Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/18/1994 08:15 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         March 18, 1994                                        
                            8:15 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative Bill Williams, Chairman                                       
  Representative Bill Hudson, Vice Chairman                                    
  Representative Con Bunde                                                     
  Representative David Finkelstein                                             
  Representative Joe Green                                                     
  Representative Jeannette James                                               
  Representative Eldon Mulder                                                  
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Pat Carney                                                    
  Representative John Davies                                                   
                                                                               
  OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Gene Therriault                                               
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  *HB 462   "An Act repealing certain provisions of the laws,                  
            other than those in the Alaska Land Act, relating                  
            to recording requirements, labor and improvement                   
            requirements, and size requirements for mining                     
            claims and providing for the suspension or waiver                  
            of state annual mining labor requirements when the                 
            federal government has suspended or waived federal                 
            annual mining labor requirements administratively                  
            or by statute; and providing for an effective                      
            date."                                                             
                                                                               
            MOVED HB 462 OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL                      
            RECOMMENDATIONS                                                    
                                                                               
  HB 446:   "An Act relating to community agreements for                       
            environmental conservation purposes; and providing                 
            for an effective date."                                            
                                                                               
            MOVED HB 446 OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL                      
            RECOMMENDATIONS                                                    
                                                                               
  HB 352:   "An Act relating to the approval of subdivision                    
            plats in areas outside organized boroughs, in the                  
            unorganized borough outside of cities, and in the                  
            third class boroughs; and relating to the                          
            definitions of `street' and `subdivision'."                        
                                                                               
            ADOPTED AND MOVED CSSSHB 352(RES) OUT COMMITTEE                    
            WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS                                    
                                                                               
  (* First public hearing)                                                     
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT                                               
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 421                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska   99801-1182                                                  
  Phone:  465-4797                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor HB 462                                    
                                                                               
  JERRY GALLAGHER, Director                                                    
  Division of Mining                                                           
  Department of Natural Resources                                              
  P.O. Box 107016                                                              
  Anchorage, Alaska   99510-7016                                               
  Phone:  762-2165                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 462                                        
                                                                               
  MARY NORDALE, President                                                      
  Alaska Miners Association                                                    
  P.O. Box 21211                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska   99802                                                       
  Phone:  586-3340                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 462                                        
                                                                               
  MEAD TREADWELL, Deputy Commissioner                                          
  Department of Environmental Conservation                                     
  410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105                                             
  Juneau, Alaska   99801                                                       
  Phone:  465-5065                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 446                                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES                                               
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 501                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska   99801-1182                                                  
  Phone:  465-3743                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor HB 352                                    
                                                                               
  RON SWANSON, Director                                                        
  Division of Land                                                             
  Department of Natural Resources                                              
  P.O. Box 107005                                                              
  Anchorage, Alaska   99510-7005                                               
  Phone:  762-2692                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 352                                        
                                                                               
  RICK HARRIS, Vice President                                                  
  Resource Planning and Administration                                         
  Sealaska Corporation                                                         
  One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 400                                                
  Juneau, Alaska   99801                                                       
  Phone:  586-1512                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 352                                        
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 462                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: MINING REQUIREMENTS:RECORDING/LABOR/SIZE                        
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) THERRIAULT,Kott                                
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  02/11/94      2345    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/11/94      2345    (H)   RESOURCES                                        
  02/14/94      2389    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  KOTT                              
  03/18/94              (H)   RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124                      
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 446                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AGREEMENTS                           
  SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                 
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  02/04/94      2264    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/04/94      2264    (H)   COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS,                    
                              RESOURCES                                        
  02/04/94      2264    (H)   -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DEC) 2/4/94                   
  02/04/94      2265    (H)   GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                    
  03/01/94              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                      
  03/01/94              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                      
  03/02/94      2575    (H)   CRA RPT  7DP                                     
  03/02/94      2575    (H)   DP:  SANDERS, DAVIES, WILLIS,                    
                              TOOHEY                                           
  03/02/94      2575    (H)   DP:  OLBERG, BUNDE, WILLIAMS                     
  03/02/94      2575    (H)   -PREVIOUS ZERO FISCAL NOTE                       
                              (DEC) 2/4/94                                     
  03/18/94              (H)   RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124                      
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 352                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: SUBDIVISION PLAT APPROVAL:UNORGANIZED BOR                       
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES                                          
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/07/94      2020    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                 
  01/10/94      2020    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/10/94      2020    (H)   CRA, RESOURCES, FINANCE                          
  01/21/94      2124    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE                               
                              INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                             
  01/21/94      2124    (H)   CRA, RESOURCES, FINANCE                          
  02/10/94              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                      
  02/10/94              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                      
  02/15/94      2403    (H)   CRA RPT CS(CRA) NEW TITLE 4DP                    
                              2NR                                              
  02/15/94      2404    (H)   DP:  SANDERS, BUNDE, TOOHEY,                     
                              OLBERG                                           
  02/15/94      2404    (H)   NR:  WILLIS, WILLIAMS                            
  02/15/94      2404    (H)   -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DNR) 2/15/94                  
  03/18/94              (H)   RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124                      
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-35, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  The House Resources Committee was called to order by                         
  Chairman Bill Williams at 8:22 a.m.  Members present at the                  
  call to order were Representatives Williams, Hudson, Bunde,                  
  Finkelstein and James.  Members absent were Representatives                  
  Carney, Davies, Green, and Mulder.                                           
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN BILL WILLIAMS announced there is a quorum present.                  
                                                                               
