Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

03/19/2012 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:10 p.m. Today --
*+ HB 360 INTERSTATE MINING COMPACT & COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 365 AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 360-INTERSTATE MINING COMPACT & COMMISSION                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:15:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  360, "An Act  enacting the  Interstate Mining                                                               
Compact and relating  to the compact; relating  to the Interstate                                                               
Mining Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, Alaska  State Legislature, introduced HB                                                               
360  on behalf  of the  House State  Affairs Standing  Committee,                                                               
sponsor.  He  said the mining industry has  been historically the                                                               
cornerstone  of  Alaska's  economy   and  is  getting  even  more                                                               
significant.   Currently,  Alaska has  seven operating  mines and                                                               
employs more  than 200  people in  good, high  paying jobs.   The                                                               
Interstate  Mining Compact  Commission  (IMCC)  is a  multi-state                                                               
governmental organization  representing the natural  resource and                                                               
environmental protection interests of  its various member states.                                                               
The  compact's   purpose  is  to   advance  the   protection  and                                                               
restoration  of  land, water,  and  other  resources affected  by                                                               
mining.   The IMCC is the  collective voice of the  mining states                                                               
in Washington,  DC.   He said  HB 360  would authorize  Alaska to                                                               
participate in IMCC  as a full voting member.   Currently, Alaska                                                               
is only an associate member and cannot vote.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:17:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  FOGELS,  Deputy  Commissioner, Office  of  the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department of Natural  Resources (DNR), said he  will provide his                                                               
perspective  on   HB  360  and  the   Interstate  Mining  Compact                                                               
Commission.   He pointed  out that  Alaska's mining  activity has                                                               
been significantly increasing  over the last 10  years with seven                                                               
mines  now  operating  and   significantly  contributing  to  the                                                               
economies of  the state and  local areas.   All are  working well                                                               
from an environmental perspective, in  large part due to a strong                                                               
state  permitting  and  regulatory   process.    Along  with  the                                                               
increased mining  activity has  been increased  public discussion                                                               
about  mining  and its  impacts,  and  some have  questioned  the                                                               
strength of  Alaska's permitting  process.  While  [DNR] believes                                                               
it  is a  strong process,  it also  believes the  process can  be                                                               
improved and strengthened.  Per  the governor's initiative, [DNR]                                                               
is scrubbing its permitting processes from top to bottom.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS  said one  key thing  DNR is working  on in  trying to                                                               
improve  its permitting  process  for mining  and other  resource                                                               
sectors is  improving its relationship with  the federal agencies                                                               
and  the  federal  government.    This  is  because  the  federal                                                               
processes are  typically the timeline  drivers for each  of these                                                               
resource  development projects,  and that  is why  the Interstate                                                               
Mining  Compact  Commission  is  so important  to  the  State  of                                                               
Alaska.  He said the  Interstate Mining Compact Commission brings                                                               
together the  mining and  environmental regulatory  programs from                                                               
25 member  states and  the IMCC  is a  very robust  mechanism for                                                               
information  exchange.     Additionally,  the  Interstate  Mining                                                               
Compact Commission  brings with  it the full  force of  25 states                                                               
when  it talks  with  congressmen and  testifies  at hearings  in                                                               
Washington, DC.   In addition to  being a very powerful  voice in                                                               
Congress,  the  IMCC  has  discussions  with  federal  permitting                                                               
agencies at the headquarters level in Washington, DC.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:21:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS  provided an example  of how  the IMCC has  helped the                                                               
interests of the  states and Alaska in particular.   Recently the                                                               
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) started an initiative                                                               
where  it is  looking at  possibly taking  over bonding  for hard                                                               
rock  mining  in   the  nation.    All  the   mining  states  are                                                               
tremendously worried  about this  initiative because  the bonding                                                               
piece is  the very end  of a long  permitting process and  if EPA                                                               
takes  over that  bonding piece  it  threatens to  take over  the                                                               
entire permitting process by the other  states.  He said the IMCC                                                               
has done  a spectacular  job of bringing  all states  together to                                                               
dialog  with  EPA, to  debate,  to  provide information,  and  to                                                               
educate  the EPA  on what  is actually  involved in  developing a                                                               
bond for a significant hard rock mine.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS noted  he is currently the governor's  designee to the                                                               
