Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/11/1997 01:14 PM House RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         March 11, 1997                                        
                           1:14 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman                                       
 Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman                                        
 Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                      
 Representative Ramona Barnes                                                  
 Representative Fred Dyson                                                     
 Representative Joe Green                                                      
 Representative William K. ("Bill") Williams                                   
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
 Representative Reggie Joule                                                   
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 All members present                                                           
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 151                                                          
 "An Act relating to personal hunting of big game by big game guides           
 while clients are in the field and to use area registration for               
 portions of additional guide use areas by registered guides."                 
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 138                                                          
 "An Act relating to the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; and                 
 providing for an effective date."                                             
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 144                                                          
 "An Act authorizing the Department of Environmental Conservation to           
 charge certain fees relating to registration of pesticides and                
 broadcast chemicals; and providing for an effective date."                    
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 151                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) OGAN                                            
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 02/21/97       424    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/21/97       425    (H)   RESOURCES                                         
 03/06/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 03/06/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 03/11/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 BILL:  HB 138                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: BOARD OF STORAGE TANK ASSISTANCE                                 
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 02/13/97       334    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/13/97       335    (H)   RESOURCES                                         
 03/11/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director                                                   
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110806                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0806                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2534                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 151.                              
 KURT WEST, Licensing Supervisor                                               
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110806                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0806                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2588                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained maps relating to HB 151.                       
 CAPTAIN JOEL HARD, Commander                                                  
 B Detachment                                                                  
 Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection                                      
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 435 South Valley Way                                                          
 Palmer, Alaska  99645-6494                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 746-9139                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 151.                              
 WAYNE WOODS                                                                   
 P.O. Box 3037                                                                 
 Palmer, Alaska  99645                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 745-2534                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 151.                                     
 GORDON BISSELL                                                                
 P.O. Box 304                                                                  
 Sutton, Alaska  99674                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 745-1842                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 151.                                     
 RANDY WELKER, Legislative Auditor                                             
 Legislative Audit Division                                                    
 Legislative Agencies and Offices                                              
 P.O. Box 113300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-3300                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3830                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 138 on behalf of Legislative                
                      Budget and Audit Committee.                              
 CYNTHIA PRING-HAM, Environmental Specialist III                               
 Storage Tank Program                                                          
 Division of Spill Prevention and Response                                     
 Department of Environmental Conservation                                      
 410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 105                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1795                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-5301                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 138.                              
 TERRY RENNER, Past President                                                  
 Alaska Underground Tank Owners and Operators                                  
 2917 Jackson Road                                                             
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3036                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 138.                                     
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 97-25, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0001                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN called the House Resources Standing                    
 Committee meeting to order at 1:14 p.m.  Members present at the               
 call to order were Representatives Ogan, Hudson, Masek, Dyson and             
 Joule.  Representative Nicholia was present prior to the call of              
 order but left, returning at 1:40 p.m.  Representatives Barnes,               
 Williams and Green joined the meeting at 1:18 p.m., 1:28 p.m. and             
 1:30 p.m., respectively.                                                      
 HB 151 - BIG GAME GUIDES AND REGISTRATION AREAS                             
 Number 0092                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the first order of business was House              
 Bill No. 151, "An Act relating to personal hunting of big game by             
 big game guides while clients are in the field and to use area                
 registration for portions of additional guide use areas by                    
 registered guides."                                                           
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN, sponsor, explained the bill essentially cleans up           
 a major overhaul regarding guides from the previous year.  A couple           
 of inadvertent omissions had been brought to his attention.                   
 Number 0140                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE said he had just received the                     
 materials.  Whether or not this was a controversial bill, the                 
 process was set out at the beginning of session.  He would                    
 appreciate having bills the day before a hearing.  He asked that HB
 151 be rescheduled.                                                           
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN indicated he would consider Representative Joule's           
 objection after hearing the bill.  He acknowledged that the                   
 proposed committee substitute was unavailable until shortly before            
 the meeting.                                                                  
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON suggested that since people were waiting to                
 testify, the committee hear the bill, take testimony and then hold            
 the bill over if Representative Joule so wished.                              
