to eliminate  any possibility                                                               
of  any further  litigation.   Representative  Fate withdrew  his                                                               
There being no objection, conceptual Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  also indicated agreement with  Mr. Reges                                                               
in regard to including the  assessment of fees in the regulations                                                               
section on  page 8,  line 15.   She pointed  out that  the fiscal                                                               
note was moved from the  House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                               
Furthermore, she said,  "We clearly envisioned DEC to  be able to                                                               
assess a fee."   Although in the past the  industry has said they                                                               
have been willing to work with  that, she wasn't sure because she                                                               
hasn't  spoken  with  the industry  on  this  particular  matter.                                                               
Therefore, the  record could reflect  that intent or  there could                                                               
be  an  explicit  amendment.    She left  that  decision  to  the                                                               
CHAIR  MASEK pointed  out  that  this bill  has  a House  Finance                                                               
Committee  referral and  thus  she  believed that  Representative                                                               
Kerttula  could speak  with the  industry and  the House  Finance                                                               
Committee members on this issue.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  turned to Mr. Reges'  comments about the                                                               
permitting and the  air emissions and said that she  would do her                                                               
best  to  discuss   those  with  the  industry   and  the  entire                                                               
legislature in order to resolve those.                                                                                          
Number 0988                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE moved  to report  CSSSHB 22(TRA)  as amended                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying  fiscal notes.   There  being  no objection,  CSSSHB
22(RES)   was  reported   from  the   House  Resources   Standing                                                               
The committee took a brief at-ease from 3:45 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.                                                                  

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