Interstate  Mining Compact  Commission and  in this  role he  has                                                               
seen the benefits Alaska has  gained from this organization as an                                                               
associate member.  He said HB  360 is a good piece of legislation                                                               
and Alaska  would be very well  served by becoming a  full member                                                               
of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:22:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  asked why  Alaska has  not joined  the                                                               
Interstate Mining Compact Commission before.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS replied Alaska has  been an associate member for about                                                               
six years  and he  thinks the  reason Alaska  has not  joined the                                                               
IMCC to date is that it is  not an easy process because the state                                                               
must pass legislation.   There is also a  fiscal consideration to                                                               
becoming a  full member because  the dues  go up.   He understood                                                               
the fiscal  note is $60,000  with $40,000 of  that for dues.   He                                                               
explained that a  complicated dues formula is  spread out amongst                                                               
all the  states - half  is spread  out evenly between  the states                                                               
and  half  is  pro-rated  depending   on  the  value  of  mineral                                                               
production in  each state.   He  added that  in recent  years the                                                               
level of engagement with the  federal agencies has really gone up                                                               
as Alaska  tries to get  resource development  projects permitted                                                               
within  the state.   Alaska  must work  smarter with  the federal                                                               
agencies,  which  has elevated  the  importance  of the  IMCC  to                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:24:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI,  noting  that  five  other  states  are                                                               
associate members,  inquired what the  benefits are and  what the                                                               
difference  is  between being  an  associate  member and  a  full                                                               
member.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS  responded the single  biggest benefit is  that Alaska                                                               
would be a  voting member.  Right now Alaska  participates in all                                                               
the meetings,  a tremendous value with  the information exchange,                                                               
but it  does not participate as  a voting member sitting  on some                                                               
of the  committees.  He added  he thinks it important  for Alaska                                                               
to  pay its  dues  to  this organization  because  the more  full                                                               
members the more powerful IMCC's voice in Washington, DC.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  asked  what  things  a  member  of  the                                                               
Interstate Mining Compact Commission would actually vote on.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS answered  he could provide details in  this regard but                                                               
deferred  to IMCC  executive director  Gregory Conrad  to provide                                                               
the information.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:25:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  drew attention to the  IMCC's Interstate                                                               
Mining Compact  background paper which  states on page 1  that by                                                               
adopting  the compact  the member  states obligate  themselves to                                                               
undertake and  maintain certain types  of programs.   He inquired                                                               
what those programs would be.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS  replied predominantly  those are  regulatory programs                                                               
for the mining  industry.  When the compact was  first enacted in                                                               
the 1960s  and 1970s  the state  of environmental  regulation for                                                               
mining was  nowhere near what it  is today.  The  original intent                                                               
of the compact  was to get the states together  to develop strong                                                               
mine regulatory and  permitting programs.  At  this point, Alaska                                                               
has already  built its environmental  regulatory program  for the                                                               
mining industry, so has already met that part of the obligation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  asked whether Alaska would  be obligated                                                               
to adopt  more stringent  regulations if the  IMCC were  to adopt                                                               
regulations more stringent than the state's.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS responded the state would  not be obligated to that at                                                               
all.  He said he thinks  there is a provision specifically in the                                                               
compact  language that  nothing in  the compact  can supersede  a                                                               
state's laws or regulations.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:27:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON inquired  whether the IMCC is  just commenting or                                                               
is it  negotiating with the  federal government in regard  to the                                                               
EPA bonding issue.  If the  IMCC is negotiating, he asked whether                                                               
Alaska  be  more  bound  by   that  agreement  with  the  federal                                                               
government as a voting member than as a non-voting member.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS answered  he does not believe Alaska would.   The role                                                               
IMCC has played  in the bonding initiative has been  to bring the                                                               
states together and call the EPA  to meetings with all the states                                                               
by  teleconference  and in  person,  and  the commission  submits                                                               
comments on  behalf of  all the states  to the  federal agencies.                                                               
So,  the negotiation  that goes  on is  with the  states and  the                                                               