 Number 0457                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON expressed concern similar to                        
 Representative Joule's.  However, he also recognized that people              
 were expecting to testify.                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES said she would need to look at a guide           
 bill a long time before saying another one should be passed.  She             
 wanted to know for certain how this bill expands guide areas, for             
 Number 0599                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced they would hear the bill, then hold it             
 over if so desired.  He agreed they all must make good on committee           
 Number 0628                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said HB 151 is fairly innocuous.  Section 1,                 
 requested by the Administration, closes a loophole.  Current law              
 does not allow felons to become guides.  Under Section 1, an                  
 assistant guide with a previous felony conviction is not allowed to           
 upgrade to guide status.                                                      
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said Section 2 adds a subsection, which used to be           
 in regulation, that disallows hunting by a guide, an assistant                
 guide, or anyone associated with the guiding operation, while in              
 the field with a client.  That was inadvertently omitted in the               
 previous year's legislation.  As an example, hunting while                    
 accompanying clients opens the potential for guides to trade tags             
 with clients so the latter can take a bigger moose after shooting             
 a small one.                                                                  
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said reputable guides generally believe it is                
 inappropriate to hunt while in the field with clients.  He recalled           
 that while he was on the Big Game Commercial Services Board, they             
 suspended a master guide's license for a man who shot wolves while            
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said Section 3 makes it a misdemeanor to hunt                
 while in the field.  Section 4 allows the court to suspend a                  
 guide's license for that violation.                                           
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said Section 5 used to be allowed in regulation              
 but was not included in the statute.  Currently, guides are allowed           
 three guide use areas, which are sub-units of a game management               
 area.  Sometimes state and federal guide use areas overlap.  This             
 allows a guide to add one portion of the federal area that would              
 normally go unused, if it is adjacent to the guide's existing area.           
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called a brief at-ease at 1:27 p.m.                          
 Number 0890                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called the meeting back to order at 1:29 p.m.  He            
 offered the proposed committee substitute, 0-LS0618\B, Utermohle,             
 3/11/97, as a work draft.                                                     
 Number 0931                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES suggested the language in Section 5 allows              
 both federal areas and permit areas.  "By putting this `if' section           
 in this bill, it is no longer housekeeping," she stated.  "It's               
 simply an expansion of the guide areas, which I don't support.                
 Even before you put in the federal big game guide in the permit               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted the proposed committee substitute was not              
 yet adopted.                                                                  
 Number 0989                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt 0-LS0618\B, Utermohle,           
 3/11/97, as a work draft.                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked how the language in Section 1, which               
 addresses only a portion of the law, accomplishes the purposes set            
 forth in the Sectional Analysis.                                              
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called upon Catherine Reardon to respond.                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked what the intention was with the                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said the intention was to keep convicted felons              
 who currently hold a lower class of license from upgrading to a               
 Number 1077                                                                   
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,              
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCED), said the              
 DCED now administers the guide licensing program in the absence of            
 a guide board.                                                                
 MS. REARDON said Section 1 is at the DCED's request.  She                     
 explained, "The portion of the law that you don't see there said              
 that a person who has been convicted of a felony involving a crime            
 against a person, I believe it is within the last five years, is              
 ineligible for a guide license.  Then this section (b) you see here           
 was a transition exemption to that prohibition against people who             
 committed felonies in the last five years.  And what it says is               
 that people who already had their guide licenses, under the                   
 previous guide law, could keep them even if they did have a felony            
 within the last five years, so that someone who was holding an                
 assistant guide license wouldn't get it taken away ... as a result            
 of the new guide law."                                                        
 MS. REARDON said the wording of this transition, however, was such            
 that it also applied to someone with an assistant guide license               
 under the old law, who was applying to take an exam to upgrade to             
 be a registered guide or a master guide.  That person could have              
 applied, even if they had a felony conviction within the last five            
 MS. REARDON noted that some applicants for the upcoming test have             
 substantial felony backgrounds.  "And we felt that while it was               
 okay to keep them at that same level of assistant guide, held                 
 harmless by this transition to a new law, that probably it would be           
 better to wait 'til they've been clean of felonies for at least               
 five years before allowing them to upgrade," she explained.  "So              
 that was our purpose in requesting that amendment."                           
 Number 1190                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he had no objection so long as there is             
 a time limit, so that felons who have mended their ways and have a            
 clean record can go on in their chosen profession, and so long as             
 it is limited to crimes against persons.                                      
