Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/03/2003 01:05 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        February 3, 2003                                                                                        
                           1:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Hugh Fate, Co-Chair                                                                                              
Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ralph Seekins                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
OVERVIEW:  DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
OVERVIEW:  DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - OVERVIEW CANCELED                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TAPES                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
03-1, SIDE(S) A & B [HOUSE RES TAPE]                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGH  FATE convened the  meeting of the  House Resources                                                             
Standing Committee at 1:05 p.m.   Representatives Fate, Chenault,                                                               
Masek,  Gatto,  Heinze,  Lynn,   Guttenberg,  and  Kerttula  were                                                               
present at  the call to  order.   Senator Ralph Seekins  also was                                                               
present  during  the  meeting.    Co-Chair  Fate  announced  that                                                               
Representative Wolf's absence was excused.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY OF INFORMATION                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
ERNESTA  BALLARD,   Commissioner,  Department   of  Environmental                                                               
Conservation  (DEC),  offered  a  brief synopsis  of  her  career                                                               
history,  and discussed  the different  objectives of  working in                                                               
both  the public  and  the  private sectors.    She provided  and                                                               
discussed  a handout  that listed  statutes  pertaining to  DEC's                                                               
role as a department; described  state policy with respect to the                                                               
environment;  highlighted   obligations  of  the   department  in                                                               
performing  an  internal  performance  audit as  ordered  by  the                                                               
governor in Administrative Order No.  202; discussed her role and                                                               
responsibilities   as   commissioner;   listed  duties   of   the                                                               
department;  and  provided  information about  the  organization,                                                               
mission,  and  functions  of the  various  divisions  within  the                                                               
department.   Commissioner  Ballard  introduced various  division                                                               
directors  and acting  directors, and  called on  each to  answer                                                               
questions relating to his or her particular division.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked  Commissioner Ballard questions about                                                               
the  coordination  of  DEC  with other  departments,  and  if  it                                                               
concurred  with the  governor's agenda;  discussed the  [public's                                                               
negative] perception of DEC; and  asked questions relating to the                                                               
permitting process.  Representative  Heinze asked questions about                                                               
best  available technology  relating to  oil spill  response, and                                                               
about statutory requirements relating  to budgeting, funding, and                                                               
conference requirements.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    GUTTENBERG    highlighted   the    department's                                                               
obligation  to  balance  between [effective]  budgeting  and  its                                                               
mission  "to  protect"; he  spoke  about  evaluating the  program                                                               
under  the  mission  and  measures  concept;  he  also  mentioned                                                               
reorganization.  Representative   Guttenberg  asked  Commissioner                                                               
Ballard questions relating to state primacy.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO suggested  the  community views  government                                                               
[department's] such  as DEC  with [fear];  indicated it  is often                                                               
expensive  and debilitating  for small  businesses to  meet DEC's                                                               
requirements,  and asked  if DEC  could  offer [alternatives]  to                                                               
"expensive   fixes";  and   he  talked   about  the   impacts  of                                                               
streamlined  permitting.   Representative  Gatto asked  questions                                                               
and  presented information  relating to  Mount McKinley  Meat and                                                               
Sausage.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FATE, referring  to a  streamlined permitting  process,                                                               
asked  Commissioner Ballard  what steps  she would  take to  make                                                               
permitting more efficient,  and whether she expected  DEC to need                                                               
future legislation to achieve a streamlined permitting process.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  DIETRICK,  Director,  Division  of  Spill  Prevention  and                                                               
Response,  Department  of  Environmental  Conservation,  answered                                                               
questions and  provided information  relating to  emergency spill                                                               
response,   best   available   technology,  and   response   fund                                                               
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MASEK highlighted  the  underground storage  tank                                                               
issue  and mentioned  future  updates on  the  program; she  also                                                               
mentioned  the Homeland  Security Act  and asked  about a  future                                                               
update  [outlining] DEC's  role in  the process.   Representative                                                               
Masek mentioned oil and gas  coordination, and asked Commissioner                                                               
Ballard to provide  a list of proposed projects  and [an outline]                                                               
of DEC's [role] in helping  the industry stakeholders and project                                                               
proponents in the oil and gas industry.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  spoke about  his goals for  [having resource                                                               
development] be predictable, stable, and competitive.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN RYAN, Acting Director,  Division of Environmental Health,                                                               
Department  of  Environmental  Conservation,  was  available  for                                                               
questions, and  noted that  the Mount  McKinley Meat  and Sausage                                                               
[viability] issue was not under the realm of her division.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  asked  Commissioner Ballard  about  her                                                               
position on  combining the Department of  Natural Resources (DNR)                                                               
and  DEC.   She also  asked  Commissioner Ballard  to comment  on                                                               
state primacy and federal programs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ANNOUNCEMENTS                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
There were no announcements.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
The committee took no action.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee was adjourned at 1:53 p.m.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NOTE:   The meeting was  recorded and handwritten log  notes were                                                               
taken.  A  copy of the tape(s)  and log notes may  be obtained by                                                               
contacting the  House Records  Office at  State Capitol,  Room 3,                                                               
Juneau,  Alaska  99801  (mailing address),  (907)  465-2214,  and                                                               
after adjournment of the second session of the Twenty-Third                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature this information may be obtained by                                                                    
contacting the Legislative Reference Library at (907) 465-3808.                                                                 

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