federal agency.   It is  sort of an  advisory role so  nothing is                                                               
binding.   The idea is to  talk sense into a  federal agency that                                                               
is working  some initiative  that may be  adverse to  the states'                                                               
interests.   Whatever that federal  agency ends up doing  is what                                                               
will be binding on all the state in the end.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:29:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  surmised  the   Interstate  Mining  Compact  is                                                               
different than  other compacts where restrictions  in the compact                                                               
apply to all  member states, so Alaska would not  be bound by the                                                               
Interstate Mining Compact.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.   FOGELS  concurred,   saying  the   IMCC  is   an  advisory,                                                               
facilitating,  and  lobbying  body  for  the  states'  regulatory                                                               
programs.   It  does not  pass any  rules or  requirements beyond                                                               
what is in the current compact  language.  He understood the only                                                               
real  requirement is  that  Alaska has  a  regulatory program  in                                                               
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:30:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FOGELS, in  response to  Representative Herron,  offered his                                                               
belief that Alaska  would be the first western state  to join the                                                               
Interstate Mining  Compact Commission,  although North  Dakota or                                                               
South Dakota  might be  full members.   The other  western states                                                               
are  associate members  at this  time.   In further  response, he                                                               
said his  perspective on the  reason for this  slow participation                                                               
is that  when the IMCC originated  in the 1960s and  1970s it was                                                               
primarily East Coast coal-related states,  so the IMCC had a very                                                               
strong coal focus  over the years.  Recently he  has seen a shift                                                               
to some  of the  non-coal issues, which  has been  very valuable.                                                               
More of the western states are  now starting to pay attention and                                                               
realize  that  the IMCC  is  going  to  be  a valuable  tool  and                                                               
organization  to join.    At  least two  or  three other  western                                                               
states are actively pursuing full membership at this time.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOGELS,  in response to Representative  Munoz, explained that                                                               
the commission's  advocacy is for issues  and regulatory programs                                                               
of the states and not for specific projects.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:32:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREGORY  CONRAD, Executive  Director,  Interstate Mining  Compact                                                               
Commission (IMCC),  offered testimony in  support of HB 360.   He                                                               
noted  Alaska has  been an  associate  member of  the IMCC  since                                                               
2006, during which time the  state has learned about the benefits                                                               
and services provided  by IMCC.  On the basis  of this experience                                                               
the state  has chosen  to move  forward with HB  360 to  become a                                                               
full IMCC member.  He explained  that upon becoming a full member                                                               
through the enactment of HB 360,  Alaska would have a formal vote                                                               
in guiding  the direction of the  compact.  Alaska would  also be                                                               
in a position to chair  the compact's various standing committees                                                               
and help lead the compact  in directions favorable to both Alaska                                                               
and the other member states.   Alaska would continue to enjoy the                                                               
other benefits  to which it  has been  exposed over the  past six                                                               
years,  including access  to all  IMCC communications,  meetings,                                                               
programs, and initiatives.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD  said Alaska's  participation as  a full  member would                                                               
also  be understood  by  those who  work with  the  compact on  a                                                               
regular  basis, including  Congress  and federal  agencies.   The                                                               
presence of IMCC in Washington,  DC, allows it to monitor federal                                                               
agency and  congressional initiatives  that might  impact states'                                                               
rights  as well  as  development constraints  on mineral  issues.                                                               
Alaska's participation  in the  IMCC would  open avenues  for the                                                               
state  to be  heard in  unique  and valuable  ways not  otherwise                                                               
available to  it and to  be supported  with the clout  that comes                                                               
from 24  states speaking together as  one voice.  Since  the IMCC                                                               
focuses  solely on  mining and  related environmental  protection                                                               
issues with  the federal government,  it is able to  delve deeper                                                               
into the mining-related concerns that matter most to Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:36:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  again  drew  attention  to  the  IMCC's                                                               
Interstate Mining Compact background  paper which states [on page                                                               
1]  that  by adopting  the  compact  the member  states  obligate                                                               
themselves to  undertake and maintain certain  types of programs.                                                               
He asked  whether Mr.  Conrad has reviewed  Alaska's laws  to see                                                               
whether the state currently has those programs in place.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD  replied the key  aspect of this  is that the  IMCC is                                                               
not a regulatory  body, so the organization does not  as a matter                                                               
of course require  regulation by the states.   The IMCC advocates                                                               
and encourages  states to develop  regulatory and  other programs                                                               
in the area  of mineral resource development  and protection that                                                               
would demonstrate  leadership by the  states in these areas.   He                                                               
said his understanding is that  Alaska's laws and regulations are                                                               
in very good stead.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:37:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  noted that  of  the  19 current  member                                                               
states and  5 associate members,  3 of  the top 10  mining states                                                               
are  absent -  the  western states  of  Arizona, California,  and                                                               
Montana.    Additionally,  Colorado   and  New  Mexico  are  only                                                               
associate members.   He  inquired why other  states have  not yet                                                               
joined given how long the IMCC has been around.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD  concurred with  Mr. Fogels'  statement that  when the                                                               
IMCC began  in the 1960s  and 1970s  it was primarily  focused on                                                               
coal-related issues.   National  legislation, the  Surface Mining                                                               
Control  and Reclamation  Act  [of 1977],  was  critical for  the                                                               
states because  it had  a state  lead concept.   The  coal states                                                               
were the  initial states that  joined and formed the  compact and                                                               
advocated  for   many  of  the   key  legislative   proposals  in                                                               
Washington, DC.   Over time the  IMCC has expanded its  scope and                                                               
focus beyond coal  issues.  The current focus  in Washington, DC,                                                               
is as  much on non-coal and  hard rock issues as  on coal issues.                                                               
Over the last 10-15 years the  western states have seen the value                                                               
of  being part  of  an  organization that  is  focused solely  on                                                               
mining issues  for the  states.   Therefore, more  western states                                                               
are  becoming involved  in IMCC,  beginning with  New Mexico  and                                                               
recent  associate member,  Colorado.    He said  he  has been  in                                                               
negotiations   and  discussions   with  Arizona,   Colorado,  and                                                               
Montana.   He met with  Nevada's mineral resources  committee two                                                               
weeks  ago and  Nevada is  seriously considering  coming in  as a                                                               
member state.  It is a  process for becoming involved.  The newer                                                               
associate member states have gained  an understanding of the work                                                               
of the  compact and are now  moving toward full membership.   The                                                               
IMCC  is working  on development  of legislation  in New  Mexico,                                                               
Colorado, and Utah and it is  a matter of finding the appropriate                                                               
opportunity to introduce bills that are currently in draft form.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:40:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked whether  IMCC is just now starting                                                               
to get new members since the original group of coal states.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD  responded the newest  members joining are  almost all                                                               
western  members with  hard rock  influence, which  has been  the                                                               
impetus for  their interest.   The newest  member states  are the                                                               
ones  similarly situated  to Alaska  regarding issues,  concerns,                                                               
and regulatory focus.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON clarified she  is asking whether any new                                                               
states have already entered IMCC  or are new states just starting                                                               
to enter  the organization.   She inquired  whether the  19 [full                                                               
member]  states are  the  original coal  states  and whether  the                                                               
associate  members are  thinking about  joining because  the IMCC                                                               
has expanded [its focus].                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD  answered it has been  a process by which  states have                                                               
become  exposed  to  and  become  involved  in  the  IMCC.    The                                                               
originating legislation  required four states for  the compact to                                                               
be in place and effective.   Kentucky was the first state to join                                                               
in  1966, followed  by  Pennsylvania,  North Carolina,  Oklahoma,                                                               
West Virginia, and  South Carolina.  North and  South Carolina do                                                               
not  have coal  development,  so  a number  of  states have  been                                                               
involved  that  do  not  have  coal.   This  newest  impetus  for                                                               
becoming involved  began in 2000  with New Mexico and  on through                                                               
2007 with Colorado.   Now, Nevada and Montana are  looking at the                                                               
IMCC.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:43:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON   noted  Alaska  is  considering   several  coal                                                               
deposits for  strip mining  and is  considering several  open pit                                                               
prospects as well as several  underground prospects for hard rock                                                               
mining.  He asked whether Mr.  Conrad is referring to open pit or                                                               