 MS. REARDON read from the applicable statute and commented:  "It              
 says that someone is ineligible for a license if they've committed            
 a felony within the last five years, any kind of felony - I                   
 misspoke - or a felony offense against the person, a crime of                 
 violence against a person, as defined in AS 11.41, within the last            
 ten years.  So ... any kind of felony for five years, a crime                 
 against a person for ten years."                                              
 Number 1242                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said many guides in Alaska had been convicted           
 of illegal hunting, wanton waste or other crimes relating to fish             
 and game resources.  "We've even had State Troopers that do that,"            
 she added.  She asked if this bill allows them to continue with               
 their licenses.                                                               
 MS. REARDON responded that Section 1 attempts to tighten up on                
 people with felony convictions.  It excludes some people with                 
 felony convictions from being able to upgrade, which they otherwise           
 could do without the amendment.                                               
 Number 1293                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked why a big game guide with a felony                
 offense should be able to continue guiding, whereas a class-A                 
 assistant guide could not upgrade.                                            
 MS. REARDON said that was a policy choice the legislature                     
 apparently made when it passed the guide law last year, to have               
 this new felony restriction but hold harmless people who held                 
 licenses previously.  She was trying to fill in a little gap that             
 perhaps the legislature had not thought of.  She was not suggesting           
 getting rid of (b) altogether, and not holding them harmless,                 
 because she believed the legislature had already decided that.                
 Number 1380                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES did not recall details of the final guide               
 bill passed the previous year.  She asked, "As I'm understanding              
 correctly, what we've said as a legislative body, that if you have            
 a felony conviction and you are a registered guide, you can                   
 continue pursuit of your occupation?  Is that after five years?  Or           
 do you just continue on?"                                                     
 MS. REARDON replied that people who already had convictions before            
 the law came about get to carry on.  New people are blocked from              
 entry or from renewal of their licenses.                                      
 Number 1429                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES suggested that set up two separate classes of           
 people, those with felony convictions and those without.  She                 
 believed that was wrong.  She did not believe guides should be                
 given more leeway with their felony convictions than class-A                  
 assistant guides were given.                                                  
 MS. REARDON responded that it applies the same way to assistant,              
 class-A and registered guides.  It just has to do with whether a              
 person held that license before the new law or was a brand new                
 entrant coming in.  The exception in Section 1 only applies to                
 convictions prior to the new law.  "If you're one of these guides             
 who held a license under the old law, and you're convicted                    
 tomorrow, you won't be able to renew your license," she added.                
 Number 1496                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said she had read articles about crimes                 
 committed by guides and noted that class-A assistant guides work              
 under a guide.  "So they may be working under a felon, and they,              
 because they've had a past conviction, they can't move up to be a             
 felon with a felon," she stated.  "There's something basically                
 wrong with that."                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked whether Section 5 came from the                   
 MS. REARDON said only Section 1 came from the department.                     
 Number 1546                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN explained that the concern was whether to make it            
 retroactive.  As the argument could be made that it was paying                
 twice for the same crime, it was not done retroactively.                      
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN pointed out that a registered guide is criminally            
 and civilly liable for everything that guide does in the field.               
 The way the guide law is written, guides are just as responsible              
 for actions by assistants as they are for their own actions.  The             
 bill tightens this up so that assistant guides who are felons do              
 not become guides.                                                            
 Number 1620                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES mentioned debates through the years over                
 guiding.  She believed there was always an attempt by registered              
 guides to ensure people did not challenge them for areas.  She                
 expressed concern that, felon or otherwise, there was a problem               
 with this section.                                                            
 Number 1645                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted there was a motion on the floor.  He asked             
 if there was further discussion or any objection.  There being                
 none, 0-LS0618\B, Utermohle, 3/11/97, was adopted as a work draft.            
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that Kurt West was present to explain                
 guide use areas.                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said she would not support the bill if it               
 expanded the guide areas, which she believed to be exclusive use              
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN responded that they are not exclusive.  Litigated            
 in the Owsichek decision, exclusive use areas had been eliminated.        
 Although guides are limited to three guide use areas, those are not           
 exclusive.  Guides can move from year to year into those areas.               
 Number 1730                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked whether she could go in and guide in              
 those same areas.                                                             
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said yes.  Anyone can guide in any of the areas by           
 simply registering into the area.                                             
 Number 1770                                                                   
 KURT WEST, Licensing Supervisor, Division of Occupational                     
 Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, came              
 forward with a large map showing boundaries for individual guide              
 use areas and Unified Coding Units (UCUs).  The building blocks of            
 the guide use areas, UCUs had already been established by the                 
 Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and used for harvest data for             
 over 20 years.  These tended to follow drainages.                             
 MR. WEST said the Big Game Commercial Services Board had attempted            
 to follow the UCUs in establishing use areas.  However, that was              
 not always the case.  There were instances, such as in Units 9, 26,           
 24 and 19, which contained some of the larger parks, where federal            
 agencies had been unwilling to budge on boundaries relating to the            
 state's ability to follow the UCUs.  Consequently, some land                  
 ownership did not fall within a guide use area.                               
 MR. WEST, using the map, cited an example where Doyon land may have           
 extended, through oversight, into a guide use area, with the board            
 subsequently granting use on a small piece of land that otherwise             
 would not be used.                                                            
 Number 1877                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that the proposed committee substitute               
 only addressed federal land.                                                  
 MR. WEST said this only affected a dozen individuals, who received            
 land authorization, looked at their boundaries and discovered those           
 boundaries did not follow the land management boundaries.                     
 Number 1897                                                                   
 MS. REARDON explained that the old statute allowed the guide board            
 to set up the guide use areas through regulation.  The guide board            
 had a regulation that said, "You're limited to three areas unless             
 you need a little piece of a fourth one because it will be                    
 unutilized otherwise."                                                        
 MS. REARDON said under the new law, the guide use area system was             
 put into statute.  The board was abolished, and the DCED has no               
 discretion to adjust the use area system.  She said that is fine.             
 However, when the legislature passed the new law, they decided                
 three areas was the limit.  There was no exception for this                   
 situation.  "And the sponsor, through this bill, is trying to                 
 recreate that possibility of getting a little piece of a fourth               
 area that otherwise wouldn't be used," she explained.                         
 Number 1936                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked the size of the largest area that would be             
 added on to a guide use area.                                                 
 MR. WEST did not know the square mileage.                                     
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether the additional areas were fairly               
 MR. WEST said yes.  In some instances, it was an access point.  He            
 was aware of a couple of instances where someone had an extension             
 of authorization into another use area.  It just happened that                
 within that extension was the access to their entire area.  This              
 included a landing strip or boat access.  However, Mr. West was               
 unaware of anyone receiving a large portion of another area.                  
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked about the possibility of this being                    
 perceived as a land grab.                                                     
 MR. WEST replied that it did not appear to work that way, due to              
 there only being 10 or 12 people who came before the board and                
 applied for that exemption.                                                   
 Number 2018                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE requested that if the DCED had a map                     
 delineating who is affected by whom, and in what areas of the                 
 state, he would like to see it.  Mr. West's map showed one section.           
 However, 12 areas were apparently affected.                                   
 MS. REARDON responded, "It's not like we did a survey of the whole            
 state and decided where it could happen.  Instead, guides would ask           
 for a fourth area, and it would be considered by the board.  So if            
 we show you which 12 qualified, at least we could tell you where              
 those were located, those overlaps."                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said that would be helpful.  Guiding in his              
 area was very active.  He wanted to see the implications in his               
 district and others.                                                          
 MS. REARDON pointed out that the state's granting of a guide use              
 area to a guide does not mean that the landowner, whether it is               
 federal, private or Native land, must allow that person to guide              
 there.  The landowner still has the right to say nobody may guide             
 there or to specify how many.                                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said he did not need to see names.  He just              
 wanted to see how it all works.                                               
 Number 2120                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said when he first served on the Big Game                    
 Commercial Services Board, they had just finished the mapping                 
 process.  He asked Mr. West to explain why the state guide use                
 areas did not necessarily line up with the federal areas.                     
 MR. WEST said they did for the most part.  At a "push-shove                   
 meeting" in Fairbanks in September 1992, the National Park Service            
 and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service absolutely did not want to allow         
 boundaries for several guide use areas to differ from what they had           
 traditionally used for their concession permits.  For the most                
 part, the majority of the state conformed to the UCU-building-block           
 method of creating those use areas, "but there were a few instances           
 where they would not budge."                                                  
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN emphasized this would simply allow use of areas              
 that would otherwise be unused by hunters.  Those holding federal             
 permits are the only ones allowed to hunt there, and the boundary             
 does not coincide with their state areas.  "So this allows them to            
 access that little chunk of federal area that didn't quite jive               
 with the lines," he said, calling it the "weasel clause."                     
 Number 2209                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA asked how many permit holders there             
 are in Alaska for big game guiding.                                           
 MR. WEST replied that there are about 500 registered and master               
 guides, about 330 of whom are active.  He said that translates into           
 about 750 guide use area permits.  "So there is a lot of overlap,             
 a lot of joint use of areas," he added.                                       
 Number 2233                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked how many were nonresidents, whether            
 it was 50 percent, for example.                                               
 MR. WEST said he did not have that figure.  His guess was 40 out of           
 that.  [Secretary's note:  Confirmed with Mr. West by telephone               
 3/19/97 that this refers to individuals, not a percentage.]                   
 Number 2245                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA said that is a large percentage.  She asked           
 whether there is any way to curtail that legally.  She commented              
 that that is a lot of revenue leaving the state.                              
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said one provision he was proud of in the previous           
 year's legislation was the loosening of requirements for assistant            
 guides.  Many rural Alaskans who might make excellent assistant               
 guides could not pass the test.  Now, guides could hire an                    
 assistant guide just on a recommendation.  Guides are legally                 
 responsible, civilly and criminally, for all their actions in the             
 field anyway.  Nor does the state tell a cabinet maker, for                   
 example, whom to hire as shop help.  Co-Chairman Ogan suspected               
 many more people were guiding than before because of this.                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said over time, people would step up to the              
 plate as they realize these opportunities exist.                              
 Number 2299                                                                   
 MS. REARDON, acknowledging she was not an attorney, mentioned local           
 hire constitutional issues.  The current legislation requires the             
 DCED to charge twice as much for a nonresident guide license.  For            
 the first time, the DCED must identify who is a resident and who is           
 not.  She suggested even that could be skating a line.  She noted             
 there are, however, techniques such as requirements for having held           
 an Alaskan hunting license for a certain amount of time or that               
 type of experience that could be required.                                    
 Number 2346                                                                   
 CAPTAIN JOEL HARD, Commander, B Detachment, Division of Fish and              
 Wildlife Protection, Department of Public Safety, testified via               
 teleconference.  Referring to Section 1 of the proposed committee             
 substitute, he said it allows people who were grandfathered in to             
 upgrade.  Although not part of the previous year's process, he                
 supposed the grandfather issue was a legal issue brought forward by           
 the Department of Law, as was generally the case.                             
 CAPTAIN HARD said Section 2 is the most important to his division             
 from an enforcement perspective.  It returns to statute the                   
 prohibition against big game guides personally hunting while                  
 clients are in the field.  It lessens the opportunity for unethical           
 or illegal activities.  It also makes over-limit violations such as           
 using another person's tags more difficult.  It would improve his             
 division's ability to enforce complaints arising from guided hunts.           
 CAPTAIN HARD referred to Section 5 and said whether guides have               
 three areas or four is of little consequence to his division, so              
 long as they have the proper registration.                                    
 Number 2443                                                                   
 WAYNE WOODS testified via teleconference.  He said most of the                
 guides in the area, including himself, were not prepared to address           
 the bill, as it was last-minute.                                              
 MR. WOODS said transporters remaining in the field with clients and           
 taking game is not addressed in HB 151.  However, that was the                
 overriding concern of registered guides the previous year, with               
 transporters not being regulated to the degree that guides are.               
 None of the guides he had spoken with oppose closing the loophole             
 of guides taking game in the field with clients.  However, they               
 want transporters included in this category.                                  
 MR. WOODS advised that he did not have a copy of the committee                
 TAPE 97-25, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0021                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN explained that the new committee substitute only             
 includes federal lands, and it tightens the language.  He said                
 through an oversight, the drafter had said guide use areas, plural,           
 which might be conceived to mean they could get more than one                 
 additional area.                                                              
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said there is language in the new committee                  
 substitute, just for the guide, for when an area would otherwise              
 remain unused by a registered guide because the boundaries of the             
 guide use areas do not coincide with boundaries of federal big game           
 concession or permit areas.  It would only be for one guide, and it           
 would only be if it did not coincide with the federal big game                
 concession or permit areas.  It was basically the old "H clause" or           
 "weasel clause" in the regulations.                                           
 Number 0082                                                                   
 MR. WOODS said he and most of his fellow guides wanted guide use              
 areas changed to align with game management unit sub-units.  He               
 believed that would alleviate many problems that operators see in             
 the field as far as avoiding increased competition with                       
 transporters or resident hunters.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked what "H" or "weasel" sections were.               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN replied that was lingo relating to the old Big               
 Game Commercial Services Board regulations.  The "H clause" was               
 essentially the same as Section 5 of HB 151, relating to weaseling            
 into a little more of an area.                                              
 Number 0158                                                                   
 GORDON BISSELL testified via teleconference.  He expressed concern            
 over how this was put out to people in the guiding community.  Few            
 he had spoken to were even aware of some pending bills and                    
 regulations.  He suggested precluding convicted felons from holding           
 any guide license until passage of at least three to five years, in           
 which they showed they had changed their ways, whether they were              
 registered guides, class-As or assistants.  He believed felons had            
 "screwed up somewhere along the road" and should take time to                 
 reflect on the way they live their lives.                                     
 MR. BISSELL expressed concern over how guide use areas are set up             
 from the ADF&G's UCU maps.  The previous year, he and three other             
 guides, as well as two transporters and numerous resident hunters,            
 had hunted in an area that he had as a guide use area.  That area             
 measures approximately 40 miles by 10 to 15 miles.  Due to                    
 regulations last year, he was forced to try to make a living out of           
 this area, he said.                                                           
 MR. BISSELL believes guide use areas should coincide with the game            
 management sub-units.  This would allow guides who encounter                  
 additional activity in one area to spread their activity elsewhere.           
 MR. BISSELL noted that this does not address tour guides, which he            
 sees "cropping up, predominantly in the Talkeetna Mountains."                 
 Referring to the taking of game by guides, Mr. Bissell said he does           
 not see transporters being put to task over this.  If it affects              
 game guides, it should affect everyone equally, including                     
 transporters and tour guides.  Game guides are being singled out              
 and heavily regulated.                                                        
 Number 0292                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Kurt West to comment on the transporter                
 issue.  He understood that currently transporters cannot take game            
 nor assist in any way while they are in the field.                            
 MR. WEST said licensing and regulation of transporters has not                
 changed.  They are allowed to transport clients from point A to               
 point B, but not to accompany them into the field nor stay with               
 them unless it occurs at a permanent lodge, cabin or boat owned by            
 the transporter.                                                              
 Number 0317                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked whether transporters were transporting             
 for specific guides or just dropping people off.                              
 MR. WEST said both.  Some guides use a commercial transporter.                
 Some do their own flying or boating.  And many clients, both                  
 resident and nonresident, use a commercial transporter on their               
 own, without a guide.                                                         
 Number 0346                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that the transporter statute is AS                   
 08.54.650(c).  He read:  "A transporter may not provide big game              
 hunting services without holding an appropriate license."  He                 
 believed that transporters are not precluded from hunting while               
 they are in the field.  He suggested it might be worth tacking that           
 onto the bill.                                                                
 Number 0430                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN, noting Representative Joule's absence, announced            
 he would hold HB 151 over in respect to Representative Joule's                
 HB 138 - BOARD OF STORAGE TANK ASSISTANCE                                   
 Number 0476                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said the next order of business was House Bill No.           
 138, "An Act relating to the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; and            
 providing for an effective date."                                             
 Number 0493                                                                   
 RANDY WELKER, Legislative Auditor, Legislative Audit Division,                
 Legislative Agencies and Offices, came forward to present the bill.           
 He said HB 138 is sunset legislation requested by the chairman of             
 the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, which introduced all              
 the sunset legislation this year.                                             
 MR. WELKER said HB 138 is the final version of the previous                   
 session's bill.  The Board of Storage Tank Assistance is in its               
 final year of wind-down, with a statutory expiration date of June             
 30, 1996.  However, statute provides the board one year from that             
 date to complete its affairs.                                                 
 MR. WELKER said the audit report issued in 1995 addressed the                 
 original sunset.  It recommended continuation to the year 2000,               
 reflected in Section 1 of the bill.                                           
 Number 0558                                                                   
 MR. WELKER said Section 2 implements a recommendation to change the           
 make-up of the board.  They saw a need for a public member without            
 a financial interest in the storage tank business.  Section 2                 
 places a public member on the board and removes the commissioner of           
 the Department of Public Transportation and Public Facilities, thus           
 maintaining the same size of board.                                           
 MR. WELKER said significant issues face the state relating to                 
 underground storage tanks.  There are federal deadlines coming up             
 that will be critical to deal with in the next few years.  A sunset           
 date of the year 2000 will allow another look at the board                    
 operations after some of those dates have passed, to determine                
 whether there is a continued need.                                            
 Number 0621                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked about the board composition.                           
 MR. WELKER said statute requires that all the other members of the            
 board have some knowledge of, or relationship with, the storage               
 tank industry.  They believe a public member is important as well.            
 Number 0653                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked what would happen if the board were                    
 MR. WELKER said the need for funding to bring storage tanks into              
 compliance with federal standards far outstrips appropriations                
 available to date.  The board prioritizes funding decisions when an           
 appropriation is made, allocating between loan programs, for                  
 example, which had participated in establishing a rating system to            
 prioritize the need for assistance.  In that way, more serious                
 needs are met first.                                                          
 MR. WELKER said as they approach the deadline for complying with              
 federal requirements, which he believes is December 1998, it is               
 uncertain what enforcement actions the Environmental Protection               
 Agency (EPA) envisions.  The board could play a hands-on policy               
 role in dealing with implementation of the EPA deadlines.  Without            
 the board itself, some of those responsibilities would probably               
 fall back on the department.                                                  
 Number 0730                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN inquired about the zero fiscal note and asked who            
 is paying for this.                                                           
 MR. WELKER said he would defer to the department.                             
 Number 0789                                                                   
 CYNTHIA PRING-HAM, Environmental Specialist III, Storage Tank                 
 Program, Division of Spill Prevention and Response, Department of             
 Environmental Conservation (ADEC), came forward to testify.  She              
 said if the board were abolished, the ADEC would have to accomplish           
 all the tasks itself.  The ADEC already had funding in its FY 98              
 budget and would not incur additional cost.                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN suggested there should be a cost associated with             
 extending the board five more years.                                          
 MS. PRING-HAM said the ADEC collects registration fees of $500 per            
 tank, which is incorporated into the storage tank assistant funds             
 allocated yearly by the legislature.                                          
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if that is a dedicated fund.                           
 MS. PRING-HAM said no.                                                        
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if this is paid through program receipts.              
 MS. PRING-HAM said yes, but they do not get the fees directly.  The           
 fees go into a fund and are appropriated later into the storage               
 tank assistance funds.                                                        
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted that the bill has no House Finance Committee           
 Number 0877                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether the 470 fund provides the                  
 MS. PRING-HAM said no, it is part of the general fund.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether she knew the loan default rate.            
 MS. PRING-HAM said she could try to get that information.  She                
 advised that she was acting on behalf of someone else.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN agreed with Co-Chairman Ogan that it seemed a            
 fiscal note should be attached.                                               
 Number 0931                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked what the board does in rural areas of              
 MS. PRING-HAM said the board has two main responsibilities.  First,           
 they determine and allocate grant funds available for cleanups of             
 underground storage tanks, closures and upgrades at those                     
 facilities.  "So if they were on our list of applicants for those             
 three series of funds, then the board would ... develop a priority            
 listing," she said.  Second, the board settles disputes between               
 owners and operators.  They act as a liaison between owners and               
 operators and the ADEC.                                                       
 Number 0997                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked whether the ADEC has someone monitoring            
 tanks on a routine basis.                                                     
 MS. PRING-HAM said no.  Owners and operators submit an application            
 for grant money to do closures, upgrades or cleanups.  They fill              
 out a preliminary risk evaluation form which has a point system               
 relating to certain criteria.  From that, a yearly ranking is                 
 determined.  Whoever has the most points gets the money first.                
 Number 1073                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN reiterated his concerns about the fiscal note.  He           
 asked how often the board meets.                                              
 MS. PRING-HAM said four times.                                                
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether they provided their own                        
 transportation, hotel costs and so forth.                                     
 MS. PRING-HAM said it is in the program's budget as part of the               
 storage tank assistance fund's operating cost.                                
 Number 1125                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called for an at-ease at 2:29 p.m.  He called the            
 meeting back to order at 2:30 p.m.  He asked Randy Welker to                  
 address the fiscal note.                                                      
 MR. WELKER said he did not believe the department's fiscal note was           
 accurate because the cost of travel and meetings had a fiscal                 
 impact on the state.                                                          
 Number 1193                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said they had been told the 470 fund was not             
 the funding mechanism.  However, a letter in the committee packet             
 dated September 19, 1995, part of the Audit Report for the                    
 department and signed by Mr. Welker, stated on page 3 that                    
 appropriations are made from the mitigation account fund and from             
 tank registration receipts.  He suggested the 470 fund therefore              
 came into play here.                                                          
 MR. WELKER said he did not know "which part of the nickel it is"              
 but that it is partially funded through that, as well as through              
 program receipts from some of the fees.                                       
 Number 1240                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE referred to page 7 of the same letter, which                   
 indicated some $54 million is needed for eligible applicants.  He             
 said at the low funding level of the previous year, that was a 19-            
 year program.  He asked, "Is it your understanding that if this               
 sort of thing does not continue, either at 1.9 or some other                  
 funding mechanism rate, that the state will be having to bear these           
 MR. WELKER said the uncertainty was that nobody was sure what                 
 action the EPA might take when the deadline comes about for                   
 compliance with those federal regulations.  He did not believe                
 anyone could say yet what the ramifications might be.  The $54                
 million was what the board struggled to prioritize from the                   
 Number 1306                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said it could then even be worse than that.              
 MR. WELKER believed most of the programs had a deadline for                   
 application and that all those deadlines had passed.  He did not              
 believe anything had been extended that would broaden those                   
 application periods.  The $54 million was the need identified                 
 through that application process at the time.                                 
 Number 1325                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN indicated the remaining work would take a                
 number of years.  He asked what was happening to leaks now.  He               
 also asked whether Mr. Welker had a feel for how much might be                
 defaulted or repaid on loans.                                                 
 MR. WELKER suggested those would be better answered by ADEC                   
 personnel.  He is the "outside auditor" looking in at the board's             
 Number 1479                                                                   
 TERRY RENNER, Past President, Alaska Underground Tank Owners and              
 Operators (AUTOO), came forward to testify.  The AUTOO had worked             
 on the bill with representatives beginning in 1989.  Through a two-           
 year process, the legislature had come up with HB 220, which put              
 the board in statute.                                                         
 MR. RENNER said tank registration fees throughout the United States           
 are $50 to $100.  In Alaska, they are up to $500 per tank, which              
 the AUTOO believes shows a willingness to contribute.  At the time            
 of the original bill, owners faced a deadline for mandated                    
 insurance requiring a $1 million policy.  However, with a polluted            
 site, no policy could be obtained at any cost.  Owners had hoped              
 this would "appease some of these federal mandates" on insurance.             
 Passage of the bill had helped in that regard.                                
 MR. RENNER advised that when that bill passed the House, it carried           
 a user fee, a one-cent tax.  Later, the Senate made that a straight           
 $10 million appropriation, lowered by the governor to $6 million.             
 Since then, it has gone before the legislature yearly for a general           
 Number 1599                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether the board acts as a mediator between           
 tank owners and the ADEC.                                                     
 MR. RENNER said yes.  If disagreement remains, the matter could be            
 brought to the legislature or the Governor's office.  However, he             
 did not believe that had ever been necessary.                                 
 Number 1667                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK asked Mr. Renner's opinion about                 
 adding a public member.                                                       
 MR. RENNER said he thought it would be better.                                
 Number 1750                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether Mr. Renner had a feel for the              
 board's expenses.                                                             
 MR. RENNER said he had heard it was somewhere just over $100,000.             
 He believed tank registration fees brought in about $300,000, which           
 went into the general fund.                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN suggested the fiscal note should probably show           
 both amounts.                                                                 
 Number 1833                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced he would hold the bill and research the            
 fiscal note question.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN referred to the $54 million required.  He                
 asked whether Mr. Renner had a feel, from his past position, about            
 loan failure rates related to fixing tanks.                                   
 MR. RENNER said loans in the program were for upgrading tanks.  A             
 large part is grants because of high loan failure rates, such as              
 those in the Matanuska-Susitna area.  It is cheaper for the state             
 to make grants than to watch over those loans.  The legislature had           
 decided to assist tank owners because the alternative was having              
 tank owners go out of business, with the state cleaning up anyway.            
 At least this employed people throughout the state.                           
 MR. RENNER said there are better cleanup methods all the time.                
 Already, there is a site-specific assessment relating to drinking             
 water sources.  He expects the $54 million figure to be cut by more           
 than a third right now, and possibly more in the future.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN suggested there are alternative methods such             
 as aeration, use of "bugs" and so forth.                                      
 MR. RENNER agreed.  Referring to the $54 million, he indicated                
 people had overstated the amounts required because "you couldn't go           
 back to the well twice."                                                      
 Number 2042                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON asked about new technology to neutralize              
 spills, for example.                                                          
 MR. RENNER said there are chemical washes, depending on the area              
 and the pollutants in the soil.  He said he is not an expert.                 
 There are also "bugs that will start eating these hydrocarbons and            
 such."  He said people with more expertise could be brought in for            
 a future meeting.                                                             
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted that Larry Dinneen had informed him of a             
 new process.  He suggested Mr. Dinneen speak to the committee.  He            
 himself was involved when the federal law first came out.  With the           
 tremendous number of tanks in the state, he believes it is                    
 important to ensure they are all cleaned up.                                  
 Number 2210                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether this covers village tanks for              
 MR. RENNER said it is an underground storage tank program that                
 includes tanks in Nome, Kotzebue and other sites throughout the               
 state.  In the Interior, there are many above-ground tanks,                   
 Number 2287                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON believed there exists a comprehensive study on             
 major fuel storage facilities throughout Alaska.  Estimates to                
 upgrade and repair existing above-ground storage tanks exceed $200            
 million.  Much of that is for fuel storage in villages, as well as            
 for fuel tanks at airports with Arctic conditions.                            
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said he believed that estimate is for upgrading              
 tanks, with the environmental mitigation another $200-to-300                  
 Number 2368                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee             
 meeting at 2:50 p.m.                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects