Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/05/2000 03:28 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
           HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                          April 5, 2000                                                                                         
                            3:28 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Norman Rokeberg, Chairman                                                                                        
Representative Andrew Halcro, Vice Chairman                                                                                     
Representative Lisa Murkowski                                                                                                   
Representative John Harris                                                                                                      
Representative Tom Brice                                                                                                        
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Jerry Sanders                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 440                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  needle stick  and sharps injury  protections                                                              
and the use of  safe needles by health care  facilities and health                                                              
care professionals;  relating  to the vaccination  of health  care                                                              
workers  against diseases  transmitted by  blood borne  pathogens;                                                              
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD; ASSIGNED TO SUBCOMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE for HOUSE BILL NO. 356                                                                                       
"An Act relating to pesticide use; and providing for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 440                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PROTECTION FROM NEEDLE & SHARPS INJURIES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/29/00      2753     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 3/29/00      2754     (H)  L&C, FIN                                                                                            
 4/05/00               (H)  L&C AT  3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 356                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TRACKING OF PESTICIDE USE                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/09/00      2147     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/09/00      2147     (H)  L&C, RES, FIN                                                                                       
 2/25/00      2308     (H)  SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                       
 2/25/00      2308     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 2/25/00      2308     (H)  L&C, RES, FIN                                                                                       
 2/25/00      2308     (H)  REFERRED TO LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                        
 4/05/00               (H)  L&C AT  3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ANGIE SCHMITZ, Staff                                                                                                            
  to Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 504                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 440.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MARY WEISS, Registered Nurse;                                                                                                   
Member of the Alaska Nurses Association                                                                                         
PO Box 221514                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska 99522                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 440.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WANDA KATINSZKY, President                                                                                                      
Alaska Nurse Association                                                                                                        
2931 Legacy Drive                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska 99516                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 440.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DONNA THOMPSON, Registered Nurse and Hepatitis Victim                                                                           
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 440.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MAGGIE FLANNAGAN, Registered Nurse                                                                                              
1722 Bellevue Loop                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska 99513                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 440.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CAROL CLAUSON, Registered Nurse                                                                                                 
13200 Ridgeview Drive                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska 99516                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 440.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DON NOVOTNEY, Registered Nurse                                                                                                  
Bartlett Regional Hospital                                                                                                      
3260 Hospital Drive                                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 440.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA HUFF TUCKNESS, Director                                                                                                 
  of Governmental and Legislative Affairs                                                                                       
Teamsters Union Local 959                                                                                                       
306 Willoughby Avenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 440.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DWIGHT PERKINS, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                             
Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                                                   
Post Office Box 21149                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0610                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 440.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ROB EARL, Staff                                                                                                                 
     to Representative Cissna                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 420                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SSHB 356 and reviewed the changes                                                                
encompassed in the proposed CS for SSHB 356, Version I.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JANICE ADAIR, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Environmental Health                                                                                                
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
555 Cordova Street                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that DEC supports the concept of                                                                 
SSHB 356.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. PETER NAKAMURA, Director                                                                                                    
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 240249                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska 99524-0249                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SSHB 356.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAY BROWN, former Representative                                                                                                
Alaska State House of Representatives                                                                                           
1908 West Hillcrest                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska 99517                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SSHB 356.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BOB GORMAN                                                                                                                      
Alaska Cooperative Extension, UAF Anchorage - State Office                                                                      
2221 East Northern Lights                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska 99508-4143                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Noted his cautious support of SSHB 356.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM JOHNSON, Safety Officer                                                                                                     
Aurora Environmental & Safety, Inc.                                                                                             
5902 Miley Drive                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska 99504                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SSHB 356.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOHN CYR, President                                                                                                             
National Education Association - Alaska                                                                                         
114 Second Street                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SSHB 356.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RIVER BEAN, Owner                                                                                                               
Market Organics                                                                                                                 
HC 4 Box 9043                                                                                                                   
Palmer, Alaska 99645                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SSHB 356.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NEVA HASSANEIN                                                                                                                  
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides                                                                              
P.O. Box 1393                                                                                                                   
Eugene, Oregon 97446                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SSHB 356.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BOB SHAVELSON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Cook Inlet Keeper                                                                                                               
P.O. Box 3269                                                                                                                   
Homer, Alaska 99603                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SSHB 356.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REGINA MANTEUFEL                                                                                                                
1128 East 10th Avenue                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SSHB 356.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GERAN TARR                                                                                                                      
Alaska Community Action on Toxics                                                                                               
P.O. Box 1233                                                                                                                   
Girdwood, Alaska 99587                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SSHB 356.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STACEY MARZ, Resource Coordinator                                                                                               
Alaska Community Action on Toxics                                                                                               
10301 Stroganof Drive                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska 99516                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  hearing on  SSHB 356, discussed  the                                                              
efforts  of   Alaska  Community   Action  on  Toxics   to  collect                                                              
information on pesticide use in Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PAM MILLER, Biologist and Program Director                                                                                      
Alaska Community Action on Toxics                                                                                               
135 Christensen, Number 100                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  favor of SSHB 356  and offered                                                              
amendments to the proposed CS for SSHB 356, Version I.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-43, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  NORMAN  ROKEBERG called  the  House Labor  and  Commerce                                                              
Standing Committee meeting to order  at 3:28 p.m.  Members present                                                              
at  the  call to  order  were  Representatives  Rokeberg,  Halcro,                                                              
Murkowski, Harris, Brice, Cissna and Sanders.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 440-PROTECTION FROM NEEDLE & SHARPS INJURIES                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  announced the first order of  business would be                                                              
HOUSE BILL  NO. 440, "An Act  relating to needle stick  and sharps                                                              
injury  protections and  the use  of safe needles  by health  care                                                              
facilities  and   health  care  professionals;  relating   to  the                                                              
vaccination of  health care  workers against diseases  transmitted                                                              
by blood borne pathogens; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0168                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO  moved to adopt the proposed CS  for HB 440,                                                              
Version  D [1-LS1580\D  Cramer 4/5/99],  as  the working  document                                                              
before  the  committee.   There  being  no  objection, it  was  so                                                              
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0206                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  explained that the bill had  been called to                                                              
his attention by the nurses' association  and was being introduced                                                              
in both the House of Representatives  and the Senate.  [HB 440 was                                                              
sponsored  by the House  Community and  Regional Affairs  Standing                                                              
Committee, which Representative co-chairs.]   He invited testimony                                                              
from Angie  Schmitz, Staff  to Senator Kim  Elton, sponsor  of the                                                              
companion bill in the Senate.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0256                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANGIE SCHMITZ, Staff to Senator Kim Elton, Alaska State                                                                         
Legislature, came forward to testify.  She stated:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  440 brings needed protection to  health care                                                                   
     workers from  accidental needle stick injuries.   Health                                                                   
     care workers  are of particular risk on the  job because                                                                   
     of  the  danger of  disease  transmission.    Accidental                                                                   
     needle sticks can transmit blood  borne diseases such as                                                                   
     hepatitis  B,  hepatitis C  and  Human  Immunodeficiency                                                                   
     Virus (HIV), in addition to  others.  Nationwide, health                                                                   
     care  workers are  estimated to  suffer between  600,000                                                                   
     and 1  million accidental needle  sticks per year.   For                                                                   
     the state  of Alaska,  that translates to  approximately                                                                   
     1,300 to 2,200  needle sticks per year.   Between 50,000                                                                   
     and   60,000  health   care   workers  nationwide   have                                                                   
     contracted  serious diseases from  needle sticks  in the                                                                   
     last decade.   On  average, one  health care worker  per                                                                   
     week is exposed to HIV.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  seriousness of  HIV is  well known,  but less  well                                                                   
     known are the  serious effects of hepatitis  C, which is                                                                   
     now estimated  to eventually lead to the  deaths of more                                                                   
     health care workers than does  HIV.  Medical workers are                                                                   
     four times more likely than  police officers to die from                                                                   
     a  job-related injury.    Safer devices  are  available.                                                                   
     They have  been approved for  marketing by the  Food and                                                                   
     Drug Administration (FDA), but  many health care workers                                                                   
     still do not have access to these devices.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     It  is estimated  that  nationally  only 15  percent  of                                                                   
     hospitals  use safer devices.   They  cost a little  bit                                                                   
     more  up front,  but studies  show  that facilities  can                                                                   
     save  money in  the long  term by  reducing testing  and                                                                   
     follow-up care for workers who  are accidentally exposed                                                                   
     to diseases.   The  cost for  testing following a  high-                                                                   
     risk  needle stick  is $3,000,  even  when no  infection                                                                   
     occurs.  A serious infection  can cost up to $1 million,                                                                   
     including lost  time and disability payments  as well as                                                                   
     treatment.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     California was  the first state  to pass a  safer needle                                                                   
     law.  In that state, health  care employers are expected                                                                   
     to save $100  million per year thanks to  reduced needle                                                                   
     stick accidents.  Five states  have already passed safer                                                                   
     needle legislation  and there are bills similar  to this                                                                   
     one pending in  20 states besides Alaska.   The American                                                                   
     Nurses' Association has made  safer needle legislation a                                                                   
     national priority,  and this bill is  strongly supported                                                                   
     by  the  Alaska  Nurses'  Association  as  well  as  the                                                                   
     Teamsters and Laborers unions.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0450                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHMITZ continued:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     There are  two parts  to the bill.   The first,  Part A,                                                                   
     requires  health  care  facilities   to  evaluate  safer                                                                   
     devices.   All of the  other parts call for  regulations                                                                   
     from the  Department of Labor concerning  safer devices.                                                                   
     Within those  regulations, there  is a requirement  that                                                                   
     safer needles  be included as engineering  work practice                                                                   
     controls.   There is  one exception.   If an  evaluation                                                                   
     committee at  least half of  whom are front-line  health                                                                   
     care workers determines that  the devices jeopardize the                                                                   
     care or  safety of  themselves or  of the patient,  then                                                                   
     they may not be used.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     There  is  a requirement  that  facilities  institute  a                                                                   
     procedure  for selecting  devices  and  include that  in                                                                   
     their exposure control plan,  and a requirement that the                                                                   
     exposure control  plan be updated  as new technology  is                                                                   
     developed,  at  least once  a  year.   There  is also  a                                                                   
     requirement  for  a  sharps injury  law,  which  records                                                                   
     information about needle sticks,  including the type and                                                                   
     brand  of  the  device  involved.     In  addition,  the                                                                   
     Department  of Labor  can adopt  regulations  concerning                                                                   
     other aspects  of needle safety, including  training and                                                                   
     education   requirements   and  measures   to   increase                                                                   
     vaccinations.     Also,  the  Department  of   Labor  is                                                                   
     required  to assist  employers in  complying with  these                                                                   
     requirements,  and they will need  to compile a  list of                                                                   
     sources of information on safer devices.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHMITZ  volunteered to  speak  to  the changes  between  the                                                              
original bill and the proposed CS.   She explained that in the new                                                              
CS,  dentists are  excluded  from the  requirements  of the  bill,                                                              
based on  [Alaska] Dental Society  testimony that  experience with                                                              
these  devices  shows  they are  not  particularly  effective  for                                                              
intra-oral use.  For example, Novocaine  is not delivered well and                                                              
there are  problems with bulky devices.   Also, no  concerns about                                                              
needle sticks have  been voiced by dental hygienists.   Therefore,                                                              
references  to   dental  devices   have  been  removed   from  the                                                              
definitions section.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHMITZ  said that  originally a  six-month evaluation  period                                                              
was  required.  That has been changed  to "as long as necessary to                                                              
evaluate devices,"  and there is involvement of  front-line health                                                              
care workers  in the decision about  how long that should  be.  In                                                              
addition, there  were a couple of  other places where  wording was                                                              
clarified.   There  [formerly] were  references  to an  evaluation                                                              
committee  in  a section  that  didn't  talk about  an  evaluation                                                              
committee.   There was language in  Section 1[(a)] which  may have                                                              
been interpreted to  say one only needed to evaluate  devices that                                                              
were already in use, which was not the intent.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0666                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO  noted  that  the bill  mandates  that  the                                                              
Department of Labor  and Workforce Development (DLWD)  shall adopt                                                              
certain regulations;  however, he  noted the  absence of  a fiscal                                                              
note.  He asked if there is one from that department.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHMITZ  said a  fiscal note  has not  been received  from the                                                              
DLWD.  She theorized  that much in HB 440 is  what that department                                                              
is  already  doing as  part  of federal  Occupational  Safety  and                                                              
Health Administration  (OSHA) regulations and a  recent compliance                                                              
directive.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0756                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY WEISS, Registered  Nurse; Member, Alaska  Nurses Association,                                                              
testified via  teleconference from  Anchorage.  She  urged passage                                                              
of HB 440.  She believes it will  greatly help protect health care                                                              
workers, not  just the  doctors and nurses  but also  the laundry,                                                              
housekeeping  and  nursing  assistance  employees  throughout  the                                                              
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG   asked  MS.   Weiss  if   she  worked   in  an                                                              
institutional setting.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. WEISS answered that she works  as the Research Coordinator for                                                              
the  University  of  Alaska  Anchorage  School of  Nursing.    She                                                              
offered to speak  to the training the nursing  students receive in                                                              
the  skills  lab and  she  also  offered  to  relate some  of  the                                                              
concerns the  students have, in  clinical settings,  with needles.                                                              
She specified that her information  is from the students, not from                                                              
direct observation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  noted that  there had been  a request  from the                                                              
university  to make  sure  that lancets  were  covered under  this                                                              
legislation.  He asked if she had an opinion on that.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. WEISS  said yes,  she made  that suggestion  to her  director.                                                              
Although  the bill enumerates  various types  of needles,  lancets                                                              
are not included.  In the university  skills lab, students do some                                                              
work with  diabetic testing in which  they use lancets.   Any time                                                              
that one  is working with  blood, there is  some kind of  risk for                                                              
exposure.   Therefore,  she thought  it would  be good to  mention                                                              
lancets  unless the  desire  was  to keep  them  under "any  other                                                              
category of device used at the employer's  facility where there is                                                              
a sharp injury risk."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0895                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  asked if lancets would be covered  under blood-                                                              
drawing devices.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WEISS explained  that a  lancet  is not  necessarily a  blood                                                              
drawing device.  She referred to page 2, line 9, paragraph (8).                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0931                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO   asked  if  there  are   any  health  care                                                              
facilities   that   have   voluntarily   embraced   needle   stick                                                              
prevention.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WEISS  said  she  has  heard that  all  three  of  the  large                                                              
hospitals  in Anchorage  have  varying  degrees  of commitment  to                                                              
needle-less devices.   That lack of standardization is  one of the                                                              
problems  for  students  and  faculty.     Nursing  students  have                                                              
mentioned  one  facility that  they  thought was  especially  good                                                              
because it  had a room  that was set  up with the  exact materials                                                              
used in  a clinical setting;  anyone could  use the room  and work                                                              
with the equipment  in order to get the feel of  it.  The students                                                              
also thought  this was  a very good  idea because they  recognized                                                              
their degree  of inexperience was  just manual dexterity;  working                                                              
with  needles  and  working  around  blood  is  so  critical  that                                                              
students want  to be able to have  [as high a] level  of expertise                                                              
as  possible before  they are  actually in  the [actual]  setting.                                                              
Although  Ms.  Weiss did  not  know  if  the three  hospitals  had                                                              
accepted this voluntarily,  she did know that there  are some OSHA                                                              
regulations  regarding this;  however she  understood those  to be                                                              
voluntary guidelines.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1040                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
WANDA KATINSZKY,  President, Alaska Nurses Association,  testified                                                              
via teleconference  from Anchorage.   She  said the Alaska  Nurses                                                              
Association  is  a  constituent  member  of  the  American  Nurses                                                              
Association.   The state organization represents  bargaining units                                                              
at  Central  Peninsula  General  Hospital  and  Providence  Alaska                                                              
Medical Center.  Therefore, she speaks  for more than 6,000 nurses                                                              
throughout Alaska.  She informed  the committee that she is also a                                                              
registered nurse  and has worked  with hospital implementation  of                                                              
OSHA guidelines.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KATINSZKY remarked that she wished  HB 440 were not necessary.                                                              
However,  the  nurses'  association  has  taken  informal  surveys                                                              
throughout Alaska  and those surveys  have found a  wide variation                                                              
in the availability of safe needle  products.  She recognized that                                                              
many  facilities  have  done  a   good  job  implementing  federal                                                              
guidelines.     However,  the   American  Nurses  Association   is                                                              
championing  this cause  due to the  visible lack  of response  by                                                              
employers.   This problem with  compliance was highlighted  in the                                                              
executive  summary of  the  Maryland Study  Group  on Health  Care                                                              
Worker  Safety,  which  states,   "although  the  OSHA  bloodborne                                                              
pathogen  standard  includes language  on  the use  of  engineered                                                              
sharps protection, it has not been  an effective tool in promoting                                                              
widespread  use of  engineered sharps  injury  protection."   This                                                              
study group  [ultimately] recommended  passing state  legislation,                                                              
which was enacted in 1999.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KATINSZKY  reiterated earlier testimony that  annually, health                                                              
care  workers   suffer   600,000  to  1   million  injuries   from                                                              
conventional  needles and  sharps.   Of those  injuries to  health                                                              
care workers,  nurses  suffer the  majority.   She asked, "Why  is                                                              
this  allowed to  happen  when over  80  percent  of needle  stick                                                              
injuries  are  preventable  with  use of  safer  needle  devices?"                                                              
Although these  safer needle devices  have been on the  market for                                                              
more than a decade, less than 15  percent of facilities nationwide                                                              
have employed the use of these safer devices.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KATINSZKY  asked,  "What does  it take to  protect our  health                                                              
care  workers?"   She   replied,  "It  will   take  strong   state                                                              
legislation  instead of  compliance directives,  which is  what we                                                              
currently have."   She pointed out that the  compliance directives                                                              
are    merely  interpretations  of   standards  that  change  with                                                              
different administrations.  Therefore,  a permanent solution, this                                                              
legislation, is necessary.   She also pointed  out that compliance                                                              
directives are subject to legal challenges  and interpretations of                                                              
the  standard, and  therefore  passing a  state  law would  remove                                                              
ambiguity.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KATINSZKY stated  that this  bill makes  good business  sense                                                              
because  the  employer is  not  required  to purchase  all  safety                                                              
devices  but rather  requires the  employer  to evaluate  products                                                              
using front-line  workers to  determine what  works best  in their                                                              
particular facility.   She expressed the need to  use a scientific                                                              
approach to  evaluate the products  and decrease the  incidence of                                                              
needle stick injury.  She related  her belief that done correctly,                                                              
the cost  of implementing  these devices  will decrease  over time                                                              
due to  the cost savings  realized from  a reduction  in exposure,                                                              
follow-up  and  treatment.   A  study  in California  reported  an                                                              
estimated  overall savings  of over  $100  million per  year as  a                                                              
result  of fewer  needle  stick injuries  and  the illnesses  that                                                              
result.   She informed  the committee  that it  is estimated  that                                                              
annually, 1,000 workers will become  infected and according to the                                                              
American   Hospital   Association,   one  serious   infection   by                                                              
bloodborne pathogen can quickly add up to $1 million or more.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   ROKEBERG  expressed   concern  about   setting  up   an                                                              
evaluation committee for a small  doctor's office, perhaps staffed                                                              
with just two people.  "Who's on the committee?" he asked.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1293                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. KATINSZKY said that is a good  point in that it doesn't always                                                              
take a  committee to get  things done.  She  thinks if she  was in                                                              
that  facility and  having  to implement  a  program, her  biggest                                                              
concern  would be determining  where the  injuries are  occurring.                                                              
She noted that syringes are the main [source of injuries].                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  clarified that his  question was how  one would                                                              
have a committee in a very small office.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1331                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. KATINSZKY  said the  committee probably  would consist  of the                                                              
nurse,  assuming that  there is  a  nurse, or  the office  manager                                                              
where there are medical attendants rather than nurses.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1360                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DONNA  THOMPSON, Registered  Nurse,  testified via  teleconference                                                              
from Washington.   She informed the committee that  she has been a                                                              
nurse for 16 years.   Ms. Thompson related how she  was exposed to                                                              
hepatitis while working  in the burn center in  Anchorage in 1989.                                                              
She explained that her exposure to  hepatitis was through infected                                                              
blood and  body fluids during  long dressing changes  and tubbing.                                                              
She was diagnosed in December of  1989 and in March of 1990 was in                                                              
a  coma  and  was transported  to  the  University  of  Washington                                                              
hospital in Seattle,  where she had a liver transplantation.   Ms.                                                              
Thompson informed the committee that  she has three children.  The                                                              
two youngest ones  had to be immunized with gamma  globulin at the                                                              
time  she  was   diagnosed  with  hepatitis.     She  related  the                                                              
difficulties  that [this  disease] created  for her  family.   For                                                              
herself, she was  debilitated, during this short  illness of three                                                              
months, to the point where she didn't  have the strength to get up                                                              
to use the bathroom.   Furthermore, it would be an  hour ordeal to                                                              
merely take a shower.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1482                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON  informed the committee  that after about 21  days in                                                              
the  hospital  she  was  discharged on  an  outpatient  basis  and                                                              
remained in  Seattle for close  monitoring for another  six weeks.                                                              
After  that time,  she  returned to  Alaska.   She  noted that  in                                                              
total, she  was  off from  work a little  over a year and  a half.                                                              
When she  returned, she  had a lot of  difficulty getting  her job                                                              
back  because "they"  were  reluctant  to rehire  her  due to  her                                                              
immunodepression status   and the  drugs that she would  have take                                                              
in  order   to  maintain  the   transplant.    However,   she  did                                                              
successfully  return to  work, but  only  after threatening  legal                                                              
action.  She informed the committee  that she was never terminated                                                              
from the hospital.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  THOMPSON  informed  the  committee  that  she  worked  in  an                                                              
outpatient care facility at that  hospital for approximately three                                                              
years.    In 1992  [or  1993],  after her  liver  transplant,  she                                                              
received her first needle stick,  which was very devastating after                                                              
going through the transplantation.   She explained that the needle                                                              
stick happened  during  an endoscopy procedure,  during which  the                                                              
lights are  down low  and [the  nurse is]  watching a monitor  and                                                              
caring  for the  patient.   She specified  that  the needle  stick                                                              
occurred  after she had  given the  medication; she  inadvertently                                                              
stuck herself  when she turned.   She attributed the  needle stick                                                              
to the low lighting.  Since that time, she has taken  a break from                                                              
nursing and is currently working in an office now.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  THOMPSON  informed  the  committee  that  she  has  been  re-                                                              
diagnosed  with  hepatitis  again   due  to  recurrence  from  the                                                              
original exposure.   Therefore, the virus is still  present in her                                                              
body,  although  the  liver transplantation  gave  her  a  healthy                                                              
liver.  She  said, "Now I'm reinfected.   What my future  is right                                                              
now is uncertain.   It just depends  on the virus and  how rapidly                                                              
it does develop."  She noted that,  at the initial transplant, her                                                              
pathologist  projected her  life expectancy  would be  to age  65.                                                              
Now that  she has active hepatitis  again, she indicated  that her                                                              
life expectancy may be shorter than 65.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG   thanked  Ms.  Thompson  very   much  for  her                                                              
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1711                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MAGGIE  FLANNAGAN,  Registered  Nurse  and  a  health  and  safety                                                              
officer for her union, which represents  nurses at an acute health                                                              
care  facility  in  Alaska,  testified   via  teleconference  from                                                              
Anchorage.    She  informed  the committee  that  the  nurses  she                                                            
represents are  very upset that in  the facility where  they work,                                                              
one person in authority can block  hundreds of health care workers                                                              
from  having  these  protective  devices.   She  said,  "What  our                                                              
facility proves is that having the  devices on site is not enough.                                                              
We still have health care workers  who do not have access to these                                                              
protective devices."   She explained  that [the employees  of this                                                              
facility]  are  requesting  a product  evaluation  committee  that                                                              
includes  participation  from  front-line  workers  as well  as  a                                                              
better tracking  system of  needle stick  injuries, both  of which                                                              
are provided  by this bill.   With a  better tracking  system, the                                                              
high-risk situations or procedures  associated with these injuries                                                              
can be  identified and  work can  be done  to reduce or  eliminate                                                              
these hazards.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. FLANNAGAN emphasized  that it is important  for legislators to                                                              
know  that needle  stick  injuries  are a  silent  epidemic.   She                                                              
indicated that for  these health care workers, who  have had their                                                              
lives devastated after acquiring  diseases from these injuries, to                                                              
testify  in public  about  the  personal tragedies  only  furthers                                                              
their pain.   Therefore, she asked  the legislators to  hear their                                                              
voices through her words.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. FLANNAGAN explained that many  of these individuals suffer the                                                              
consequences  of these  needle stick injuries  in silence  because                                                              
they're  afraid to call  friends, co-workers  and family  members.                                                              
She noted  that although the committee  has heard about  the risks                                                              
of needle stick injuries related  to HIV, Hepatitis B and C, there                                                              
are  20 diseases  that can  be transmitted  with these  exposures.                                                              
Ms. Flannagan  returned to  the fear that  many of her  co-workers                                                              
have regarding sharing their stories  in public, although they are                                                              
sharing them  in private.  From  those stories, Ms.  Flannagan has                                                              
heard of  health care workers who  have waited months,  [and even]                                                              
years, to  see if their  injury resulted in disease  transmission.                                                              
In the meantime, they need to use  safe-sex precautions with their                                                              
spouse  and they  worry  about  transmitting these  infections  to                                                              
family members.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1840                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FLANNAGAN  pointed out  that these  safer needle devices  also                                                              
protect  the health  care consumer.   For example,  in December  a                                                              
school nurse  in Anchorage was  performing a routine  tuberculosis                                                              
skin  test on  a child  and accidentally  used a  needle that  had                                                              
already been  used by someone else.   In this case,  Ms. Flannagan                                                              
believes  that a  safer needle  device could  have protected  this                                                              
child.  Furthermore, she believes  that safer needle devices could                                                              
prevent some  of the incidents that  she has witnessed  across the                                                              
nation.   She  informed the  committee  that she  has worked  with                                                              
high-risk infants  in four different  hospitals across  the nation                                                              
and  has  found infants  with  needles  in  their beds,  in  their                                                              
blankets and has  even found a baby lying on a bare needle.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FLANNAGAN informed the committee  that it is considered a safe                                                              
practice  to tape  needles into  the  IV lines  of newborns  while                                                              
delivering  piggyback medication.   However,  she emphasized  that                                                              
the tape is not  enough; this system does fail even  with the best                                                              
technique.   She  explained  that in  these  situations usually  a                                                              
child is  moving around  and the  tape will  catch on the  blanket                                                              
which  results  in a  bare  needle  in  the  bed with  the  child.                                                              
Although the disease  transmission in such an injury  is very low,                                                              
she asked  why a child  should endure  such an injury  when safety                                                              
products  are  available.    She   also  pointed  out  that  other                                                              
patients,  patients  who  are  sedated,  confused,  combative,  or                                                              
having  seizures,  are  at  risk  with  these  kind  of  injuries.                                                              
Furthermore,  needles can  be used  as  potential weapons  against                                                              
health care workers in the mental health [profession].                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1911                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FLANNAGAN remarked  that many health care  workers are injured                                                              
through no fault of their own.  For  instance, nurses find needles                                                              
in  the beds  of patients  they are  transporting  or health  care                                                              
workers  are  stuck  by  other  people  or  they  find  improperly                                                              
disposed needles.   Ms.  Flannagan said, "What  I'm asking  you to                                                              
understand is   that no matter  what the reason for  the exposure,                                                              
the blaming needs to stop, the protection  needs to start, and our                                                              
health care  system needs  to be  made safer."   She informed  the                                                              
committee that she has had a high-risk  needle stick while drawing                                                              
blood from  an infant  of a  known intravenous  drug abuser.   Ms.                                                              
Flannagan urged the  committee "to consider this bill  a matter of                                                              
life and  death for  our health  care providers."   She  urged the                                                              
committee to support HB 440.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1979                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  CLAUSON,  Registered  Nurse,   Alaska  Nurses  Association,                                                              
testified by teleconference.  She  informed the committee that she                                                              
had suffered  a needle stick from  a high-risk patient,  a patient                                                              
with a history of  drug use.  This incident was  very traumatic to                                                              
Ms.  Clauson, who  wondered who  would  [take care]  of her  young                                                              
children if  she had contracted a  fatal bloodborne disease.   Ms.                                                              
Clauson noted  her support  of this  legislation.  In  conclusion,                                                              
she highlighted  the importance of  the involvement  of front-line                                                              
worker  in the  product  evaluation of  [safety  devices of]  this                                                              
nature.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2026                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DON NOVOTNEY, Registered Nurse, came  forward to testify.  He said                                                              
he has been practicing as an infection  control nurse for about 11                                                              
years. He gave a demonstration, saying:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     We have an intravenous (IV)  tubing at the top connected                                                                   
     to a  bag.  It  [the tubing] comes  down to a  patient's                                                                   
     hand.    There  are  injection ports.    We  don't  want                                                                   
     needles  in  those  injection  ports.   A  needle  hurts                                                                   
     anybody  who gets stuck  with it.   This [needle  at the                                                                   
     top] is far away from the patient,  the one down here is                                                                   
     a  little  closer.  Sometimes  blood can  back  up  into                                                                   
     there, and if  there is a metal needle in  there, and it                                                                   
     pulls out, it's a danger.  There  are devices that screw                                                                   
     into  the connectors,  the injection  ports.   There  is                                                                   
     also one that  clips on like a clothespin.   These ports                                                                   
     are  precut.   They provide  a safe  IV set.   There  is                                                                   
     blood drawing equipment.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked  about the IV:  "If you want  to avoid any                                                              
kind of needle [and] use these other  types of devices, what's the                                                              
cost differential there?"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY said  they are very similar in price,  a penny or two                                                              
[difference].                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked why they are not more universally used.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2093                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NOVOTNEY  explained  that  the hospital  where  he  works  is                                                              
affiliated with hundreds  of hospitals; as a result,  the group of                                                              
hospitals has great  buying power.  They provide  workers with one                                                              
type of  needle-safe tubing,  not two  or three  or four  like the                                                              
industry  provides.  A  hospital worker  has only  one choice.   A                                                              
hospital such  as Columbia, which  has great buying  power because                                                              
it negotiates  a contract with the  supplier, will provide  a safe                                                              
needle  device from  that supplier.    He then  turned to  product                                                              
evaluation,  which he  didn't foresee  in hospitals  of this  size                                                              
because  such hospitals  have negotiated  a contract  to buy  from                                                              
only one supplier in return for a  price break.  Therefore, if the                                                              
hospital breaks that contract, its costs increase.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2136                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY  showed another  device that  goes into an  injection                                                              
port and  connects to  a large rubber  tube that  the lab  uses to                                                              
draw blood.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked how one gets the blood out.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY said:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     This  is what  a phlebotomist  would  use.   There is  a                                                                   
     needle sticking  out, a sharp needle on the  end of this                                                                   
     that  plugs  into  a  tube.     There's  some  mechanics                                                                   
     involved in all of this.  We  have to be responsible and                                                                   
     pay attention.   If I don't pay attention,  I'm going to                                                                   
     stick  myself, even  with  a clean  needle.   Now,  this                                                                   
     needle that's  been dangling here like this  goes into a                                                                   
     vein.   And  when you  are finished,  you  slide a  hard                                                                   
     plastic cover up over it.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG asked,  "So the  sheath is  really the  primary                                                              
method of safety in that regard?"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NOVOTNEY agreed,  but  reminded the  committee  that a  human                                                              
being has to activate it.  He continued:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     When  I start  an IV,  this  plastic part  stays in  the                                                                   
     vein.   I have  a sharp  needle here  that nobody  would                                                                   
     want to get  stuck with.  We have a device  that we have                                                                   
     been using  for about five or  six years that  slides up                                                                   
     over the  steel needle  that makes it  safe - unless  it                                                                   
     goes into  a trash compactor.   We're human beings.   We                                                                   
     may  not  activate this.    Everyone  has to  take  some                                                                   
     responsibility in their practice.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2221                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  asked if  a percentage of  the devices  used in                                                              
the institutional  care facilities of this state  have safe needle                                                              
devices.  Or is there a problem?                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY  said he thinks there  is a problem in regard  to the                                                              
availability of safe  devices as well as [the fact  that the users                                                              
of these devices  are ] human beings; for example,  would a person                                                              
use one when  another device is quicker?  He  noted the difficulty                                                              
in teaching an old dog new tricks.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked about the availability of safe devices.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY informed  the committee that when he  looked for [the                                                              
safer device  at his  workplace], he  found it  on the back  shelf                                                              
behind just a plain needle and a  steel syringe.  He explained the                                                              
safety device as follows:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This   is  a   safety  syringe.     After   I  give   an                                                                   
     intramuscular injection, it  goes over the top, locks in                                                                   
     place,  and I can't  disable it.   But  I still have  to                                                                   
     throw this in a sharps container  as well as taking this                                                                   
     one and putting a needle on it.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NOVOTNEY  commented  that  half  the  needle  sticks  at  the                                                              
institution where he works can be found in the garbage.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if there is a cost differential.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY said  the traditional [needle stick]  costs about six                                                              
cents  and the  safer  one costs  about  13-14  cents; it's  about                                                              
double.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG  observed,  "What  you  have in  your  hand  is                                                              
probably about the most used commodity in a medical setting."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY clarified that in hospitals,  very few injections are                                                              
given  because IV  tubing is  being  used.   However, in  doctor's                                                              
offices  one  would   see  syringes.    He  said,   "And  for  all                                                              
immunizations to  bring immunization  rates up in  Alaska, they're                                                              
using this."  Mr. Novotney expressed  his desire for the Emergency                                                              
Medical Services  [EMS] and  the cities and  boroughs [to  use the                                                              
safer alternatives].  He explained:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     When a  patient comes  to us, the  EMS is not  using the                                                                   
     same  thing  we  are  using, a  safe  needle  system,  a                                                                   
     needle-free system.   They are at risk.   When they move                                                                   
     a  person,  we have  to  swap  all  of our  tubing  over                                                                   
     because [it doesn't] fit.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2341                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NOVOTNEY  turned  to  the  use   of  lancets  [in  regard  to                                                              
diabetes].  He explained:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This device [now] is activated.   The pin is pulled out.                                                                   
     It's ready to  poke somebody.  It's fired.   I can't re-                                                                   
     fire  this now;  it  is covered  up.   There's  a  sharp                                                                   
     device that you can't get at.   The same thing goes with                                                                   
     scalpel blades.   In the operating room,  they'll take a                                                                   
     scalpel blade  out of an aluminum packet,  place it into                                                                   
     a blade  holder, use  it on a  patient, now it's  dirty,                                                                   
     and you have to take something  like a pair of pliers or                                                                   
     some kind  of locking instrument,  grasp it and  pull it                                                                   
     out.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     But any piece  of metal is springy, and can  spring out.                                                                   
     Having  a blade on  a handle  would be  very good.   The                                                                   
     health  care   system  already  [is  implementing]   the                                                                   
     exposure control  plan that came  out of the  Center for                                                                   
     Disease  Control  and  was   published  in  the  Federal                                                                   
     Register ..., [but]  is it being enforced?   I would put                                                                   
     my  money  on  it that  the  Department  of  Labor  [and                                                                   
     Workforce Development]  that enforces OSHA in  the State                                                                   
     of Alaska  has not visited many health  institutions and                                                                   
     looked  at  needle  safety.    If  we  could  make  them                                                                   
     [syringes]  all like this,  it would be  great.   But we                                                                   
     are  still  using  syringes  and  needles.   If  we  can                                                                   
     eliminate that, there will be fewer needle sticks.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2433                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO noted  a reference  made earlier to  school                                                              
nurses.  He  asked if there is  any kind of safety device  for the                                                              
device used to give TB tests.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NOVOTNEY explained  that  previously  a four-pronged  testing                                                              
device had been used.  However, that  device did not give accurate                                                              
results.   Therefore, Juneau  schools now  use a  1 cc syringe  in                                                              
order  to  go  underneath  the skin  and  inject  one-tenth  of  a                                                              
milliliter of purified protein derivative  tuberculosis.  Two days                                                              
later, [the nurse] examines and evaluates [the site].                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG thanked Mr. Novotney  for the demonstration.  He                                                              
asked what the definition of "sharps" is.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[Because of the  tape change, some of Mr. Novotney's  response was                                                              
not recorded.]                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-43, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 0004                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NOVOTNEY indicated  that anything that is  sharp, usually made                                                              
of metal - such  as needles and IV starts that  can pass through a                                                              
[protective plastic] glove - would be considered a "sharp".                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0041                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA HUFF  TUCKNESS, Director  of Governmental and  Legislative                                                              
Affairs for  Teamsters Union Local  959, came forward  to testify.                                                              
She provided the committee with a  copy of a presentation on South                                                              
Peninsula Hospital,  in Homer,  where there  is a very  proactive,                                                              
safety-conscious hospital director.   The South Peninsula Hospital                                                              
hospital has  been implementing  many of the  safer tools  for the                                                              
past four and a half years.  In regard  to whether there is a cost                                                              
difference, Ms. Huff Tuckness said there is.  She specified:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The cost - as has been previously testified - even the                                                                     
      initial testing for needle stick injuries runs $5,000-                                                                    
     $6000.   If, indeed, there  is an actual infection,  you                                                                   
     are looking at  up into millions of dollars.   So from a                                                                   
     short-term perspective,  there is a difference  in cost.                                                                   
     From  a long-term  perspective,  it  is well  worth  the                                                                   
     cost.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUFF TUCKNESS  commended  South  Peninsula  Hospital for  its                                                              
proactive  approach, but  noted  that in  some  of Alaska's  other                                                              
hospitals  [such a  proactive  approach for  safer  tools] is  not                                                              
necessarily  the case.    She pointed  out  that  this very  small                                                              
community  hospital  has  had  some very  positive  results.    In                                                              
conclusion, Ms. Huff Tuckness said, "We are supporting HB 440."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0138                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked about the companion measure, SB 261.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. HUFF TUCKNESS said SB 261 was  in the Senate Finance Committee                                                              
and was expected to move tomorrow.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG said,  "I hope  it gets cleaned  up over  there                                                              
before it makes even further progress."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA asked  if  the Senate  version has  changed                                                              
from the version before this committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUFF TUCKNESS  answered that there is an  identical [proposed]                                                              
CS in each house.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0178                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DWIGHT  PERKINS,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Labor  and                                                              
Workforce Development,  came forward  to testify.   As far  as the                                                              
allegation  that the  department  has not  been  to any  hospitals                                                              
checking on  this, he had made a  note of that, he said,  and will                                                              
find out.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked about a fiscal note.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PERKINS  said  there  is  not  a  fiscal  note,  and  if  the                                                              
department  had produced one,  "It would  have been  a zero."   He                                                              
noted that  he had  provided this  committee -  and the  committee                                                              
hearing the  companion bill - a  three-page handout.   The handout                                                              
says  that  the  requirements  will  enhance  health  care  worker                                                              
involvement and  safety by requiring  employer policies  that work                                                              
with  potential  at-risk parties  in  order  to develop  a  common                                                              
solution to  injury prevention.  He  noted that OSHA had  issued a                                                              
compliance directive  on November 5, 1999, which  was subsequently                                                              
adopted  by the  Labor Standards  of the  Occupational Safety  and                                                              
Health  Program.   He  explained  that  states adopt  the  federal                                                              
regulations  by reference  as they  come out to  be in  compliance                                                              
with the federal plan.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked, "Are you  saying that the regulations are                                                              
already in place?"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0236                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS clarified  that the regulations are in  the process of                                                              
being put in place; however, it will  be two years before they are                                                              
implemented  by the  federal  government.   He  remarked that  the                                                              
department   thinks  this   is  a  good   piece  of   legislation.                                                              
Furthermore,  his  staff  and  OSHA have  been  working  with  the                                                              
sponsor  of the Senate  companion  bill, and he  thinks they  have                                                              
worked out the department's concerns.   "To my knowledge we are OK                                                              
with this legislation, we have no  objection to it and it would be                                                              
a zero fiscal note if there was one," he said.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  asked how "evaluation committee"  is defined in                                                              
the regulations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS replied  that he did not know because  he has not been                                                              
personally involved with this particular piece of legislation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG asked  if the  department is  going to  enforce                                                              
this.   He  also  asked,  "How do  you  enforce it  against  small                                                              
employers?    What size  of  a  health care  provider  would  this                                                              
affect?"                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0302                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS said he could get those answers.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG told him it is not in the bill.  He added:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     If they  define employer as  meaning an employer  having                                                                   
     an  employee  with  occupational exposure  to  blood  or                                                                   
     other   material   potentially    tainted   with   blood                                                                   
     pathogens,  that means a  doctor with  one nurse has  to                                                                   
     have  an evaluation  committee under  this statute.   It                                                                   
     doesn't work.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS  said he would  have to check  on that.  There  may be                                                              
something in the regulations about that.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG continued:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Front-line  health  worker, then  that  means the  nurse                                                                   
     would tell  the doctor  he's gotta do  that the  way the                                                                   
     bill is drafted now.  This is  probably good legislation                                                                   
     but it is not drafted very artfully.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS  said he  knows this  committee is  well qualified  to                                                              
make the adjustments to the legislation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  remarked that  he remains  skeptical.   "If you                                                              
could bring back  to this committee the regulatory  scheme and how                                                              
you do this with  no cost and enforce it, that's  what I'd like to                                                              
know," he said.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0363                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  related his assumption "that if  it is going                                                              
to  be  under   OSHA  standards,  that  this   standard  would  be                                                              
investigated and reported  just as any other OSHA  violation might                                                              
be."    He  pointed   out  that  if  he  worked   in  a  dangerous                                                              
construction  situation,  he  could  call  OSHA to  come  out  and                                                              
[perform an inspection].                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS affirmed that.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE surmised,  then, that  a nurse working  with                                                              
[devices] that  are not  in compliance with  this bill  could call                                                              
OSHA and have them [perform an inspection].                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PERKINS replied, "We would be there."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE then addressed  Chairman Rokeberg  by saying                                                              
that a committee could be anything;  it could be made up of one or                                                              
two people.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG acknowledged that,  but asked, "Don't you get my                                                              
point, Tom?"                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BRICE said he understands what  Chairman Rokeberg                                                              
is saying, but he does not think it is wrong.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG  expressed the  need  to  clarify it.  He  then                                                              
addressed Representative Harris:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This is a  committee bill, but it has some  support from                                                                   
     the other  side of the building.   Because of  that, I'd                                                                   
     like  to appoint  a subcommittee  to  actually fix  this                                                                   
     bill,  not the  "black hole"  subcommittee,  but a  real                                                                   
     one.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0444                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO  suggested that Chairman  Rokeberg's concern                                                              
could simply be  remedied by eliminating the word  "committee" and                                                              
inserting  the  word  "process."   Therefore,  it  would  read  as                                                              
follows:   "an  employer  shall  establish an  evaluation  process                                                              
...", which doesn't mandate a committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG said that  is one  of his  major concerns.   He                                                              
expressed  the need  to  hear from  the  "house  business" and  to                                                              
clarify the  "lancet" issue.  In  addition, he expressed  the need                                                              
to hear from the hospital groups  and other health care providers,                                                              
none of  whom were represented at  the meeting today.   Therefore,                                                              
Chairman  Rokeberg announced  that he  wasn't going  to close  the                                                              
public testimony  on this bill because  he is concerned  that this                                                              
is kind of a de facto health care  mandate and thus he needs to be                                                              
convinced  otherwise, because  it's a  cost driver.   However,  he                                                              
believes this is a good concept that  shouldn't be lost.  He asked                                                              
Representative Harris if he wanted  to work with a subcommittee of                                                              
develop a CS.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS said he would  be happy to do it either way.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   ROKEBERG  appointed   a   subcommittee  consisting   of                                                              
Representatives  Harris, Brice  and Halcro  "to come  up with  the                                                              
answers to some of these questions."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0521                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO  acknowledged that  the  committee has  not                                                              
heard from the hospitals and other  health care providers, "but my                                                              
opinion  from  the  testimony  we've  heard  today,  when  they're                                                              
charging $5 for  a Tylenol with codeine, I'm sure  they can afford                                                              
seven cents extra for a needle that can protect their workers."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  specified that he  is more concerned  about the                                                              
small practitioner and "how this  all fits together."  "How do you                                                              
have an  evaluation committee or  how do you have  any enforcement                                                              
of that  rule at a small  level.  Quite  frankly, I think  this is                                                              
probably  a  labor-management  issue,  and  I don't  know  if  the                                                              
legislature needs to  be right in the middle of  that unless there                                                              
is  a public  policy  involved, and  we need  to  be cognizant  of                                                              
that."  He  added, "I think we  have a federal policy and  . . .if                                                              
we need a state  statute to protect the workers  properly, then we                                                              
should do that."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG announced  that the committee  would hold  open                                                              
public testimony on  HB 440 and look forward to a  report from the                                                              
subcommittee on  this bill.   He indicated that  other problematic                                                              
bills  will also  result in  the appointment  of subcommittees  in                                                              
order to work out [the problems].  [HB 440 was held over.]                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[The committee took a brief at-ease.]                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 356-TRACKING OF PESTICIDE USE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  announced the next  order of business  would be                                                              
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  for HOUSE  BILL NO. 356,  "An Act  relating to                                                              
pesticide use; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0621                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA,  speaking  as  the sponsor  of  SSHB  356,                                                              
requested  that  her  staff  present  the  bill  and  the  changes                                                              
encompassed  in  the  proposed  committee   substitute  (CS)  that                                                              
reflect  the   Department  of  Environmental   Conservation  (DEC)                                                              
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  made a motion to adopt the  proposed CS for                                                              
SSHB  356, Version  I  [1-LS1360\I,  Lauterbach,  4/5/00], as  the                                                              
working document.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0671                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROB   EARL,  Staff   to   Representative   Cissna,  Alaska   State                                                              
Legislature,     explained  that  SSHB  356  establishes   a  $150                                                              
registration  fee  per  pesticide   label  registered  in  Alaska.                                                              
Currently, Alaska  is the  only state that  doesn't charge  such a                                                              
fee.   The bill also  establishes a $25  per year license  fee for                                                              
all certified pesticide  applicators.  He pointed out  that DEC is                                                              
planning  on charging  $75 for a  three-year license  in order  to                                                              
save in administrative expenses.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EARL  said  Section  4  of   Version  I  establishes  a  DEC-                                                              
administered  pesticide   use  tracking  system,  which   will  be                                                              
integrated into  a statewide  Geographic Information  System (GIS)                                                              
that is designed to reveal the extent  of pesticide use in Alaska.                                                              
Mr.  Earl   explained  that  the   system  would  rely   upon  the                                                              
applicators  to report  to the  department  the pesticide's  name,                                                              
rate, date, amount, location and  method of application as well as                                                              
the crop, commodity  or site upon which the pesticide  was applied                                                              
and the  target organism.  Applicators  would be required  to keep                                                              
these records for three years.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL noted  that these records are already  required; however,                                                              
they are not currently submitted  to DEC.  He pointed out that the                                                              
bill also allows for civil penalties  to be imposed for failure to                                                              
report pesticide usage.   The bill also establishes  a nine-member                                                              
volunteer  Pesticide   Advisory  Board,  which  will   advise  the                                                              
department in regard  to the tracking system and  research ways to                                                              
gauge  the  household  use  of  pesticides  as  well  as  research                                                              
mechanisms to increase  public awareness on pesticide  issues.  He                                                              
specified   that  the   board  will  consist   of  the   following                                                              
membership:  two pesticide applicators/dealers;  two advocates for                                                              
protection  for   pesticides;  one  agent  of  the   public  water                                                              
supplier;  one agent  of  the University's  Cooperative  Extension                                                              
Service;  one  expert  in pest  control,  epidemiology,  fish  and                                                              
wildlife biology  [and] children's  health issues; and  two public                                                              
members.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0782                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL turned  to the changes encompassed  in Version I.   A new                                                              
Section 1 designates  the receipts collected by DEC  in Sections 2                                                              
and  3,  for  the registration  and  licensing  fees,  as  program                                                              
receipts.    Those   program  receipts  would  be   accounted  for                                                              
separately from the unrestricted general fund.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL pointed  out that on page  2, line 17, subsection  (b) of                                                              
the proposed CS,  formerly part of subsection  (a), clarifies that                                                              
the  department  will  have  the  discretion  to  determine  which                                                              
pesticides it will  track.  This subsection further  says that the                                                              
department should  seek and consider  the advice of  the Pesticide                                                              
Advisory Board  [when determining which pesticides  the department                                                              
will track].  On this point, Mr.  Earl informed the committee that                                                              
there are  almost 3,000 different  pesticide labels  registered in                                                              
the state.   Most  of those  aren't implicated  in serious  public                                                              
health  or  environmental  hazards.    Of  these  3,000  pesticide                                                              
labels,  1,114 are disinfectants  or sanitizers  which are  exempt                                                              
from reporting requirements  as specified on page  2, lines 24-25.                                                              
Therefore,  choosing which  of the remaining  pesticide labels  to                                                              
track will be  one of the more difficult aspects.   The department                                                              
has suggested  that it  will want to  track the 49  restricted-use                                                              
pesticides,  which are  of  particular danger  to  people and  the                                                              
environment.  The  department has also indicated that  it will add                                                              
suspect  pesticides to  the list  as  they are  identified by  the                                                              
Environmental  Protection  Agency (EPA),  the  department, or  the                                                              
Pesticide Advisory Board.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL  directing  the committee  to page 3,  line 9,  paragraph                                                              
(6),  which had  everything  deleted except  the  location of  the                                                              
application.   That  is consistent  with  page 2,  line 26,  which                                                              
allows the  department to determine  the specifics  of application                                                              
location  that  is  to  be  reported.   He  indicated  it  is  the                                                              
sponsor's  hope  that  the location  of  application  is  specific                                                              
enough to differentiate between adjacent  watersheds while general                                                              
enough to preserve the privacy of individuals.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL  then directed  the committee to  page 3, line  18, where                                                              
the language  "In addition  to other  civil or criminal  penalties                                                              
that  may  be  applicable,"  was  added to  subsection  (e).    He                                                              
explained,  "Because  without  this  addition,  this  [sub]section                                                              
would  have  inadvertently  invalidated   DEC's  ability  to  levy                                                              
applicable sanctions already in statute."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL  moved on to  page 4, lines  3-4, which was  shortened in                                                              
order to correct an oversight by  the original bill.  Without this                                                              
change, DEC  would be  required to report  a nuisance  that wasn't                                                              
reported to it.  Mr. Earl offered to answer any questions.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0933                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  referred to page 4, where  the membership of                                                              
the Pesticide Advisory Board is specified.   He stated that he did                                                              
not  know  what a  person  would  be  who has  expertise  in  pest                                                              
control, epidemiology,  fish and  wildlife biology and  children's                                                              
health issues.  He inquired as to  what type of professional would                                                              
[meet such criteria].                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EARL  related  his  assumption  that  it  would  be  an  "or"                                                              
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  refuted that and  read the language  on page                                                              
4, lines  22-28, which  specifies that this  member has  [to have]                                                              
some expertise in  all of the areas listed.  He  asked if that was                                                              
the intent as it seems fairly broad.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA agreed that it seems fairly broad.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE related  his assumption  that the desire  is                                                              
probably  to  require   membership  of  an  individual   that  has                                                              
expertise "in one of the following areas" that is listed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO directed the  committee to page 4, lines 13-                                                              
17, paragraph  (2), which seems to  include the same sort  of all-                                                              
encompassing  qualifications  in  lines  14  and 15.    He  echoed                                                              
Representative  Brice's  earlier comment  regarding  what type  of                                                              
person this would be.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1110                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JANICE  ADAIR,   Director,  Division   of  Environmental   Health,                                                              
Department   of   Environmental    Conservation,   testified   via                                                              
teleconference.   She informed  the committee  that the  pesticide                                                              
program is within the Division of  Environmental Health.  She also                                                              
informed the  committee that the  department supports  the concept                                                              
of this  bill.  In  her ten years  with [the division],  there has                                                              
been one  application for  a pesticide  permit.  That  application                                                              
was from the [Alaska] railroad, but  was withdrawn by the railroad                                                              
before any  action could be taken  on the permit  application; the                                                              
application  was withdrawn  due to  the public  angst it  created.                                                              
Ms. Adair  believes that there  is a lot  of concern in  regard to                                                              
pesticide use in the state.  The  CS would give information to the                                                              
public, information that the public would like to have.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG  directed  attention  to the  fiscal  note  and                                                              
requested that Ms. Adair explain the fiscal note.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR  informed the  committee that this  bill adds  two fees.                                                              
One of the  new fees is a  registration fee for  pesticide labels.                                                              
Currently, there are 3,000 pesticides  registered in the state and                                                              
thus $150 fee per label would amount  to $450,000.  The second fee                                                              
is the licensing  fee, which is currently issued  for a three-year                                                              
period and  thus the $25  per year license  fee would result  in a                                                              
$75 charge.   At this  time there  are 860 certified  applicators.                                                              
With [those  two fees],  the revenue is  generated.   However, she                                                              
pointed out that  these [fees] are added to the  list of statutory                                                              
program receipts  and thus wouldn't  be considered  general funds.                                                              
This change would have to be made  to the fiscal note if the CS is                                                              
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR stated  that the largest expense in  this legislation is                                                              
the creation  of the GIS, for  which [the department]  has nothing                                                              
similar.  Furthermore, [the department]  doesn't have the internal                                                              
expertise  to develop  such a  system;  as a  result, that  system                                                              
would have to be developed from scratch  with some reliance on the                                                              
Department of Natural Resources (DNR).   This system would have to                                                              
be compatible with  DEC's computer system, which  doesn't tie into                                                              
the state's mainframe and thus the  system would run on individual                                                              
workstations.     Furthermore,  this  system  would   have  to  be                                                              
acceptable on the Internet in a user-friendly  fashion.  Moreover,                                                              
the continuous  changes in technology  would necessitate  the need                                                              
for  the  system to  function  while  incorporating  technological                                                              
changes.  Ms. Adair anticipated [hiring]  someone to work with the                                                              
board and  to perform the public  education outreach, which  is of                                                              
extreme importance  to the sponsor  as well as [to  the division].                                                              
An environmental technician [position]  has been included for data                                                              
entry, which is time-consuming for remote areas in particular.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG inquired  as to what  the department  currently                                                              
does in the way of controlling pesticides.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1379                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR remarked  that it is a small program that  is 85 percent                                                              
funded  by the  federal government  [and thus]  the department  is                                                              
only able  to do what  is required under  the federal grant.   She                                                              
explained   that  [the  department]   certifies  applicators   for                                                              
restricted-use   pesticides.   [The  department]   also   performs                                                              
training for those that work around  pesticides.  [The department]                                                              
also performs  marketplace  inspections and  in recent years  [the                                                              
department] has (indisc.) the registration program.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  surmised, then,  that the department  would not                                                              
enter the  field and  sample or control  for pesticide  use unless                                                              
there is a special request.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR answered  that such action would only be  taken if there                                                              
was a complaint, such as a complaint  that an illegal pesticide is                                                              
being used.   Such a complaint has occurred.   Ms. Adair mentioned                                                              
that for  some pesticide  projects, the  state requires  a permit.                                                              
Although [the  department] doesn't  have any state  general funds,                                                              
[the  department]  does perform  that  state-mandated  work.   She                                                              
pointed out that  [the department] issues permits  for such things                                                              
as mosquito control and potato blights.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO pointed out  that the sponsor statement says                                                              
that  the fees  for  registration  will  generate the  revenue  to                                                              
support  the program.    However,  [information  in the  committee                                                              
packet] notes that when Oregon initiated  this program there was a                                                              
20 percent  decline in the  number of registrations  and licenses.                                                              
Therefore, Representative Halcro  inquired as to what would happen                                                              
if the number  of licenses declines, but the department  still has                                                              
the same operating costs with less revenue.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR  replied that  [the department]  would come back  before                                                              
the legislature.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1529                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PETER   NAKAMURA,  Director,   Division  of  Public   Health,                                                              
Department of Health  & Social Services, noted  that his testimony                                                              
would be in reference  to the original bill.  He  pointed out that                                                              
neither  the  Division of  Public  Health  nor the  Department  of                                                              
Health & Social Services (DHSS) has  any oversight responsibility,                                                              
as identified  in the bill.  However,  this is a health  issue and                                                              
as such,  the [department  and division]  are concerned  about the                                                              
use of pesticides.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA remarked that often,  after the fact,  another effect                                                              
[of a  pesticide] is  realized.  Therefore,  a system  that merely                                                              
monitors the location [that the pesticide]  is used and the amount                                                              
doesn't allow  for a cause-and-effect  analysis.  For  example, it                                                              
was discovered after-the-fact that  [due to] MTBE, a chemical used                                                              
in fuel, practically all the water  in California is contaminated.                                                              
He pointed out that the use of [MTBE] was stopped in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA agreed that it makes  sense to have a register and to                                                              
know where  [these pesticides] are.   For [the department  and the                                                              
division,]  probably  the greatest  use  [of  this system]  is  to                                                              
address the concerns of citizens  who fear they are being poisoned                                                              
from  some  of [these  pesticides].    Often, there  are  concerns                                                              
regarding  cancer,  but  the  information  regarding  whether  the                                                              
[pesticide] is  or is not  the cause  is often unavailable.   With                                                              
this  type of  register, a  possible  cause can  be implicated  or                                                              
eliminated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  NAKAMURA stated  that some  of  the definitions  in the  bill                                                              
should be clarified such as a "custom  application."  Furthermore,                                                              
a "commercial use" should be defined  as should the reference to a                                                              
"broadcast chemical," which could  include table salt that is used                                                              
to melt  ice or  kill slugs.   Therefore,  the terms  in the  bill                                                              
should be identified and clarified.   He directed the committee to                                                              
page  2,  subsection (b),  of  the  original  bill which  read  as                                                              
follows: "(b)   The system established  under (a) of  this section                                                              
must require all  pesticide dealers in the state  to report to the                                                              
department  the following  information pertaining  to the  sale of                                                              
pesticides to end users, including  private residents and licensed                                                              
pesticide  applicators".   Dr. Nakamura  said  he understood  that                                                              
language to  mean that  [DEC] would have  to follow every  citizen                                                              
who purchased and applied a pesticide.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  informed Dr. Nakamura that  the proposed CS                                                              
doesn't   include  that   [language]  and   thus  the   individual                                                              
commercial stores aren't part of this bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  NAKAMURA turned  to  the creation  of  the  board to  monitor                                                              
pesticides,  which seemed to  be rather  challenging as  there are                                                              
many pesticides and  chemicals.  If a board is  created to address                                                              
each individual chemical, there would  be many boards.  Therefore,                                                              
Dr. Nakamura suggested that this  function could be included in an                                                              
existing board.   Dr. Nakamura expressed  his belief that  this is                                                              
such an  important function  that it  should be adequately  funded                                                              
whether  through the  collection of  fees or bills  or through  an                                                              
appropriation.   In his nine years  as a state health  officer, he                                                              
has found that  Alaska is relatively young in this  arena and thus                                                              
the  state is  still identifying  these needs  and creating  these                                                              
capabilities.  He reiterated the  need to provide adequate funding                                                              
to perform an appropriate job.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA acknowledged  that there has been concern in                                                              
regard to  the [connections] between  pesticides and cancer.   She                                                              
asked if this would have an application  for that type of problem.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA  replied yes.  He  indicated that this  may eliminate                                                              
some of the concerns  by citizens as well as  possibly identifying                                                              
a cause.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2011                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAY  BROWN,  former  Representative,   Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                              
testified via teleconference.  Ms.  Brown spoke in favor of HB 356                                                              
and thanked Representative Cissna  for bringing this forward.  She                                                              
related her belief that pesticide  use in Alaska as well as across                                                              
the  country is  an urgent  public health  problem requiring  more                                                              
attention from  legislative bodies.  Therefore,  she supported all                                                              
efforts to  regulate the  use of  pesticides more  tightly.   As a                                                              
cancer survivor,  Ms. Brown  has become  concerned with  the toxic                                                              
chemicals that  are used in the  environment.  Furthermore,  it is                                                              
well established that many of these  chemicals are causing serious                                                              
medical problems,  including cancer.   Although [these  chemicals]                                                              
are widely used, very little is known  about them.  She identified                                                              
this bill as a first step, which she supported.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BOB GORMAN,  Alaska Cooperative Extension,  UAF Anchorage  - State                                                              
Office,  testifying  via teleconference,  informed  the  committee                                                              
that he  is a  Pesticide Applicator  and Training Coordinator  for                                                              
the  Alaska  Cooperative  Extension,  University  of Alaska.    He                                                              
specified that  his opinions are  based on his  professional views                                                              
and not those of  the University of Alaska.  Mr.  Gorman said that                                                              
he  is cautiously  supportive of  this  bill because  there is  no                                                              
current  information  base  with   regard  to  how  much  of  what                                                              
pesticides are used in what locations.   Furthermore, he supported                                                              
this  bill  because   pesticides  are  important   tools  in  pest                                                              
management and  thus it is  important to ensure  that [pesticides]                                                              
are available  in order  to maintain the  public health  of humans                                                              
and other living things.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GORMAN noted  that he has two areas of concern.   First, there                                                              
is the  need to protect  the privacy  of landowners who  choose to                                                              
use pesticides.  Therefore, he believes  that pesticides should be                                                              
identified  at the  watershed  level and  thus  collection of  the                                                              
information on a  longitude and latitude basis  could maintain the                                                              
privacy  of landowners.    Second, probably  the  greatest use  of                                                              
pesticides   in  Alaska   is  from   commercial  applicators   and                                                              
homeowners.   In all  likelihood, the  greatest use of  pesticides                                                              
can be found in urban areas with  turf and ornamental applications                                                              
and structural pest control.  Although  it may not be possible now                                                              
to address  homeowner  use of pesticides,  Mr.  Gorman said  he is                                                              
more   concerned  with   homeowner  misuse   of  pesticides   than                                                              
commercial misuse.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2310                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  acknowledged that the homeowner  problem is                                                              
a  large problem  and would  expand  this tracking  system to  the                                                              
point at  which it would be,  as many feel, unwieldy.   Therefore,                                                              
one  of the  reasons for  the tracking  board  is to  work on  the                                                              
educational  portion   of  this   matter  in  order   that  people                                                              
understand [what]  they are purchasing  at a store.  She  asked if                                                              
Mr.  Gorman  felt  that  would  help  deal  with  [the  homeowner]                                                              
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GORMAN identified  [education] as a start.   He mentioned that                                                              
DEC  has just  started a  new program  called  the Consumer  Label                                                              
Information  [which] rewrites  consumer  labels in  order to  make                                                              
them more readable  and user-friendly.  That [program]  will help.                                                              
He also mentioned  that the Cooperative Extension  Service and the                                                              
Municipality  of Anchorage  have programs  that address  homeowner                                                              
pesticide  use.  If  this bill  is enacted,  he believes  the next                                                              
effort [should  be] to have  the retailer,  at the point  of sale,                                                              
note  the total  volume  of  the  pesticides sold  to  homeowners.                                                              
Although there  would be conjecture  as to where  those pesticides                                                              
would be used, it would provide information  as to what pesticides                                                              
are  being  used  and  in  what volume  they  are  being  sold  to                                                              
homeowners.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[Due to  a tape change,  Representative Halcro's question  was not                                                              
recorded and Mr. Johnson's opening remarks were not recorded.]                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-44, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0005                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOM JOHNSON, Safety Officer, Aurora  Environmental & Safety, Inc.,                                                              
testifying via  teleconference, said, "... Aurora  Environmental &                                                              
Safety."   Mr. Johnson  noted  his support  of [SSHB  356].   As a                                                              
Safety Officer who  has performed a number of   community outreach                                                              
and education programs on hazardous  materials in the home, he has                                                              
found that  there is little awareness  with regard to  the hazards                                                              
of  pesticides  as  well  as  the  hazards  of  general  household                                                              
chemicals.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON  said he would challenge  anyone as far as  a person's                                                              
knowledge  of what  level  or degree  of  poison  the EPA  warning                                                              
labels would  have - the degree  of toxicity of the  products that                                                              
is being referred to.  He specified  that the EPA warning "Danger,                                                              
poison" means that a few drops is  deadly enough to kill a person,                                                              
yet  there  is  little awareness  with  regard  to  the  toxicity.                                                              
Therefore,  Mr. Johnson  felt it  important that  those who  bring                                                              
such a  product into the  home be more aware  of the hazards.   He                                                              
pointed out  that currently there  is great emphasis  being placed                                                              
on  weapon  safety;  however,  these   products  have  more  of  a                                                              
potential  of  being  a  weapon of  terror  and  are  more  easily                                                              
available  than any  weapon.   Therefore, he  felt that  education                                                              
should be emphasized.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON turned to the perspective  of his profession, which is                                                              
to  protect workers  for employers,  who are  required to  provide                                                              
safe  workplaces for  their employees.    He said  any means  that                                                              
could assist  him in  identifying potential  hazards would  create                                                              
less problems  in protecting his  clients.  Therefore,  [SSHB 356]                                                              
is a good starting point.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO asked if  the average homeowner  purchasing                                                              
weed killer is  going to educate him/herself about  what he or she                                                              
is using.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON replied  no, but said that the effort  has to be made.                                                              
From  a  risk  management  and  liability  standpoint,  he  didn't                                                              
believe the labels go far enough  and thus organizations that sell                                                              
these items could potentially face liability issues.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0329                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  CYR,  President,  National Education  Association  -  Alaska                                                              
(NEA-AK), testified in  favor of [SSHB 356].     Mr. Cyr indicated                                                              
that he was present due to the products  that are used at schools.                                                              
These are products  whose names he could not pronounce  nor did he                                                              
know  if these  products  were good,  bad or  indifferent.   As  a                                                              
parent and  a representative  of the staff  and the children,  Mr.                                                              
Cyr believes  that people  should  know what is  being sprayed  in                                                              
public  places, especially  around  children.   Therefore,  NEA-AK                                                              
believes this bill  is a good start to review  the information and                                                              
establish [a system] in which the  community can make decisions as                                                              
to what should happen where children are.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0448                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RIVER BEAN, Owner, Market Organics,  testified via teleconference.                                                              
He  informed  the committee  that  he  and  his wife  have  farmed                                                              
commercially and  organically for 12  years and thus he  said that                                                              
he knows  there are alternatives  to agricultural chemicals.   Mr.                                                              
Bean supported  HB 356 as it is  a good start.  Although  the bill                                                              
doesn't  include  agriculture,  it  should.    However,  Mr.  Bean                                                              
opposed allowing DEC  to determine which pesticides  to exempt and                                                              
which to register and track.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEAN  explained  that  often  EPA has  instituted  a  ban  on                                                              
previously  authorized   chemicals  and  often  these   have  been                                                              
chemicals which left  residues on the food.  He  indicated that it                                                              
may not be  too long before the  extreme rise in cancer  rates and                                                              
other diseases are directly linked  to some of these toxins in the                                                              
environment.  Therefore,  Mr. Bean felt that all  chemicals should                                                              
be registered  and include  the chemicals  that  farmers use.   He                                                              
indicated  the need to  be accountable  for what  one does  to the                                                              
environment as an obligation to the community.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEAN  said,  "Relying on  chemical  applications  to  control                                                              
pests,  weeds  and diseases  is  not  sustainable farming  on  any                                                              
scale."  As an organic farmer, he  expressed concern regarding the                                                              
"drift  factor"   of  chemical  applications;  a   risk  of  toxic                                                              
contamination  due   to  drift  [of  chemicals   applied  nearby].                                                              
Furthermore, he  expressed concern  with regard to  eliminating or                                                              
killing  living  organisms  in  any  environment  as  there  is  a                                                              
reaction to  every action.   He noted  that the employees  that he                                                              
has who  have worked on  chemically-dependent farms tell  tales of                                                              
ill   health,   neglected   disposal   practices   and   unchecked                                                              
applications  of chemicals.   In conclusion,  Mr. Bean  reiterated                                                              
his support of HB 356, which he identified as a good start.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked  if Mr. Bean sells some of  his produce at                                                              
the Anchorage Saturday Market.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEAN  replied yes.   He  informed the  committee that  soon he                                                              
should  be selling  to  the Ship  Creek  Market,  the Eagle  River                                                              
Market and 100 families.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG remarked that he  was sure he had purchased some                                                              
of Mr. Bean's  produce.  He  felt that organic farming  is growing                                                              
in  the [Matanuska-Susitna]  Valley, and  he hoped  that it  would                                                              
continue to grow.   Chairman Rokeberg asked if  aerial spraying of                                                              
pesticides is allowed in the Mat-Su Valley area.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEAN related his belief that  aerial spraying of pesticides is                                                              
allowed in the Mat-Su Valley area,  which is of concern because of                                                              
the  drift  factor  and  unchecked   contamination.    In  further                                                              
response to Chairman Rokeberg, Mr.  Bean said that aerial spraying                                                              
of pesticides doesn't  occur directly near his farm.   However, he                                                              
knows of other nearby farms that  are adjacent to farms that spray                                                              
chemicals.   In further  response to  Chairman Rokeberg,  Mr. Bean                                                              
said  that, to  his  knowledge, aerial  spraying  of chemicals  is                                                              
allowed  in the  state.   He  mentioned  that  the EPA  authorized                                                              
aerial  spraying  for the  potato  blight  two  years ago  and  he                                                              
indicated that  the EPA  had authorized it  again this year.   Mr.                                                              
Bean pointed out that there are alternatives  to [aerial spraying]                                                              
as well as organic practices that could be utilized.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted that the  bill title refers to pesticides;                                                              
however, he  was interested  in whether  the bill would  encompass                                                              
the application of other agricultural chemicals.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA clarified  that the  bill does not  include                                                              
herbicides.    She  related her  understanding  that  the  farming                                                              
community  has been  working on  nontoxic solutions  and has  been                                                              
performing  responsible  monitoring.    She  indicated  that  this                                                              
information   came  from   the  Cooperative   Extension   Service.                                                              
Therefore, [herbicides] were not included in this legislation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0824                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NEVA  HASSANEIN testified  via teleconference  from  Oregon.   She                                                              
informed  the   committee  that  she  works  with   the  Northwest                                                              
Coalition for  Alternatives to Pesticides  and has a  doctorate in                                                              
environmental science.   She further  informed the  committee that                                                              
in  the past  three  years she  has  done extensive  research  and                                                              
worked  with  the  political  system   in  order  to  establish  a                                                              
comprehensive  system to track  the use  of pesticides  in Oregon.                                                              
Ms.  Hassanein   noted  her  support   of  this   legislation  and                                                              
identified it  as a solid first  step, although she did  have some                                                              
concerns.   She clarified that the  term pesticide is  an umbrella                                                              
term  which  includes  herbicides,  insecticides,  fungicides,  et                                                              
cetera.   She defined the term  pesticide as follows:   "A product                                                              
that  is designed  to  kill, damage  or  repel living  organisms."                                                              
Unless Alaska  defines the term  pesticide differently than  it is                                                              
in other parts of the country, she  would assume that all of those                                                              
chemicals would be included.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HASSANEIN  noted  that  currently,  only a  few  states  have                                                              
established systems  to track the  use of pesticides.   The Oregon                                                              
program was  just signed  into law last  September and one  of the                                                              
key concepts of  Oregon's law was the agreement that  it needed to                                                              
be comprehensive,  including all types of applications.   However,                                                              
the   current   draft  of   HB   356  only   includes   commercial                                                              
applications.   In response to  Dr. Nakamura's question  regarding                                                              
what is a  commercial application, Ms. Hassanein  explained that a                                                              
commercial  application  is  one  made by  a  licensed  commercial                                                              
operator.  She related her belief  that it is important to include                                                              
agriculture and governmental use as well as household use.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. HASSANEIN  said that the  collection of information  regarding                                                              
pesticide use is  essential to understanding how  these pesticides                                                              
move in the environment and how they  affect human health.  With a                                                              
good tracking  system, one would  know where say, water  should be                                                              
monitored for  particular chemicals.   That  is how these  systems                                                              
can  be used,  which is  extremely important.   In  regard to  Dr.                                                              
Nakamura's  comments disputing  the  need to  create  a board  for                                                              
every thing,  Ms. Hassanein suggested  placing a [sunset]  on this                                                              
board.   Furthermore,  Ms. Hassanein  expressed  concern with  the                                                              
department's  open-ended  authority  to  decide  which  pesticides                                                              
would be  included.   She suggested  that a  time table  should be                                                              
laid  out over the  next three  years  or so.   She remarked  that                                                              
Alaska is  lucky in  that it  only has  about 1,800 products  that                                                              
would be  tracked under this  system, while Oregon  and California                                                              
are tracking about  9,000 products.  Therefore, she  felt there is                                                              
time to do a top-notch job.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1160                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BOB SHAVELSON,  Executive Director,  Cook Inlet Keeper,  testified                                                              
via teleconference  from Homer.   He  informed the committee  that                                                              
Cook Inlet  Keeper represents  about 650  citizens throughout  the                                                              
Cook Inlet  area and beyond. [The  Cook Inlet Keeper] is  in favor                                                              
of HB  356, which is a  good start.   He felt it fitting  that the                                                              
House Labor & Commerce Committee  is reviewing this legislation as                                                              
it is  really a worker  health issue.   For example, last  year at                                                              
Western  Homer Elementary  there  was a  pesticide application  by                                                              
some workers,  who weren't  aware of  some of  the dangers  of the                                                              
pesticide   that  they   were   applying.     Subsequent   workers                                                              
maintaining the  field where the  pesticide had been  sprayed were                                                              
unaware  of  its  presence.   Therefore,  some  of  the  reporting                                                              
[requirements] in the bill will resolve  such situations.  This is                                                              
a worker's  issue in that many  people rely on the  rich fisheries                                                              
in Cook Inlet  and other areas for their livelihood  and thus this                                                              
legislation   will   help   protect  some   of   the   commercial,                                                              
recreational and subsistence fish resources.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHAVELSON informed the committee  that about a year and a half                                                              
ago,  a study  for  Cook Inlet  was  performed by  the  EPA.   One                                                              
remarkable finding  was that many  fish resources there  have high                                                              
levels of pesticides;  no one is certain whether  these pesticides                                                              
are coming in  via the Asian current or are  draining off Alaska's                                                              
land.    Therefore,  he  felt that  this  legislation  would  help                                                              
resolve some of those issues.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1297                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REGINA  MANTEUFEL  testified via  teleconference  from  Anchorage.                                                              
She  began   by  thanking  Representative   Cissna  for   HB  356,                                                              
specifically  the  language  referring  to  the  total  amount  of                                                              
product applied.  Ms. Manteufel related  a personal story from the                                                              
time she  lived in Salinas, California.   At the time,  there were                                                              
no  notices  when there  was  aerial  spraying of  pesticides  and                                                              
because  of this  her  brother is  mentally  retarded.   When  her                                                              
brother  was in his  twenties, the  pesticides  stored in his  fat                                                              
cells resulted in the loss of control of his bladder.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MANTEUFEL  related a story in  which a boyfriend of  hers, who                                                              
sprayed pesticides  for a  living, died of  cancer even  though he                                                              
wore all the safety gear.  Furthermore,  a friend of hers - due to                                                              
exposure  to pesticides  as a field  worker -  had a  miscarriage.                                                              
Ms.  Manteufel  informed  the  committee  that due  to  the  water                                                              
situation  resulting  from  farms  using  pesticides  in  Salinas,                                                              
California,  she  left.   She  also  related  a situation  in  her                                                              
elementary  school that  she believes indicated  that exposure  to                                                              
pesticides  affected  brain  development.     In  conclusion,  she                                                              
expressed  her belief that  Alaska has  the chance  to do  what is                                                              
right,  which is to  pass this  legislation in  order that  people                                                              
don't  go  through the  pain  and  suffering  she  has had  to  go                                                              
through.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1551                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GERAN TARR,  Alaska Community Action  on Toxics (ACAT),  testified                                                              
via teleconference  from Anchorage.   She testified in  support of                                                              
HB  356,  which  is  a  necessary  and  important  first  step  in                                                              
providing  Alaskans the  right  to know  about  their exposure  to                                                              
potentially  harmful  chemicals in  their  daily  lives.   As  the                                                              
Pesticide  Coordinator for  the Right  to Know  Campaign, she  has                                                              
discussed  this bill  with  many individuals  and  thus has  found                                                              
broad public  support for this bill.   She informed  the committee                                                              
that a poll  conducted for the Alaska Conservation  Alliance found                                                              
that 93  percent of  registered Alaskan  voters support  requiring                                                              
disclosure and reporting of pesticide use.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. TARR  noted that people  support this legislation  for various                                                              
reasons  such as:  public  health  and water  quality  protection,                                                              
subsistence  food safety  and  worker safety.    She informed  the                                                              
committee  that the following  organizations  support HB  356, the                                                              
version  in which all  pesticides  would have  been tracked:   the                                                              
Alaska Action Center,  the Alaska Center for the  Environment, the                                                              
Alaska CFIDS/FMS/GWS Association  which is the Chronic Fatigue and                                                              
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Support  Group, the Alaska Community                                                              
Action on  Toxics, the  Alaska Conservation  Alliance, the  Alaska                                                              
Public Interest  Research Group, the American Lung  Association of                                                              
Alaska, Arctic  Organic, the Brain  Injury Association  of Alaska,                                                              
the Center  for Marine  Conservation, the  Cook Inlet Keeper,  the                                                              
Injured Workers' Alliance, Kachemak  Bay Conservation Society, the                                                              
Mental  Health  Association  of   Alaska,  the  National  Wildlife                                                              
Federation  of  Alaska,  the Native  American  Fish  and  Wildlife                                                              
Society  and  the  Northern Alaskan  Environmental  Center.    She                                                              
indicated  that  due  to  the  timing  of  the  legislation,  some                                                              
organizations have  been unable to sign statements  of support yet                                                              
and thus she expected more broad support.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  acknowledged that Ms. Tarr  was very active                                                              
in putting together  some of the ideas for this  legislation.  She                                                              
referred to the section in the CS  regarding the membership of the                                                              
Pesticide Advisory Board and asked  if Ms. Tarr had any ideas with                                                              
regard   to  the   type   of  person   that   would  fulfill   the                                                              
qualifications   specified in  paragraphs (2)  and (5) on  page 4,                                                              
lines 13-17 and 22-24, respectively.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. TARR  said that  there are  many individuals  that could  fill                                                              
those positions.   She  said that there  are individuals  who work                                                              
for state or  federal agencies, whose job description  would cover                                                              
this category.   For example, there  are individuals at  both U.S.                                                              
Fish & Game and Alaska Department  of Fish & Wildlife who research                                                              
the potential  affects pesticides  are having  on wildlife  in the                                                              
state as well  as water quality issues.  Through  that work, these                                                              
individuals  have  dealt  with alternatives  to  pesticides,  pest                                                              
management  and  the  public's  right  to  know.    In  regard  to                                                              
paragraph (5),  she noted  that many of  the people with  whom she                                                              
works in  ACAT have  expertise in many  of the categories  listed.                                                              
Although  there may  be people  who aren't  an expert  in all  the                                                              
categories, they could certainly  fulfill the need to have a broad                                                              
base of knowledge to address the issue.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1818                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
STACEY  MARZ, Resource  Coordinator,  Alaska  Community Action  on                                                              
Toxics,  testifying via  teleconference  from Anchorage,  informed                                                              
the committee  that  Barbara Williams  had to  leave and thus  Ms.                                                              
Marz wanted  to read Ms. Williams'  testimony and then  submit her                                                              
own.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   ROKEBERG   suggested   that  Ms.   Marz   provide   the                                                              
teleconference  moderator with  Ms.  Williams' written  testimony,                                                              
which would  become part  of the record.   He then  requested that                                                              
Ms. Marz proceed with her testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARZ informed the committee that  ACAT has begun to attempt to                                                              
collect information  regarding pesticide use in Alaska.   This has                                                              
proven to be a [difficult] task as  the information is not readily                                                              
available and must be systematically  collected from all pesticide                                                              
users.    Much of  the  information  collected  thus far  is  from                                                              
different  sectors  of  the  government.    She  noted  that  this                                                              
information  was collected because  it is  the easiest  to collect                                                              
due  to public  record laws  which require  disclosure.   However,                                                              
public  record  requests result  in  varying  results due  to  the                                                              
different   record  keeping   systems   within  the   institutions                                                              
contacted.     Although   some   of  the   institutions   maintain                                                              
comprehensive  records regarding  pesticide application,  that was                                                              
not  the  norm.    Unfortunately,   some  [institutions]  maintain                                                              
nothing  at all  or merely  note  that an  exterminator visited  a                                                              
premises.   Ms. Marz  pointed out  that information about  private                                                              
pesticide  use is  very difficult  to obtain  as the  only way  to                                                              
obtain such  information is  if there  is voluntary disclosure  by                                                              
the private institution using pesticides.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARZ  stated that [ACAT] has  found that use of  pesticides in                                                              
Alaska  is  widespread  and  occurs in  many  places  that  people                                                              
frequent in daily life.  She informed  the committee that there is                                                              
regular pesticide use in Anchorage,  Fairbanks, Juneau, Palmer and                                                              
Kenai.  Pesticides are applied in  locations such as private homes                                                              
and  yards,   restaurants,  nursing  homes,   schools,  hospitals,                                                              
airports, parks, gardens, greenhouse,  the universities and farms.                                                              
She noted that the target organism  varies from different types of                                                              
insects to different  types of weeds.  Ms. Marz stated  that it is                                                              
virtually   impossible   for   an  average   citizen   to   access                                                              
information,  in  an expedient  and  comprehensive  manner,  about                                                              
pesticide use  and exposure  in Alaska.   Furthermore, no  one has                                                              
the time or energy to systematically  call all potential pesticide                                                              
users in  order to create a  big picture perspective in  regard to                                                              
personal exposure.  Therefore, a  pesticide tracking system on the                                                              
Internet would allow  individuals to evaluate their  own risks and                                                              
minimize their exposure  to toxic chemicals as well  as decide how                                                              
best to protect himself/herself and their family.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2002                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAM  MILLER,  Biologist  and Program  Director,  Alaska  Community                                                              
Action  on  Toxics  (ACAT),  testified   via  teleconference  from                                                              
Anchorage.   The mission of ACAT  "is to protect human  health and                                                              
the  environment from  the toxic  effects of  contaminants and  we                                                              
also work  to enhance  public access  to information about  toxics                                                              
and to build  community action capabilities," she said.   The ACAT                                                              
strongly supports  HB 356 as introduced by  Representative Cissna.                                                              
However, she  had some recommendations  that would  strengthen the                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER said enactment of this  bill will be an important first                                                              
step in  ensuring the  public's and workers'  right to  know about                                                              
pesticide  applications.    Furthermore, this  bill  will  provide                                                              
necessary  data  for  people  to evaluate  their  risks  and  take                                                              
whatever protective  actions they deem necessary.   [The ACAT] has                                                              
worked  with  a  number  of chemically  injured  people,  who  are                                                              
particularly  susceptible  to  the  health  effects  of  pesticide                                                              
exposure.   Ms. Miller  pointed out  that a  number of people  are                                                              
particularly vulnerable  to pesticides, including  pregnant women,                                                              
children, adolescents,  people with immune illnesses  and women in                                                              
menopause.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER explained that ACAT's  support for this bill stems from                                                              
the group's  research and  experience working  with the  Anchorage                                                              
School District regarding  the use of pesticides in  schools.  The                                                              
group's research  demonstrated that the Anchorage  School District                                                              
used pesticides  that are linked  to serious health  problems and,                                                              
the  group thinks,  pose a  special  risk to  children.   However,                                                              
teachers, parents  and students were not notified  about pesticide                                                              
application.   She noted  that a  group of  parents, teachers  and                                                              
students worked  with ACAT for nearly  a year in order  to address                                                              
this problem, which culminated in  a February 2000 decision of the                                                              
Anchorage   School  Board   to   implement   a  policy   requiring                                                              
notification  procedures and  implementation of  least toxic  pest                                                              
management.   The organization believes  it to be one of  the most                                                              
progressive in the country.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER  turned to specific  recommendations of ACAT,  which it                                                              
believes  will   strengthen  and  ensure  public   health  in  the                                                              
environment.   Ms.  Miller proposed  the  following amendments  to                                                              
CSSSHB 356.   First, she recommended  that on page 2, line  9, the                                                              
word "shall"  should be  substituted for the  word "may"  and thus                                                              
DEC would  be required  to charge  registration fees, which  would                                                              
ensure  annual  income from  pesticide  label registration.    She                                                              
reminded the  committee that  Alaska is the  only state  that does                                                              
not require  such registration fees,  which are generally  paid by                                                              
pesticide managers in other states.   The second recommendation is                                                              
on page 2, line  22, to remove the language "based  in part on the                                                              
frequency of pesticide application"  and add a provision requiring                                                              
all pesticide  users to  report all  pesticides that are  applied.                                                              
She  said it  will  be  inefficient and  costly  to  allow DEC  to                                                              
determine which pesticides require reporting.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER noted  that her written testimony included  a series of                                                              
justifications for this recommendation,  which she urged committee                                                              
members  to review.   She  returned  to Section  4 of  the CS  and                                                              
referred  the committee  to Section 4(c)  regarding the  reporting                                                              
requirement to DEC.  While ACAT supports  a pesticide use tracking                                                              
system,   ACAT  urges   the  committee   to  make  the   reporting                                                              
requirement  apply to  all pesticide  applicators.   Additionally,                                                              
the  word "shall"  should be  substituted  for the  word "may"  in                                                              
Section 4(b),  which would require  DEC to "establish  regulations                                                              
for  the submission  and dissemination  of accurate  data for  the                                                              
tracking system."  Ms. Miller explained  that the only way to have                                                              
an  accurate  picture  of  pesticide  use  and  exposure  is  with                                                              
complete  information  -    readily  available  to  the  public  -                                                              
provided by all pesticide applicators.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER turned  to Section 3(b) and again recommended  that the                                                              
word  "shall"  be substituted  for  the  word  "may" in  order  to                                                              
require DEC to regulate the licensing  of restricted-use pesticide                                                              
applicators  and custom,  commercial and  contract applicators  of                                                              
pesticides and  broadcast chemicals.   Although ACAT  supports the                                                              
imposition of civil  penalties for applicators who  fail to comply                                                              
with the  reporting requirement  established in  Section 3  of the                                                              
proposed CS, it requests the addition  of a citizen suit provision                                                              
such as  the one in the  Federal Emergency Planning  and Community                                                              
Right to  Know Act.   She explained that  this federal  Act allows                                                              
lawsuits  to  be  filed  for  noncompliance   with  the  reporting                                                              
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked who the Alaska  Community Action on Toxics                                                              
is.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2266                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER  responded that the  Alaska Community Action  on Toxics                                                              
is  a  statewide   membership  organization  that   has  over  300                                                              
individual  members as  well as  Alaska tribes.   It  has been  in                                                              
existence approximately three years.  She described its mission:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The mission of  Alaska Community Action on  Toxics is to                                                                   
     protect human health and the  environment from the toxic                                                                   
     effects of contaminants.  We  are dedicated to achieving                                                                   
     environmental justice through  a collaborative work with                                                                   
     affected     communities,      tribes,     environmental                                                                   
     organizations  and  individual activists.    We work  to                                                                   
     ensure  responsible cleanup  of  contaminated sites  and                                                                   
     empower community involvement  in cleanup decisions.  We                                                                   
     strive  to   stop  the  production,  proliferation   and                                                                   
     release of  toxic chemicals  and work to enhance  public                                                                   
     access  to   information  about  toxics  and   to  build                                                                   
     community action capabilities.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if ACAT has full-time employees.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILLER  replied  yes.   Currently,  ACAT  has  two  full-time                                                              
employees and some contract employees.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  mentioned that ACAT was one  of the citizen                                                              
groups  that worked  to develop  this  bill.   She Cissna  thanked                                                              
those who had testified today.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked  if anyone else wished to  testify.  There                                                              
being no  one, Chairman  Rokeberg announced that  HB 356  would be                                                              
held.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further business  before the committee,  the House                                                              
Labor and  Commerce Standing  Committee  meeting was adjourned  at                                                              
5:50 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

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