underground  mining  when referring  to  hard  rock mining.    He                                                               
further asked  whether Alaska's interests would  align with those                                                               
of the other 19 voting states.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD believed they  do align.  He said the  IMCC has a very                                                               
broad range of interests from the  states in all types of mining.                                                               
So,  when he  says "hard  rock", perhaps  "non-coal" may  be more                                                               
embracing,  as  well  as  the   different  methods  of  mining  -                                                               
underground,  surface, open  pit.   The  work of  the compact  is                                                               
generally  driven by  the  national issues  that  are before  the                                                               
federal  agencies or  Congress;  for example,  the bonding  issue                                                               
mentioned by Mr.  Fogels, which pervades all types  of mining and                                                               
minerals.   Another area IMCC  is working  on is mine  safety and                                                               
health  legislation, which  embraces both  coal and  non-coal and                                                               
different types of mines and mining.   The IMCC has been involved                                                               
with the issue of coal waste  and coal combustion waste and other                                                               
kinds of  mine waste.   Depending upon  where the issue  is being                                                               
driven from,  the IMCC  covers a plethora  of different  types of                                                               
mining.   As a result, there  is interest from all  of the member                                                               
states in development of these  particular issues, whether before                                                               
Congress or agencies.  The  states find themselves generally very                                                               
well aligned when  it comes to developing IMCC's  position on any                                                               
particular legislative or regulatory  issue and the IMCC operates                                                               
generally by consensus.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:47:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON  related that Montana  has enacted  a prohibition                                                               
on the use  of cyanide.  He inquired whether  that issue has come                                                               
up and how it was handled or not handled at the compact level.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD  replied that is a  good example given there  has been                                                               
concern about  the use of  cyanide at mining operations  over the                                                               
years and in the  recent past.  In the context  of the compact, a                                                               
state will  bring an issue to  the table to share  information in                                                               
terms  of how  it is  impacting  that state  from the  regulatory                                                               
perspective;  or, if  there is  a particular  rule of  a national                                                               
scope, it will give all the  states an opportunity to weigh in on                                                               
that issue.   States are usually not  positioning themselves with                                                               
respect to what is happening  in the respective states other than                                                               
being  aware  of  that  and  offering advice  and  counsel  to  a                                                               
particular state that may be  dealing with a particular challenge                                                               
associated with that issue.  Unless  it is at a national level in                                                               
terms of a  federal rule making, the compact  would generally not                                                               
be taking a  position on what is going on  in a particular state,                                                               
it is left to the state itself.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:50:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON, noting Article  VIII of the compact, Entry                                                               
into Force  and Withdrawal, asked  whether any state has  had the                                                               
need to withdraw.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONRAD  responded the only  state to withdraw was  New Mexico                                                               
in 1983, but it rejoined in 2000.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:50:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ recollected  that a mine in  the Juneau area                                                               
experienced  many years  of difficulty  and delays  with the  US.                                                               
Army Corps  of Engineers'  404 permit.   She  asked how  the IMCC                                                               
would  help to  communicate to  the federal  agencies that  there                                                               
could be problems with the permitting in a particular situation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CONRAD  answered that  the  issue  of requirements  for  404                                                               
permits  has  been brought  before  the  IMCC by  several  states                                                               
struggling with  it, including  Alaska.   The benefit  is sharing                                                               
the type of challenges being faced  so the state can benefit from                                                               
the advice  of the  other states  in how  those states  have been                                                               
dealing  with the  corps.    To the  extent  that  the corps  has                                                               
recently moved forward  with a rule making  on nationwide permits                                                               
for coal mines,  the IMCC would be able to  develop a position on                                                               
that  rule making  and communicate  that  through formal  written                                                               
comments, testimony  at public hearings, and  potentially raising                                                               
it as part of congressional oversight hearings.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:52:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FOGELS,  in  response to  Representative  Herron,  said  the                                                               
administration supports HB 360.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:53:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE opened public testimony on HB 360.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  SATRE, Executive  Director,  Council  of Alaska  Producers,                                                               
stated  that his  nonprofit trade  association, which  represents                                                               
the  major  mines and  developmental  projects  in the  state  of                                                               
Alaska,  supports HB  360.   He  said  his organization  believes                                                               
Alaska has one  of the most rigorous permitting  processes in the                                                               
world for  mining because Alaska's  process is  rigorous, science                                                               
based,  transparent, and  predictable.   However,  what might  be                                                               
rigorous one day might  not be the next and the  only way to stay                                                               
on top  of the game is  by finding ways to  continuously improve.                                                               
One of the  ways to do that is by  sharing information with peers                                                               
and in this  case those peers are other  mining producing states.                                                               
As a  full member of the  IMCC, Alaska would be  able to exchange                                                               
information regarding  best regulatory and  reclamation practices                                                               
with states  that have  lots of experience  from mining  coal for                                                               
many years, which  is important to Alaska as it  looks to develop                                                               
new coal deposits in the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SATRE maintained  that in regard to metal mining  this is the                                                               
chance  for Alaska  to take  the lead  amongst western  states to                                                               
show the  West how mining is  done responsibly in Alaska  and how                                                               
everybody in  the West should  be doing it.   This would  lay the                                                               
foundation  for a  properly regulated  mining economy  throughout                                                               
the West.   Rather than asking  why other states are  not part of                                                               
the  IMCC  the  question  should  be,  "How  can  Alaska  take  a                                                               
leadership role  in this?"  The  state can be a  policy leader by                                                               
being a full member of the IMCC.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:55:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SATRE said  a  main reason  his  organization supports  full                                                               
membership  in  the  IMCC  is   echoed  on  the  IMCC  web  site.                                                               
Paraphrasing from the  site he related that the  IMCC was founded                                                               
on the premise that the mining  industry is one of the most basic                                                               
and important  to the nation.   At the same time  it is essential                                                               
that  an  appropriate balance  be  struck  between the  need  for                                                               
minerals  and the  protection of  the environment,  but the  IMCC                                                               
recognizes  that individual  states have  the power  to establish                                                               
and  maintain programs  of land  and  other resource  development                                                               
restoration regulations  appropriate to cope with  the effects of                                                               
mining.   The IMCC  would not shift  the responsibility  of these                                                               
programs.  On the other hand,  the member states believe a united                                                               
position  in  dealing  with  the  federal  government  affords  a                                                               
decided  advantage.    The commission  feels  strongly  that  the                                                               
collective voice of many is  important in its efforts to preserve                                                               
and advocate states'  rights.  Mr. Satre added that  if the State                                                               
of Alaska is going to continue  to seek primacy on permitting and                                                               
regulatory issues, the  IMCC is the most appropriate  forum to do                                                               
it from the mining industry's standpoint.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON said  he supports HB 360  and asked whether                                                               
Mr. Satre has heard of anybody opposing Alaska joining the IMCC.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SATRE answered that he personally has not.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE closed public testimony  after ascertaining no one                                                               
else wished to testify.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:57:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON said  he is  favorably disposed  to HB  360, but                                                               
noted he  has not heard  comment from  anyone in his  district or                                                               
from individual  mines about HB  360.   He requested the  bill be                                                               
held until he can hear from them.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE  held over HB  360 and said  he plans to  move the                                                               
bill out of committee on 3/21/12.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0360A.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 360
HB 360 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 360
HB 360 Sectional Analysis.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 360
HB360-DNR-MLW-03-15-12.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 360
IMCC Background Information.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
Leg. Research Interstate Compacts In AK Statute.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB0365A.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB 365 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB 365 Amendment A.1.PDF HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
Dvex Presentation by UAS 1.23.12.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
CSG Capitol Ideas feature article on Aquatic Invasive Species I.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
CSG Capitol Ideas feature article on Aquatic Invasive Species II.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB365 UFA Letter of Support.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB365-DEC-SWM-03-15-12.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB365-DEC-WQ-03-15-12.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB365-DFG-SFD-03-16-12.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB365-DHSS-EPI-3-16-12.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB365-DNR-AG-03-17-12.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB365 Comment - Wurtz.PDF HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB360 IMCC Testimony.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 360
HB365 Support - Anch Park Foundation.pdf HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365
HB 365 Conceptual Amend - Seaton.docx HRES 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 365