Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

05/05/2021 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Meeting Postponed to 2:00 pm --
Moved HCR 2 Out of Committee
Moved HB 148 Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            HB 148-ALASKA COORDINATE SYSTEM OF 2022                                                                         
2:02:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK announced that the first order of business would                                                                 
be HOUSE BILL NO. 148, "An Act relating to the Alaska Coordinate                                                                
System of 2022."                                                                                                                
2:02:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LADDIE SHAW, Alaska State Legislature, as prime                                                                  
sponsor, gave the sponsor statement, which read as follows                                                                      
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     House Bill  148 revises  Alaska Statute  chapter 38.20,                                                                    
     known  as  the  Alaska Coordinate  System,  to  reflect                                                                    
     changes in  the federal  datum used as  a base  for the                                                                    
     coordinate system and to allow  for future updates. The                                                                    
     system  is comprised  of rectangular  plane coordinates                                                                    
     used  to  define  accurate positions  or  locations  of                                                                    
     points on the surface of the earth.                                                                                        
     Currently, forty-eight states  have adopted state plane                                                                    
     coordinate  systems  into  their  statutes.  This  bill                                                                    
     revises the  Alaska Coordination  System as  an ongoing                                                                    
     modernization  of the  U.S  National Spatial  Reference                                                                    
     System  to  reduce  the   distortions  present  in  the                                                                    
     current   system.   In   addition  to   improved   zone                                                                    
     locations,  that will  cover  population and  resources                                                                    
     areas,  a  new  statewide  zone  will  be  created  for                                                                    
     Alaska.  This   will  reduce  the  distortion   of  the                                                                    
     projection currently in use and  improve the display of                                                                    
     statewide geographic data.                                                                                                 
     This is an  important and practical step  for Alaska to                                                                    
     adapt  to this  coordination system.  Alaska will  have                                                                    
     the   advantage  of   improvements   in  the   geodetic                                                                    
     positioning, and with  the new gravity-based elevation.                                                                    
     This will  dramatically improve the ability  to measure                                                                    
     elevations  in Alaska.  This modernization  effort will                                                                    
     benefit  scientists,  surveyors, design  professionals,                                                                    
     GIS  specialists,  and  the geospatial  community.  The                                                                    
     improved    coordinate    system    minimizes    linear                                                                    
     distortions  and  is  designed  to  include  population                                                                    
     centers and resource development.                                                                                          
2:04:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REECE WILLIAMS, Staff, Representative Laddie Shaw, Alaska State                                                                 
Legislature, on behalf of Representative Shaw, prime sponsor,                                                                   
presented the Sectional Analysis for HB 148, which read as                                                                      
follows [original punctuation included]:                                                                                        
     Section 1    Amends AS 38.20.010 to add  a reference to                                                                    
     the  National  Oceanic and  Atmospheric  Administration                                                                    
     and the Alaska Coordinate System of 2022.                                                                                  
     Section  2     Repeals  and reenacts  AS  38.20.020  to                                                                    
     remove references to the  ten different zones currently                                                                    
     listed  in  the  statute,  and  states  that  the  zone                                                                    
     parameters  of the  Alaska Coordinate  Systems are  now                                                                    
     the  zone  parameters  defined  by  the  NGS.  Removing                                                                    
     specific   parameters  ensures   legislation  will   be                                                                    
     accurate  according   to  past,  current,   and  future                                                                    
     Section 3    Amends AS 38.20.030 to add  a reference to                                                                    
     the  "Alaska Coordinate  System  of 2022,  Zone ?"  for                                                                    
     purposes  of   drafting  land  descriptions   that  use                                                                    
     coordinate systems.                                                                                                        
     Section 4    Amends AS 38.20.040 to  add two references                                                                    
     to  "U.S.  Survey"  and one  reference  to  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Coordinate   System  of   2022.   Also   added  is   an                                                                    
     explanation  that  one  U.S.   Survey  foot  means  the                                                                    
     quotient  of  1,200 and  3,937  meters.  There are  two                                                                    
     standards used in the U.S.  to convert between feet and                                                                    
     meters.  States such  as Alaska  support both  feet and                                                                    
     meters  and legislate  which feet-to-meters  conversion                                                                    
     they use. The U.S. survey  foot is 1200/3937 meters, or                                                                    
     .3048006096. The  international foot is  0.3048 meters.                                                                    
     The difference  between the two conversions  can become                                                                    
     Section  5     Repeals  and reenacts  AS  38.20.060  to                                                                    
     remove the references to, and  descriptions of, the ten                                                                    
     different zones  currently listed  in the  statute, and                                                                    
     instead states  that the  characteristics of  the zones                                                                    
     of  the Alaska  Coordinate Systems  are defined  by the                                                                    
     NGS.  Removing   specific  zone   descriptions  ensures                                                                    
     legislation will  be accurate and relevant  under past,                                                                    
     current, and future datums.                                                                                                
     Section  6      Amends  AS  38.20.090  to   add  a  new                                                                    
     subsection  (c)  stating  that  the  use  of  the  term                                                                    
     "Alaska Coordinate System of 2022"  on a map, report of                                                                    
     the   survey,  or   other   document   is  limited   to                                                                    
      coordinates based on the Alaska Coordinate System of                                                                      
      Section 7  Amends AS 38.20.100 to add a reference to                                                                      
     the "Alaska Coordinate System of 2022."                                                                                    
      Section 8  Amends AS 38.20.110 to add a reference to                                                                      
     the "Alaska Coordinate System of 2022."                                                                                    
MR.  WILLIAMS   noted  that  Representative  Shaw's   office  was                                                               
recently  made  aware  of   language  inconsistencies  which  may                                                               
require amending.                                                                                                               
2:07:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked  for  more  details regarding  the                                                               
language which would need to be amended.                                                                                        
MR.  WILLIAMS   answered  that   Legislative  Legal   Service  is                                                               
adjusting  language  in  HB  148 that  relied  on  some  outdated                                                               
2:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked  for  further  information  on  the                                                               
National  Geodetic Survey  (NGS)  such as  how  often it's  done,                                                               
whether  definitions change,  and whether  it's a  static set  of                                                               
data  that the  National Oceanic  and Atmospheric  Administration                                                               
(NOAA) always uses.                                                                                                             
MR.  WILLIAMS responded  that the  datum  is a  set of  collected                                                               
data, with  a new set introduced  only when enough data  has been                                                               
collected.  He said that the  next datum release after 2022 would                                                               
be 50 years hence.                                                                                                              
2:10:51 PM                                                                                                                    
GWEN  GERVELIS,  Surveys Manager,  Division  of  Mining Land  and                                                               
Water, Department  of Natural  Resources (DNR),  characterized HB
148 as  "pretty straightforward legislation" to  update the datum                                                               
from that which  was previously collected in 1983 and  1988.  She                                                               
explained that  the NGS has been  able to create a  better map of                                                               
the U.S. using new gravity-based  datum, rather than the vertical                                                               
and horizontal data sets used previously.                                                                                       
2:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN   asked  for   more  information   on  the                                                               
significance on gravity-based data.                                                                                             
MS. GERVELIS  replied that NGS flies  "low-altitude gravity" over                                                               
Alaska and collect  gravity throughout the state.   Normally, she                                                               
explained, the elevation  data is carried on the  ground by foot,                                                               
so the data in Alaska has  been relatively sparse due to the lack                                                               
of  access.   She  said,  "A lot  of  the communities  throughout                                                               
Alaska, especially  along the coast,  have local  vertical datums                                                               
that  don't  relate to  anything,  so  by using  a  gravity-based                                                               
elevation model we  can bring all that together  so everything in                                                               
the state's going to line up a  lot better."  She noted that this                                                               
type of mapping  will be better for things such  as flood mapping                                                               
and tsunami warnings.                                                                                                           
MS.  GERVELIS,   in  response  to   a  follow-up   question  from                                                               
Representative Hannan, explained that  gravity, like light, comes                                                               
in  waves, and  is largely  dependent on  what's underground;  an                                                               
iron-rich  mountain,  she  said,  will  have  more  gravity  than                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  expressed that this  discussion highlights                                                               
the  importance of  STEM (science,  technology, engineering,  and                                                               
math) education.                                                                                                                
2:15:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK suggested  a floor amendment for  the section that                                                               
needs conforming.                                                                                                               
2:16:03 PM                                                                                                                    
JAKE MAXWELL,  Board member, Alaska Society  of Professional Land                                                               
Surveyors (ASPLS),  voiced support  for HB 148  on behalf  of the                                                               
ASPLS and the Alaska Professional Design Council.                                                                               
2:16:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WILLIAMS introduced a short  video explaining what a geodedic                                                               
datum is.                                                                                                                       
2:21:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   RAUSCHER   asked   why  moving   to   "different                                                               
technology" needs legislative approval,  since there is no fiscal                                                               
note attached to HB 148.                                                                                                        
MR.  WILLIAMS  replied  that the  Alaska  Coordinate  System  was                                                               
originally  brought  into statute,  so  in  order to  update  the                                                               
system to be concurrent with  the federal datum, the statute must                                                               
be amended.                                                                                                                     
MS. GERVELIS  explained that updating  the statute allows  all of                                                               
the state agencies to  use the same datum.  She  said there is no                                                               
fiscal note  because DNR does not  believe there would be  a cost                                                               
to having all state agencies use the same datum.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked,  "I guess  everybody already  has                                                               
this process,  and now  we're just asking  for permission  to use                                                               
MR.  GERVELIS  responded  that this  proposed  legislation  would                                                               
allow  all state  agencies to  be "on  the same  page" as  far as                                                               
using the same datum.                                                                                                           
2:23:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS asked about the history of surveying.                                                                     
MR.  WILLIAMS replied  with his  understanding  that the  mapping                                                               
initiative  started  in  the  early  1800s,  with  surveys  being                                                               
continually updated.                                                                                                            
2:24:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SCHRAGE  said  that  the data  seems  to  be  the                                                               
property of the federal government,  which makes it available for                                                               
free to the individual states for accurate mapping.                                                                             
MS. GERVELIS replied,  "That's correct.  All of  the other states                                                               
have this in their statutes as  well, and NGS recognizes that all                                                               
of them will have to make these changes."                                                                                       
2:25:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK opened public testimony on HB 148.                                                                               
2:25:45 PM                                                                                                                    
LEN STORY,  Co-Chair of Legislative Affairs,  American Council of                                                               
Engineering  Companies (ACEC),  testified in  support of  HB 148.                                                               
He noted  that ACEC  is an affiliate  of the  Alaska Professional                                                               
Design Council, and that he is  a member of the Alaska Society of                                                               
Professional  Land   Surveyors  and   the  National   Society  of                                                               
Professional  Surveyors.   He said  that  there are  a couple  of                                                               
technical corrections  needed on page  2, section 4 of  the bill.                                                               
He also  clarified that  moving to the  2022 datum  also involves                                                               
moving to  a new measurement of  the foot, from the  "U.S. survey                                                               
foot" to the "international foot";  as NGS is processing data and                                                               
reporting  positions in  international feet,  he said,  the scale                                                               
needs  to match.   He  also noted  that line  17 of  the proposed                                                               
legislation lists  the North  American Geodetic  Control Network,                                                               
which  no  longer exists;  it's  currently  the National  Spatial                                                               
Reference System.                                                                                                               
CHAIR  PATKOTAK said  that Representative  Shaw and  Mr. Williams                                                               
would work to get the applicable language corrected.                                                                            
2:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
JEREMY  HURST, President,  Alaska  Society  of Professional  Land                                                               
Surveyors (ASPLS), testified  in support of HB  148 and expressed                                                               
his agreement with the comments made by Mr. Story.                                                                              
2:28:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK,  after ascertaining  that no  one else  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 148.                                                                                     
2:28:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN noted  the  technical  specificity of  the                                                               
proposed  legislation and  the importance  of  having "the  right                                                               
amendments doing the right things."                                                                                             
MR.  WILLIAMS said  that  he is  working  with Legislative  Legal                                                               
Services  to  clarify the  changes.    He  pointed out  that  the                                                               
National  Spatial  Reference  System language  has  already  been                                                               
incorporated into the proposed legislation.                                                                                     
2:29:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER moved  to report HB 148  out of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
2:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   PATKOTAK  objected   to  give   Representative  Shaw   an                                                               
opportunity to provide closing comments.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW noted that HB  148 would reduce distortion of                                                               
the projection currently  in use, as well as  improve the display                                                               
of statewide geographic data.   He stressed that, considering the                                                               
lack of a  road system in Alaska, the  proposed legislation would                                                               
benefit the state.                                                                                                              
2:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK  withdrew his objection.   There being  no further                                                               
objection,  HB  148  was  reported out  of  the  House  Resources                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 148 Sectional Analysis - 4.6.21.pdf HRES 5/5/2021 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/17/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB 148 Sponsor Statement - 4.6.21.pdf HRES 5/5/2021 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/17/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB 148 Additional Info - APDC Position Statement_Final_R2.pdf HRES 5/5/2021 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/17/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB 148 Letter of Support - ASPLS 4.8.21.pdf HRES 5/5/2021 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/17/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HCR 2 The Blue Pipeline Overview 5.05.2021.pdf HRES 5/5/2021 1:00:00 PM