Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Moved SCS HB 42(CRA) Out of Committee
               SB 102-COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS                                                                           
CHAIR GARY STEVENS  announced SB 102 to be  up for consideration.                                                               
He asked  for a  motion to adopt  the draft  committee substitute                                                               
1:38:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN  motioned to adopt  \F version draft CSSB  102 as                                                               
the  working  document.  There  being no  objection,  it  was  so                                                               
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked Mr.  Letch to come forward and introduce                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
1:38:34 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG LETCH,  Staff to Senator  Gary Stevens,  sponsor, introduced                                                               
SB 102  as a solution to  a problem many Alaska  coastal district                                                               
management  programs face.  It would  change the  law established                                                               
two years  ago in House Bill  191 and extend the  7/1/05 deadline                                                               
for  submitting revised  coastal management  plans an  additional                                                               
He explained  that Senator  Gary Stevens  introduced the  bill in                                                               
response to requests from municipal  planners. Additional time is                                                               
needed  because this  is a  time consuming  and complex  process.                                                               
Also,  because there  is a  discrepancy between  state &  federal                                                               
plans for  the coastal  zone program,  the sponsor  believes that                                                               
the proposed  extension would help coastal  districts better meet                                                               
the deadline and have an  orderly and efficient transition to the                                                               
new program.                                                                                                                    
The  CS would  base  the deadline  for  district coastal  program                                                               
revisions and  the annulment of  the existing program  on federal                                                               
approval of the state program.                                                                                                  
1:40:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked Randy Bates to come forward.                                                                           
1:40:36 PM                                                                                                                    
RANDY BATES,  Deputy Director, Office  of Project  Management and                                                               
Permitting  (OPMP),   Department  of  Natural   Resources  (DNR),                                                               
explained that  OPMP is  the lead agency  for the  Alaska Coastal                                                               
Management Program.  He said  he would give  a brief  overview of                                                               
the  Alaska Coastal  Management  Program (ACMP)  and its  current                                                               
status in relation  to the proposed bill. He  hadn't reviewed the                                                               
CS so his comments would not reflect those changes.                                                                             
1:41:39 PM                                                                                                                    
With regard to the history of the ACMP, Mr. Bates said:                                                                         
     Coastal management  is a  voluntary state  program. The                                                                    
     value of the voluntary program  is that it provides the                                                                    
     state with a formal role  in the review and approval of                                                                    
     federal activities  and federally  permitted activities                                                                    
     that may  affect coastal uses and  resources within the                                                                    
     state's coastal zone.                                                                                                      
     The state  began developing the  ACMP in the  middle to                                                                    
     late 1970s  and voluntarily  chose a  program structure                                                                    
     that  involved  a  coordinated review  process  at  the                                                                    
     state level comprising both state and local standards.                                                                     
     The  state  component  of   the  program  includes  the                                                                    
     guidance  statutes  and  the  implementing  regulations                                                                    
     including  the consistency  review  process, the  state                                                                    
     standards,  and a  district plan  guidance regulations.                                                                    
     The  state program,  as we  developed it,  has been  in                                                                    
     place since late 1979.                                                                                                     
     The  local  component  includes an  opportunity  for  a                                                                    
     coastal district  to develop  a local  coastal district                                                                    
     management plan  that address  more specific  and local                                                                    
     management issues. The local  standards are referred to                                                                    
     as  the  district  enforceable policies  and  they  are                                                                    
     included  within  a  district's  plan.  These  district                                                                    
     enforceable  policies  add  specificity  to  the  broad                                                                    
     general state standards.                                                                                                   
     The way  the current program  is structured is  we have                                                                    
     35  coastal  districts  and 33  of  them  have  current                                                                    
     operating  coastal plans.  The  majority  of the  local                                                                    
     coastal management  plans were  developed in  the 1980s                                                                    
     as  the  program  developed.  Few  of  them  have  been                                                                    
     updated  since that  time. There  have been  revisions,                                                                    
     but for the  most part the average age  of the district                                                                    
     plan is 14  years old. They just  simply aren't updated                                                                    
     as frequently as we've needed.                                                                                             
     As far as the funding  issues go, at current levels the                                                                    
     state  receives  approximately  $2.8 million  from  the                                                                    
     office  of  Oceans   and  Coastal  Resource  Management                                                                    
     (OCRM).  This  is  our federal  approval  and  granting                                                                    
     agency that  distributes the money to  us. These monies                                                                    
     -  the $2.8  million from  the  OCRM -  in addition  to                                                                    
     approximately  $2.0  million   of  state  and  matching                                                                    
     monies are used to implement the ACMP.                                                                                     
     The   state   provides   the   local   districts   with                                                                    
     approximately  $750,000  as  half of  their  monies  to                                                                    
     implement  their  coastal  plans.  The  state  provides                                                                    
     additional  monies  to  the local  districts  that  are                                                                    
     working  on  plan  revisions. So  in  addition  to  the                                                                    
     $750,000 that  we provide  for basic  implementation on                                                                    
     an annual basis we also  provide a fair amount of money                                                                    
     to  assist  those  districts that  are  revising  their                                                                    
     The   ACMP   unfortunately  began   experiencing   some                                                                    
     significant  implementation   problems  in   the  early                                                                    
     1990s.  From 1994  to 1996  an ACMP  steering committee                                                                    
     was put  together and they  conducted a  formal program                                                                    
     assessment.  The assessment  generated various  summary                                                                    
     reports and CPC resolutions  and identified many needed                                                                  
     changes to the ACMP.                                                                                                       
     In  1998 progress  on the  changes  recommended by  the                                                                    
     ACMP steering committee and what  was known at the time                                                                    
     as the Coastal  Policy Council - the  governing body of                                                                    
     the  ACMP.  Those  changes were  slow  to  come  about.                                                                    
     Consequently  an initiative  was introduced  before the                                                                    
     Legislature  to  repeal  in its  entirety,  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Coastal Management Program.                                                                                                
     As  an alternative  to repealing  the program,  in 2002                                                                    
     the  Legislature  passed  SB   308,  which  required  a                                                                    
     district   to   amend   their  coastal   plan   if   it                                                                    
     incorporated, by  reference, any statute  or regulation                                                                    
     adopted by  a state  agency. The  purpose at  that time                                                                    
     was  to  eliminate  the redundancy  that  was  inherent                                                                    
     within the existing coastal plans.                                                                                         
     If a  district ignored  the mandate at  that time  - of                                                                    
     that law -  the Coastal Policy Council  - the governing                                                                    
     body -  would strike  those policies from  the existing                                                                    
     district  plans.  Unfortunately   this  law,  mandating                                                                    
     coastal plan revisions, was ignored.                                                                                       
     In 2002  it became obvious  that the ACMP had  become a                                                                    
     program  that  was  regulatorily redundant  with  other                                                                    
