Legislature(2013 - 2014)BUTROVICH 205

03/27/2014 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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Heard & Held
Moved SB 197 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
              SB 197-NATURALLY OCCURRING ASBESTOS                                                                           
1:38:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EGAN announced SB 197 to be up for consideration.                                                                         
1:38:12 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID SCOTT,  staff to Senator  Donald Olson, sponsor of  SB 197,                                                               
said this bill provides a  one-year extension to the deadline for                                                               
the Department  of Transportation  and Public  Facilities (DOTPF)                                                               
to adopt  or prescribe  a method  of bulk  testing for  gravel or                                                               
other aggregate material  containing naturally occurring asbestos                                                               
under  AS 44.42.420(a).  He explained  that  the underlying  bill                                                               
(House Bill 258), which passed  in the 27th legislature, required                                                               
DOTPF  to put  into  place  a system  and  requirements for  this                                                               
testing, but  DOTPF has  been unable  to quickly  establish those                                                               
Section  1  of  SB  197  is the  extension  for  interim  project                                                               
authorization and  Section 2 extends  the immunity clause  in the                                                               
underlying legislation.                                                                                                         
1:40:24 PM                                                                                                                    
ROGER  HEALY, Chief  Engineer, Department  of Transportation  and                                                               
Public Facilities (DOTPF), Juneau, Alaska, introduced himself.                                                                  
SENATOR FAIRCLOUGH asked why the regulations are not written.                                                                   
MR. HEALY answered  that the program is unique  within the nation                                                               
and  state,  and  the department  ran  into  hiring  difficulties                                                               
originally, but someone has been  hired and the draft regulations                                                               
were issued last week. The department  is are on schedule to hold                                                               
the  public  hearings  in  the   week  of  April  14  in  Juneau,                                                               
Fairbanks, and Ambler.                                                                                                          
SENATOR FAIRCLOUGH  stated that Representative Joule,  who passed                                                               
the original legislation, was trying  to make aggregate available                                                               
in his  community, but it, unfortunately,  contains asbestos. She                                                               
asked  if DOTPF  had  done  everything it  could  to protect  the                                                               
health of  the individuals as  well as  the state and  the region                                                               
where the aggregate is being used.                                                                                              
MR. HEALY explained that the  original bill provided a period for                                                               
implementation of  interim regulations, which served  the purpose                                                               
of  identifying  designated areas  within  the  state where  this                                                               
immunity  would   apply.  Ambler  is   the  one  area   that  was                                                               
designated.  Under  those   interim  procedures,  the  department                                                               
received and approved a number  of applications for projects from                                                               
the  Housing  Authority  and a  few  smaller  projects  including                                                               
smaller DOTPF  projects, namely  the airport  reconstruction. The                                                               
interim provision allowed those  applications and that project to                                                               
go forward.                                                                                                                     
1:43:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Regarding  the overall  health of  the community  as a  result of                                                               
these projects, the interim  procedures and application approvals                                                               
identified  the provisions  within the  bill requiring  the final                                                               
product  to  have  some  type  of  coverage  over  the  naturally                                                               
occurring asbestos material that is identified.                                                                                 
1:44:37 PM                                                                                                                    
POKE  HAFFNER,  Assistant  Attorney General  representing  DOTPF,                                                               
Civil Division, Transportation Section,  Department of Law (DOL),                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska, testified  that  under  AS 01.10.100(a),  the                                                               
authorizations  DOTPF provided  under its  interim authority  are                                                               
effective even  though the interim  authority expired at  the end                                                               
of December.  The point  of having the  extension of  the interim                                                               
authority is in the event  that there are additional requests for                                                               
approval of either naturally occurring  asbestos areas or a site-                                                               
specific plan  that comes  in before  the regulations  can become                                                               
SENATOR FRENCH commented  that he wasn't a fan of  this bill, but                                                               
wouldn't stop it from going forward.                                                                                            
SENATOR FAIRCLOUGH  moved to report SB  194, labeled 28-LS1513\A,                                                               
from  committee  with  attached  fiscal  note(s)  and  individual                                                               
recommendations. There were no objections  and SB 197 passed from                                                               
the Senate Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                   

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