  (CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted for the record that REPRESENTATIVE                  
  GREEN joined the committee at 8:25 a.m.)                                     
                                                                               
  HB 462 - Mining Requirements: Recording/Labor/Size                           
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT, PRIME SPONSOR, stated HB 462                 
  is a clean-up  of provisions in Title 27.  Title 27 dates                    
  back to territorial days when it was crafted to match                        
  federal requirements in place at the time.  He said over                     
  time, these federal requirements have changed and state                      
  statutes have not kept pace, and in many instances no longer                 
  conform.  This lack of conformity is currently causing                       
  confusion and must be updated.  He told committee members                    
  that a letter of support from the Department of Natural                      
  Resources (DNR) which identifies the specific problem each                   
  section of HB 462 is designed to correct is contained in                     
  their folders.                                                               
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT explained current state statutes                   
  direct miners to do one thing and federal statutes tell them                 
  to do something else.  In Section 1, existing language                       
  allows for recording of a location after 90 days, but before                 
  the ground is staked by another locator.  He pointed out                     
  federal laws no longer allow such late recording under any                   
  circumstances, so HB 462 brings that provision current with                  
  federal requirements.  In Section 2, there is a                              
  clarification that if federal requirements are changed                       
  through administrative action, the requirements of AS                        
  27.10.060 are likewise affected.  He said there has been                     
  action on the federal level with statutes and the statutes                   
  have been changed not so much by law, but through                            
  administrative action.                                                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT said Section 3 deletes an out of                   
  date requirement for recording of an annual labor affidavit                  
  within six months after the close of an annual labor year.                   
  The federal law requires such affidavits to be recorded 90                   
  days after the close of the labor year.  Section 4 repeals                   
  the limitation on the size of associated placer claims.  He                  
  stated this limitation is inconsistent with federal law                      
  currently.  Section 5 is necessary to ensure that changes                    
  made in Section 2 take place at the same time the federal                    
  law was changed so there is not a window where there were                    
  two laws and a question about which set of laws the miners                   
  should have been following.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 043                                                                   
                                                                               
  (CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted for the record that REPRESENTATIVE                  
  MULDER joined the committee at 8:27 a.m.)                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE BILL HUDSON asked Representative Therriault                   
  to explain Section 4 again.  He clarified at the present                     
  time no placer mining claim may be located in excess of 40                   
  acres, and have a greater length than 2640 feet and that is                  
  repealed to comply with federal law.                                         
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT thought that question should be                    
  directed to Jerry Gallagher.                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked what is being discussed -                     
  federal claims on federal land or federal claims on state                    
  land.                                                                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT responded claims on federal land.                  
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if HB 462 will eliminate                          
  inconsistencies on land which the state does not have patent                 
  to, but has selection or tentative approval.                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT said Representative Kott has a                     
  bill which allows the transfer from federal regulations to                   
  state regulations simultaneously when the land transfers                     
  hands.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 065                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked when a federal change is made,                    
  does the federal government notify the miner or does the                     
  state.                                                                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT responded the federal government                   
  notifies people who have claims on their property.                           
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said conformance is not the concern.                    
  He thought if the state has laws which are different and the                 
  federal law is changed, the federal government is in charge                  
  of making that change known to the miner, with the state not                 
  responsible for any violation.  He wondered if the state                     
  accepts the federal law and are party to it, is the state                    
  subjected to liability because a miner did not conform                       
  according to federal law.                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT did not feel it is an issue.  He                   
  said the federal law is supreme.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 093                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN asked if HB 462 only                        
  applied to mining claims on federal land.                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT said that is correct as that is                    
  what Title 27 addresses.                                                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked where that could be seen in                 
  the law.  He wondered if Section 2 addresses changes made in                 
  federal law or federal requirements being waived in a                        
  specific case.                                                               
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT gave an example.  He said in the                   
  past year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) by                            
  administrative action, allowed federal miners to waive                       
  annual labor if an annual grant payment was made.  He stated                 
  this section in present statute caused confusion because it                  
  says if federal laws are suspended and the question becomes                  
  is a waiver a suspension.                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if the federal government                   
  changed regulations or did they use an administrative action                 
  for an exemption.                                                            
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT stated it was administrative                       
  action.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 122                                                                   
                                                                               
