Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

04/06/2013 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB 163-REGULATION OF SOLID FUEL BURNING DEVICES                                                                     
1:06:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FEIGE announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 163, "An  Act prohibiting a person from burning                                                               
certain materials  in a  solid fuel  burning device;  relating to                                                               
solid  fuel burning  device emission  standards; and  relating to                                                               
prohibitions on the burning of solid fuels."                                                                                    
1:06:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON, Alaska State  Legislature, paraphrased                                                               
from  the  following   sponsor  statement  [original  punctuation                                                               
     This bill  would establish a new  emission standard for                                                                    
     solid fuel  burning devices  within the  EPA designated                                                                    
     2.5 nonattainment  areas by allowing only  the cleanest                                                                    
     burning  devices to  be sold  at  local retail  stores.                                                                    
     Those who have a  solid fuel device currently installed                                                                    
     are grandfathered  under the new emission  standard and                                                                    
     would not need to convert their device.                                                                                    
     Currently,  a  PM  2.5   nonattainment  area  has  been                                                                    
     designated by the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency                                                                    
     within the  Fairbanks North Star  Borough.   During the                                                                    
     winter months,  air quality status can  reach unhealthy                                                                    
     levels for  many of  the people  who reside  within the                                                                    
     nonattainment  area.   This  was  especially true  this                                                                    
     last   winter  when   the  average   temperate  between                                                                    
     November and December was minus 40 degrees.                                                                                
     This  bill ensures  the  most  efficient EPA  certified                                                                    
     appliances  are   installed  as   homeowners  naturally                                                                    
     upgrade their units, saving  Alaskans money by reducing                                                                    
     the  cost of  space heat.  Additionally, by  installing                                                                    
     the best technology, air quality  at a neighborhood and                                                                    
     regional level  will also improve.   This  is important                                                                    
     for  the  overall health  of  the  communities and  for                                                                    
     achieving federal attainment with EPA.                                                                                     
     Finally,  HB 163  guarantees an  individual's right  to                                                                    
     use  a solid  fuel  burning device  in accordance  with                                                                    
     their   budget  and   local  and   state   law.     The                                                                    
     consequences  of not  reaching  EPA  PM 2.5  attainment                                                                    
     status stretch  beyond health concerns.   If attainment                                                                    
     is  not reached  by 2014,  the EPA  could sanction  the                                                                    
     state of  Alaska by  withholding Federal  highway funds                                                                    
     within the  non-attainment area, which ranges  from the                                                                    
     City of  Fairbanks to  the City of  North Pole  and the                                                                    
     outlying areas.   It is not the  entire Fairbanks North                                                                    
     Star Borough but is the  populated area.  It also would                                                                    
     include  Ft. Wainwright.   This  would prevent  many of                                                                    
     Alaska's roads  and transportation  infrastructure from                                                                    
     being  constructed  or  upgraded.     This  bill  is  a                                                                    
     proactive  bill and  will hopefully  prevent additional                                                                    
     communities from becoming a PM 2.5 nonattainment area.                                                                     
1:09:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  T.  WILSON  indicated she  originally  considered                                                               
making the  bill apply  statewide, however,  since then  she made                                                               
several changes to  the bill.  Perhaps if the  community had been                                                               
more proactive it might not be  in a non-attainment area now, she                                                               
said.   The EPA certified wood  stoves are rated up  to 7.5 grams                                                               
per  hour.  Due to  temperature  inversion  issues, the  EPA  and                                                               
Fairbanks North  Star Borough (FNSB)  do not think  the community                                                               
can meet  attainment without  specifying cleaner  burning stoves,                                                               
such as ones that rated at 2.5 grams per hour.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  T. WILSON  explained that  the interpretation  of                                                               
the  EPA's  standards related  to  British  Thermal Units  (BTUs)                                                               
indicated none  of the  wood stoves  would have  qualified, which                                                               
was  not the  intent of  the bill.   Additionally,  the DEC  will                                                               
address by  regulation any  stoves over  200,000 BTUs,  which are                                                               
more the  commercial size.  She  said the intent of  this bill is                                                               
to provide relief  for her community.  In fact,  she hoped that a                                                               
natural  gas project  will move  forward,  which will  ultimately                                                               
solve the air quality problem.                                                                                                  
1:10:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR   SADDLER  moved   to  adopt   the  proposed   committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 163,  Version 28-LS0248\R, Nauman, 4/4/13,                                                               
as the  working document.   There being  no objection,  Version R                                                               
was adopted as the working document.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER asked  how much  of  the non-attainment  issues                                                               
were the  result of  tar emissions versus  emissions from  a wood                                                               
stove or other stove.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON indicated that  over 50 percent  of the                                                               
air quality issue  is attributed to burning solid  fuel from wood                                                               
1:11:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  asked whether  the sponsor  is comfortable                                                               
with the standards on [page 2, lines 10-31, and page 3, lines 1-                                                                
2], subsection  (c)].   He further asked  whether the  sponsor is                                                               
comfortable  that the  department  will have  time  to adopt  the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE T. WILSON  answered yes; that at  this point these                                                               
standards will  work the best  for Fairbanks.  She  remarked that                                                               
the  coal burners  within the  FNSB are  exempt.   She emphasized                                                               
that  the  community is  not  seeking  a  whole new  test  model.                                                               
Instead,  she  would  like  regulations  to  be  clearly  set  so                                                               
companies bringing in  any device not currently  certified by the                                                               
EPA will have  the ability to have the device  tested, submit the                                                               
results, and receive approval or denial.                                                                                        
1:12:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER remarked  that she has hit on the  key.  He                                                               
offered  his belief  the  one  of the  areas  that  will be  most                                                               
impacted by  the bill is  the Fairbanks area.   He said,  "If you                                                               
are comfortable with it, I'm comfortable with it."                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  T.  WILSON   clarified  that  another  community,                                                               
Juneau, "is  on the edge."   She stated that Juneau  represents a                                                               
smaller  area and  while  it  does not  fall  in  the EPA's  non-                                                               
attainment area for air quality, it  does fall in the next stage.                                                               
She hoped  one outcome  will be  that companies  will manufacture                                                               
cleaner-burning stoves.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  said he appreciated her  bringing the bill                                                               
1:13:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON understood the sponsor  will be working                                                               
with the  DEC in the next  several months and if  necessary would                                                               
bring additional changes forward next year.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  T. WILSON  agreed.   She  said that  she will  be                                                               
working with the  community, the DEC, and the dealers  on the air                                                               
quality issue.  She stated  that her overreaching goal and intent                                                               
is not to do harm.                                                                                                              
1:14:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  suggested the  sponsor could also  work with                                                               
the Department  of Health  and Social  Services.   She understood                                                               
that high  rates of  asthma currently exist  in Fairbanks  due to                                                               
particulate matter.  She expressed  concern that burning fuel and                                                               
other materials such  as plastics which emit toxic  fumes is also                                                               
related to asthma and other health conditions.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE T. WILSON  answered that the list of  items not to                                                               
burn is  already addressed in  regulation.  She  highlighted that                                                               
the  asthma  problem in  Fairbanks  is  more closely  related  to                                                               
burning of "greener"  wood, which doesn't combust  to the fullest                                                               
extent.     In   fact,  the   temperature  inversion   holds  all                                                               
particulates  at  the ground  level.    Further, at  extreme  low                                                               
temperatures the problem has been  exacerbated [since people burn                                                               
more wood].   She  anticipated one  outcome of  the bill  is that                                                               
people automatically will look for cleaner burning stoves.                                                                      
1:16:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER   asked  whether  stoves  already   in  stores'                                                               
inventory that do not meet the  standards will pose a problem for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON answered that  issue will be  worked on                                                               
with  DEC  [as part  of  the  interim work  on  the  bill].   She                                                               
envisioned that a  list will be sent to DEC  so the department is                                                               
informed  on  store  inventories;  however,  she  understood  the                                                               
stoves  would  be sold  outside  the  non-attainment area.    She                                                               
acknowledged  that  one  of  her   goals  is  to  hold  companies                                                               
1:16:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER   asked  how   much  more  expensive   a  high-                                                               
performance,  high-efficiency low-particulate  emitting stove  is                                                               
as compared to one with a lesser emission standard.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  T. WILSON  responded  that the  cost ranges  from                                                               
$100 to  $200 or  more for high-efficiency  stoves, which  is not                                                               
related  to emissions  as much  as the  stoves' appearance  since                                                               
features such as glass or curlicues  cost more.  In fact, most of                                                               
the  high-efficiency  stoves contain  a  catalyst,  which is  the                                                               
mechanism that makes the stoves cleaner burning, she said.                                                                      
1:17:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  referred  to  background  information  in                                                               
members'  packets  entitled, "EPA  Certified  Wood  Stoves."   He                                                               
understood  the   EPA  maintains   a  list  of   1988  accredited                                                               
laboratory tested  stoves.   He asked  whether the  1988 standard                                                               
has  not been  replaced  by a  new standard.    He further  asked                                                               
whether the  2.5 grams  per hour  for each  200,000 BTUs  of heat                                                               
output represents a new "Alaska-only  standard" or if the EPA has                                                               
another designation.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  T. WILSON  responded  that 1988  is  the year  in                                                               
which certification of all stoves  began, which ranges from .4 to                                                               
7.5 grams per  hour.  A few years ago  Washington [state] had the                                                               
same  issue  and  instead  of   banning  stoves,  their  agencies                                                               
approached the  issue by lowering  the amount of emissions.   She                                                               
had hoped the  EPA would impose the  emissions standards, similar                                                               
to  how  car  emissions  are regulated,  by  requiring  catalytic                                                               
convertors to  reduce emissions.   However, she  did not  want to                                                               
wait for  the EPA  to act, so  the aforementioned  standard would                                                               
only apply to  the non-attainment area in  Alaska.  Additionally,                                                               
as sponsor, she  will consider adding a sunset  provision so once                                                               
attainment is reached the statutes would no longer apply.                                                                       
1:19:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   understood   the   EPA   performs   the                                                               
certification  so the  state will  not  need to  do the  testing;                                                               
instead, it will  be done by the EPA laboratory.   He wondered if                                                               
stickers or  some type of  plaque would  be applied to  stoves to                                                               
indicate the particulate emissions.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE T. WILSON responded that  this would apply to wood                                                               
stoves and  qualified solid fuel  burners, but coal  burners will                                                               
be exempt.  The DEC would  set up the equivalent standard related                                                               
to the EPA,  by regulation, for testing  by certain laboratories.                                                               
She  stated that  the  FNSB  currently will  test  any units  not                                                               
currently certified or  not qualified by the EPA,  at the owner's                                                               
1:20:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE understood  that catalytic  converters help  burn                                                               
the contents  more completely  and cuts  down on  the particulate                                                               
emissions.   He asked  whether it is  possible to  retrofit older                                                               
stoves with some type of in-stack catalytic converter.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON stated  that some testing  is currently                                                               
happening,  especially  for outdoor  boilers.    She stated,  for                                                               
example, that the  Tok School has a [catalytic  converter] in one                                                               
of its  bigger units.  She  highlighted that while it  works best                                                               
job  when the  stove  is burning  hot, it's  a  little harder  to                                                               
control  with wood  stoves as  opposed to  furnaces.   Typically,                                                               
people get the stove started then  turn it down while they are at                                                               
work.  The catalytic converter  will make the stoves burn cleaner                                                               
and  longer.   She pointed  out  that most  of the  non-catalytic                                                               
stoves emit 4.5 grams of particulates or higher.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON compared  the process as  being similar                                                               
to the  Inspection and Maintenance (IM)  program some communities                                                               
had  in   place.     What  ultimately   happened  was   that  car                                                               
manufacturers were forced  to make their products  cleaner and as                                                               
older  cars  wore out  and  were  replaced  by newer  ones  [with                                                               
catalytic   converters],  the   carbon  dioxide   emission  issue                                                               
subsided.   She  offered her  belief  that it  may take  combined                                                               
efforts from  states to  request EPA  offer testing.   Currently,                                                               
the EPA  tests units  in a  big warehouse  with certain  types of                                                               
wood, but not under cold  temperatures.  She expressed doubt that                                                               
the  actual performance  outcome would  be the  same in  sub-zero                                                               
1:23:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  asked   whether  the  committee  previously                                                               
considered a  bill to provide  loans for wood-burning  stoves and                                                               
if that aspect will also help  private homeowners to meet the new                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON asked whether  she was referring  to HB                                                               
35, which  would allow people to  change out any type  of furnace                                                               
to a  more efficient  type.   She explained that  under HB  35, a                                                               
person could  not exchange the  home heating system for  a manual                                                               
wood stove, but a person could put in an automated system.                                                                      
1:24:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SADDLER asked  whether this bill would  bar other second                                                               
class  cities  and  municipalities   from  imposing  either  more                                                               
rigorous  or more  lenient standards.   He  was uncertain  of the                                                               
impact the  bill will have  on emissions.   He referred  to [DCED                                                               
Fiscal  note 1  dated 3/22/13]  which read,  "It would  limit all                                                               
municipalities  from  adopting  a particulate  air  contamination                                                               
emission standard for  solid fuel burning devices  other than the                                                               
standard adopted by regulation by the state."                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON stated the  fiscal note he  referred to                                                               
is a  fiscal note which refers  to the original bill  and will be                                                               
updated  to  reflect  the proposed  committee  substitute.    She                                                               
anticipated the updated fiscal note  would be a zero fiscal note.                                                               
She  pointed  out  the  original  fiscal  note  was  based  on  a                                                               
statewide impact and required the DCED to perform the testing.                                                                  
1:24:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SADDLER asked whether this  bill will assist in delaying                                                               
the EPA's implementation of any  sanctions or would result in any                                                               
loss of highway funds.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE T. WILSON  answered that the state  is required to                                                               
have a  state implementation  plan and this  will fit  within the                                                               
plan.   The more ways in  which the state can  demonstrate to the                                                               
EPA that the  state is attempting to meet the  standards can help                                                               
the  state receive  an  extension  to meet  the  standards.   She                                                               
offered  her  belief  that  the  EPA  realizes  it  will  take  a                                                               
different type of  fuel, primarily gas, before the  FNSB can meet                                                               
the air  quality standards.   However,  as long  as the  state is                                                               
making  progress in  lowering  the emissions,  the  EPA has  been                                                               
willing  to work  with the  state.   Additionally, the  EPA's air                                                               
quality  standards  will  impact  the military  bases  since  the                                                               
military  must take  into account  the  non-attainment area  when                                                               
considering transporting troops into the Fairbanks area.                                                                        
1:26:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE indicated  Representative T.  Wilson has  another                                                               
hearing to attend.  He asked to hold HB 163 over.                                                                               
1:26:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON referred to page  3, line 10, to subsection                                                               
(e), which  read, "A state or  local authority may not  adopt the                                                               
particulate  air containment  emission  standard  for solid  fuel                                                               
burning devices  other than the  standard adopted  by regulations                                                               
under  (c) of  this section."   He  asked whether  this statewide                                                               
requirement  is  necessary in  this  bill  since the  program  is                                                               
limited to the non-attainment area.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  T. WILSON  understood that  is already  state law                                                               
and is not something added.                                                                                                     
[HB 163 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB198 ver C.pdf HRES 4/6/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 198
HB198 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 4/6/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 198
HB198 Sectional Summary.pdf HRES 4/6/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 198
HB198-DNR-DOG-4-4-13.pdf HRES 4/6/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 198
HB 198.Apache letter.pdf HRES 4/6/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 198
HRES HB198 Hilcorp Letter 4.6.13.PDF HRES 4/6/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 198
HRES HB198 DNR Presentation 4.6.13.pdf HRES 4/6/2013 1:00:00 PM
HB 198