Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/10/2003 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                                                                             
                         March 10, 2003                                                                                         
                           1:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hugh Fate, Co-Chair                                                                                              
Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 118                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating to  the  transportation  and sale  of  certain                                                               
commercially  caught fish  by an  agent of  a commercial  fishing                                                               
permit  holder and  to the  sale of  fish; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 118(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 113                                                                                                              
"An Act extending the renewal period for oil discharge                                                                          
prevention and contingency plans; and providing for an effective                                                                
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 118                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:TRANSPORTATION OF COMMERCIAL FISH                                                                                   
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)SEATON BY REQUEST SALMON INDUSTRY                                                                  
TASK FORCE                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/21/03     0271       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/21/03     0271       (H)        FSH, RES                                                                                     
02/28/03                (H)        FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
02/28/03                (H)        Moved CSHB 118(FSH) Out of                                                                   
                                   Committee                                                                                    
02/28/03                (H)        MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                  
03/03/03     0357       (H)        FSH RPT CS(FSH) 4DP 2NR                                                                      
03/03/03     0357       (H)        DP: HEINZE, WILSON,                                                                          
                                   GUTTENBERG, SEATON;                                                                          
03/03/03     0357       (H)        NR: BERKOWITZ, SAMUELS                                                                       
03/03/03     0358       (H)        FN1: ZERO(DFG)                                                                               
03/03/03     0358       (H)        FN2: INDETERMINATE(LAW)                                                                      
03/03/03     0367       (H)        FIN REFERRAL ADDED                                                                           
03/10/03                (H)        RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 113                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:DISCHARGE PREVENTION & CONTINGENCY PLANS                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/19/03     0252       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/19/03     0252       (H)        O&G, RES, FIN                                                                                
02/19/03     0252       (H)        FN1: ZERO(DEC)                                                                               
02/19/03     0252       (H)        GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                
02/27/03                (H)        O&G AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
02/27/03                (H)        Moved CSHB 113(O&G) Out of                                                                   
                                   Committee                                                                                    
02/27/03                (H)        MINUTE(O&G)                                                                                  
03/03/03     0356       (H)        O&G RPT CS(O&G) NT 5DP                                                                       
03/03/03     0356       (H)        DP: MCGUIRE, ROKEBERG, FATE,                                                                 
                                   CRAWFORD,                                                                                    
03/03/03     0356       (H)        KOHRING                                                                                      
03/03/03     0357       (H)        FN1: ZERO(DEC)                                                                               
03/03/03     0357       (H)        FN2: ZERO(LAW)                                                                               
03/10/03                (H)        RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke as sponsor of HB 118 by request of                                                                   
the Joint Legislative Salmon Industry Task Force.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
GERALD McCUNE, Lobbyist                                                                                                         
for United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA)                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 118.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DOUG MECUM, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on  HB 118 and answered questions;                                                               
suggested  that as  long  as the  provisions  in [CSHB  118(FSH)]                                                               
remain, ADF&G  doesn't foresee problems  that can't  be addressed                                                               
through  regulations; also  explained concerns  about adding  the                                                               
shrimp and Dungeness crab fisheries to the bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
GORDY WILLIAMS, Legislative Liaison                                                                                             
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified   on  HB  118;  emphasized  the                                                               
importance that fish tickets be  written at the transporter level                                                               
and then  taken to the  point of  sale, which wasn't  included in                                                               
the original version of the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JAMES COCKRELL, Major, Deputy Director                                                                                          
Division of Fish & Wildlife Protection                                                                                          
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  hearing on  HB 118,  testified that                                                               
the current  version appears  enforceable, but  expressed concern                                                               
about  expanding  the bill  to  include  the Dungeness  crab  and                                                               
shrimp fisheries.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS GARCIA                                                                                                                    
Cook Inlet Fishermen's Fund                                                                                                     
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 118.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN SULLIVAN, Program Coordinator                                                                                             
Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED)                                                                                       
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Explained  CSED's suggested Amendment  1 to                                                               
CSHB 118(FSH).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MARY McDOWELL, Commissioner                                                                                                     
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC)                                                                                    
Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  on HB  118; answered  questions                                                               
relating to CSED's suggested Amendment 1.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE SCHACTLER, Board Member                                                                                                   
United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA);                                                                                               
President, United Salmon Association                                                                                            
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 118.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS BERNS                                                                                                                     
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of HB 118;  he noted a                                                               
"gray  area" with  respect to  hauling fish,  and his  perception                                                               
that the bill is a housekeeping measure.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
RICK ELLINGSON                                                                                                                  
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  in  support  of HB  118;  urged                                                               
members to include the Dungeness crab fishery in the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE UTERMOHLE, Attorney                                                                                                      
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Provided  information  and answered  legal                                                               
questions relating to HB 118.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL FULTZ, Planning Manager                                                                                                  
Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization (SEAPRO)                                                                       
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 113.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LARRY DIETRICK, Director                                                                                                        
Division of Spill Prevention and Response                                                                                       
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of HB 113; suggested a                                                               
five-year renewal  period will streamline the  review process for                                                               
the industry  while maintaining Alaska's strong  spill prevention                                                               
and response standards.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-12, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HUGH FATE called the  House Resources Standing Committee                                                             
meeting  to order  at  1:05 p.m.    Representatives Fate,  Masek,                                                               
Gatto, Heinze, Lynn, and Wolf were  present at the call to order;                                                               
Representative     Kerttula    arrived     shortly    thereafter.                                                               
Representative  Guttenberg   arrived  as   the  meeting   was  in                                                               
progress.  Representative Chenault was excused.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 118-TRANSPORTATION OF COMMERCIAL FISH                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Contains brief discussion of HB 22]                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0101                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FATE  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  118, "An Act  relating to  the transportation                                                               
and sale  of certain commercially  caught fish  by an agent  of a                                                               
commercial fishing  permit holder  and to the  sale of  fish; and                                                               
providing  for an  effective date."   [Before  the committee  was                                                               
CSHB 118(FSH).]                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0170                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON, Alaska  State Legislature, sponsor of                                                               
HB 118 by  request of the Joint Legislative  Salmon Industry Task                                                               
Force,  described the  legislation as  "a transporter  bill" that                                                               
allows fishermen to  contract with a tender or  another vessel to                                                               
transport  their  fish back  to  town.    He indicated  that  the                                                               
[transporter vessel]  can be another fisherman  or an independent                                                               
vessel.   That  vessel would  have to  get a  transporter permit,                                                               
which would be  issued by the Alaska Department of  Fish and Game                                                               
(ADF&G).   He said the  presumption is that the  regulations will                                                               
lay out  the terms  of the  transporter permit,  and it  would be                                                               
understood that the fisherman  [contracting with the transporter]                                                               
retains ownership of the fish;  the transporter is hired and acts                                                               
as an agent  to sell that person's fish to  whoever is designated                                                               
at  a   port.     He  explained   that  processors,   which  have                                                               
traditionally supplied  tenders to all the  fishing grounds, have                                                               
cut back on their operations  and financial commitments.  He said                                                               
one of  the ways they've done  that is by not  supplying tenders,                                                               
which means  that the fishermen  have to  run their fish  back to                                                               
the processing plant.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON explained that the  reason for this is that                                                               
there is a state law in  place which specifies that it is illegal                                                               
for  a person  to have  a fish  ticket signed  by the  fisherman,                                                               
unless  the person  is the  buyer, and  the fisherman  has to  be                                                               
present at the  point of sale.   He said this law  creates a very                                                               
big problem in  the state's current structure.  He  said a tender                                                               
is under a contract  with a processor and is an  agent, so when a                                                               
fisherman puts his/her fish on a  tender, it's the point of sale.                                                               
If there  is not an tender  available, then the point  of sale is                                                               
the dock where  those fish arrive, which means  the fisherman has                                                               
to leave the grounds.   He explained that this increases expenses                                                               
and  removes fishermen  from  the grounds,  and  it also  doesn't                                                               
allow them to  work in a cooperative way, in  some of the state's                                                               
smaller fisheries, especially.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0405                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON noted  that the bill is  limited to salmon,                                                               
herring, and  Pacific cod,  and he  suggested getting  [the bill]                                                               
into place quickly  for the purpose of  allowing salmon fishermen                                                               
to  lower their  costs.   Representative  Seaton cited  testimony                                                               
given in  the House Special  Committee on Fisheries by  people on                                                               
the Aleutian  Chain who said they  have to quit [fishing]  in the                                                               
fall  when  the  processors  stop  sending  tenders  there.    He                                                               
mentioned  that  this  bill would  provide  the  opportunity  for                                                               