  JERRY GALLAGHER, DIRECTOR OF MINING, DNR, stated the                         
  department supports HB 462.  He said states have                             
  traditionally adopted laws which support and give certain                    
  specificity to the federal mining law, that law which allows                 
  miners to stake federal mining claims on federal land.  He                   
  pointed out there are certain overriding requirements                        
  nationally but there are specificity issues to recording                     
  documents which varies by state.  There are certain business                 
  relationships which vary by state.  He added that states                     
  have generally in state law provided specificity of those                    
  aspects of the law.  He stressed that is what Title 27 has                   
  done.                                                                        
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER stated the present law goes back to 1949.  No                  
  one has paid much attention to Title 27 because federal law                  
  controls.  He said as the federal law has changed,                           
  inconsistencies and conflicts of law have developed and HB
  462 addresses some of those inconsistencies and fixes them.                  
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked why the state does not just use                  
  the federal law.                                                             
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER responded the state may have to revisit Title                  
  27 to keep it current, but there are specific provisions in                  
  Title 27 which are important such as the specificity about                   
  recording.  He said there is specificity about how location                  
  notices are posted.  Those issues are important to the state                 
  for the state's recording of them. There are a number of old                 
  provisions in Title 27 which have become out of date and                     
  need to be cleaned up.  He does not advocate eliminating the                 
  provisions in Title 27 in their entirety because some of the                 
  public records and factual statements in the law about                       
  discovery are important.                                                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked if the mining industry agrees                    
  with that opinion.                                                           
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER said yes, but mentioned a representative from                  
  the mining industry is present to testify.                                   
                                                                               
  Number 174                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked Mr. Gallagher to explain                    
  the change in Section 4.                                                     
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER responded there was a section of federal law                   
  which applied to placer claims and association placer claims                 
  dating back 60-80 years.  There was an effort by the federal                 
  government to make sure that any individual or group of                      
  individuals could not control huge amounts of land in placer                 
  districts.  He said Section 4 repeals all of AS 27.10.110                    
  which is the limit on size and he believed those limitations                 
  have been removed from federal law.  This is an archaic                      
  limitation which is contained in state law and is an                         
  unnecessary piece of the statute.                                            
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER asked if the state will need to                  
  revisit Title 27 over and over again based on potential                      
  changes made to the federal mining law.                                      
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER responded if the federal government changes                    
  the mining law of 1872 substantively, the answer is yes.  He                 
  stated Section 2 says if the law is changed                                  
  administratively, likewise the state law is changed.  He                     
  said the federal mining law says you have to do annual                       
  labor.  Last year, the Administration by administrative                      
  action said no, you have to pay a fee and if you do not want                 
  to do the annual labor, you do not have to.  He stated the                   
  miners pointed out the state law says they do, unless the                    
  federal law has changed.  Then the question became, is                       
  administrative action a change in the federal law or not.                    
  He pointed out that Secretary Babbitt is considering                         
  changing the federal mining law through administrative                       
  action.  If those federal changes are made administratively,                 
  Section 2 incorporates those changes.  Section 2 also says                   
  that if the federal mining law changes, those sections also                  
  change.  He felt there is a need to revisit Title 27                         
  occasionally to ensure it stays current.                                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES said in discussing revisiting                 
  Title 27 in the future, there may be a point when it will                    
  have to be said that mining claims are not allowed on                        
  federal land in the state of Alaska.                                         
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER responded only the federal government will                     
  make that statement.                                                         
                                                                               
  Number 248                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked what the state's vested interest                 
  is in requiring affidavits and wondered if the state is                      
  requiring duplicate reports.                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER replied the federal law says miners have to                    
  record an affidavit, but the state law says certain things                   
  have to be included in the affidavit such as the name,                       
  location, number of days work which was done, etc.  Those                    
  specifics are important to the state because it provides                     
  consistency with some of the state's recording requirements,                 
  and added it is also important to the miners in the state                    
  because there is a framework of what is required in the                      
  affidavit.  That affidavit tells the miners whether that                     
  claim is properly located and properly maintained and                        
  whether or not they can stake it.  He did not feel there is                  
  any duplication.  The federal law says the miner will record                 
  and the state law says what specifics need to be in the                      
  document.                                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON wondered if the federal government, in                 
  laying out the requirements, assumes the state will                          
  accomplish them.                                                             
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER said that is correct.  He did not feel the                     
  requirements are onerous or unnecessary.  He added the                       
  specific recording requirements are in federal law but each                  
  state has different recording requirement and what needs to                  
  be there.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 292                                                                   
                                                                               
  MARY NORDALE, PRESIDENT, ALASKA MINERS ASSOCIATION (AMA),                    
  stated AMA supports HB 462.  She said the problem the state                  
  and the territory attempted to resolve is confusion of                       
  records.  It is important for every state to have                            
  comprehensive, complete and accurate land records.  In the                   
  mining industry, title, whether it is the title which arises                 
  from a mining claim or from purchase, etc., is important.                    
  There are certain things one can do and must do under                        
  federal law in order to establish a title.  One of those is                  
  to record, but it is important that the state be able to                     
  require certain elements of information to be included in                    
  the document so the state builds up a comprehensive record                   
  on land ownership.  She pointed out if HB 462 is reviewed,                   
  it really addresses recorded notice.  The repeal on                          
  association claims is due to the federal law not allowing                    
  association claims anymore so why retain an archaic                          
  requirement in the statute which has no application.  She                    
  said HB 462 is needed, it will be more efficient, and will                   
  reduce paperwork, as well as confusion on the part of the                    
  mining industry.                                                             
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the Division of Mining is more                 
  akin to the Alaska Oil and Conservation Commission in                        
  operating wells which are on federal land or more akin to                    
  the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's operating game back                 
  when they operated game on federal management.                               
                                                                               
  MR. GALLAGHER stated the Division of Mining is more akin to                  
  the Division of Oil and Gas.  The Division of Mining has                     
  authority on state land for state mining claims.  He said as                 
  part of the division's broader interest, they watch what                     
  happens on federal land and reiterated the section being                     
  discussed applies to federal land.                                           
                                                                               
  MS. NORDALE stated federal law requires the location notices                 
  and affidavits of annual labor be recorded and it makes                      
  sense to have them conform to state standards.                               
                                                                               
  Number 352                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a motion to MOVE HB 462 with a                    
  zero fiscal note out of committee with INDIVIDUAL                            
  RECOMMENDATIONS.                                                             
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections.                        
  Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                             
                                                                               
  HB 446 - Environmental Conservation Agreements                               
                                                                               
  MEAD TREADWELL, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF                           
  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION (DEC), stated HB 446 which was                    
  presented by the governor relates to partnerships.  He said                  
  DEC has over 500,000 people who live in the state who care                   
  for its environment.  DEC has approximately 500 employees                    
  who cannot do the job unless it is done together with others                 
  in partnership.  He said HB 446 strengthens the law to                       
  ensure it is clear that DEC has the authority to enter into                  
  partnerships with communities and other entities, to work on                 
  delegating state or federal programs where possible, to set                  
  up indicators to track progress on environmental concerns                    
  and set priorities on those concerns.                                        
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL pointed out that most federal and state                        
  environmental laws might be decried as the stove pipe                        
  approach.  There are air laws which do not take into account                 
  water problems; water laws which do not take into account                    
  hazardous waste problems.  In trying to find compliance with                 
  the laws, there is a need to set priorities in a community                   
  because there may be a situation, for example, where people                  
  may be catching a disease from poor drinking water in a                      
  community, but an air requirement might require lots of                      
  money to be spent on monitoring the only power plant within                  
  a 3-4 mile radius.  He stressed that DEC feels it is                         
  important to sit down with a community and know its                          
  environmental priorities through the partnership process.                    
                                                                               
  Number 402                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL stated in regard to prioritization, there are                  
  1500 contaminated sites around the state and what may be on                  
  a high action list for state action may not represent a                      
  community's priorities.  This process of community                           
  agreements allows DEC to sit down with a city council, talk                  
  about those sites in their area, and encourage local action.                 
  He advised committee members that the last committee which                   
  heard HB 446 had all Do Pass recommendations.  He stressed                   
  HB 446 strengthens and builds upon the partnerships DEC                      
  already has in existence.                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked how the number of contaminated                   
  sites in Alaska compares with the state of Washington.                       
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL said he could not answer that question, but                    
  being discussed in regard to the indicators program is to be                 
  able to make those kinds of comparisons.  He stated of the                   
  contaminated sites the state has, there are a number which                   
  are major threats to drinking water, but DEC is making a                     
  good effort.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said he was trying to get an idea on                   
  the relative value in terms of the threat the state has                      
  compared to other states, past stewardship, where the state                  
  is, and where it is going.  He asked if this partnership                     
  process is like what the Department of Transportation does                   
  in the six year planning of their capital improvement                        
  program, they work through communities to develop priorities                 
  and as funding is available, the priorities are put into the                 
  Governor's capital budget.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 456                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL responded DEC has a similar process currently                  
  for capital appropriations and gave an example.  He said                     
  solid waste is a major problem in Southeast Alaska and as                    
  federal regulations have increased, having this kind of                      
  agreement has enabled DEC to sit down in various areas of                    
  Southeast to try and prioritize regional landfills.  He said                 
  the partnership agreement is basically a problem solving                     
  approach.                                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked if the community agreements are                  
  contractual agreements giving communities the authority to                   
  take legal action in the event of noncompliance.                             
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL responded that DEC has delegated some state                    
  programs to communities.  Fairbanks and Anchorage do health                  
  inspections, for example.  He said DEC would like to                         
  delegate more and added that under the law, DEC has certain                  
  oversight responsibilities when they do delegate.  The                       
  community agreements do not give DEC additional power to                     
  delegate but makes it clear that it is the intent of the                     
  legislature to work toward the areas where delegation is                     
  applicable under other laws.                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON clarified the community agreement is                   
  more of a policy statement.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 495                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL said that is correct.                                          
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON reiterated the agreement does not                      
  relieve DEC of any current responsibilities and does not                     
  eliminate DEC's authority to take legal action in the event                  
  of an illegal action.                                                        
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL replied that is correct and added the                          
  agreement also does not mandate that DEC pass certain things                 
  on to communities.                                                           
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON stated the partnership agreement is                    
  more of an arms length policy mechanism.                                     
                                                                               
  Number 530                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said unfunded mandates tend to come                     
  from the top down, federal to state, state to local                          
  community, and clarified that the community agreements do                    
  not evolve into an unfunded mandate, coming from the                         
  community up to the state.                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL stated legislators continually hear from                       
  municipalities about their needs to fulfill their                            
  responsibilities and the community agreements will not                       
  change that.  He said the agreements allow DEC to sit down                   
  with a city council once a year and discuss present and                      
  future activities and priorities.  For example, if a town                    
  plans to build a sewer facility, DEC should be aware of                      
  that.  He gave other examples.  He explained the agreements                  
  will not create entitlement for communities, but will allow                  
  DEC to be better educated about what the needs are.                          
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER noted there is a zero fiscal note                      
  attached to HB 446 and felt that in five years, the cost                     
  could be substantial because the passage of HB 446 will give                 
  justification for the existence of another branch of DEC.                    
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL disagreed.  He pointed out there is a regional                 
  organization currently in place and a community lead person                  
  within DEC has been identified to work with each community.                  
  He added that embedded in DEC's budget is a large amount for                 
  data acquisition and stated DEC is data rich and information                 
  poor.  The community agreements will help DEC determine what                 
  information they have on a community by community basis.  He                 
  felt the agreements will help DEC's work to be more                          
  effective and does not see HB 446 creating a new entitlement                 
  for DEC.  He said on the indicators project, DEC has                         
  received federal funds to develop a set of indicators which                  
  are consistent with other states and has received a grant                    
  for comparative risk.  Once that project is set up, DEC will                 
  be able to report the information collected to communities.                  
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if anything is going to stop if                  
  HB 446 is not passed.                                                        
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL said no.  He stated the commissioner and the                   
  Governor have asked for this legislation to have the                         
  legislature, as a policy body, reaffirm the program which is                 
  ongoing.                                                                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if the lead person mentioned                     
  earlier is funded out of general funds.                                      
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL responded DEC has a regional administrator for                 
  each of the four regions of the state:  Southeast,                           
  Southcentral, Northern and Pipeline Corridor.  There are                     
  approximately 200 communities in the state.  Through the                     
  community agreement program, DEC has told the mayor of a                     
  given community that this lead person should be involved on                  
  day to day issues.  That lead person knows it is their                       
  responsibility to process permits, etc., but also to sit                     
  down once a year with the mayor and city council to develop                  
  an agreement so DEC and the community have common                            
  priorities.  He explained the lead person is in reality many                 
  people making up the regional staff and they are funded                      
  through federal funds, general funds and response funds, but                 
  added that part of their job is touching base with each                      
  community.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 671                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN expressed concern in regard to oil                      
  operations.  He said there are local emergency planning                      
  committees (LEPCs), regional citizens' advisory councils                     
  (RCAC), etc., and they receive considerable contributions                    
  from a fund.  He thought entering into an agreement with a                   
  community sounds like an advisory position and has more                      
  strength than indicated.  He wondered with going to                          
  communities to discuss issues and the travel, time, etc.,                    
  involved, why there is a zero fiscal note.  He did not see                   
  how DEC can do more without costing more and asked about                     
  funding sources.                                                             
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL responded DEC has not funded, except for one                   
  time, any RCAC's.                                                            
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-35, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL gave an example where the federal government                   
  writes rules which require communities to test their                         
  drinking water once a month for bacteriological things,                      
  twice a year for certain heavy minerals, once every three                    
  years for radiation, etc., which is a tremendous unfunded                    
  mandate upon each community.  He said certain regions in the                 
  state have the lowest compliance rate in the country.  DEC                   
  has gone as far as possible with direct command, control and                 
  enforcement to get the problems addressed.  To go above and                  
  beyond that is to sit down with the mayor and city council                   
  and discuss why the requirements are important and what                      
  needs to be done.  He stressed the community agreement                       
  program is not going to cost more money.                                     
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL said for example, the person who runs the                      
  field office in Nome is responsible for 40 villages.  When                   
  he goes to a village, he is there to visit the water system,                 
  check on contaminated sites, check on the school district,                   
  check the dump, etc., but in each of these cases, he is                      
  dealing with one city official and part of his job now is to                 
  spend time with the mayor and city council to address                        
  problems together.                                                           
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN expressed confusion.                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS stated a community agreement will get a                    
  community to focus on particular problems before they become                 
  serious problems.  For example, in Ketchikan there is a                      
  problem with the waste water discharge in the borough which                  
  previously was unknown.  Now the community is upset about                    
  what is happening in regard to regulations, etc.  Had the                    
  community been prepared, it would have been able to plan for                 
  the problem.                                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL said that is accurate.                                         
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if having a community agreement                   
  in that example would have precluded the situation.                          
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said a community agreement would have                      
  helped make the community and DEC work together to focus on                  
  the problem.                                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL stressed the community agreement program is a                  
  voluntary program.  He said DEC has had communities turn                     
  down the agreement offer while other communities have been                   
  grateful.  DEC has had attorneys look at the agreements to                   
  ensure they do not create entitlement or advocate other                      
  laws.  He said 90 percent of what DEC does is working with                   
  communities.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 093                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON stated the agreement program is a                      
  formalized cooperative methodology of compliance with                        
  federal and state requirements.  He asked on page 2, line 2                  
  where it indicates through delegation or cooperative                         
  management, if that implies delegation of legal authority to                 
  the local level.                                                             
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL responded in the same way the federal                          
  government retains oversight on the state when programs are                  
  delegated to DEC, DEC retains oversight over municipal                       
  programs when they are delegated there and gave several                      
  examples where DEC hoped they could get delegation.  He said                 
  DEC still writes the regulations, they still have to be                      
  consistent with state law, but DEC has gone as far as                        
  possible with delegation to make sure the decisions are made                 
  by communities.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 145                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked who will be allowed to                      
  enter into the agreements.                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL responded it will be cities and boroughs.  He                  
  said the broad definition of local governing body for an                     
  incorporated community can meet any of the Title 29                          
  depredations.                                                                
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN wondered if there will be a                       
  constitutional problem when an entity such as a Native                       
  regional corporation which represents a portion of people                    
  within an area and is a for-profit corporation, applies for                  
  permits.                                                                     
                                                                               