     state  and   federal  laws.  It  was   complex  in  its                                                                    
     implementation;  and the  state  and local  enforceable                                                                    
     policies   were  vague   and  subject   to  drastically                                                                    
     inconsistent application on a case-by-case basis.                                                                          
     In addition, the coastal management  program is used by                                                                    
     many  coastal   districts  as  a  surrogate   to  those                                                                    
     districts  implementing  what were  properly  municipal                                                                    
     planning  functions  through  Title 29  of  the  Alaska                                                                    
     In 2003 HB 191 was  introduced to reform and streamline                                                                    
     the Alaska Coastal Management Program.                                                                                     
1:47:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BATES further stated:                                                                                                       
     House Bill  191 was signed  by the governor on  May 21,                                                                    
     2003   and  portions   of  HB   191  became   effective                                                                    
     immediately.  Those portions  related primarily  to the                                                                    
     consistency  review   process  and  the   criteria  for                                                                    
     dealing  with the  review of  the projects.  There were                                                                    
     delayed implementations, which we get  to at the July 1                                                                    
     or '04 and '05 and '06.                                                                                                    
     Beginning  on  July  4,  2004,   we  had  to  have  new                                                                    
     regulations  implementing  the   new  reformed  coastal                                                                    
     program in  place. We had  to revise three  chapters of                                                                    
     regulations and  be specific in  the revisions  and the                                                                    
     streamlining of  the ACMP.  We were  able to  get those                                                                    
     regulations completed by the deadline, July 1, 2004.                                                                       
1:48:50 PM                                                                                                                    
     There are  then two concurrent  tracks that have  to go                                                                    
     on  before July  1, 2005.  You'll see  the first  arrow                                                                    
     talks  about the  state developing  and submitting  the                                                                    
     amended  ACMP  to  OCRM.  We   have  done  that;  we've                                                                    
     submitted  the amendment  - which  is the  statutes and                                                                    
     regulations  -  to OCRM.  The  dialog  between us,  the                                                                    
     state,  and  our  approving   agency,  OCRM,  is  still                                                                    
     1:49:18 PM                                                                                                               
     The second  track that's important to  recognize is the                                                                    
     districts  had a  year from  the  time the  regulations                                                                    
     went  into  effect  to develop  their  district's  plan                                                                    
     amendments  and submit  them  to DNR  for  what is  the                                                                    
     state's review and approval process.                                                                                       
     1:49:35 PM                                                                                                               
     The districts have  to have the revisions  done by July                                                                    
     1, 2005.  There are  two deadlines  that occur  on that                                                                    
     date,  which is  in  just a  couple  months. Our  state                                                                    
     standards,  which  are  how  we  apply  consistency  to                                                                    
     projects sunset  on that date  by virtue of HB  191 and                                                                    
     the  districts must  submit their  planed revisions  to                                                                    
     DNR by July 1, 2005.                                                                                                       
1:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
     Between  then  and 2006  we've  got  an internal  state                                                                    
     review  process to  review and  approve those  district                                                                    
     plans.  That includes  a very  public process  where we                                                                    
     solicit  for comments  on  each and  every  one of  the                                                                    
     district plan revisions.                                                                                                   
     I'll move back to some of  the tests but I want to make                                                                    
     sure you  cover, but  I will get  to some  details that                                                                    
     happen to districts if they  fail to meet this existing                                                                    
     deadline because  I think that's what's  most important                                                                    
     at this point.                                                                                                             
1:50:38 PM                                                                                                                    
     So  we get  to  current  status of  ACMP  - the  second                                                                    
     portion  of  what  I  wanted to  cover  today.  We  are                                                                    
     nearing on the  timeline July 1, 2005.  As I mentioned,                                                                    
     there  are two  independent deadlines  to be  aware of.                                                                    
     Let's  talk about  the first  one, which  is the  first                                                                    
     arrow up top  - the deadline for approval  of our state                                                                    
     standards. As  I mentioned, we have  submitted our ACMP                                                                    
     program submissions  to OCRM  for review  and approval.                                                                    
     Without  OCRM   -  the  federal  granting   agencies  -                                                                    
     approval, our state standards sunset on July 1, 2005.                                                                      
     We are working  with our federal agency,  OCRM, on what                                                                    
     additional information they may  need in order to offer                                                                    
     us preliminary approval  though our respective agencies                                                                    
     are   struggling   to   reconcile   some   very   basic                                                                    
     philosophical  differences  regarding   the  degree  to                                                                    
     which the federal agency can  dictate to our state what                                                                    
     our  coastal   management  should   be  and   how  that                                                                    
     management should occur.                                                                                                   
     We had  a productive meeting  with OCRM and  other NOAA                                                                    
     officials  last week  when we  were back  in Washington                                                                    
     D.C.  and  we  are  awaiting  OCRM's  further  response                                                                    
     regarding the approvability of our program.                                                                                
     The  second independent  deadline that  I want  to talk                                                                    
     briefly  about   is  the  deadline  for   submittal  of                                                                    
     district  plans.  We  have  worked  with  the  district                                                                    
     staff,  the consultant  that they  have hired,  and the                                                                    
     municipal officials of the districts  to make sure they                                                                    
     were aware  and understood  the deadlines and  the need                                                                    
     to be focused and strategic  in their efforts to revise                                                                    
     their coastal plans to comply with HB 191.                                                                                 
     Of the  33 coastal  districts with  plans, 27  of those                                                                    
     coastal districts  intend to submit plan  revisions for                                                                    
     review and  approval by the  deadline of July  1, 2005.                                                                    
     To  assist   those  districts  in  making   those  plan                                                                    
     revisions  we  did  make available  $900,000  to  those                                                                    
     districts. We  shared that amongst I  believe 26 that's                                                                    
     applied timely.                                                                                                            
     To date  we've also provided opportunities  for sharing                                                                    
     information and prepared various  materials for them to                                                                    
     succeed  in   developing  and  submitting   their  plan                                                                    
     revisions by  the deadline.  These materials  include a                                                                    
     dedicated  web  site   for  downloading  plan  revision                                                                    
     guidance,  written responses  to various  questions, an                                                                    
     annotated   bibliography   for    their   use,   sample                                                                    
     enforceable   policies  for   their  review   and  use,                                                                    
     timelines  for plan  revisions  and completions,  model                                                                    
     chapters for districts to cut  past and tailor specific                                                                    
     to their local issues, and other such products.                                                                            
     1:53:25 PM                                                                                                               
     The  July   1,  2005  submission  deadline   gives  the                                                                    
     districts what we would  call priority processing under                                                                    
     the regulations such that the  plan can be reviewed and                                                                    
     approved by DNR and  our federal granting agency, OCRM,                                                                    
     in advance of the sunset deadline, which is 2006.                                                                          
     A district  that fails to meet  the submission deadline                                                                    
     is not excluded from  the ACMP. However, their existing                                                                    
     plan  may sunset  in  July of  2006  simply because  we                                                                    
     don't  have  the  resources  to  review  that  plan  in                                                                    
     addition to these others that are on time.                                                                                 
     1:54:00 PM                                                                                                               
     A  district  that  chooses  to  ignore  the  submission                                                                    
     deadline can  continue to work on  plan revisions under                                                                    
     the more  general regulations, but  they do  risk their                                                                  
     plan  sun setting  in July  '06 if  their revised  plan                                                                    
     cannot be approved.                                                                                                        
     It's also important to note  that once a district has a                                                                    
     revised plan in place -  now we're talking a little bit                                                                    
     about the  future -  they can  continue to  amend their                                                                    
     plan and embellish  their policies as they  see fit. So                                                                    
     this is not a one  time only planning process. We would                                                                    
     expect, over  the course of  time as with  any planning                                                                    
     function,  districts will  refine  their  plans and  we                                                                    
     will work with them to make sure they are up to date.                                                                      
1:54:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BATES concluded that should bring members up to date on the                                                                 
issues and set the stage for the testimony from the coastal                                                                     
district representatives.                                                                                                       
1:55:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS asked for  clarification on what  is entailed                                                               
in  working   with  the   federal  government.   Specifically  he                                                               
questioned whether  the districts  needed to know  something from                                                               
OCRM before they completed the revised plans.                                                                                   
MR. BATES replied:                                                                                                              
     Unfortunately  in  this  circumstance when  we  have  a                                                                    
     federal agency  that oversees a program  like this, the                                                                    
     promulgation of  statutes is not  the end.  We actually                                                                    
     have to get approval by  this federal agency to approve                                                                    
     and then  implement the statutes  that this  body would                                                                    
     pass. That's  the process we're  in right now.  We have                                                                    
     taken the  statutes of  HB 191  and the  regulations we                                                                    
     promulgated,  which  implement  HB 191,  and  submitted                                                                    
     them  as  a  single  approval package  called  an  ACMP                                                                    
     OCRM is looking at  that amendment to determine whether                                                                    
     we have met  the criterion that is laid  out in federal                                                                    
     law and  if it is  approvable under  their regulations.                                                                    
     The dialog is, as I mentioned, ongoing.                                                                                    
     OCRM  has written  a  letter to  us  dated January  28,                                                                    
     2005,  which  details  a number  of  issues  that  they                                                                    
     either   want  more   information   on  or   additional                                                                    
     regulatory  changes.  We  disagree  with  some  of  the                                                                    
     philosophical  issues  or   revisions  that  they  have                                                                    
     brought up and we're trying  to come to resolution with                                                                    
     those  issues. That  was part  of the  purpose that  we                                                                    
     went to Washington D.C. for last week.                                                                                     
     1:57:12 PM                                                                                                               
     There are  a couple  of issues  that they  have brought                                                                    
     up,  which  would  result  in  regulatory  changes  and                                                                    
     awhile  aback   we  were  even  ready   to  make  those                                                                    
     regulatory changes until they  came out with the litany                                                                    
     of un-approvable issues.                                                                                                   
     However, it's important to  recognize that the language                                                                    
     that they  are asking  to change, does  not necessarily                                                                    
     impact  a  district's  write enforceable  policies.  It                                                                    
     impacts  how  the  standards,  particularly  the  state                                                                    
     standards  and  certain  district  policies,  would  be                                                                    
     implemented - not how they are written.                                                                                    
     1:57:48 PM                                                                                                               
     The  OCRM wants  us to  make  changes. If  we did  make                                                                    
     those  changes, it  doesn't  affect  how the  districts                                                                    
     should be  writing their  policies necessarily.  To the                                                                    
     extent that it might,  we could certainly massage those                                                                    
     in  the  future.  Not only  through  their  review  and                                                                    
     approval  process,  but  the DNR  review  and  approval                                                                    
1:58:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS recapped the  response saying the material DNR                                                               
is waiting approval  on from OCRM won't impact  how the districts                                                               
write  the  plans,   but  it  will  impact  how   the  plans  are                                                               
implemented.  Therefore,  what  DNR   is  waiting  for  shouldn't                                                               
interfere with a district preparing its plan.                                                                                   
MR. BATES replied that is correct at this point.                                                                                
SENATOR  BERT STEDMAN  said he  was interested  in the  points of                                                               
1:59:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BATES said  it depends on which agency  is characterizing the                                                               
issues.  OCRM would  say there  are four  issues while  DNR would                                                               
describe 50 issues. Furthermore:                                                                                                
     There  are an  incredible  amount of  points that  they                                                                    
     have chosen to  challenge us on. I think  it boils down                                                                    
     to  a  very  basic  issue   in  that  HB  191  and  the                                                                    
     regulations  that  were  developed after  that  are  an                                                                    
     attempt by Alaska  to develop a program  that works for                                                                    
     On  a  national  coastal management  basis,  they  have                                                                    
     identified  58,000 coastline  miles. Alaska  has 34,000                                                                    
     of those  miles and in  fact our coastal  zone extends,                                                                    
     in  many  cases, 200  miles  inland.  So we're  talking                                                                    
     about a massive zone.                                                                                                      
     The  revisions  that  we  made  under  HB  191  in  the                                                                    
     regulations were  intended to reflect that  very issue.                                                                    
     We are not necessarily lined  up with all other states,                                                                    
     but we've got  a huge area that we're  trying to manage                                                                    
     up  here.  And  we  built a  program  that  worked  for                                                                    
     Alaska. What  we're finding  is the  federal government                                                                    
     is coming in  and trying to tell us -  tell the state -                                                                    
     how we  should be managing  our coastal users  and what                                                                    
     we should be  doing to manage them in  the fashion that                                                                    
     they believe that we need to manage them.                                                                                  
     What  that means  in many  cases is  that they  are not                                                                    
     willing  to recognize  the  network  structure that  we                                                                    
     have  created  up here.  In  other  words, we  rely  on                                                                    
     existing state  agencies and  federal agencies.  And we                                                                    
     have incorporated  as their authorities into  the ACMP.                                                                    
     The federal  government is mandating a  redundant state                                                                    
     program.  They  will  not  accept  that  the  Corps  of                                                                    
     Engineers is  doing a good job  managing wetlands. They                                                                    
     will  not accept  that  our  water quality  regulations                                                                    
     through DEC  are complete  and comprehensive.  And they                                                                    
     want  the  ACMP  to   be  a  duplicitous  comprehensive                                                                    
     program irrespective  of what  other state  agencies or                                                                    
     federal  agencies   are  doing.   That  is   the  basic                                                                    
     philosophical problem we have  with OCRM at this point.                                                                    
     We  are  hoping  it  will  come  to  resolution.  We're                                                                    
     certainly working hard on it.                                                                                              
2:01:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS said the  committee heard from  the districts                                                               
about various concerns  and he would like a rundown  on where the                                                               
districts stand  with regard to  complying with the July  1, 2005                                                               
2:01:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BATES  explained that  27 of the  33 districts  with existing                                                               
plans have indicated an intention  to submit revised plans by the                                                               
deadline. To date 16 of the  27 coastal districts are prepared to                                                               
put  the plans  out  for  public review  by  mid  April. DNR  has                                                               
tentative dates  on when each  of the plans  will go out  for the                                                               
21-day  public review  and comment  period and  expects that  the                                                               
remaining 11  districts will have  plans ready for  public review                                                               
by the  end of April. This  should put all 27  districts on track                                                               
to meet the July 1, 2005 deadline.                                                                                              
2:03:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked about the other six districts.                                                                         
MR. BATES  replied they  have either "fallen  off the  screen" or                                                               
haven't received funds to implement  the coastal program, but the                                                               
state is still  obligated because those local  district plans are                                                               
part of the state regulations.                                                                                                  
2:03:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN asked  Mr. Bates if there are large  areas of the                                                               
state that aren't covered by a local plan.                                                                                      
2:04:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BATES  explained there  are two  types of  coastal districts.                                                               
One  type is  a  municipality  and the  other  type  is called  a                                                               
coastal   resource  service   area.   Those   are  areas   formed                                                               
specifically for coastal management  purposes. A coastal resource                                                               
service area isn't  any sort of municipality, but  it can develop                                                               
a  local  coastal   program  to  manage  the   resources  of  the                                                               
unorganized area.                                                                                                               
Most of the  areas in the northern part of  the state are covered                                                               
by  coastal plans,  but from  Prince William  Sound down  through                                                               
Southeast  there  are  more  pocketed  communities  with  coastal                                                               
districts that  extend no farther than  the municipal boundaries.                                                               
State compliance  policies are applicable throughout  the state's                                                               
coastal  zone  so  even  if  there isn't  a  local  coastal  zone                                                               
program, the state standards still apply.                                                                                       
2:06:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked Mr. Freer to come forward.                                                                             
2:06:32 PM                                                                                                                    
PETER  FREER, Planning  Supervisor,  City and  Borough of  Juneau                                                               
(CBJ), reported the CBJ testified  at the February 24 House State                                                               
Affairs  Committee   in  support  of  an   extension  to  provide                                                               
districts with additional  time to prepare the  revised plans. At                                                               
that time,  the CBJ  supported a deadline  of one  year following                                                               
the date of OCRM approval.                                                                                                      
The  extended deadline  makes sense,  he said.  Although the  CBJ                                                               
might  finish its  plan by  the  end of  June, it  would have  no                                                               
program  into   which  the   plan  could  go   if  there   is  no                                                               
reconciliation  between   the  state  and   federal  governments.                                                               
Furthermore,  the  extension  would provide  the  opportunity  to                                                               
write a plan after all rules and regulations are known.                                                                         
2:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS questioned what  the CBJ would accomplish with                                                               
the extension that it couldn't  accomplish without the additional                                                               
MR. FREER  replied the first point  is that the CBJ  doesn't know                                                               
if the  federally approved plan  might not be different  from the                                                               
plan that was  submitted. Currently the CBJ would  be writing its                                                               
plan based  on what  was submitted, but  not necessarily  on what                                                               
has been approved.                                                                                                              
The  second point  is  that when  the  Juneau Coastal  Management                                                               
Program was  written in the 1980s,  it took about three  years to                                                               
complete. In  developing the revised  plan any  meaningful public                                                               
participation  process  has  been circumscribed  because  of  the                                                               
short timeframe.  Furthermore, the  ground rules for  writing the                                                               
plan  weren't  well known  until  months  into the  writing.  The                                                               
borough has a consultant and it  will certainly produce a plan by                                                               
the June 30 deadline if it stands,  but the plan is prepared in a                                                               
more   hasty  fashion   than  desired   and   with  less   public                                                               
participation than is typical for such an issue.                                                                                
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  asked about  the statement  that not  having                                                               
federal approval  might impact plan  implementation, but  not the                                                               
writing of the plans.                                                                                                           
MR. FREER replied, "Perhaps if in  the final plan there were more                                                               
scope to the  development of enforceable policies  in local plans                                                               
that would change how we would write the plan."                                                                                 
2:10:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS opened teleconference testimony.                                                                             
2:10:34 PM - 2:12:31 PM                                                                                                     
GARY WILLIAMS,  District Coast Zone Coordinator,  Kenai Peninsula                                                               
Borough, testified from  Soldotna in support of the  intent of SB
102. The  district would file  its plan before the  deadline, but                                                               
the  issue  is  filing  a   qualitative  document.  Not  only  is                                                               
sufficient time  necessary to meet  the detailed  requirements of                                                               
the state mandated program update, time  is also needed to do the                                                               
mapping, public  scoping and  the public  review of  the district                                                               
coastal zone plan.                                                                                                              
The complexity  of conducting a  resource inventory update  for a                                                               
district  that is  as  large,  diverse and  active  as the  Kenai                                                               
Peninsula  Borough and  meeting  the  additional requirements  of                                                               
resource-specific mapping  is very  time consuming.  He expressed                                                               
concern  that the  district might  spend scarce  resources on  an                                                               
effort that may well require further revision.                                                                                  
He said he  isn't opposed to updating the coastal  zone plan, but                                                               
the  timeframe that  the  state has  imposed  is problematic.  He                                                               
asked  the committee  to provide  an  extension of  one year  for                                                               
districts to complete and present the updated plans.                                                                            
2:12:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS asked  him to comment  on Mr.  Bates' comment                                                               
that the lack of federal  approval wouldn't impact the writing of                                                               
the updated policies. It would impact just the implementation.                                                                  
2:12:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WILLIAMS replied  the  issue is  that  an extensive  mapping                                                               
process  is required  to substantiate  the enforceable  policies.                                                               
That  is a  huge problem  in delineating  erosion zones,  habitat                                                               
areas, and shellfish rearing areas.                                                                                             
The borough  would like to take  its plans to each  community and                                                               
scope them  before going to  the planning commission  to initiate                                                               
the 21-day  public hearing process,  but there isn't  enough time                                                               
to do everything in the allotted time.                                                                                          
2:13:57 PM                                                                                                                    
DUANE  DVORAK,  Kodiak  Island   Borough  Planner  and  Community                                                               
Development Department  Director, testified  from Kodiak.  He has                                                               
20  planning years  planning  experience and  16  are in  coastal                                                               
communities.  He  said he  came  to  discuss the  deadline  issue                                                               
addressed in SB  102 rather than the  structural and programmatic                                                               
changes to the ACMP.                                                                                                            
Over  the years  he has  seen  both good  and bad  plans and  his                                                               
assessment  is  that the  current  process  is bound  to  produce                                                               
inadequate  plans even  though good  people are  working and  the                                                               
state  has  provided money  for  the  process. Adequate  time  is                                                               
lacking.  This  isn't  just  a  matter  of  making  the  planners                                                               
understand  and  then writing  a  plan  to a  certain  regulatory                                                               
specification. This  is about  process and  making the  people in                                                               
the communities understand.                                                                                                     
Allocating  inadequate  time  to  get  around  to  the  different                                                               
communities and  help the people  to understand  what's happening                                                               
and  to   communicate  the  ramifications  is   problematic.  The                                                               
different interpretations and opinions need  to be worked out and                                                               
it's difficult  to create  understanding in  the public  when the                                                               
planners   are  the   go-betweens   for   agency  personnel   and                                                               
2:16:35 PM                                                                                                                    
There  appears to  be  disagreement between  the  state and  OCRM                                                               
regarding whether  the current regulations  fit with  the federal                                                               
intent of coastal zone management  program. He opined CSSB 102 is                                                               
the way to go to resolve  some of the issues and provide suitable                                                               
time for the  process. He suggested that 18 months  is minimal in                                                               
light  of  having  recently  participated in  the  18  month  DNR                                                               
process to develop  the Kodiak area plan for  Alaska state lands.                                                               
Revision of the coastal plan deserves  at least as much time once                                                               
all the program issues are settled.                                                                                             
He mentioned that Kodiak had one  of the first plans in the state                                                               
and  has  used  that  plan   for  22  years.  To  move  community                                                               
understanding from 1983 to 2005 in  the short time allocated is a                                                               
daunting challenge  for the  staff. He would  like the  public to                                                               
feel  it had  time to  consider the  ramifications and  that they                                                               
were  allowed  to  adequately   express  themselves  through  the                                                               
2:18:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS  asked why the district  needs additional time                                                               
and how they would use 12 more months if it were available.                                                                     
2:18:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DVORAK replied  the borough  would  spend more  time in  the                                                               
public  information process  and  in trying  to  get more  public                                                               
involvement.  Although the  Kodiak Island  Borough is  located in                                                               
the City  of Kodiak, it  has outlying communities that  have been                                                               
out of the loop in the process so far.                                                                                          
As  mentioned earlier,  there is  disagreement in  how the  state                                                               
regulations  fulfill the  intent of  the federal  legislation for                                                               
coastal  management programs.  As to  whether there  are 4  or 50                                                               
points  of  disagreement, the  borough  would  like those  to  be                                                               
resolved  before  the process  goes  forward.  If there  were  no                                                               
outstanding issues then it would be easier to move forward.                                                                     
2:20:39 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM  LOHMAN, North  Slope  Borough  Representative, testified  in                                                               
strong support of CSSB 102.  He reported the borough testified at                                                               
a  previous  hearing  on  the  ACMP to  express  support  for  an                                                               
extended timeline to the approval date of OCRM.                                                                                 
From  the time  House Bill  191 passed,  the timelines  have been                                                               
problematic. The North Slope Borough  isn't atypical, yet it took                                                               
five years  to get  the coastal  management program  approved. In                                                               
large part it took that long  because the oil companies they deal                                                               
are  not  passive stakeholders  when  it  comes to  something  as                                                               
important as the coastal management program.                                                                                    
The timelines  clearly became  a problem when  DNR lost  5 months                                                               
putting contractors to  work on the substantial  revisions of the                                                               
implementing  regulations due  to  staffing  problems. They  have                                                               
publicly testified  to the  fact that  at one  point they  had 47                                                               
percent vacancy  within DNR because  of problems  associated with                                                               
moving staff from the governor's office to DNR.                                                                                 
The  timelines  became  more problematic  when  OCRM  deemed  the                                                               
proposed changes to  the state program to be  an amendment rather                                                               
than a  routine program change  as the state characterized  it to                                                               
be.  At  each  point  the  districts  urged  the  state  to  seek                                                               
legislative relief from the timelines, but to no avail.                                                                         
The fact that the changes were  considered to be an amendment was                                                               
news to  no one involved  with the program.  The head of  OPMP in                                                               
DNR was  hired to that position  after House Bill 191  passed and                                                               
repeatedly  referred  to  the major  program  overhaul  that  was                                                               
taking  place.  He suggested  the  administration  was trying  to                                                               
slide one  by and OCRM  properly said no,  it is a  major program                                                               
amendment and it should be viewed as such.                                                                                      
Finally,  the  deadline  appears  to be  insurmountable,  as  the                                                               
guidance  for  planner  visions to  the  districts  has  changed.                                                               
Respectfully  contradicting  some  of the  statements  Mr.  Bates                                                               
made, he  said the district is  waiting for guidance on  some key                                                               
issues for the North Slope Borough.                                                                                             
The two  primary enticements that  the federal  government offers                                                               
states to get involved in the  voluntary program are money - $2.8                                                               
million in this case -  and the assurance that federal activities                                                               
and federally  permitted activities will be  made consistent with                                                               
state plans. On the North  Slope that is very significant because                                                               
the Inupiaq do Bowhead whaling  offshore in federal waters of the                                                               
Beauford and Chukchi Seas.                                                                                                      
The  North Slope  Borough includes  the Arctic  National Wildlife                                                               
Refuge and the  National Petroleum Reserve and if  the borough is                                                               
to have a seat  at the table, it is critical  that they have some                                                               
control over  what goes on in  those areas. However, DNR  has not                                                               
provided  final guidance  as to  whether or  not the  borough can                                                               
craft meaningful  subsistence policies  or habitat  protection on                                                               
federal lands or waters on the North Slope.                                                                                     
These  are significant  issues and  even if  you were  to believe                                                               
that the  state isn't waiting  for anything from OCRM,  DNR would                                                               
have to admit that if the  guidance is final right now, it wasn't                                                               
final a  short time ago.  Every district  has its own  story with                                                               
respect  to  the  substantive problems  with  the  amendment  and                                                               
although this  is not the  time for  dealing with those,  you are                                                               
hearing unanimity  among the districts  in terms of the  need for                                                               
additional time.                                                                                                                
With regard to  the question of how the additional  time would be                                                               
used, he  said the North  Slope would  do public outreach  to the                                                               
communities and the oil companies.  It is to everyone's advantage                                                               
to  engage  in  that  dialog  before putting  pen  to  paper  and                                                               
submitting  a  plan to  the  state.  Situations always  get  more                                                               
difficult  when  two  sides  are entrenched  in  dealing  with  a                                                               
proposal on  paper. It's better  to get together and  work things                                                               
out beforehand.                                                                                                                 
The borough has  an internal process of  visiting all communities                                                               
and regional  tribal and corporate  entities. That  is impossible                                                               
to  do before  the  deadline and  still submit  the  plan to  the                                                               
planning  commission and  get final  approval from  the assembly.                                                               
The spring subsistence cycle is underway  and it is playing a big                                                               
role in  making it  difficult to  impossible to  do the  best job                                                               
possible and meet the deadline.                                                                                                 
In conclusion  he restated strong support  for the CS for  SB 102                                                               
and  emphasized that  the requirement  for district  submittal of                                                               
revised  plans should  be tied  to the  OCRM approval.  Districts                                                               
don't want  to waste precious  resources redoing plans  that were                                                               
just redone and submitted.                                                                                                      
2:27:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked if  the borough would submit the revised                                                               
plans  on time  and how  it  would feel  about the  plans if  the                                                               
deadline weren't changed.                                                                                                       
MR. LOHMAN  replied they would  submit the  plan on time,  but if                                                               
the  deadline isn't  changed  DNR will  certainly  be faced  with                                                               
considerable extra work. If they  aren't sure about what they are                                                               
supposed  to do  in terms  of crafting  policies on  subsistence,                                                               
habitat protection,  or outer  continental shelf  (OCS) activity,                                                               
they will  include them  and write them  as strongly  as possible                                                               
and let DNR sort it out.                                                                                                        
2:30:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MARV  SMITH, Lake  and  Peninsula  Borough Community  Development                                                               
Coordinator, testified  that the  borough strongly  urges passage                                                               
of the committee substitute for SB  102 to extend the deadline to                                                               
complete the district plans and plan revisions as required.                                                                     
The borough is  committed to the task and will  complete the job,                                                               
but it  is logical to extend  the deadline because the  state and                                                               
federal  government haven't  resolved  differences  and it  isn't                                                               
clear  what  the  amendment will  encompass.  He  suggested  that                                                               
continuing to  write policy without  clear guidance  would likely                                                               
necessitate a rewrite.                                                                                                          
The   current  direction   regarding   development  of   district                                                               
enforcement  policies is  unclear and  the guidance  from DNR  is                                                               
ever  changing. The  timeframe is  far too  short to  provide for                                                               
adequate public process.  It took the Lake  and Peninsula Borough                                                               
four years  to complete  the current plan  and the  21-day review                                                               
before  passing the  revised plan  on to  the state  really isn't                                                               
adequate.  Furthermore, adequate  time for  mapping of  the large                                                               
borough  is lacking.  It's  important  to visit  each  of the  18                                                               
communities in  the borough with  the current timeline,  but that                                                               
won't be possible.                                                                                                              
If the  state allows the  statewide standards to sunset  in July,                                                               
he  questioned  who   would  be  at  the   table  during  federal                                                               
consistencies. Also,  at the recent  conference in  Anchorage the                                                               
Lake  and  Peninsula  Borough  was told  it  couldn't  write  any                                                               
policies  on subsistence.  He emphasized  that is  the heart  and                                                               
bone of  the citizens in the  borough and that decision  is wrong                                                               
and should be changed.                                                                                                          
He  asked  that  OPMP  and  DNR be  directed  to  listen  to  the                                                               
districts.  A number  of suggestions  have been  put forward  and                                                               
none have been  heard. The Alaska Coastal  Management Program has                                                               
been  helpful to  the Lake  and  Peninsula Borough  and has  been                                                               
successful in  getting grants  for a number  of programs.  If the                                                               
ACMP is  dropped, a large  void for  grant money will  be created                                                               
across the state.                                                                                                               
He  questioned how  the  state could  even  consider letting  the                                                               
program lapse  because it would  become dependent on  the federal                                                               
government managing over half the  coastline in the U.S. He urged                                                               
members to  pass the  bill to give  districts an  additional year                                                               
after the  environmental impact statement  is approved  and after                                                               
OPMP and OCRM have agreed on the amendment.                                                                                     
2:35:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked if  there were things the district would                                                               
like to  see included in the  plans that aren't allowed.  If that                                                               
were the case, he asked for specific examples.                                                                                  
2:35:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SMITH  replied they  want  to  include subsistence  and  the                                                               
opportunity to be involved in federal consistencies.                                                                            
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked if the borough manager was present.                                                                    
JEFF  CURRIER,  Lake  and Peninsula  Borough  Manager,  expressed                                                               
agreement with the statements Mr. Smith made.                                                                                   
2:35:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS  asked  if the  borough  manager  wanted  to                                                               
2:36:10 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIAN  TEMPLAN,  Craig  City Planner  and  District  Coordinator,                                                               
reiterated support  for CSSB  102. He explained  that Craig  is a                                                               
relatively small district and it  expects to have a fully revised                                                               
plan in place before the July  1, 2005 deadline. However, to meet                                                               
the  deadline  Craig   started  the  process  in   spite  of  the                                                               
unresolved issues between DNR and OCRM.                                                                                         
Eelgrass  an essential  fish  habitat that  covers  more than  12                                                               
percent of  the tideland/submerged areas within  the municipality                                                               
so the  existing plan includes  policies regarding  eelgrass. The                                                               
revised plan was  to include eelgrass policies too,  but an issue                                                               
came up about  the requirement that policies meet  a threshold of                                                               
a local concern.                                                                                                                
To avoid  duplicity, part  of the  local concern  must be  that a                                                               
policy  was   not  adequately  addressed  by   state  or  federal                                                               
regulation. As late as the  October 2004 meeting between ACMP and                                                               
OPMP, the  interpretation of "adequately addressed"  was that any                                                               
state or  federal agency that had  currently regulated activities                                                               
and/or the  authority to potentially  regulate activities  in the                                                               
future  were considered  adequately  addressed.  Because of  that                                                               
interpretation, many  policies were  held at bay  while districts                                                               
waited on  OPMP and  OCRM to  resolve the  issue and  that didn't                                                               
occur until December 16.                                                                                                        
The OPMP  and OCRM  staffs have  worked very  hard, but  the many                                                               
complex issues have been overwhelming.  To be completing the plan                                                               
so close to  the deadline when the district has  a very few miles                                                               
of  coastline   and  one  municipality,  is   indicative  of  the                                                               
difficulties larger districts face.                                                                                             
2:40:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS recognized Mr. Kelty, former Unalaska mayor.                                                                 
2:41:13 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANK  KELTY,  Chair,  Aleutians West  Coastal  Resource  Service                                                               
Board, spoke from  Unalaska to concur with  previous testimony in                                                               
support  of CSSB  102. He  emphasized  that providing  additional                                                               
time to the coastal districts is important.                                                                                     
The Aleutians  West finished rewriting  its ten-year-old  plan in                                                               
the spring  of 2003 at  about the same  time that House  Bill 191                                                               
passed. As  a result,  it spent  most of  2004 reworking  the new                                                               
document. The  plan completed  in 2003  had about  41 enforceable                                                               
policies, but the  revised plan has just  19 enforceable policies                                                               
and it's likely some of those will be lost as well.                                                                             
Several  weeks ago  the district  put  the revised  plan out  for                                                               
review in a  rushed process. When the plan was  taken to the City                                                               
of Unalaska,  the planning  commission had  just one  meeting for                                                               
its review  and the city council  will also have just  one review                                                               
opportunity. Rather  than taking  the plan  to Nikolski  and Atka                                                               
for a  face-to-face review of  the rewrite,  it will be  done via                                                               
teleconference, which is indicative of a rushed process.                                                                        
If SB 102 is adopted the  district would have time to address the                                                               
comments from the plan review and  any changes that might come as                                                               
a result of the differences between OCRM and the state.                                                                         
2:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS called on Carol Kolehmain.                                                                                   
2:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CAROL  KOLEHMAIN,   Program  Director,  Aleutians   West  Coastal                                                               
Resource  Service Area  (AWCRSA),  reported she  is working  with                                                               
board chair  Frank Kelty and  noted that she faxed  her testimony                                                               
to the committee.                                                                                                               
MS. KOLEHMAIN  said she would  read portions  of a March  4, 2005                                                               
letter  the  Alaska  Coastal District  Association  sent  to  Mr.                                                               
Jeffers to  set the tone  that the  districts have given  back to                                                               
the state. She read:                                                                                                            
     We're  writing   this  letter  out  of   great  concern                                                                    
     regarding the  status of the Alaska  Coastal Management                                                                    
     Program. The  coastal districts have  worked diligently                                                                    
     to meet the  requirements of the revised  ACMP and have                                                                    
     always  supported   a  viable  state  program   with  a                                                                    
     meaningful role for local districts.                                                                                       
     We feel  that preserving our opportunity  for continued                                                                    
     participation  to   the  ACMP  in  state   and  federal                                                                    
     decision-making is of paramount  importance. In view of                                                                    
     the  recent exchange  of letters  between OCRM  and the                                                                    
     state, many  districts are confused regarding  how best                                                                    
     to proceed  in the revisions  of our local  plan. While                                                                    
     we have  many questions regarding recent  events, we've                                                                    
     narrowed  them down  to a  basic  few that  need to  be                                                                    
     addressed and we trust that  you'll take the time to do                                                                    
     Then we had some questions:                                                                                                
     1. Will  the Department  of Natural  Resources continue                                                                    
        to  assist the  districts in  completing their  plan                                                                    
     2. What  does Governor Murkowski  mean when  stating in                                                                    
        his  February 23 letter to NOAA that  the ACMP could                                                                    
        expire  by operation of  law in the summer  of 2005?                                                                    
        She read:  "If OCRM does not immediately abandon the                                                                    
        new  requirements and  broken promises  contained in                                                                    
        its  January 2005 decision, the ACMP  will expire by                                                                    
        operation of law in the summer of 2005."                                                                                
     3. If  the   statewide  standards  expire  this  summer                                                                    
        without  any  legislative  action,  does  the  state                                                                    
        agree that  consistency reviews could continue using                                                                    
        our district policies?                                                                                                  
     4. If  the Legislature approves the  bill extending the                                                                    
        time  periods  for amendment  of  the state  Coastal                                                                    
        Management  Program and for districts  to submit new                                                                    
        revised  plans, will the Administration  support the                                                                    
        extension? -  If the Administration will not support                                                                    
        an  extension   we  have  the  following  additional                                                                    
     5. If  the state  program is  eliminated, will  all the                                                                    
        implementing   Alaska   statutes   and   regulations                                                                    
        previously adopted also go away?                                                                                        
     6. How  will  the  federal  program be  implemented  in                                                                    
        Alaska if the state program is eliminated?                                                                              
     7. Will the  state or districts have the opportunity to                                                                    
        comment  or  otherwise  directly  influence  federal                                                                    
        projects within our jurisdiction?                                                                                       
     8. Will   federal  grants   and  assistance   still  be                                                                    
        available  to  Alaska  coastal  districts  from  the                                                                    
        federal  government for the  operation of  the local                                                                    
        coastal management plans?                                                                                               
     We ask for a written  response to our questions as soon                                                                    
     as possible,  but no  later than  March 18  because the                                                                    
     time is  truly running short for  districts to complete                                                                    
     their plans - because also,  if the ACMP will terminate                                                                    
      on July 1, we're going to develop a course of action                                                                      
     as soon as possible.                                                                                                       
      We are very concerned for the future of the coastal                                                                       
      zone management program and that we desire continued                                                                      
     participation in the management of our coastline.                                                                          
2:49:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KOLEHMAIN said  she read the letter  because it typifies                                                                    
the interactions  districts have  had with DNR  and reflects                                                                    
the sincerity  of the  coastal districts.  There is  a great                                                                    
deal  of  confusion  about  the  direction  the  program  is                                                                    
heading and there are a  number of questions that require an                                                                    
answer.  OCRM  has  raised  many  legitimate  questions.  As                                                                    
originally  created, the  program  relied  heavily on  local                                                                    
policies  for   implementation.  The  amended   program  has                                                                    
reduced the  opportunity for local  policies and to  a great                                                                    
extent   it  relies   on   state   standards  and   existing                                                                    
regulations.  Right  or   wrong,  this  major  restructuring                                                                    
raises  questions that  require an  answer if  federal funds                                                                    
are to be provided and spent.                                                                                                   
MS. KOLEHMAIN used  the analogy of a three-legged  stool and said                                                               
that  if  one  leg  is  significantly changed,  it  needs  to  be                                                               
apparent how balance might be  achieved with what remains and the                                                               
coastal program is all about balance.                                                                                           
She urged  the committee to  pass CSSB 102  to allow the  time to                                                               
make an orderly and efficient transition to the new program.                                                                    
2:51:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS  said he hadn't received her  letter and asked                                                               
her to fax it and her testimony to his office.                                                                                  
2:51:29 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  OSCAR, Coordinator  for Cenaliulriit,  made the  point that                                                               
everyone is working to make  this possible, but districts such as                                                               
his,  which  has 38  villages  need  the deadline  extension.  He                                                               
reported that DNR  provided little funding to allow  him to visit                                                               
all areas of his district, which  is the largest in the state. He                                                               
emphasized  that  it would  be  difficult  to receive  supporting                                                               
resolutions from  every community in  the short time  frame after                                                               
public review of  the plans. It's hard enough to  explain this in                                                               
plain English much less in Yupik Eskimo.                                                                                        
Although  the  intent  is  to   streamline  standards,  he's  had                                                               
difficulty  pinning  down  what   DNR  requires  with  regard  to                                                               
subsistence   standards.  The   process   is  unpredictable   and                                                               
confusing   because  DNR   expects   districts   to  conform   to                                                               
regulations   that  weren't   accepted   by   the  OCRM   minimum                                                               
requirements from January 2005.                                                                                                 
He  expressed  frustration that  the  inability  to say  anything                                                               
about  land, air  and water  quality including  habitat standards                                                               
and mining.  Also of concern  is that subsistence  policies can't                                                               
be applied  to federal lands and  waters. They can only  apply to                                                               
activity in designated  areas and designated areas  can't be made                                                               
for federal lands. Designated areas  are the lands that districts                                                               
have documented  and converted into  use areas. This  is referred                                                               
to as mapping.                                                                                                                  
Although  the  ACMP  doesn't allow  allocation  issues,  it  does                                                               
provide  a voice  to  the people  in his  region  that depend  on                                                               
subsistence resources. If  the ACMP is eliminated  he wasn't sure                                                               
what  protection  Alaskans  would  have from  decisions  made  in                                                               
Washington D.C. on federal water  and land. He questioned whether                                                               
it  makes sense  to remove  the  system that  protects the  civil                                                               
right to harvest and gather for your family.                                                                                    
2:58:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS said  he  could  appreciate the  translation                                                               
problems then Mr. Oscar about the villages in his district.                                                                     
2:58:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  OSCAR  explained that  the  district  has 38  villages,  the                                                               
first-class  city of  St.  Mary, 25  second-class  cities and  12                                                               
tribal run communities.                                                                                                         
2:59:02 PM                                                                                                                    
DAN  SALMON,  Village  Administrator  for Igiagik  and  Lake  and                                                               
Peninsula Borough  Assembly Member, urged  passage of SB  102. He                                                               
reported that he  has worked in Igiagik for 24  years and holds a                                                               
degree  from  the  University  of   Alaska  in  natural  resource                                                               
management and planning.                                                                                                        
The  original  coastal  zone  planning  program  was  implemented                                                               
during the  10 years he  was on the borough  planning commission.                                                               
The effort  took over  four years,  but it  had public  input and                                                               
there was confidence in the  process and in the finished product.                                                               
In contrast  he described  the current  guidance for  the revised                                                               
plans as  constantly in flux  with no clarity or  consistency. In                                                               
his region the  public is wary and sees the  possibility of doing                                                               
away with the program as a  possible attempt to limit local input                                                               
and  a  potential  to  reduce  the  quality  of  water  dependent                                                               
resources. The public views the coastal  zone program as a way to                                                               
ensure  that if  mining comes  into  the region  the activity  is                                                               
thoroughly reviewed and done correctly from the beginning.                                                                      
Communities  in the  region aren't  connected by  a road  system,                                                               
which  makes it  time-consuming and  costly to  put the  proposed                                                               
revisions through without adequate time and staff.                                                                              
He urged  passage of CSSB  102 and any complimentary  House bills                                                               
to allow for an extension.                                                                                                      
3:02:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY STEVENS  asked  Mr. Salmon  how  the additional  time                                                               
would be spent if it were available.                                                                                            
MR. SALMON replied it would  provide more opportunity for borough                                                               
staff  to educate  the  public  and get  input  from the  various                                                               
3:03:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MEL  THOMPSON,   Matanuska-Susitna  Valley   resident,  described                                                               
himself and other valley residents  as victims of House Bill 191.                                                               
He  said the  changes that  were  made that  bypassed the  public                                                               
process were detrimental. With all  due respect he said people in                                                               
his  area don't  see DNR  as a  leader. They  view the  agency as                                                               
following the wishes of the Administration.                                                                                     
He  questioned why  DNR  is leading  the charge  up  the hill  in                                                               
support of the  July 1 deadline when everyone else  is heading in                                                               
the opposite direction. Everyone has  testified that more time is                                                               
needed and  he could see no  reason not to pass  CSSB 102 because                                                               
these  resources and  the  coastline belong  to  everyone in  the                                                               
3:05:18 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHIE   WASSERMAN,  Policy   and  Program   Coordinator,  Alaska                                                               
Municipal  League   (AML),  stated  that  every   community  that                                                               
testified on  SB 102  is a  member of the  AML. When  the debacle                                                               
started about two years ago she  was in local government. At that                                                               
time not a  single community member she spoke  with expressed the                                                               
view that the timeline was working well.                                                                                        
Changes dealing  with resources  and coastline  that are  of this                                                               
magnitude can't  be done over  again when mistakes are  made. She                                                               
stressed that  it is truly in  the state's best interest  to give                                                               
communities as  much time as possible  to get the plans  done and                                                               
done correctly.                                                                                                                 
The  Alaska Municipal  League wholeheartedly  supports SB  102 to                                                               
extend the deadline.                                                                                                            
3:06:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS remarked that  the testimony  was interesting                                                               
and Mr. Thompson's comment about  leading the charge up hill with                                                               
no one following was particularly  telling. He asked Mr. Bates to                                                               
3:07:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BATES acknowledged  that he heard the  message that districts                                                               
would  like  more  time.  He  also heard  the  responses  to  the                                                               
question regarding  what districts  would do  with more  time. He                                                               
heard coastal districts say they  don't need more time; they will                                                               
get  the  plans  submitted  by the  deadline.  He  stressed  that                                                               
districts will succeed and the  Administration can give assurance                                                               
that  the  planning  process doesn't  end  with  plan  submittal.                                                               
Districts can  continue to  refine plans as  much as  they should                                                               
each  year. Most  districts are  poised  for success  and DNR  is                                                               
working through issues the districts have.                                                                                      
3:08:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY  STEVENS  said  a  concern  they  heard  is  that  if                                                               
districts do submit  the plans in a timely fashion  then it would                                                               
be DNR's problem to ensure that all are in compliance.                                                                          
MR.  BATES said  Mr. Lohman  probably did  suggest that  the onus                                                               
would be  on DNR to  review the  27 district plans,  However, DNR                                                               
has been  under the  gun for  two years. Staff  has risen  to the                                                               
challenge  and has  set up  an  internal process  for review  and                                                               
approval  of all  27 district  plans, which  will facilitate  the                                                               
review by  the state  and federal agencies.  In addition  it will                                                               
give the districts  what they need as far as  the amendments that                                                               
are necessary to comply with  House Bill 191 and the implementing                                                               
The  DNR goal  is to  massage  each and  every plan  so that  the                                                               
districts  are satisfied  and the  plans are  in compliance  with                                                               
state  law. "We  are set  to  succeed as  the staff  at DNR,"  he                                                               
3:10:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN asked  whether he was speaking in  support of the                                                               
extension or not.                                                                                                               
3:10:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BATES replied,  "At this  time the  Administration does  not                                                               
support SB  102 in its  original form. We  came here to  speak on                                                               
that  bill, I  think at  this point  it would  be preliminary  to                                                               
suggest  that  we  don't  support  the  CS.  We  would  like  the                                                               
opportunity  to  look at  that  and  revise  the fiscal  note  as                                                               
appropriate to address the impacts with that CS."                                                                               
There were no further questions.                                                                                                
3:10:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS announced he would hold SB 102 in committee.                                                                 

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