fishermen to  aggregate their catch  on one of the  other fishing                                                               
boats and  do all the paperwork  including the fish tickets.   He                                                               
said the  person would  have to  be there with  his or  her card,                                                               
which would  be imprinted; everything  would be done,  except the                                                               
processor's code wouldn't  go on it, and would be  added when the                                                               
fish were  delivered back to  the dock.   He concluded  by saying                                                               
the intent of the bill is  to allow fishermen flexibility and the                                                               
ability to economize on getting  fish off the fishing grounds and                                                               
back to the processor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0530                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  moved to adopt  CSHB 118(FSH)  for purposes                                                               
of discussion.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0671                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  indicated the  Board of  Fisheries, ADF&G,                                                               
UFA [United  Fishermen of Alaska],  the industry, and  others had                                                               
worked the  concept of this  bill through several  revisions, and                                                               
that the bill has general support.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0737                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FATE  called  on  Jerry  McCune  to  testify.    First,                                                               
however,  he informed  members that  there had  been notification                                                               
shortly  before the  meeting that  perhaps some  clarification of                                                               
[the  statutes  pertaining  to]  the  Child  Support  Enforcement                                                               
Division  (CSED) was  needed.   He mentioned  existing law  under                                                               
AS 25.27.244,  the   "child  support  licensing  statute."     He                                                               
indicated there would be an  amendment offered later, although he                                                               
acknowledged that the sponsor might not have been aware of it.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0792                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GERALD  McCUNE, Lobbyist  for United  Fishermen of  Alaska (UFA),                                                               
spoke in  support of the  bill, noting that it  gives flexibility                                                               
to fishermen  to transport or  "co-op" fish, especially in  a lot                                                               
of  areas  that  currently  are  downsizing  from  having  tender                                                               
service.  This  allows them to move fish  without having everyone                                                               
leave the grounds  at once.  He suggested it  would be useful for                                                               
setnetters in some areas as well.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0876                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DOUG MECUM,  Director, Division  of Commercial  Fisheries, Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish and  Game, indicated  he and  Gordy Williams,                                                               
Legislative Liaison,  had worked  with the  sponsor on  this bill                                                               
over the  last year or  so - since  the issue was  raised through                                                               
the Board of  Fisheries process - to figure out  how to implement                                                               
this  new approach  of fish  transporters.   "We feel  like we've                                                               
worked through  all the ...  concerns that  we had ...  with this                                                               
new practice," he reported.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM pointed  out the need to adopt regulations  in order to                                                               
implement  the legislation,  however,  which  will require  going                                                               
through all  the existing regulations, determining  what needs to                                                               
be modified,  and sending it  out for public review  and comment.                                                               
If the  desire is to have  it in place before  the salmon season,                                                               
he told members, it will be doable but very tight.  He added:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The other  thing about the  regulations - and  the bill                                                                    
     talks about  this - is  that there may be  fisheries or                                                                    
     areas or times when this  practice would not be allowed                                                                    
     because it might conflict  with fishery conservation or                                                                    
     management purposes.   It might conflict  with existing                                                                    
     management plans  and regulations  that are  adopted by                                                                    
     the Board  of Fisheries.   And I  could point  out some                                                                    
     specific problem  areas ... that we  already foresee in                                                                    
     the salmon fisheries,  but I don't know if  you want to                                                                    
     get into that detail or not.   We think ... we have the                                                                    
     authority, as  laid out in  this bill, to go  ahead and                                                                    
     deal with those ... potential problems.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1019                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GORDY WILLIAMS, Legislative Liaison,  Office of the Commissioner,                                                               
Alaska  Department  of  Fish  and  Game,  added  to  Mr.  Mecum's                                                               
comments, as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     As we  worked with the  legislative task force  ... and                                                                    
     the sponsor  on the  bill, ...  it was  recognized that                                                                    
     it's  really important  to keep  the kind  of discrete,                                                                    
     accurate  information that  we  get now  ... on  what's                                                                    
     called  the fish  ticket,  which is  written  up.   The                                                                    
     original bill  did not anticipate  a fish  ticket being                                                                    
     written at  this transporter level,  and the  bill does                                                                    
     now have  that important  fish ticket being  written by                                                                    
     the transporter and then taken to the point of sale.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     And  that's really  important  because  that's what  we                                                                    
     rely on  in the department for  our discrete management                                                                    
     information.     The  limited  entry   commission  [the                                                                    
     Commercial  Fisheries Entry  Commission (CFEC)]  relies                                                                    
     on that data for various  issues; if they have any kind                                                                    
     of limitation  issues or ... economic  analysis issues,                                                                    
     they  all  rely  on  that  information,  so  it's  very                                                                    
     important that ... that information  be there.  And ...                                                                    
     as  Doug Mecum  referenced, in  our regulations  we can                                                                    
     determine,  between  fisheries,   what  the  amount  of                                                                    
     information that  might be needed to  be required would                                                                    
     be, but  it certainly, at  a minimum, ... would  be the                                                                    
     number  of  fish  and  other   estimations.    In  some                                                                    
     instances, we  might actually have to  require weights,                                                                    
     which would involve ... certified scales.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1126                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE noted  that she'd  heard the  bill in  the                                                               
House Special  Committee on Fisheries  and is very  supportive of                                                               
it.    She  requested  clarification,  though,  about  the  first                                                               
paragraph  [of the  sponsor statement  for CSHB  118(FSH)], which                                                               
read in  part, "It also  creates new possibilities  for accessing                                                               
fresh markets."   She asked what  those new markets would  be and                                                               
how it would occur.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM replied:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Well, when we  first talked about this,  ... this issue                                                                    
     of  marketing and  quality wasn't  really on  the radar                                                                    
     screen  initially.    The  main   thing,  as  the  bill                                                                    
     sponsor,  Representative ...  Seaton talked  about, is,                                                                    
     in  some areas  people  simply don't  have any  ability                                                                    
     whatsoever to get their fish to a particular market.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     But in some  of the testimony that ...  we've heard and                                                                    
     in our discussions with the  industry, [there could] be                                                                    
     situations where people can  improve their quality. ...                                                                    
     If you're  out in  an area  where you're  only catching                                                                    
     small numbers  of fish and  you really can't  afford to                                                                    
     run  all the  way  back  to deliver  them,  a group  of                                                                    
     individuals acting  in a cooperative fashion  could get                                                                    
     their  fish   back  to  market   more  quickly.     And                                                                    
     particularly if  there was, obviously, a  fresh market,                                                                    
     ...  that's  very important.  So that's,  I think, what                                                                    
     it's addressing there.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1220                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  asked whether,  then,  it  is somewhat  a                                                               
matter of quality of the fish.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF said although he thinks  it is a good bill, a                                                               
couple  of  individuals  had   contacted  him  about  [including]                                                               
halibut,  which aren't  in the  bill.   He asked  whether federal                                                               
regulations prohibit the transport  of halibut, and surmised that                                                               
Pacific cod doesn't fall into that [category].                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM replied  that this certainly doesn't  apply to halibut,                                                               
which is  under an individual  fishery quota (IFQ) system.   With                                                               
respect to  Pacific cod, he  indicated the department  has looked                                                               
at it and  believes it may be a little  more complicated than for                                                               
the salmon fisheries; in the  cod fisheries, there are both state                                                               
and federal management  issues.  For some  Pacific cod fisheries,                                                               
for  example,  federal waters  may  be  open while  state  waters                                                               
aren't;  there  also  may be  federal  license-limitation  issues                                                               
associated with  having fish on  board.   He said he'd  asked the                                                               
staff to  examine the  issue, although not  in great  detail, and                                                               
although they'd  expressed some  concerns about  it to  him, they                                                               
hadn't pointed  out any fatal  flaws that couldn't be  dealt with                                                               
through adopting  regulations.  For  the Pacific cod  fishery, he                                                               
concluded that  he didn't believe  there would be "the  same kind                                                               
of problem that you're talking about."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1356                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO said  he supports  the  bill but  requested                                                               
clarification.   He  asked whether  UFA is  a bargaining  unit or                                                               
just an  organization, and who can  join.  He also  asked whether                                                               
the fishermen and processors support or oppose each other.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM said it isn't all love and kisses.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reported  that this  had gone  through the                                                               
fisheries  task  force,  which  included  both  large  and  small                                                               
processors who supported this bill.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  said it  looks  as  though the  processors                                                               
"lose by this regulation."   He requested clarification about how                                                               
the system works.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1491                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM explained  that this system has been in  place for some                                                               
time.   It has always  been important,  when fish are  caught and                                                               
sold,  that [ADF&G]  be able  to track  who caught  the fish  and                                                               
whether that  person is complying with  regulations on undersized                                                               
crab or  prohibited species,  for example.   Mr.  Mecum indicated                                                               
the need to be able to go to  a processor who has the fish ticket                                                               
that was issued with the person's  signature on it.  The chain of                                                               
custody  [for that  fish ticket]  is  important for  enforcement,                                                               
conservation, management,  limited entry purposes,  child support                                                               
issues, and  Department of Revenue  taxation.  He said  it didn't                                                               
have to do  with processors versus fishermen; rather,  it was for                                                               
adequate enforcement and tracking for commercial fisheries.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO asked  whether that  will be  lost if  this                                                               
bill passes.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MECUM answered,  "We don't  believe so,  as long  as it  is,                                                               
again, based  on the  same system  of fish  tickets, and  that we                                                               
have the  adequate authority  to adopt  regulations to  make sure                                                               
that we have adequate recordkeeping and enforcement."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1562                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  whether any  systematic problem                                                               
exists  in the  process  that couldn't  be  addressed [by  ADF&G]                                                               
through regulations.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM replied:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Not that I have been able  to determine.  And, in fact,                                                                    
     we have  looked at this  issue in some depth.  ... Over                                                                    
     the course  of the past year,  we got all of  our staff                                                                    
     together;  they're  involved  with  this.    We  did  a                                                                    
     background  paper.   We looked  at all  of the  various                                                                    
     options.     And,  again,  as   long  as   the  current                                                                    
     provisions  in the  bill stand,  ... we  don't see  any                                                                    
     problems that we can't address.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1638                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM, in response to a question from Co-Chair Fate about                                                                   
possibly broadening this bill, said:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     We haven't  really given a  lot of thought ...  to this                                                                    
     issue  of broadening  it to  other  fisheries. ...  The                                                                    
     bill originally  was a salmon  bill, and it  was trying                                                                    
     to address a  problem in the salmon fisheries.   And we                                                                    
     agreed to  broaden it to  herring and to  the [Pacific]                                                                    
     cod.    In the  case  of  the  salmon and  the  herring                                                                    
     fishery,  they're  completely under  state  management.                                                                    
     There  really  are  very  few,  if  any,  state-federal                                                                    
     issues.  The  fisheries, for the most  part, occur only                                                                    
     in state waters.   And, ... for the most  part, we have                                                                    
     adequate  on-the-ground monitoring  and presence  to be                                                                    
     able to deal with any  issues that might arise in those                                                                    
     fisheries.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     As I  stated, the  bill sponsor  wanted to  add Pacific                                                                    
     cod, and  we had some reluctance  for that.  But  as we                                                                    
     looked into the  issue more, we felt  that the existing                                                                    
     regulatory  authority  that's  established  here  would                                                                    
     allow us to work through ... that problem.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     But talking about other fisheries,  all you're doing is                                                                    
     adding  layers  of  complexity to  an  already  complex                                                                    
     process  to try  to  adopt these  regulations and  have                                                                    
     them in  place in a  short period  of time.   And there                                                                    
     may  be  some  specific  issues. ...  What  I've  heard                                                                    
     anecdotally -  and I haven't  seen any language,  and I                                                                    
     haven't  had any  discussions  with anybody  personally                                                                    
     myself -  but shrimp and  Dungeness crab are  two other                                                                    
     fisheries that people have talked  about adding.  I see                                                                    
     some problems  with that in those  fisheries. ... We're                                                                    
     open  to ...  any discussions  you might  want to  have                                                                    
     about it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1743                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FATE  asked Mr. Mecum  to describe problems  with adding                                                               
those two fisheries.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MECUM responded  that although  there  are shrimp  fisheries                                                               
around the state, for the  most part they're limited to Southeast                                                               
Alaska because the shrimp resources  are "pretty much chronically                                                               
depressed" everywhere else.  The  two big fisheries are the trawl                                                               
shrimp fishery, which is beam  trawl, and the pot shrimp fishery,                                                               
which is the largest-valued fishery and  which has a whole set of                                                               
management  plans  and  a  fairly   complex  set  of  regulations                                                               
associated with the management of  that fishery.  He offered some                                                               
details, as follows:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     In  Southeast Alaska  there are  19 separate  districts                                                                    
     with separate  guideline harvest levels that  we manage                                                                    
     for on  an in-season basis  to ensure we don't  go over                                                                    
     the  quotas,  to  ensure   the  sustainability  of  the                                                                    
     resource.   And in some  areas, those quotas  are taken                                                                    
     in two or three or four  days.  They're what ... you've                                                                    
     heard referred  to as derby-style fisheries.   And this                                                                    
     has caused  problems in terms  of being able  to ensure                                                                    
     that we're  accurately managing and that  we're able to                                                                    
     obtain access to the catches  to get biological samples                                                                    
     that  we  need to  manage  the  fishery and  gauge  the                                                                    
     health of the resource.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     And during  the period of  time leading [up to  this] -                                                                    
     well, probably  ten years  ago -  there was  this whole                                                                    
     period  of  speculation  on   limited  entry,  and  the                                                                    
     fishery became  very intense.   And at that  point, the                                                                    
     department  and  the  board  and  the  industry  worked                                                                    
     together  to  try to  find  ways  to get  this  fishery                                                                    
     reined  in and  under control.    And one  of the  main                                                                    
     issues that  they had -  the industry  brought forward,                                                                    
     in fact  - had to  do with floating processors.   These                                                                    
     are  vessels  that  come into  an  area,  again,  where                                                                    
     there's a lot of effort  and the quotas are being taken                                                                    
     very quickly,  and they purchase  from a lot  of people                                                                    
     ... right  on the grounds.   What ... it led  to was an                                                                    
     intensification of the fishery in those areas.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1857                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM continued discussing the shrimp fisheries:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The industry  came forward with  some proposals  to the                                                                    
     board,  and  the  board banned,  by  regulation,  those                                                                    
     floating   processors.     These   fish   transporters,                                                                    
     although  they  wouldn't  technically be  considered  a                                                                    
     floating processor  - I don't  think, unless  they were                                                                    
     actually purchasing  and processing  shrimp on  board -                                                                    
     could lead  to the same kind  of a problem in  terms of                                                                    
     the intensification of the fishery.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     And, in  fact, one of  the main issues with  respect to                                                                    
     floating  processors had  to do  with Canadian  vessels                                                                    
     coming  into  Southeast  Alaska   and  taking  a  large                                                                    
     proportion of the catch and  taking it to Canada, which                                                                    
     was running somewhat counter to  what we were trying to                                                                    
     do with respect to  slower-paced fisheries ... that are                                                                    
     more of  a benefit to coastal  communities in Southeast                                                                    
     Alaska.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1915                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM  said he doesn't  think the  problems are quite  as bad                                                               
with regard to Dungeness crab,  although there are some problems.                                                               
Noting that  a tender is  in a different category,  being another                                                               
kind of transport vessel, he explained:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     If you want to tender your crab,  you can do so.  And a                                                                    
     way a lot of the people  do the fishery is, they have a                                                                    
     large skiff or a smaller  vessel of some kind that they                                                                    
     use to actually  work the pots.  They  bring that catch                                                                    
     back to their larger vessel,  and once they get a load,                                                                    
     they take it back to the plant.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     If  you're going  to tender  other  people's crab,  ...                                                                    
     right now,  you have  to issue fish  tickets.   And ...                                                                    
     all  these  people would  be  working  with a  licensed                                                                    
     processor.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The fish  transporter would be  a little  bit different                                                                    
     in  that  they wouldn't  have  a  contract with  ...  a                                                                    
     processor.  But  the problem we'd run  into there, just                                                                    
     like  we do  with  tenders, is  having  gear on  board.                                                                    
     There's  different pot  limits  in  the Dungeness  crab                                                                    
     fishery,  and   [the  Division  of  Fish   &  Wildlife]                                                                    
     Protection has  to be able  to enforce  those different                                                                    
     pot limits.  And the  way that we've dealt with tenders                                                                    
     in  the fishery  right  now  is, ...  if  they want  to                                                                    
     tender  their  crab,  that's fine,  but  they  have  to                                                                    
     register with  us, and  then, if they  want to  go back                                                                    
     out and fish, they have  to unregister.  And we've been                                                                    
     able  to  deal with  this  problem  of having  gear  on                                                                    
     board,  ...  when it's  open  and  when it's  not,  and                                                                    
     things  of   that  nature  through   that  registration                                                                    
     process.  So, ... it's  quite likely that we would have                                                                    
     to do the  same sort of a thing  with fish transporters                                                                    
     if [the bill] was expanded to ... that fishery.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1993                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FATE asked  Mr.  Cockrell  about potential  enforcement                                                               
problems relating to the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2035                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  COCKRELL,  Major,  Deputy  Director, Division  of  Fish  &                                                               
Wildlife Protection,  Department of Public Safety  (DPS), offered                                                               
the  department's  analysis  that  the bill  as  written  appears                                                               
enforceable.   He  said [DPS]  worked hard  with the  sponsor and                                                               
ADF&G to  come up with a  workable bill.  He  cautioned, however,                                                               
that although  DPS is "on  line" with the current  version, there                                                               
would be  concerns about expanding  it to include  Dungeness crab                                                               
and shrimp.   He acknowledged  that he  hadn't had time  to study                                                               
all implications,  but concurred  with Mr.  Mecum with  regard to                                                               
the  Dungeness  crab and  shrimp  fisheries.   He  said  specific                                                               
regulations  in  place  now  deal  with  tenders  for  those  two                                                               
fisheries.  Calling the industry  highly regulated, he said there                                                               
are probably  more complex regulations with  regard to [Alaska's]                                                               
shellfish fisheries than for crab,  Pacific cod, and even herring                                                               
fisheries.    Without more  time  to  analyze  it, he  said,  DPS                                                               
wouldn't support  adding the other  two fisheries to the  bill at                                                               
this time.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2105                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM  pointed out  that with the  shrimp and  Dungeness crab                                                               
fisheries  in Southeast  Alaska -  which is  primarily where  the                                                               
fisheries  occur -  "we have  formally established  industry task                                                               
forces that  we work with" that  meet annually or more  often, as                                                               
needed, to  sort through issues  related to  in-season management                                                               
and catch reporting in these fisheries.   He said although he has                                                               
concerns  about adding  these other  species, he  would willingly                                                               
direct staff  to sit  down with the  industry task  forces, which                                                               
are formed  by the Board of  Fisheries, to discuss whether  it is                                                               
an area to  pursue and, if so,  how best to do that.   He offered                                                               
his personal standpoint of wanting to  get this bill in place and                                                               
adopt these regulations to allow  people to do this activity, but                                                               
also wanting  the opportunity  to go  through one  season, figure                                                               
out  how it  works,  and  sort through  all  the problems  before                                                               
adding  layers  of  complexity  -  and to  have  those  kinds  of                                                               
discussions with the industry.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2179                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FATE  alluded to  a  written  amendment [later  labeled                                                               
Amendment 1], which read [original  punctuation provided but some                                                               
formatting changed]:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The  Child  Support  Enforcement  Division  offers  the                                                                    
     following observation regarding HB  118, and suggests a                                                                    
     minor amendment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This  legislation  creates  a new  occupational  permit                                                                    
     (fish  transporter  permit)  of the  type  included  in                                                                    
     AS 25.27.244(s)(2)(A), which is  the statute that lists                                                                    
     state  permits and  licenses subject  to action  if the                                                                    
     holder is delinquent in child support payments.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     For  clarity, the  Child  Support Enforcement  Division                                                                    
     suggests that  this legislation  be amended  to include                                                                    
     the following  addition to the child  support licensing                                                                    
     statute AS 25.27.244(s)(2)(A)(xvii):   Fish transporter                                                                    
     permit under AS 16.05.671(a).   This would clarify that                                                                    
     the   permit   envisioned   by  this   legislation   is                                                                    
     specifically added to the list.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FATE asked Major Cockrell  whether he supported amending                                                               
the bill in this regard,  whether it would increase his workload,                                                               
and whether it was necessary.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR COCKRELL  responded that he  didn't know how to  comment on                                                               
that,  and  said  this  is  the  first  he'd  heard  of  such  an                                                               
amendment.   He added,  "I don't  see where it  would add  to our                                                               
workload.  And if it would give  [CSED] a way to track the amount                                                               
of fish, I don't see where it would affect the bill."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2269                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  mentioned discussions he'd had  with the Department                                                               
of Revenue.   He then  offered his understanding that  CSED wants                                                               
discrete  information on  fish tickets  because that  agency puts                                                               
liens  against fishermen  who owe  child support.   He  suggested                                                               
that  under  federal  law,  if someone  is  delinquent  in  child                                                               
support, occupational licenses  can be taken.   He suggested that                                                               
may be what  is being referenced there, and although  it may be a                                                               
valid concern, he wasn't prepared to speak to that issue.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  whether that  concern could  be                                                               
written into the regulations without an amendment to this bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  clarified that it  would be the regulations  of the                                                               
Department  of Revenue,  not ADF&G.   Noting  that he  didn't see                                                               
anyone present from that department,  he again suggested it might                                                               
be  a valid  issue  and  perhaps a  fairly  technical issue  with                                                               
regard to  [CSED's] compliance with  federal child  support laws.                                                               
He  also pointed  out, as  mentioned in  a prior  committee, that                                                               
this  bill  doesn't  just  apply  to  vessels  that  may  service                                                               
transporters.    It   also  could  [apply  to]   other  modes  of                                                               
transportation, such  as using vehicles  in the  setnet fisheries                                                               
in the  Kenai area,  or when  people are  trucking their  fish or                                                               
using an airplane  to do so.  Although it  probably would be used                                                               
for vessels, it applies more broadly.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2384                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS GARCIA, Cook Inlet Fisherman's  Fund, testified that he was                                                               
basically echoing  the bill's sponsor.   With the changes  in the                                                               
fisheries  resource, he  said,  trying to  reduce  costs is  very                                                               
important.  He noted that in  some areas in Cook Inlet or Kodiak,                                                               
there  is no  processor running  tenders anymore,  "and basically                                                               
they've been put  out of business."  He also  mentioned trying to                                                               
fly fish  [to market].   He  suggested that  passage of  the bill                                                               
would allow someone  who isn't a processor to  transport the fish                                                               
to  a   processor,  thereby  helping  everyone   concerned.    He                                                               
specified that he is totally in favor of the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FATE turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Masek.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2460                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  SULLIVAN, Program  Coordinator, Child  Support Enforcement                                                               
Division, Department  of Revenue,  first apologized for  the late                                                               
submittal of [Amendment  1, text provided previously].   She then                                                               
explained that  a number of licenses,  permits, and registrations                                                               
are  listed in  the statute  named in  [Amendment 1];  this falls                                                               
into that  category and should  as a routine matter  be included.                                                               
In  response to  a question  from Representative  Guttenberg, she                                                               
clarified that the  suggested amendment was submitted  by CSED to                                                               
add a  [sub-subparagraph] (xvii):  Fish  transporter permit under                                                               
AS 16.05.671(a).   It  would become  part of a  long list  of the                                                               
types of  permits and professional  licenses included  under that                                                               
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SULLIVAN  concurred with earlier  testimony that  the [state]                                                               
statute was  created as a result  of federal legislation.   It is                                                               
part of  the general child support  enforcement requirements, she                                                               
added.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2566                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  asked whether CSED already  has authority to                                                               
put liens  on occupational licenses  and permits  through federal                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SULLIVAN responded:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     It does  have the authority.   And  as we state  in our                                                                    
     memo  [suggested Amendment  1],  we're seeking  clarity                                                                    
     with this  particular amendment ... for  the benefit of                                                                    
     anyone  who would  want to  know  that this  particular                                                                    
     permit  is included  under  the  list, including  those                                                                    
     permit  holders, so  that  they would  be  able to  see                                                                    
     clearly in statute that they are included.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2646                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SULLIVAN,  in reply  to a  question from  Representative Wolf                                                               
with regard to why the  specific listing is necessary, said, "The                                                               
federal statutes require that we  list the permits, licenses, and                                                               
professional registrations that are lienable."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said  it appears the list  may be missing                                                               
a  lot of  fishing  permits.   She asked  whether  at some  point                                                               
[CSED] would have to "take in others as well."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. SULLIVAN  responded, "That's  a possibility.   I'm interested                                                               
to know which ones you notice  are missing.  We are also watching                                                               
House Bill 22.  We feel it's a similar situation."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  indicated  she'd touch  base  with  Ms.                                                               
Sullivan about  this, noting  that the  statute is  specific with                                                               
regard to what is being covered.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  MASEK asked  whether  anyone  was present  from  the                                                               
Office of the Attorney General; there was no response.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2721                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. McCUNE came forward again and said:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Over  the years  we've  worked with  the child  support                                                                    
     agency to  be able  to go to  the processor,  where the                                                                    
     tickets  are  and  where  the  money's  issued.    Now,                                                                    
     technically  we're  not  employees of  the  processors.                                                                    
     But ...  with Commissioner  Twomley [of  the Commercial                                                                    
     Fisheries  Entry Commission  (CFEC)]  we  worked out  a                                                                    
     deal to  ... be  able to  go to  the processors  and be                                                                    
     able to  find out  and issue lists  of people  that are                                                                    
     behind in their child  support, because ... federal law                                                                    
     now  says  whether  you miss  one  payment  or  [more],                                                                    
     you're behind in child support.   So automatically [if]                                                                    
     you're behind, ... they put out  a lien.  So, we made a                                                                    
     list available.   [CSED] makes  a list, and we  give it                                                                    
     to the  processors.  And  if you're delivering  to that                                                                    
     processor,  then  they  voluntarily take  out  ...  the                                                                    
     money.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  McCUNE  noted that  these  people  aren't employees  of  the                                                               
processor [and thus taking the money out is voluntary].                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA mentioned  the license  itself, however,                                                               
and offered  her understanding that  "that other  statute" allows                                                               
CSED to pull licenses.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2795                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY   McDOWELL,   Commissioner,   Commercial   Fisheries   Entry                                                               
Commission, mentioned  a law now  under AS 16.05.   She explained                                                               
that CFEC, at  the time of application,  collects social security                                                               
numbers from permit  holders when they renew  their permits every                                                               
year.   By law, CFEC can  share that information with  [CSED] for                                                               
purposes of  child support [collection].   She noted  that sunset                                                               
legislation  before  the  legislature  this  session  will  "roll                                                               
forward some of the child support  provisions, and that is one of                                                               
those provisions."   She added, "We're working  with the sponsors                                                               
of that bill on both sides."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  McDOWELL clarified  that the  earnings of  fishermen already                                                               
are covered  under the  child support  provisions.   The question                                                               
now is whether  the earnings of the transporter  will be covered;                                                               
that is new.  She noted  that this isn't actually an occupational                                                               
license, but  is a  commissioner's permit.   She suggested  it is                                                               
worth exploring the need to include a provision for this.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2858                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  McCUNE  offered  his  recollection  that  permits  had  been                                                               
omitted  from  "that statute"  because  a  person who  cannot  go                                                               
fishing cannot pay child support.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  McDOWELL  clarified that  she  wasn't  talking about  taking                                                               
permits [for  a child  support debt],  but about  taking earnings                                                               
out of  the fish ticket.   In response  to Vice Chair  Masek, she                                                               
said this an issue for the Department of Revenue.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  McCUNE  suggested a  possibility  "that  if you're  using  a                                                               
plane, I guess  that people might actually pay that  person."  He                                                               
said he didn't have a problem if  [CSED] feels a need for it, but                                                               
still  thinks "they're  covered  under this."    He indicated  he                                                               
doesn't have a legal background.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  MASEK expressed the  hope of receiving  comments from                                                               
the  attorney general  or  another attorney  with  regard to  the                                                               
language suggested by CSED.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2938                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON told members:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     On  the  fish  themselves,   we're  not  talking  that,                                                                    
     because  the fisherman  retains  ownership  ... of  the                                                                    
     fish;  that never  transfers  ...  to the  transporter.                                                                    
     The transporter,  [if] it is  a fishing vessel,  has to                                                                    
     have the  fishing vessel license; each  person on board                                                                    
     has to  have a commercial  fishing ... license.   If it                                                                    
     was an  airplane, you would have  airline licenses, and                                                                    
     you would  have all the  cargo - those licenses.   This                                                                    
     is  basically a  free  permit.   It's a  commissioner's                                                                    
     permit.  It permits you  to do something else, but it's                                                                    
     really not  an occupational  licensing permit.   So ...                                                                    
     I'm  not opposed  to [CSED's]  ... idea,  but ...  this                                                                    
     permit  is something  that  is  quite, quite  different                                                                    
     than  a   vessel  license  or  a   guiding  license  or                                                                    
     something  else.   This  ...  just  allows   ...  [ends                                                                    
     midspeech because of tape change].                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-12, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2989                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said his only  problem is that this bill is                                                               
actually just  addressing AS 16.05  [and AS 16.10] and  that CSED                                                               
is  asking that  an  entire new  modification  to another  Alaska                                                               
Statute be added.  He noted  that he thought that might fall into                                                               
a separate category.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2958                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF  posed  a   hypothetical  scenario,  and  he                                                               
expressed concerns  about the  possibility that  fishermen [other                                                               
than  those  owing  child  support] may  be  affected  by  CSED's                                                               
[placing a lien  on fish] if it's  a free permit.   He added that                                                               
[if that  were the case],  he would  be opposed to  [amending the                                                               
section].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  reminded  the committee  that  under  the                                                               
bill,  the  ownership  of  fish   would  never  transfer  to  the                                                               
transporter.   The  "transport-fisherman"  never  owns the  other                                                               
fish;  he/she  is  simply  given  the  authority  to  move  those                                                               
fishermen's  fish  along  with his/her  own  from  the  [fishing]                                                               
grounds to  the dock.   However, he/she  would have to  write out                                                               
the fish  ticket, the card  would have  to be stamped,  and there                                                               
would be much better tracking of  who owns those fish because the                                                               
fish  ticket has  to be  made out  with the  permit card  at that                                                               
time, he explained.   Representative Seaton said  there have been                                                               
a number  of instances in  the herring fishery,  currently, where                                                               
people "kind of  co-op" and put their fish on  one boat, but it's                                                               
"kind  of  illegal" to  do  that,  so they  all  get  put on  one                                                               
person's card.  So, CSED doesn't  have a good "handle" on knowing                                                               
who owned  all of the different  fish on that boat,  and to "kind                                                               
of get around this" and work  within the current law, people just                                                               
"fudge" and  say they were  [someone else's]  fish, he said.   He                                                               
indicated that  if a  fisherman had  a CSED  lien against  him or                                                               
her, often, another fisherman would  [take the fish] and write it                                                               
as  an expense  to that  fisherman so  that CSED  would not  know                                                               
about it.   He said this  bill will give CSED  much better record                                                               
keeping in knowing whose fish were harvested and on what cards.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2837                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF expressed  concerns about  putting fishermen                                                               
in  jeopardy  because one  fisherman  has  a child  support  lien                                                               
against him/her.  He said he  didn't have enough faith in CSED to                                                               
allow it to make that judgment call.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SULLIVAN   indicated  two  different  concepts   were  being                                                               
discussed and said  "we're" not discussing, at  this point, about                                                               
how  the fish  are sorted  out, although  Representative Seaton's                                                               
explanation was excellent and [CSED]  appreciates the detail with                                                               
which those  particular issues, keeping  track of whose  fish are                                                               
whose, are treated in this bill.   She said that is not the focus                                                               
of [CSED's] particular suggested  amendment [Amendment 1]; it has                                                               
more to do  with the idea of a professional  license.  If someone                                                               
owes child support and refuses to  pay it, refuses to discuss the                                                               
issue with [CSED],  and is flagrantly in violation of  his or her                                                               
child support order, and that  person has a professional license,                                                               
[regardless  of  his/her  profession]  CSED  has  the  authority,                                                               
through federal  and state  statutes, to [place  a] lien  on that                                                               
person's license,  permit, or registration,  she explained.   She                                                               
said  [CSED]  doesn't  want  to  take  the  permit,  license,  or                                                               
registration, and doesn't have any use  for it, but it has been a                                                               
very  useful  tool  in  getting   the  attention  of  a  flagrant                                                               
violator.   Ms. Sullivan explained that  the idea is to  make the                                                               
statute clear to a person  that is a fish-transport permit holder                                                               
that  the   permit  is  subject   to  lien  just  as   any  other                                                               
professional license is.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2742                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  pointed out that  no one can  operate with                                                               
just  a transporter's  permit;  a vessel  license  and an  Alaska                                                               
business license would also be  required.  He said those licenses                                                               
are  paid  for  and  have  some   value  attached  to  them.    A                                                               
transporter  permit allows  a  person to  do  something a  little                                                               
different, he  explained, but that person  cannot operate outside                                                               
of  the business  license  without having  a  vessel license  and                                                               
those kinds  of things.   He said it's  not as  if this is  a new                                                               
classification of  things that allow  a person  to go off  and do                                                               
something without having the other [required] licenses.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA,   noting  that  those   were  excellent                                                               
points,  said the  only problem  is  that the  CSED statute  that                                                               
allows them to  [place a lien on a  license] specifically exempts                                                               
the business  and vessel licenses.   She  said it is  a difficult                                                               
question whether  the [transporter's permit] should  be a license                                                               
that  CSED could  place a  lien against.   She  expressed concern                                                               
about  the  statute, but  noted  that  it says  "including  these                                                               
things."   So, she said,  it might be  read broadly, but  then it                                                               
continues with a  very specific list of licenses  it could attach                                                               
to.  She  indicated it was problematic to her  but noted that she                                                               
could see  the good  that the statute  would do.   Representative                                                               
Kerttula asked, if  a fish transporter were to  sink, whether the                                                               
fisherman  whose  fish  were  being  transported  could  sue  the                                                               
transporter for recovery.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2639                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said yes; the  fisherman that owns the fish                                                               
controls the fish until the  [transporter] person acts as a sales                                                               
agent for  the fisherman at  the processor, so that  would depend                                                               
on  the  private  contract  that   the  fisherman  has  with  the                                                               
transporter.   He  said it  is one  of the  reasons for  having a                                                               
permit,  so that  everybody will  understand  that the  fisherman                                                               
retains  ownership  of  his  or   her  fish.    Additionally,  he                                                               
explained,  if  the  fisherman's  group wants  to  require  cargo                                                               
insurance or something  similar, it would be  something that they                                                               
do in their private business contract with the transporter.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2517                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE SCHACTLER, Board Member, United  Fishermen of Alaska (UFA);                                                               
President, United  Salmon Association, testified, and  noted that                                                               
he was  in support of  [HB 118].  He  explained that there  was a                                                               
short  discussion during  a recent  UFA board  meeting that  this                                                               
[bill] is needed  quite badly to make  [fish transporting] legal.                                                               
He  said   [fish  transporting]  is  something   that  [had  been                                                               
practiced]  since he'd  been in  the fishery  - for  the last  35                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SCHACTLER offered  the herring  and salmon  fisheries as  an                                                               
example,  and he  said it's  done out  of necessity  in virtually                                                               
every fishery  in the  state.  He  said [HB 118]  is viewed  as a                                                               
"housekeeping"  bill  that would  legalize  something  that is  a                                                               
common practice in  the fishery today, and that  getting the cost                                                               
down is vital  because of the [high] price of  fuel and the lower                                                               
[market]  value  of many  of  species  of  fish.   Mr.  Schactler                                                               
explained that the  fresh-fish salmon markets that  are not being                                                               
facilitated,  used, or  accessed  by  the traditional  processing                                                               
industry make it more viable  for each individual fisherman to do                                                               
[more  to lower  costs].   This is  something that  these private                                                               
contractors are  going to be needed  for "if we're going  to stay                                                               
out of  jail for doing what  we've been doing forever,"  he said.                                                               
He encouraged  the passage  of the bill.   Mr.  Schactler thanked                                                               
Representative Seaton for his work  on the bill, and he commented                                                               
that this "shows you the value of ... one of your new members."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2366                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  BERNS  testified,  noting  that he  and  his  family  fish                                                               
commercially.  He said this bill  would make it legal to do "what                                                               
I've been doing  for many years anyhow," and that  it makes sense                                                               
in a  low-volume fishery that  is a long ways  from town or  in a                                                               
slow period when not many fish  are being caught.  He said [often                                                               
a fisherman] would  throw 300 to 400 pounds of  fish onto another                                                               
vessel to be hauled  into town.  He said there  is a trust factor                                                               
involved and fishermen  sort it out at the dock.   Mr. Berns said                                                               
everybody's happy because  his/her fish got to town  and are paid                                                               
for, instead of  having to spend more money running  into town or                                                               
to a processor and lose money by not fishing.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BERNS  explained that  he's  been  registered as  a  herring                                                               
tender  in  Kodiak  but  he  also  [participates]  in  a  gillnet                                                               
fishery.   He said there's  a seine  fishery going on  during the                                                               
same time  and sometimes he  can make  an extra $1,000  running a                                                               
seine fishermen's fish to town along  with his own.  He said he's                                                               
going that way anyhow, and it  allows the seine fishermen to stay                                                               
on the grounds  and continue to fish.  He  described the practice                                                               
as a  commonsense thing; he  said there  has always been  a "gray                                                               
area" with regard to hauling fish.   It's not a scam, he said; it                                                               
would be  good for jig cod  because it's a low  volume [fishery].                                                               
A catch might range from 2,000  to 3,000 pounds a day and require                                                               
a fisherman  to make 10-hour  run to town  and back, he  said; it                                                               
gets to  point where it's  just a  wash economically.   Mr. Berns                                                               
said he  really appreciated  the bill and  suggested that  it's a                                                               
good idea.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2211                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RICK  ELLINGSON   testified,  and  he  described   himself  as  a                                                               
fisherman who had  been involved in nearly every  fishery for the                                                               
last 25  years including  [participating] as  a setnetter  on the                                                               
south end  of Kodiak island for  20 years.  Mr.  Ellingson talked                                                               
about the  condition of the salmon  fisheries, and he said  in an                                                               
effort to  maintain a  "bush lifestyle," he  had tried  to branch                                                               
into other fisheries.   Unfortunately, he said, with  the loss of                                                               
the cannery at  Alitak, with "Columbia Wards"  folding, he'd lost                                                               
his halibut  market and wanted  to break into the  Dungeness crab                                                               
fishery.   Mr. Ellingson said  doing the small-boat  fishery with                                                               
an open  skiff is unsafe, and  it is infeasible to  run 130 miles                                                               
to  Kodiak to  deliver.   He  said  the kind  of  volume he  does                                                               
fishing  with  his  children  wouldn't  work  running  a  regular                                                               
tender.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ELLINGSON said local [ADF&G]  and [Alaska State] Troopers, in                                                               
discussions, agreed with him that he  should be able to send [his                                                               
catch]  in on  another  fishing vessel;  however,  they said  the                                                               
legislation just  isn't there.   He said  he was excited  when he                                                               
saw HB  118 and  recognized the possibility  that maybe  it would                                                               
branch  into  the Dungeness  crab  fishery.    He said  the  only                                                               
problem he'd heard  about was regarding stock  separation, and he                                                               
explained  that the  use  of small  barrels  on the  [transporter                                                               
vessel] to  hold the  Dungeness crab in  the water  could provide                                                               
for stock separation.   He said Kodiak does not  have pot limits,                                                               
so it wouldn't  present a problem, and he urged  the committee to                                                               
add the Dungeness crab fishery to  the bill so that fishermen can                                                               
continue to make a living.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2110                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  asked if  the  United  States Coast  Guard                                                               
(USCG)  would hold  the fish  if  it was  holding a  [transporter                                                               
vessel] that had  been seized for illegal [activities].   He also                                                               
asked whether  the fisherman having  his or her  fish transported                                                               
was taking some risk.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. McCUNE  remarked, "I  don't know  if I  want to  get involved                                                               
with  all of  the illegal  activities."   He explained  that both                                                               
state enforcement and  the USCG could seize the  fish if [illegal                                                               
activities] were to  occur during the transportation  of fish and                                                               
would  have the  same  ability to  seize  the vessel.    It is  a                                                               
possibility, he added.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO asked  what action  would be  taken by  the                                                               
USCG to prevent seized fish from spoiling.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  McCUNE replied  that either  the USCG  or state  enforcement                                                               
would take  the fish to  a fish  processor, but the  [profit from                                                               
the fish] would also be seized until after court proceedings.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  said he  was  looking  at the  risks,  but                                                               
didn't  want change  anything in  the bill  in that  respect, and                                                               
that he wanted this information on the record.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2011                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE   UTERMOHLE,   Attorney,    Legislative   Legal   Counsel,                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and  Research Services,  Legislative  Affairs                                                               
Agency, testified.   Mr. Utermohle noted that he only  had a copy                                                               
of the bill, did not have a  copy of Amendment 1, and wasn't sure                                                               
what issue CSED had brought forward.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  MASEK summarized Amendment  1 and indicated  that she                                                               
was unsure whether it would fit in with the bill.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  UTERMOHLE explained  that he  is unfamiliar  with the  lists                                                               
that  CSED is  referencing.   He relayed  his understanding  that                                                               
some  provisions can  affect a  person's license  to practice  or                                                               
engage in certain professions because  of his or her inability or                                                               
failure to  pay child  support.  Mr.  Utermohle said  he's unsure                                                               
what particular commercial fishing  licenses and permits might be                                                               
included on [CSED's] list, and  he didn't know how the particular                                                               
transporter  permit  created by  this  bill  would fit  into  the                                                               
scheme that is currently in place.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1856                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  MASEK turned  attention  to  a letter  from  Cordova                                                               
District Fishermen  United (CDFU)  that expressed  concerns about                                                               
enforceability, how this legislation  might affect the ability to                                                               
monitor harvests, and  the potential for harvest  abuses that the                                                               
system may enable.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR   COCKRELL  said   it   was   indicated  during   extensive                                                               
discussions  with ADF&G  and the  bill's sponsor  that this  bill                                                               
wasn't  expected  to  cause any  enforcement  concerns  that  the                                                               
department doesn't  currently have and that  the department views                                                               
the current bill as enforceable.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  MASEK turned attention  to an analysis in  the fiscal                                                               
note from the attorney general's office, which read:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Whether passage of this legislation  will have a fiscal                                                                    
     impact on  the Criminal Division depends  on the number                                                                    
     of new  prosecutions that  result.   Without additional                                                                    
     experience, however,  we have no way  of estimating how                                                                    
     many  new  cases  there  will be,  and  must  state  an                                                                    
     indeterminate fiscal impact.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR   MASEK  asked   if  many   cases  arise   over  fish                                                               
transporting.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  COCKRELL said  on a  statewide basis,  the division  deals                                                               
with  a  small  number  of  cases  involving  fish  transporting.                                                               
Normally,  it deals  with  a permit  violation  where the  permit                                                               
holder wasn't on  the grounds or a fisherman or  tender took fish                                                               
from an unlicensed fisherman who didn't  have a permit.  The most                                                               
common scenario, he  explained, is where the  permit holder loans                                                               
his or her permit to  another family member while working another                                                               
job.  In  Bristol Bay, he said,  after the peak of the  run a lot                                                               
of permit  holders like to  run back  to another state  and leave                                                               
their permits with their deckhands.   Major Cockrell said tenders                                                               
are  seldom  charged  and   usually  only  during  investigations                                                               
involving the purchase of fish  from an unlicensed fisherman.  In                                                               
that case, he  said, [the tender] should've done a  better job of                                                               
checking for  the permit or  getting the signature of  the permit                                                               
holder.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR MASEK asked for the sponsor's opinion on Amendment 1.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1654                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON turned  attention to  the bill  packet and                                                               
talked about  "component number 490"  from DPS; he said  the fish                                                               
and wildlife  protection cases were  looked at and a  zero fiscal                                                               
note was provided.   Representative Seaton said he  didn't have a                                                               
real  problem with  Amendment  1.   However,  he  said, the  bill                                                               
addresses   16  statutes   and  the   [amendment]  addresses   25                                                               
[statutes] and  he didn't know how  much of a change  to the bill                                                               
would be needed.  He said  the permit is not like an occupational                                                               
permit, which  gives one  the ability to  have an  occupation; it                                                               
simply requires somebody within an  occupation to do fish tickets                                                               
and  [fulfill]   certain  aspects  before   transporting  another                                                               
person's fish to  the processor.  He suggested  [moving] the bill                                                               
out  of   committee,  and  once  [Mr.   Utermohle's]  opinion  is                                                               
received, forwarding  [Amendment 1] "to  the other side"  if it's                                                               
determined to be necessary.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  said he  agreed with  Representative Seaton.                                                               
He  suggested  that  the  transporter  is  not  making  money  on                                                               
transporting the fish.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON, in  response, said it would  depend on the                                                               
arrangement;  a fisherman  could  hire a  tender  but the  permit                                                               
itself  would  not allow  tendering.    There  would still  be  a                                                               
requirement  for  a vessel  license,  business  license, and  any                                                               
other  required  professional  and  occupational  licenses.    He                                                               
suggested the bill  would allow another function  to be performed                                                               
within  the  industry, but  [would  not  create] an  occupational                                                               
license in itself.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1427                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF suggested  that a tender acts  in a different                                                               
capacity than a transporter.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  one scenario  is that  a transporter                                                               
could be one  of the participating fishermen.   However, he said,                                                               
if the  catch is too  much for  the small vessels,  the fisherman                                                               
might hire  a separate vessel, such  as a tender, to  run his/her                                                               
fish  into town.    Representative Seaton  remarked,  "I want  to                                                               
segregate the  word 'tender,' because that  denotes somebody that                                                               
is under contract ... as an  agent of a processor, and this would                                                               
be an  agent of the  fishermen, taking his  fish into town."   He                                                               
said one could  hire another fishing boat to  transport fish that                                                               
isn't engaged  in that fishery.   Representative Seaton suggested                                                               
it is  more a waiver  than a permit,  because it waives  to allow                                                               
[the  transportation]  of someone's  fish  as  long as  the  fish                                                               
ticket is made out and all of the records are done.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOLF  reiterated   his  concern   about  putting                                                               
individual  fishermen at  risk of  losing their  catch because  a                                                               
tender or transporter  or another fisherman could  be in jeopardy                                                               
with a lien.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON,  in response,  suggested the  chance would                                                               
be remote  because the statute  is very clear that  the fisherman                                                               
retains ownership of the fish,  and the transporter never becomes                                                               
the owner  of the  fish.  He  compared it to  hiring a  truck for                                                               
transportation services.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR MASEK verified that  Mr. Utermohle had received a copy                                                               
of CSED's suggested Amendment 1.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  UTERMOHLE  explained  that  CSED  is  asking  for  a  fairly                                                               
technical amendment  to the bill to  include transporter licenses                                                               
in  the   same  category   as  commercial   fishing  crewmember's                                                               
licenses.   He said those licenses  can be denied to  a person if                                                               
the  person is  in arrears,  in  a substantial  matter, in  child                                                               
support.  In  this case, he said, this particular  permit is very                                                               
similar to the commercial fishing vessel license in that regard.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked Mr. Utermohle if  he was concerned                                                               
that the transporter permit isn't  the right kind of occupational                                                               
license to  be included in  the list.   She said she  didn't know                                                               
enough about  federal law regarding  this issue to  know, really,                                                               
what the  definitions are of  the types of  occupational licenses                                                               
that should be on the list.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1040                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. UTERMOHLE,  in response, said  (indisc.) developed a  list of                                                               
licenses  that  are subject  to  those  provisions of  the  Child                                                               
Support Enforcement  Act.  He  said the crew member's  license is                                                               
one  of  the licenses  on  the  list  and the  list  specifically                                                               
excludes  entry  permits or  interim  permits,  so they  are  not                                                               
subject to  this provision,  but the  transporter permit  that is                                                               
created in the  bill is more in the nature  of the license that's                                                               
issued to crew members.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said the  commissioner quite  often issues                                                               
permits for participation.  He  said octopus fishing requires not                                                               
only a  CFEC card, but  also a  local permit that  authorizes the                                                               
activity and requires the participant  to report his or her catch                                                               
every 30 days.   He said there's no charge  for that permit; it's                                                               
simply an additional permit, and  a CFEC permit, which includes a                                                               
crew license, is  still in place and still required.   He said he                                                               
is  trying to  figure  out if  this is  free  permit that  allows                                                               
participation  in a  particular fishery.   Does  this really  fit                                                               
into the category of this occupational license, he asked.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0877                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  UTERMOHLE,  in   response,  said  to  a   large  degree  the                                                               
determination  of whether  a particular  license  or permit  gets                                                               
added to this  list is a matter of policy  for the legislature to                                                               
decide.   The  transporter  permit,  he said,  in  a sense,  does                                                               
create a new  occupational activity, though it  doesn't seem like                                                               
it could, in  any way, be used to generate  revenue.  However, it                                                               
does allow a  person to transport fish on behalf  of a commercial                                                               
fisherman.  He said the bill  does not require the transporter to                                                               
be a  commercial fisherman to  have an  entry permit, or  to even                                                               
have a crew member license; it  creates a category between a crew                                                               
member  and a  permit  holder,  and allows  a  person to  possess                                                               
somebody else's fish and transport that fish to a buyer.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0810                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  remarked,  "I   don't  think  it's  ...                                                               
analogous  to an  entry  permit because  that's  clearly a  whole                                                               
different  section  of  the statute  ...  dealing  with  discrete                                                               
fisheries  rather  than what  we're  talking  about in  terms  of                                                               
transporting, right?"  She suggested  that the entry permit would                                                               
not be affected.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  UTERMOHLE, in  response, said  yes; this  does not  impede a                                                               
person's  ability  to  exercise  his/her rights  under  an  entry                                                               
permit or interim use permit.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0763                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON indicated  he didn't  have a  problem with                                                               
listing [the item in Amendment 1]  if it's appropriate.  He asked                                                               
whether the language  could be added in an  additional section in                                                               
the bill.  He  said if that could be done, he  would be fine with                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  UTERMOHLE  said   an  amendment  to  the   bill  adding  the                                                               
transporter permit to the list of licenses subject to AS                                                                        
25.27.244 would  be a technical,  conforming change to  the bill;                                                               
there  would be  no problem  with  adding that  provision to  the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0677                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR MASEK asked where it would fit best in the bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. UTERMOHLE said a new section would be added to amend AS                                                                     
25.27.244(s)(2)(A) by adding a new  provision [(xvii)] on page 5,                                                               
following line 17, adding a new bill section.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0602                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  moved to adopt [Amendment  1, text provided                                                               
previously].  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG suggested that  [the bill] is something                                                               
that works well.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0507                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  moved to  report [CSHB 118  (FSH)], as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  indicated  he   would  like  to  offer  an                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0476                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG withdrew his motion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  began  discussion  of  Amendment  2.    He                                                               
indicated that he  is in favor of  a free market, and  he said he                                                               
liked  the  bill so  much  he  just  wanted  to make  one  [small                                                               
amendment].  He turned attention to  page 2, line 30, and he said                                                               
he  would  like  to  amend  the section  by  deleting  "may"  and                                                               
inserting "shall", and by  deleting "the commissioner considers";                                                               
thus  it would  read  "the commissioner  shall adopt  regulations                                                               
necessary to implement this section".                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0366                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he didn't  personally have  a problem                                                               
with  [Amendment  2], but  he  suggested  that someone  from  the                                                               
department should  speak to  it because he  is not  familiar with                                                               
how  the wording  would  affect the  regulations  or whether  the                                                               
department feels it would be better to retain that language.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0299                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM  suggested that  [the question] was  an issue  for [Mr.                                                               
Utermohle] in  terms of  discretionary language  versus mandatory                                                               
language.   He suggested that  the language wasn't  necessary for                                                               
the  to  bill  work,  and  he referred  to  it  as  "boilerplate"                                                               
language; he  said it can  be found  throughout a number  of laws                                                               
and  regulations.   He remarked,  "It  addresses one  point.   If                                                               
there  are no  regulations that  are necessary  to implement  it,                                                               
then why would it be mandatory?"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  suggested that the current  legislature has                                                               
a friendly  relationship with the  administration, but  it hasn't                                                               
always been that  way, and there have been instances  in the past                                                               
when   commissioners  have   not  adopted   regulations  at   the                                                               
insistence or  [caution] of  the legislature.   He  remarked, "If                                                               
the regulations  aren't adopted,  would it be  legal to  obtain a                                                               
transporter's permit;  ... there would  be no permit in  place to                                                               
obtain."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MECUM  deferred the  question  to  [Mr. Utermohle],  and  he                                                               
suggested  that the  bill would  make a  fish transporter  permit                                                               
attainable; however,  he noted  that he could  be wrong  and that                                                               
regulations might have to be adopted to issue the permit.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO suggested that  the language would encourage                                                               
free enterprise,  and he  said he wanted  to see  the regulations                                                               
actually happen,  and not have  someone who says, "I'm  not sure;                                                               
it's only  requesting that ...  they adopt  regulations necessary                                                               
to implement this section."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0047                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MECUM indicated  that he  understood Representative  Gatto's                                                               
intention, and he said there is  currently a task force of six or                                                               
seven staff  working on developing these  regulations, which have                                                               
to be in place by June 15.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO remarked, "Then there's really no problem."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MECUM,  in response,  said that he  would guess  that there's                                                               
not [a problem] and that it's  a question of whether the language                                                               
is  appropriate.    He  again   deferred  the  question  to  [Mr.                                                               
Utermohle].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-13, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  UTERMOHLE said  there are  two perspectives  that one  could                                                               
take with the  amendment:  one perspective is  that the amendment                                                               
would  require the  commissioner  to develop  the regulations  to                                                               
implement this  legislation.  When  the language is  "shall adopt                                                               
regulations  to  implement  this section",  the  issue  regarding                                                               
whether the statute is sufficient  enough to support the issuance                                                               
of the permit  in the absence of regulations is  raised.  He said                                                               
the legislation  is currently drafted such  that the commissioner                                                               
should find  that the statute  itself isn't sufficient  enough to                                                               
protect  the interests  of the  department and  the resources  to                                                               
allow the  commissioner to adopt regulations  as he/she considers                                                               
necessary.    The use  of  the  word  "shall" suggests  that  the                                                               
legislation itself  is inoperable without  additional regulations                                                               
adopted by the department, he explained.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  suggested  that the  legislation  couldn't                                                               
stand   alone  if   a  commissioner   decided   not  to   develop                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. UTERMOHLE said under this  legislation, it's possible for the                                                               
commissioner   to   issue   these  permits   without   additional                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0205                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  called attention  to page  3 of  the bill,                                                               
and he suggested the regulations  are essentially restricting the                                                               
use  of the  transporter permit,  and  the legislation  as it  is                                                               
written  authorizes   the  transporter  permit.     He  said  the                                                               
regulations are  being issued  to restrict  the usage  in certain                                                               
fisheries  with  problems,  and   the  regulations  are  used  to                                                               
restrict the  permits when determined necessary.   Representative                                                               
Seaton  said  he  preferred the  original  language  because  [he                                                               
didn't  want  the   department]  to  have  to  issue   a  lot  of                                                               
restrictions on  the permits.   He requested that Amendment  2 be                                                               
withdrawn.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTO   suggested   that   the   language   "the                                                               
commissioner shall adopt regulations  necessary to implement this                                                               
section"  hardly seems  like a  hostile statement.   He  said the                                                               
language instructs the commissioner to do something.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  agreed,  but  he  pointed  out  that  the                                                               
language  found [on  page 3,  line 3]  of the  bill continues  by                                                               
saying, "permits  may not  be issued  because of".   He  said the                                                               
criteria  for   the  regulations   are  restrictive   instead  of                                                               
permissive,  and  the   legislation  authorizes  transporters  to                                                               
obtain a permit, unless the  commissioner issues regulations that                                                               
restrict the ability of a  transporter permit within a particular                                                               
fishery for the specified reasons.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  called attention  to pages 1  and 3  of the                                                               
bill;  he  suggested that  this  legislation  includes a  lot  of                                                               
"mays" in the language.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  MASEK suggested  that  the  current language  should                                                               
remain in the  bill, and she noted the  importance of flexibility                                                               
with regard to the issue highlighted by Representative Seaton.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0637                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked if  the word "shall" would compel                                                               
the administration to  adopt regulations if it  doesn't desire to                                                               
do so.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. UTERMOHLE  confirmed that the  word "shall" is  mandatory and                                                               
therefore commands the commissioner to adopt regulations.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  said the  "shall" found  on page  2 doesn't                                                               
interfere with the "may" on page 3.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0780                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives  Gatto and  Lynn                                                               
voted in  favor of  Amendment 2.   Representatives  Wolf, Heinze,                                                               
Guttenberg,  Kerttula, and  Masek voted  against it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 2-5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0817                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  moved  to   report  CSHB  118(FSH),  as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There being no  objection, CSHB                                                               
118(RES)  was   reported  from   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB 113-DISCHARGE PREVENTION & CONTINGENCY PLANS                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR MASEK  announced  that the  final  order of  business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL  NO.  113, "An  Act  extending the  renewal                                                               
period for  oil discharge prevention  and contingency  plans; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR MASEK turned to public testimony.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0923                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL  FULTZ, Southeast  Alaska Petroleum  Resource Organization                                                               
(SEAPRO), testified, noting that  SEAPRO is an oil-spill response                                                               
cooperative.  Ms. Fultz said she was in support of HB 113.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1065                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  moved to adopt  CSHB 113(O&G).   There being                                                               
no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1094                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  DIETRICK,  Director,  Division  of  Spill  Prevention  and                                                               
Response,  Department of  Environmental Conservation  (DEC), read                                                               
the following from written testimony:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     [The]  CS  for  HB  113  will  streamline  the  state's                                                                    
     permitting process by lengthening  the time for renewal                                                                    
     of oil discharge prevention  and contingency plans from                                                                    
     the current  three years  to five  years.   A five-year                                                                    
     renewal period  will streamline the review  process for                                                                    
     [the] industry while  maintaining Alaska's strong spill                                                                    
     prevention  and  response  standards.    Oil  discharge                                                                    
     prevention  and contingency  plans are  public-noticed,                                                                    
     reviewed,   and   approved   by   the   Department   of                                                                    
     Environmental Conservation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Oil   discharge   prevention  contingency   plans   are                                                                    
     required  for operators  of oil  terminals, refineries,                                                                    
     crude-oil transmission  pipelines, oil  exploration and                                                                    
     production  facilities, oil  tank vessels,  oil barges,                                                                    
     nontank vessels  of over 400  gross tons,  and railroad                                                                    
     tank  cars.    There  are multiple  benefits  from  the                                                                    
     change proposed  by the  bill.   The bill  furthers the                                                                    
     goal   of  permit   streamlining   with   no  loss   of                                                                    
     environmental  protection, and  complements initiatives                                                                    
     currently being  undertaken by the department  to shift                                                                    
     the emphasis  away from  the administrative  review and                                                                    
     approval  process, to  field  verification of  response                                                                    
     capability.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The bill  will significantly reduce  the administrative                                                                    
     burden on  the regulated  community and will  shift the                                                                    
     emphasis from paperwork to  performance.  The reduction                                                                    
     in paperwork  will increase stability of  operators and                                                                    
     the  department  to  focus   on  spill  prevention  and                                                                    
     facility operation.   The  change will  allow operators                                                                    
     more  time  to  make practical  enhancements  to  their                                                                    
     spill prevention and response capabilities.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The change  will also improve  environmental protection                                                                    
     and preparedness  through increased field  presence and                                                                    
     the ability  to work directly with  operators to ensure                                                                    
     response readiness  through onsite facility  and vessel                                                                    
     inspections, spill  drills, and exercises.   The change                                                                    
     will make  the state renewal cycle  consistent with the                                                                    
     five-year   renewal  cycle   for   federal  oil   spill                                                                    
     contingency plans required under  the Oil Pollution Act                                                                    
     of 1990, as well as those of other West Coast states.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1245                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked Mr. Dietrick if  he had previously                                                               
testified before the committee on [HB 113].                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. DIETRICK,  in response, relayed  his understanding  that this                                                               
is the first time this bill had been heard by the committee.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  said the committee had  information that                                                               
the  RCAC  [Regional  Citizens' Advisory  Council],  a  citizens'                                                               
group  established after  the Exxon  Valdez oil  spill, is  quite                                                               
concerned with the legislation.  She  said one of the things that                                                               
was mentioned  was that the  federal contingency plan has  a one-                                                               
year  amendment  process.   She  asked  Mr.  Dietrick if  he  was                                                               
familiar with that,  and whether that could possibly  be a better                                                               
solution than going  to a three-year cycle.  She  asked how it is                                                               
currently handled.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. DIETRICK, in response, said  the [state] does not participate                                                               
in the annual update that's referred  to by RCAC; the reviews are                                                               
conducted on a  federal level.  He said he  didn't have firsthand                                                               
knowledge of how rigorous [the  review is], and he suggested that                                                               
the state  process, as  it exists currently,  is better  than the                                                               
federal  annual renewal  process.   Mr. Dietrick  said the  state                                                               
basically  has the  "equivalent  of the  Evergreen process,"  and                                                               
that any  changes made to  a plan must  be made on  a continuous,                                                               
real-time basis under current state  law.  He suggested that one-                                                               
year  or three-year  renewal cycles  are not  important; he  said                                                               
existing state  law requires  updates on a  real-time basis.   He                                                               
told   the   committee   that  updates   and   notifications   of                                                               
nonreadiness  are   provided  on  a  continuous   basis,  and  he                                                               
suggested  that the  state structure  is superior  to the  annual                                                               
renewal cycles under the federal system.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK said  the  state is  currently  under a  three-year                                                               
renewal cycle but  the federal renewal cycle is  every five years                                                               
and  this legislation  will  change the  state  renewal cycle  to                                                               
every  five years  so  that  it is  consistent  with the  federal                                                               
renewal cycle.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1451                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE referred  to comments  from the  RCAC that                                                               
expressed concerns about [best available  technology (BAT)].  She                                                               
asked Mr. Dietrick when the last BAT conference was.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. DIETRICK said the regulations for  BAT were put into place in                                                               
1997, and called  for a conference every five  years, which meant                                                               
the first  conference was due  in 2002.   He said  the department                                                               
had requested  funds for a  BAT conference and was  awarded those                                                               
funds last  year for  the purpose of  initiating what  would have                                                               
been the  first conference under  the regulations.   Mr. Dietrick                                                               
said a workgroup  had been put together and is  now planning that                                                               
conference with  the appropriation  made by the  legislature last                                                               
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1522                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked Mr.  Dietrick if he thought switching                                                               
to the five-year cycle would affect BAT [reviews].                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. DIETRICK said  the BAT analyses that have  been performed are                                                               
theoretical reviews;  it is as important  to test these as  it is                                                               
to review  and approve them.   He explained that BAT  analyses do                                                               
not  change  much over  the  review  cycles because  they're  not                                                               
tested  and the  technology  development is  rather  slow.   This                                                               
change will allow [the department]  to test the BAT analyses that                                                               
have  been  provided   in  the  individual  plans   and  to  seek                                                               
corrective actions if they are flawed  or have problems.  He said                                                               
he thought  this will  be an  improvement that  will put  the BAT                                                               
reviews on the same five-year cycle now that the conference is                                                                  
scheduled for.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1593                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR MASEK indicated HB 113 would be held for further                                                                     
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at [3:01                                                                     
p.m.].                                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects