Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/19/2001 01:18 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 22-MARINE PASSENGER VESSELS                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[Contains  discussion  of  HB  183 and  SB  134,  the  governor's                                                               
proposed legislation on the same topic]                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1055                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR HOUSE  BILL NO. 22,  "An Act  relating to                                                               
certain passenger vessels  operating in the marine  waters of the                                                               
state; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KOHRING   noted  that  there  was   a  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  [Version O] that  was worked on with  the cruise                                                               
ship industry and Representative Kerttula.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOOKESH expressed his  desire to pass the proposed                                                               
CS out  that day.   He  noted that  he had  worked hard  with the                                                               
committee staff to get Version O before the committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING  reported that  [Version O]  was acceptable  to all                                                               
parties involved.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0892                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BETH   KERTTULA,   Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
testifying as  the sponsor  of SSHB 22,  related her  belief that                                                               
this is  the vehicle  to move forward.   The  fundamentals behind                                                               
the bill and the proposed CS  are to protect the state's right to                                                               
know what is  being emitted in the state's waters,  in order that                                                               
reasonable action  with the industry  to step forward  can occur.                                                               
At the House Transportation Standing  Committee's April 12, 2001,                                                               
work  session,  the  committee  had  heard  a  presentation  that                                                               
identified  the problems  with cruise  ship  discharges based  on                                                               
last summer's  sampling.   For those  living in  downtown Juneau,                                                               
the past summer was surprising  due to the identification of high                                                               
discharges of fecal coliform bacteria  in graywater.  She pointed                                                               
out that  the committee  as well  as the  public have  heard this                                                               
information;  thus  the  public  expects the  legislature  to  do                                                               
something about this.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0741                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA reiterated that SSHB  22 is a vehicle for                                                               
addressing   the  cruise   ship   issues.     Furthermore,   this                                                               
legislation  complements  U.S. Senator  Murkowski's  legislation,                                                               
which took  a great step  forward in  dealing with some  of these                                                               
problems.   She said  U.S. Senator  Murkowski didn't  preempt the                                                               
state [with  his federal  legislation], but  specifically allowed                                                               
the  state  to work  with  the  federal  government in  order  to                                                               
accomplish good changes for Alaska.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA noted  that  [Version  O] places  modest                                                               
state requirements  on the  cruise ship  industry.   For example,                                                               
cruise  ships would  have to  register with  the state,  not only                                                               
allowing  a  better  relationship   between  the  state  and  the                                                               
industry, but  also providing the  state with the ability  to get                                                               
service [of process] on the industry, should the need arise.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA   explained  that  cruise   ships  would                                                               
conduct  sampling and  testing, which  would go  directly to  the                                                               
state.   She said this is  somewhat of a state's  rights issue in                                                               
that  the state  can receive  this information  directly.   There                                                               
would  also  be  a  requirement   for  the  industry  to  collect                                                               
graywater samples  and conduct routine  tests for  fecal coliform                                                               
bacteria and other conventional  pollutants at least twice during                                                               
the cruise season.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  explained that if a  cruise ship doesn't                                                               
discharge  wastewater while  in  state waters,  the ship  doesn't                                                               
have to  report to the state.   However, those that  do discharge                                                               
wastewater  must report  what,  when, where,  and  how much  they                                                               
discharge; this information will be used to make decisions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA related her  belief that the industry has                                                               
made great steps forward to try  to control this itself.  Without                                                               
a  comprehensive picture,  however, the  appropriate path  is not                                                               
clear.   She believes SSHB 22  moves the state where  it needs to                                                               
be, and that  the proposed CS accomplishes what  should happen in                                                               
most of  the important  areas.   Therefore, she  encouraged Chair                                                               
Kohring to move SSHB 22 forward today.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0579                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI moved  to adopt  the proposed  CS, version                                                               
22-LS0238\O,  Lauterbach,  4/19/01,   as  the  working  document.                                                               
There being no objection, Version O was before the committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI offered as an  amendment to page 3, lines 7                                                               
and  15,  that  "20"  be   replaced  with  "200  parts  per  [100                                                               
milliliters]".                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0460                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SPENCER  WOOD, Lieutenant  Commander, Seventeenth  District Coast                                                               
Guard  Office  - Juneau,  U.S.  Coast  Guard, clarified  that  it                                                               
wouldn't be  "parts per  milliliters"; rather,  it would  be "200                                                               
colonies [of] fecal  coliform per 100 milliliters,"  which is the                                                               
current federal standard for marine sanitation devices.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0387                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI   moved  that  the  committee   adopt  the                                                               
following amendment:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, lines 7 and 15:                                                                                                    
          Delete "20"                                                                                                           
          Insert "200 colonies"                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA thanked  Representative Kohring  and his                                                               
staff, the  House Transportation  Standing Committee  members, as                                                               
well as  the cruise  ship industry.   She  also thanked  those on                                                               
teleconference.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0304                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RANDY   RAY,  U.S.   Cruise  Ship   Association,  testified   via                                                               
teleconference.     He  noted  that  he   and  the  association's                                                               
lobbyist, Ray Gillespie, have been  working on this issue for two                                                               
years.  He  expressed interest in seeing this  bill move forward.                                                               
Not having the proposed CS in front  of him, he said he would not                                                               
comment.  However, he looked  forward to working with everyone on                                                               
this legislation as it moved forward.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0134                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAULA   TERREL,  Southeast   Program   Director,  Alaska   Marine                                                               
Conservation  Council  (AMCC),  testified via  teleconference  in                                                               
support of SSHB 22 and  requested that the committee forward this                                                               
bill from committee.   She informed the committee that  AMCC is a                                                               
statewide,   community-based   organization    with   a   diverse                                                               
membership.   The AMCC  considers SSHB 22  to be  a right-to-know                                                               
piece of legislation, which it  strongly supports.  One of AMCC's                                                               
guiding principles  is the promotion  of sustainable  and healthy                                                               
fisheries, which is part of  having sustainable communities [with                                                               
healthy economies].                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-31, SIDE A                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TERREL mentioned  the [AMCC  principles]  of sound  science,                                                               
local  and  community input,  and  traditional  knowledge.   Such                                                               
principles  depend on  the continued  health  of Alaska's  marine                                                               
waters.   This legislation would  ensure that the public  has the                                                               
information as well as the state.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number  0155                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  HANSEN,  President,   North  West  CruiseShip  Association,                                                               
explained  that  the  North West  CruiseShip  Association  is  an                                                               
association of the nine cruise  lines that operate in the Pacific                                                               
Northwest.  This  year the association has 22  ships operating in                                                               
the region.   Since the committee  has already heard much  of the                                                               
background, he said he would  skip that portion of his testimony.                                                               
Furthermore, the  proposed CS changes  some of  the association's                                                               
response to some things.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HANSEN   reported  that   the  association   recommends  the                                                               
following.  First, the [legislation]  should be carefully crafted                                                               
in  order  to  avoid  ambiguity   and  overlapping  with  federal                                                               
legislation  or  existing  state  law.    Second,  the  standards                                                               
expected of the  industry should be clearly  established.  Third,                                                               
there  should  be  clear  penalties for  breach.    Fourth,  [the                                                               
legislation] should  contain provisions for state  record keeping                                                               
of ship discharges, and the  records should be available.  Fifth,                                                               
there should be a program of  monitoring and testing.  Sixth, the                                                               
industry  should  pay  for reasonable  monitoring,  testing,  and                                                               
research,  which  is  consistent  with industry  practice.    The                                                               
association   believes   the   proposed   CS   incorporates   the                                                               
aforementioned six principles, he said, and thus supports it.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0461                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOLENE RIELLY,  National Ocean and Sciences  Bowl, Juneau-Douglas                                                               
High  School, came  forth  and informed  the  committee that  the                                                               
group has  been researching the  cruise ship waste,  its history,                                                               
and how  it ties  in with  Alaska and  the cruise  ship industry.                                                               
Ms. Rielly  spoke in favor of  SSHB 22 because she  feels that it                                                               
covers many of the areas in which cruise ships should comply.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0560                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADRIANA  RODRIGUEZ, National  Ocean  and  Sciences Bowl,  Juneau-                                                               
Douglas High School,  came forth and informed  the committee that                                                               
the group consisted  of a team of four people  who researched the                                                               
topics included  in SSHB 22.   This bill is a  major step forward                                                               
in  propelling  the   cruise  industry  and  the   state  into  a                                                               
partnership.   Ms.  Rodriquez noted  her support  of SSHB  22 and                                                               
expressed her hope that this will help the industry and Alaska.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING asked  if the students recognize the  other side of                                                               
this  issue:    the  economic benefits  that  tourism  brings  to                                                               
Alaska.    He acknowledged  that  the  students were  present  to                                                               
achieve a balance between the economic and environmental sides.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. RIELLY and MS. RODRIGUEZ agreed  that both sides of the issue                                                               
should be reviewed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. RODRIGUEZ, in response to  Representative Kookesh, noted that                                                               
she and Ms. Rielly are seniors at Juneau-Douglas High School.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0751                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  REGES,  Member,  Cruise Control,  Inc.,  came  forth  and                                                               
informed  the committee  that Cruise  Control is  working towards                                                               
ensuring that the  cruise industry mitigates its  impacts.  While                                                               
Cruise  Control recognizes  the economic  benefits of  the cruise                                                               
industry,  it also  recognizes the  economic  and social  burdens                                                               
this industry  brings.  Cruise  Control's task is to  ensure that                                                               
those burdens  are internalized  and paid  for by  the operators.                                                               
Although  Cruise Control  doesn't  wish to  diminish cruising  in                                                               
Alaska, it  does want the industry  to tell [the public]  what it                                                               
leaves  behind; he  believes providing  such  information is  the                                                               
purpose of SSHB  22.  Furthermore, [Cruise  Control] believes the                                                               
cruise industry  should mitigate any impacts  where feasible, and                                                               
should pay for impacts that can't be mitigated.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. REGES acknowledged  that the title change in  the proposed CS                                                               
will  eliminate permits,  which  are included  in the  governor's                                                               
bill  [HB  183  and  SB   134].    The  title  also  "effectively                                                               
eliminates  discussions  of head  taxes,"  Mr.  Reges noted,  but                                                               
indicated  [Cruise   Control]  is  working  with   others  on  an                                                               
initiative.   The  title  change sets  up  contention on  certain                                                               
issues for another time.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. REGES noted  that [AS 46.03].463 speaks to  "a person", while                                                               
the remainder of the bill addresses  an "owner or operator".  For                                                               
consistency, he suggested  that "person" be changed  to "owner or                                                               
operator" on  page 2, line  30, and on page  3, lines 1,  12, and                                                               
17.     Mr.  Reges   informed  the  committee   that  he   is  an                                                               
environmental attorney and has worked  with the state and federal                                                               
environmental statutes for  years.  He explained  that ["owner or                                                               
operator"] is  the term of art  that is used to  describe all the                                                               
persons who may be responsible for the operation of a vessel.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  REGES recalled  discussion regarding  whether existing  laws                                                               
are  already  satisfactory; to  that,  he  replied  no.   From  a                                                               
business  perspective, he  told members,  the cruise  industry is                                                               
one  of the  few  industries  in Alaska  that  isn't required  to                                                               
register or have  an agent for service of process.   For example,                                                               
a carpenter  from out of  state can't come  up and put  a cabinet                                                               
together without registering and getting  an agent for service of                                                               
process.   Although  this is  not problematic  when companies  or                                                               
their  offices are  based in  the United  States, that  isn't the                                                               
case  with  all  cruise  companies.      Mr.  Reges  related  his                                                               
experience  during  his time  with  the  Office of  the  Attorney                                                               
General when he attempted to  serve [process on] a cruise company                                                               
with no office in the  United States.  Those provisions requiring                                                               
registration  and an  agent for  service of  process don't  exist                                                               
elsewhere in statute for cruise owners and operators.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1156                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. REGES  turned to the  environmental section of the  bill, the                                                               
right to  know provision.   He acknowledged the  possibility that                                                               
an  individual  could, through  the  Freedom  of Information  Act                                                               
and/or  litigation  discovery,  secure the  type  of  information                                                               
being sought [in  the right-to-know provision].   He informed the                                                               
committee  that  he  has  been working  with  the  Department  of                                                               
Environmental  Conservation (DEC)  steering  committee since  its                                                               
inception.    On  numerous  occasions, Mr.  Reges  said,  he  has                                                               
requested that  he be  able to review  the opacity  readings from                                                               
the mid-1990s  to last year.   He has yet to  see those readings.                                                               
Mr.  Reges characterized  this  as  fundamental information  that                                                               
isn't readily available.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. REGES  referred to the  April 18, 2001, Anchorage  Daily News                                                             
article entitled, "Bush Backs Rule  on Lead Emission."  He quoted                                                               
the following from that article:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  Bush  Administration  announced  Tuesday  that  it                                                                    
     would go  forward with a regulation  proposed by former                                                                    
     president   Bill  Clinton   to  require   thousands  of                                                                    
     businesses  to   make  public  the  details   of  their                                                                    
     emissions   of  lead   into  the   environment.     EPA                                                                    
     Administrator  Christine  Whitman,  in  announcing  the                                                                    
     lead emission rules  - ["again, a public  right to know                                                                    
     rule," Mr. Reges observed] -  said that public scrutiny                                                                    
     has helped reduce emissions of other toxic substances.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. REGES  pointed out  that this  right to know  is a  tried and                                                               
true  rule.   Therefore, Mr.  Reges urged  the committee  to move                                                               
this bill from committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1346                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOE LeBEAU,  Alaska Center for  the Environment  (ACE), testified                                                               
via teleconference.   Mr. LeBeau acknowledged  that the committee                                                               
supports clean  air and water.   However, everyone  was surprised                                                               
with  last  summer's  [sampling]  results.   This  bill  will  go                                                               
further to increase the knowledge  of the pollutants emitted into                                                               
the environment.   Mr.  LeBeau urged the  committee to  move this                                                               
bill forward.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1401                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MICHELE   BROWN,   Commissioner,  Department   of   Environmental                                                               
Conservation (DEC), testified  via teleconference, reporting that                                                               
DEC supports  this legislation as  a "right-to-know" bill.   Thus                                                               
far, the cruise  ship industry is the only industry  DEC knows of                                                               
that operates in Alaska with  such potential to pollute, although                                                               
there is virtually no oversight by the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BROWN  characterized the reporting and  gathering of                                                               
information included  in this  bill as  an important  first step.                                                               
However, she  expressed hope  that the  committee would  hear the                                                               
governor's bill next  week.  The governor's bill  includes a more                                                               
comprehensive monitoring  and oversight program that  goes beyond                                                               
information gathering.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  BROWN   pointed  out  that  all   other  industries                                                               
operating in  Alaska have to report,  make information available,                                                               
and follow  clean air and water  rules.  She echoed  Mr. Hansen's                                                               
earlier testimony regarding  the need to have a  program in place                                                               
that   would  perform   future   verification,  record   keeping,                                                               
systematic monitoring  and testing,  establish a  way to  pay for                                                               
that activity  and state  oversight, as  well as  establish clear                                                               
penalties  for  breach  of the  standards.    Commissioner  Brown                                                               
reiterated DEC's support  of [CSSSHB 22] and noted  her hope that                                                               
the committee would forward the bill today.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1567                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  KRIEBER, Staff  to  Representative  Vic Kohring,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, speaking  as the committee aide  for the House                                                               
Transportation  Standing  Committee,  pointed out  that  the  key                                                               
change included [Version O] is  the requirement for the treatment                                                               
of graywater.   If this  legislation passes, Alaska would  be the                                                               
only place that would require the treatment of graywater.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KRIEBER continued  with the  other changes.   The  title has                                                               
changed in order to reflect  the particular sections of the bill.                                                               
Furthermore,   language   concerning  the   graywater   treatment                                                               
requirements and the  monitoring have been added.   Any reference                                                               
to air-monitoring requirements has  been deleted because existing                                                               
state statutes and regulations cover that matter.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KOHRING recognized  concern  that  passage of  legislation                                                               
could  result   in  an  agency's  interpreting   the  legislation                                                               
differently from  the intent  of the legislation.   He  asked how                                                               
that possibility can be addressed.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. KRIEBER  pointed out that statute  cites particular treatment                                                               
levels.  Therefore, the legislation  states what the requirements                                                               
would  be; thus  there would  be no  need for  regulations.   Mr.                                                               
Krieber   referred   to   page  8,   [AS]   46.03.485,   entitled                                                               
"Regulations."   In  the  prior bill,  language  directed DEC  to                                                             
propose, review,  and implement regulations.   A good  portion of                                                               
that language  was taken out  because the  treatment requirements                                                               
were directly addressed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KRIEBER said  the elimination  of  the regulations  drafting                                                               
process, coupled with an implementation  date of 2003, will allow                                                               
the treatment  requirements to  be in effect  sooner than  if the                                                               
regulatory  process  were  in  place.   However,  the  bill  does                                                               
include the ability  for the department to  adopt regulations for                                                               
the implementation  of exemptions.   He noted  that there  is the                                                               
potential that  various operators may  not be "up to  snuff" yet,                                                               
although  they are  working with  the department;  the department                                                               
should  have  flexibility to  work  with  the industry  in  those                                                               
circumstances.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1804                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOOKESH thanked  Mr. Krieber for his  help on this                                                               
issue.    He mentioned  that  his  district includes  communities                                                               
throughout Southeast  Alaska, which  is where  the impact  of the                                                               
cruise ship industry could be the  greatest if there were a major                                                               
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KOHRING  noted that initially  he didn't want to  move this                                                               
legislation; however,  now that  there is a  proposed CS  that is                                                               
acceptable to the  industry and seems to [alleviate]  some of the                                                               
environmental  and economic  concerns, he  was open  to advancing                                                               
it.  He said  he was trying to listen to all sides  and come to a                                                               
consensus,  to put  forth  something that  is  acceptable to  the                                                               
cruise ship industry, but not  onerous with regard to prospective                                                               
regulations and taxes.  He  mentioned that this legislation could                                                               
return from the Senate  in the form of a tax bill  to which he is                                                               
adamantly opposed; however, the title  has been tightened so that                                                               
a tax couldn't be added.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1975                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI noted  his  concern  with any  legislation                                                               
that takes  the monitoring agency  out of  the loop.   He related                                                               
his  belief  that  the  U.S.   Coast  Guard  should  perform  the                                                               
monitoring,  whether it  is oil-related  or graywater  discharge.                                                               
He said  that he  is very satisfied  with the  modifications that                                                               
resulted in the  CS.  However, he maintained that  the U.S. Coast                                                               
Guard and  the Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA)  will still                                                               
be involved with this because of the federal legislation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI,  in regard  to Mr. Reges's  suggestion for                                                               
language changes, reminded members  that this legislation has two                                                               
more  committee referrals  where amendments  could be  addressed.                                                               
Furthermore,   three  of   the   House  Transportation   Standing                                                               
Committee  members  also  sit on  the  House  Resources  Standing                                                               
Committee, the next committee of referral.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI turned  to the  issue of  a fee,  which he                                                               
felt would  have been cumbersome  and open  to more debate.   Now                                                               
that this  legislation strictly addresses monitoring,  there is a                                                               
modest  fiscal  note.    Furthermore, the  deletion  of  the  air                                                               
control  language  [was appropriate]  because  the  issue of  air                                                               
quality would  take an inordinate  amount of time  and testimony.                                                               
Therefore, Representative Scalzi  expressed his satisfaction with                                                               
[Version O] and noted his desire to move it forward.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2122                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  said having  two other  committee referrals                                                               
and the  need to deal with  this issue before the  end of session                                                               
make it incumbent upon the committee  to forward this bill out of                                                               
committee today.   She, too, believes  that the proposed CS  is a                                                               
step in  the appropriate direction  and can be further  worked on                                                               
in the other two committees of referral.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  moved to report  CSSSHB 22, Version  O [22-                                                               
LS0238\O,  Lauterbach, 4/19/01],  as  amended,  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being  no objection,  CSSSHB 22(TRA)  was reported                                                               
from the House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                               

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