  MR. TREADWELL said currently if a Native regional                            
  corporation owns both fuel tanks in 20 places along a river                  
  to support a fueling operation, DEC can enter into a                         
  compliance order by consent which says as well as paying a                   
  fine, getting a court order, etc., it is appropriate for DEC                 
  to sit down with the group ahead of time and say in order to                 
  avoid long-term compliance problems, let us deal with the                    
  problem comprehensively ahead of time.  He gave an example.                  
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a motion to MOVE HB 446 with a                    
  zero fiscal note out of committee, with INDIVIDUAL                           
  RECOMMENDATIONS.                                                             
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections.                        
  Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                             
                                                                               
  CSSSHB 352:  "An Act relating to the approval, change, or                    
  vacation of subdivision plats in areas outside organized                     
  boroughs, in the unorganized borough outside of cities, and                  
  in the third class boroughs; and relating to the definitions                 
  of `street' and `subdivision'."                                              
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES stated HB 352 came to her                     
  attention because she had a university subdivision being                     
  created in her district in an area where there was no                        
  platting or planning authority.  She said there was a                        
  problem with legal access to the subdivision.  She explained                 
  that all subdivisions filed within an unorganized borough or                 
  a borough which does have platting authority are filed with                  
  DNR, but DNR has no authority to determine whether or not                    
  the subdivision was in compliance with state law.                            
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she has been working with the                      
  Division of Land and the Native corporations on the issue,                   
  and the sponsor substitute before the committee addresses                    
  their interests.  She explained HB 352 will provide some                     
  oversight by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) when                  
  subdivisions are filed within an area where there is no                      
  platting authority to ensure that in the future, there will                  
  not be clouds on the title, access problems and other                        
  problems created by improperly filing plats.  She pointed                    
  out on page 3, line 17, where it says "organized under P.L.                  
  92-203, by the creation of public access", it has been                       
  suggested that it say, "by the creation of public or common                  
  carrier access."                                                             
                                                                               
  Number 234                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON wondered if the proposed amendments                    
  from Sealaska are incorporated into the work draft.                          
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said they are included.  She explained                  
  their needs have been met, but the language may not be word                  
  for word.                                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a MOTION to ADOPT CSSSHB
  352(RES).                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections.                        
  Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 265                                                                   
                                                                               
  RON SWANSON, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF LAND, DNR, stated Section                 
  1 defines subdivisions.  Currently there are two or three                    
  definitions of subdivisions.  The change made in that                        
  section provides for one definition for subdivision which                    
  will apply to all platting authorities.                                      
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said he noticed on page 3, lines 14-                   
  18, subdivision is defined and asked if that is what                         
  Sealaska has an interest in.                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON thought that was correct.  He said Sealaska's                    
  main concern is that when conveyance is received from the                    
  federal government, a big block of land is received which                    
  has roads, access, utility lines, etc., through it, and                      
  Sealaska does not want that to create the original                           
  subdivision.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN thought lines 14-18, on page 3                    
  meant the exception for those corporations is only in the                    
  creation of public access.                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON said what DNR is attempting to do is if a RS2477                 
  happens to fall across land conveyed to a Native                             
  corporation, that would not create the subdivision.  It is                   
  the subsequent action to create lots which would create the                  
  subdivision and would go into the plat review.  He explained                 
  it would be the same situation if there was a need to run a                  
  utility line across the land.  DNR does not want that to                     
  create a subdivision.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 311                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN expressed concern in regard to the                      
  public access portion and asked if it would apply to the                     
  rights on section and quarter section lines.                                 
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON requested Sealaska to respond to the question.                   
  He said when land is conveyed to a Native corporation, only                  
  the exterior boundaries are surveyed, so section lines do                    
  not exist unless they were surveyed before.  If the section                  
  line has been surveyed, the section line access is there.                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated the exemption applies to more                    
  than Native land.                                                            
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON said the exemption is only for land conveyed to                  
  Native corporations which is Public Law 92-203.                              
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked Mr. Swanson to explain                           
  application of the sponsor's suggested amendment to add                      
  common carrier, on page 3, line 17.                                          
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON responded common carrier is a telephone,                         
  telegraph, utility line or pipeline, so putting in that                      
  particular utility will not create the subdivision, it will                  
  just allow that to happen.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 337                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked Mr. Swanson to continue                     
  explaining the changes.                                                      
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON said Sections 1 and 2 are the definitions of                     
  subdivisions.                                                                
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said he still was not clear why                   
  there is a definition of subdivision in Sections 2 and 5.                    
  He asked why there are two different definitions of                          
  subdivision.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded because two different areas                   
  of the law are being discussed.                                              
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said one section applies to public                      
  lands and the other applies only to Native land.                             
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON stated a change is being made in Title 38 to                     
  define subdivision and changes are also being made in Title                  
  40.  He said there is a desire to get one definition of                      
  subdivision.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES added a change is being made in Title                   
  46, as well.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER felt to say they are being made                        
  uniform is not correct.  He pointed out the definitions                      
  contained in CSSSHB 352(RES) are not repetitive and asked                    
  how they are being made the same.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 360                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN responded there is a definition for                     
  Native lands and then there is the rest which has the other                  
  definition.  He said the definition is the same for the same                 
  type of ground.                                                              
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON stated currently there is no definition of                       
  subdivision in Title 38 and Section 1 addresses that                         
  problem.                                                                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked why the definition in Section 2                   
  is different than the others.                                                
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER thought Title 34, Title 40, and Title                  
  46 all have...                                                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked committee members to use the                         
  Chairman.                                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated although the definition for                      
  subdivision is not word for word in each of the sections, it                 
  is the same.  She said because there are different sections,                 
  there is different information needed, but the basic                         
  definition of a subdivision means:  "the division of a tract                 
  or parcel of land into two or more lots or by the creation                   
  of public access; does not include cadastral plats,                          
  cadastral control plats, open-to-entry plats, remote parcel                  
  plats created by or on behalf of the state regardless of                     
  whether these plats include easements or other public                        
  dedications, or plats prepared by the Department of                          
  Transportation and Public Facilities for the purpose of                      
  transferring leasehold interests at state-owned airports or                  
  creating or adjusting right-of-way boundaries."  She said                    
  the other language in the bill is applicable to that                         
  particular section of law and only that section of law.  She                 
  explained each section refers back to the specific                           
  definition of a subdivision.                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 451                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked why the exception for land                  
  owned by corporations organized under P.L. 92-203...and                      
  apply it to the other definitions as well.                                   
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON responded Title 38 only applies to state land                    
  and that is the reason for the Native corporation exception.                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN clarified that Section 34 does not                      
  apply to state-owned land but other land.                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if the person from Sealaska could                 
  speak as some of the questions being asked could be                          
  answered.                                                                    
                                                                               
  RICK HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT, RESOURCE PLANNING AND                           
  ADMINISTRATION, SEALASKA CORPORATION, stated the proposed                    
  change in Section 1 making the reference to AS 40.15.290                     
  meets the concerns which Sealaska had raised.  He said Title                 
  34 of the statutes relates to private lands, while Title 38                  
  represents state lands.  Sealaska was interested in the                      
  legislation because in correcting the problem discovered by                  
  Representative James in her district, it opened another                      
  problem.  He explained Native corporations are conveyed                      
  large blocks of ground and at times, access across the                       
  ground will be required for public access or common carrier                  
  corridors.  He said by having public access or common                        
  carrier corridors across their property, they do not want                    
  property they have not subdivided to all of a sudden be                      
  thrown into the subdivision definition which then starts                     
  kicking off other things under the provisions of the Alaska                  
  Native Claims Settlement Act and state law.                                  
                                                                               
  MR. HARRIS stated Sealaska is satisfied with Section 1 and                   
  Section 5 with the proposed amendment which Representative                   
  James offered.                                                               
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a MOTION to AMEND CSSSHB
  352(RES), on page 3, line 17, after the word "public", add                   
  "or common carrier."                                                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections.                        
  Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 550                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if the explanation of the                   
  changes to the law could continue.                                           
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON stated Section 2 establishes a new section in                    
  Title 38 for state land which defines subdivision.  Section                  
  3 addresses public records which set out DNR as the platting                 
  authority outside of organized boroughs or boroughs who do                   
  not have platting authority.                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked what the significance is of                 
  removing the words, "for the change or vacation..."                          
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON responded that deletion allows DNR to review all                 
  plats instead of just vacation of existing plats or a                        
  portion of plats.                                                            
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked if that implies a greater work                   
  load on the department.                                                      
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON replied the department is assuming they will                     
  have approximately 250 more plats to review.  Existing                       
  regulations allow the department to charge for that plat                     
  review.  He said the fees charged will more than cover the                   
  cost of the additional workload.  He added the savings and                   
  benefits to the lot community will be substantial.                           
                                                                               
  Number 590                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if the program operates                     
  under program receipts authority.                                            
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON answered that is correct.                                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN wondered if the fiscal note does                  
  not pass, is the department's program receipt authority any                  
  bigger than the actual program receipts, and is there room                   
  to take the money and apply it to the department's budget.                   
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON answered no.  He said the department does not                    
  have any program receipt authority within the survey                         
  budgeting.  He stated the department has fees and the fees                   
  go back into the general fund.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 612                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated there is a fiscal note because                   
  there is income to cover expenses.                                           
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said there is not a zero fiscal note,                  
  it has a zero impact in relation to the general fund.                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON stated there must be an assurance that                 
  the receipt and expenditure authorization is appropriated in                 
  the budget.  Otherwise, the department will be given added                   
  responsibilities with no money to accomplish them and the                    
  money collected will go into the general fund.                               
                                                                               
  Number 665                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE asked if the department's concerns                  
  have been addressed.                                                         
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON answered yes.                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said in Section 4, it says the                    
  department may not disapprove a new subdivision plat except                  
  for failure (1) to comply with applicable state law; or (2)                  
  of the plat to provide for, or otherwise specify, access...                  
  He asked what else could the department disapprove a plat                    
  for.                                                                         
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES thought the section related to public                   
  input.  When a plat is filed and if it meets state laws and                  
  regulations, it is on the books.                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-36, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if public hearings, etc.,                   
  are state law requirements.                                                  
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded they are by platting and                      
  planning authority within the various communities.                           
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON said there are some requirements within Title 29                 
  which is the municipal actions, but this legislation is                      
  outside municipal actions.                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN clarified that nothing in state                   
  law is therefore being left out in the department's ability                  
  to disapprove a new subdivision plat.                                        
                                                                               
  MR. SWANSON said the way he reads it is that the department                  
  will review the plat to make sure it complies with any state                 
  law as far as consistency with platting, public records,                     
  etc., and will make sure it has public access.  If the plat                  
  meets those requirements, DNR will approve the plat.                         
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON stated if the old language is read it                  
  says that "DNR is the platting authority in the area outside                 
  the organized boroughs,...for only the purposes of hearing                   
  and acting on petitions for the change or vacation of plats"                 
  which means it has already been done and shall execute in                    
  accordance with AS 29.40.130-29.40.160.  He pointed out DNR                  
  is being given the platting authority and the other words                    
  are providing some limitations they have in their platting                   
  authority.  DNR may not disapprove except for failure to                     
  comply with state law or to otherwise provide access to the                  
  lots.  He felt the way the section has been rewritten is to                  
  conform with the new elements of function.                                   
                                                                               
  Number 028                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES added that DNR cannot disapprove a plat                 
  for any subjective reason.                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN felt the language indicates a                     
  state department cannot disapprove anything except for a                     
  violation of a state law.  He thought he was missing                         
  something because all a state department can enforce is the                  
  state law.                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a MOTION to move CSSSHB 352(RES)                  
  with fiscal note out of committee with INDIVIDUAL                            
  RECOMMENDATIONS.                                                             
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections.                        
  Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED.                                             
                                                                               
  ANNOUNCEMENTS                                                                
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced the committee will meet Monday,                  
  March 21 at 8:15 a.m. to hear HB 496 and HB 238.                             
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  There being no further business to come before the House                     
  Resources Committee, Chairman Williams adjourned the meeting                 
  at 10:05 a.m.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects