02/23/2005 01:00 PM RESOURCES
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE February 23, 2005 1:50 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jay Ramras, Co-Chair Representative Ralph Samuels, Co-Chair Representative Jim Elkins Representative Carl Gatto Representative Gabrielle LeDoux Representative Kurt Olson Representative Paul Seaton Representative Harry Crawford Representative Mary Kapsner MEMBERS ABSENT All members present COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2 Urging Governor Murkowski to take quick action to conduct, approve, or sanction a study of in-state natural gas needs and take-off points for intrastate use of natural gas transported in a North Slope natural gas pipeline. - MOVED HCR 2 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 19 "An Act relating to pesticides and broadcast chemicals; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 26 "An Act relating to short-term commercial fishing crewmember licenses; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION BILL: HCR 2 SHORT TITLE: IN-STATE NATURAL GAS NEEDS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) SAMUELS 02/18/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 02/18/05 (H) RES 02/23/05 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 19 SHORT TITLE: PESTICIDE & BROADCAST CHEMICALS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MEYER 01/10/05 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/04
01/10/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS
01/10/05 (H) RES, FIN 02/23/05 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER HENRY WEBB, Staff to Representative Ralph Samuels Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HCR 2 on behalf of Representative Samuels, sponsor. LISA PARKER, Spokeswoman Agrium Inc. Kenai, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HCR 2. MIKE PAWLOWSKI, Staff to Representative Kevin Meyer Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 19 on behalf of Representative Meyer, sponsor. REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN MEYER Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 19 as sponsor. KRISTIN RYAN, Director Division of Environmental Health Department of Environmental Conservation Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. JANE HAMILTON, Executive Director Alaska Farm Bureau Delta Junction, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 19. SHAWNA LARSON, Environmental Justice Coordinator Indigenous Environmental Network Palmer and Chickaloon Village, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. ADAM GROVE, Naturopathic Doctor Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. BIRGIT LENGER, Doctor and Board Member Alaska Community Action on Toxics Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. RUTH MCHENRY Copper Center, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. KEN PERRY, President PARATEX Pied Piper Pest Control Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 19. ARNDT VON HIPPEL, Retired Heart Surgeon Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. PAM MILLER, Executive Director Alaska Community Action on Toxins Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. EMILY NENON, Director Alaska Government Relations American Cancer Society Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. LAURA MONFORE Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. SHANNON KUHN Alaska Youth for Environmental Action Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 19. ACTION NARRATIVE CO-CHAIR RALPH SAMUELS called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:50:34 PM. Representatives Elkins, Kapsner, Ramras, Samuels, Seaton, and Olson were present at the call to order. Representatives LeDoux, Gatto, and Crawford joined the meeting while it was in progress. HCR 2-IN-STATE NATURAL GAS NEEDS CO-CHAIR SAMUELS announced that the first order of business would be HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2 Urging Governor Murkowski to take quick action to conduct, approve, or sanction a study of in-state natural gas needs and take-off points for intrastate use of natural gas transported in a North Slope natural gas pipeline. HENRY WEBB, Staff to Representative Ralph Samuels, Alaska State Legislature, said the resolution is the result of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling of February 9, 2005, that requires a study of in-state needs for gas to be conducted by an agency of the state "before an open season can occur." LISA PARKER, Spokeswoman, Agrium Inc., Kenai, said it is "important for the state to consider value-added industries in the state if we want to continue to sustain our economy and grow." CO-CHAIR RAMRAS moved to report HCR 2 out of committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, HCR 2 was reported from the House Resources Standing Committee. CO-CHAIR SAMUELS said that he plans to make HCR 2 a House Resources Standing Committee bill while on the floor. HB 19-PESTICIDE & BROADCAST CHEMICALS CO-CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 19 "An Act relating to pesticides and broadcast chemicals; and providing for an effective date." MIKE PAWLOWSKI, Staff to Representative Kevin Meyer, Alaska State Legislature, requested that the committee wait a few minutes for Representative Meyer to arrive. The committee took an at-ease from 1:55 PM to 1:57 PM. 1:56:54 PM REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN MEYER, Alaska State Legislature, Sponsor of HB 19, said there are four key provisions of the bill, and the first simply gives the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the authority to charge a fee to manufacturers who register broadcast chemicals for sale or distribution in Alaska. He noted that every state in the nation charges chemical companies for the registration of their products. There is a cost to DEC, and the users should be paying for this, he said. He added that the bill does not set the amount, but it does limit it. DEC can adjust the fee according to the amount of use that a particular product gets in Alaska. Representative Meyer said that Section 6 contains two other important provisions of HB 19. It requires applicators of pesticides in a public place to be licensed. Some of these "pesticides are pretty nasty stuff," he said, and he wants to make sure people have adequate knowledge and training. He added that training will be free but the license will cost $25. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS) HB 19, Version 24-LS0149\Y Bullock 2/11/05 as a work draft. There being no objection, it was so ordered. REPRESENTATIVE MEYER continued that DEC now uses general funds to register chemicals, and this bill creates a user fee to offset those costs. The third provision, he said, is to provide for reasonable public notice of pesticide use in public areas. It is good to know an area has been sprayed, he said, especially for children and people with asthma or allergies. "You should have a right to know what's been sprayed in the environment that you're going into," he opined. He stated the underlying purpose of HB 19 is to create a pesticide program that the public can have confidence in. He added that DEC supports the legislation so that they can do a better job. Some businesses won't like it because they will have to pay a fee, he projected, but he has looked at what other states have done and believes HB 19 is fair and not excessive. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked Representative Meyer to describe changes from the original bill. MR. PAWLOWSKI explained that the CS includes both the receipts of the regulation of pesticides and the receipts from the applicators to be dedicated to the DEC program, with a conforming accounting amendment. Secondly, said Mr. Pawlowski, Section 2 of the original bill directed DEC to charge $115 annually to register pesticides, but in Section 3 of the CS, it is now a permissive scale which allows DEC to charge less for something new on the market or not used as much. Section 3 also added the licensing fee for applicators, which is also permissive and cannot exceed $25. 2:05:55 PM MR. PAWLOWSKI said that Section 5 of the CS gives DEC the ability to temporarily waive the license requirements for emergencies or for transition phases. He told the committee that Section 4 of the original bill required a complex public notice in statute, but the CS is flexible for DEC, so it gives DEC the authority to promulgate regulations that include on-site notice. It also requires the certification of applicators, he said, and the final portion of Section 6 defines a public place. CO-CHAIR SAMUELS asked about "Weed and Feed" in the yard of a small business next to a walkway--"what are the parameters?" MR. PAWLOWSKI said he would like to defer to DEC, but he said that is why the sponsor went to a more permissive requirement. 2:09:28 PM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said some chemicals are clearly beneficial, and he suggested fertilizer and Clorox. He asked if HB 19 would include such things, and then he asked if smokers are broadcasting chemicals. MR. PAWLOWSKI said he doesn't believe that tobacco is a broadcast chemical. He said he believes that Clorox and fertilizers would be covered because they could create problems for asthmatics. He added that it is limited to public places. 2:11:31 PM REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if the atrium of ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. would be a public place under this definition. REPRESENTATIVE MEYER answered that it would. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked how that would be defined as a public place. MR. PAWLOWSKI said it is defined under a place of public accommodation, which includes any place where the public may frequent that is not ordinarily restricted to employees. 2:13:37 PM KRISTIN RYAN, Director, Division of Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, said that tobacco is not included and that sanitizers are exempt. She added that public accommodation can include business areas, but there is an exemption for hotels and restaurants. DEC would charge $105 for every chemical registered, she said. DEC would initiate a fee waiver system for products that are new or in limited use. She said DEC does not want to restrict new products that might be safer. She added that pesticides are "not DDT or agent orange anymore, they are extremely advanced and meant to target specific species and dissipate in our environment very quickly, so we want to encourage applicators to use new chemicals." MS. RYAN said that commercial applicators currently have to be certified, and the process is free. People spraying in the hallways of multifamily dwellings would now have to be certified, she said. Public notification would vary by the type of facility, she said. "If you are going to rent a new apartment, we could probably have a registration process where when you sign the lease you let your landlord know I want to be notified before you spray in my apartment," she said, and in a park there would be a sign on a lamp post. 2:18:00 PM MS. RYAN said there would be no impact to farmers, restaurants, or hotels. REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked Ms. Ryan to define broadcast chemicals. MS. RYAN said she could not, but the department uses federal guidelines to determine what chemicals need to be registered. REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD said that the legislation has been called "the right to know" bill, and he asked what happens if someone objects to the spraying after being notified, like in a multifamily dwelling. MS. RYAN answered that it would give people the opportunity to stop their apartment from being sprayed. REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD asked about common areas. MS. RYAN said that she thinks that would have to be negotiated between landlord and tenants, and DEC won't get in the middle. 2:20:34 PM REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked why Ms. Ryan said DEC would charge $105. MS. RYAN answered that the bill's sponsor gave DEC some leeway, and DEC believes that $105 would cover the current costs. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked about wood preservatives and if sellers would be required to verify a license before selling such things to someone. MS. RYAN said that HB 19 does not change DEC's current categories of chemicals, it will just allow DEC to charge a fee. She added that the number of certified applicators will double because of the public area requirement. DEC does not anticipate any changes in how it certifies, she said. She added that with pesticides, the label is the law. CO-CHAIR RAMRAS asked if someone can buy chemicals without certification. MS. RYAN said yes. CO-CHAIR SAMUELS asked if when registering a chemical, is it the compound's name or content. MS. RYAN replied that it is the product. She gave the example that Roundup will have to pay the fee, as will any other product with the same chemicals in them. But if one company has a product with different scents, for instance, it would be considered the same product with only one registration required. CO-CHAIR SAMUELS asked about the penalties to an applicator. MS. RYAN said DEC can revoke someone's certification, and there is no civil fine. CO-CHAIR SAMUELS asked for clarification for small businesses. He said his business doesn't hire a gardener but there are flowers that might get sprayed for aphids. He asked if the staff person who takes care of the flowers has to get a license. MS. RYAN said that DEC would set a de minimis; DEC wants to focus on large applications or applications that can significantly expose people, like parking lots and interior space. Through the regulation process, DEC will define a de minimis, she said. CO-CHAIR SAMUELS asked about people who work out of their own homes and use Weed and Feed along their walkway. MS. RYAN said the definition says "frequently accessed by the public." REPRESENTATIVE OLSON asked why there is an exemption for hotels and restaurants if interior space represents the greatest risk of exposure. MS. RYAN answered that restaurants are already covered under the food code. She said that in hotels, there is not long-term exposure because people are not living in hotels. REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked about the inclusion of apartments. MS. RYAN said that public accommodation covers everything that the public can enter. REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX said that when you lease an apartment, it is yours and not a public accommodation any more. MS. RYAN said that DEC will have sufficient statutory flexibility, and she agrees that it is tenuous if DEC goes into private apartments. Ms. Ryan said she would propose that renters will be able to request notification before spraying. REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked about someone who rents out his or her own townhouse. Would that be a public place? she asked. MS. RYAN answered in the affirmative. 2:32:44 PM JANE HAMILTON, Executive Director, Alaska Farm Bureau, Delta Junction, said the registration fee required in HB 19 is a concern because the Farm Bureau has heard from many chemical companies that say they cannot afford to register their chemical in Alaska, which would make the product unavailable. She also believed that chemicals left over from previous years couldn't be used. "Our concern is over the fee. To go from zero to $105 is a pretty dramatic increase," she said. She noted that other states have fees ranging from $15 to $750, and so she believes the $105 is "rather high." 2:35:36 PM MS. RYAN explained that the fee is based on what it now costs DEC, and she added that it would not be illegal to use products left over from a previous year. She said that DEC will set a smaller fee for chemicals used in smaller amounts. 2:36:36 PM SHAWNA LARSON, Environmental Justice Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network, Palmer and Chickaloon Village, said that she works with communities and tribes in Alaska that are impacted by toxics. She said pesticides are linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, neurological impairment, asthma, and endocrine disruption, and she said that citizens have the right to know where, when, and what toxic pesticides are being sprayed so that they can avoid exposure. She said that it seems that agricultural activities will not be affected, and that worries people in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. She added that children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of pesticides. She said she has small children, and berry picking is part of her traditional culture. She noted that she would avoid areas if she knew they were recently sprayed. "Despite the known risk, we have no accurate information on which pesticides are used - where, when, and what amounts," she said. Regarding apartment buildings, she said she would want to know if she were renting a place with pesticides because "my baby crawls around on the floor, eats things off of the floor...knowing these pesticides are linked to serious health problems." She said that HB 19 has support from the medical community, subsistence food users, parents, workers, and environmental advocates. 2:39:37 PM CO-CHAIR RAMRAS said Ms. Larson's sentiments echo a lot of the email he has received. ADAM GROVE, Naturopathic Doctor, Anchorage, said he was involved when the City of Anchorage went through a similar process. As a father and doctor, he said, he strongly supports protecting children from the effects of pesticides. Notification empowers parents, teachers, and storeowners to protect children, he said. He noted that he thought the question regarding smoking was interesting because smoking areas are labeled and we can avoid them. Giving people information empowers them, he added. Pesticides are designed to be toxic, but because humans are larger than the species targeted, the toxic effect is less or delayed, but these effects do accumulate. He also noted that studies of pesticides are done in labs, without natural variables such as rain and heat. Also, the chemicals are not studied in combination with each other. In children, toxic effects are primarily neuro-toxic or endocrine disrupting, so we see children with convulsions, genital malformations, "and the list goes on and on," he said. He noted that kids are closer to the ground and the dose per pound of body weight is greater. Also, their organs are developing and their cells are more liable to disruption, he said. A nation-wide study showed the cost of pediatric disease of environmental origin is $9 to $18 billion per year, and Dr. Grove said that the industry should contribute to some of the costs. He urged the committee to require the fee and to not exempt restaurants and hotels, because indoor exposure is the most significant. He also requested that the notification requirement be legislated. 2:43:38 PM BIRGIT LENGER, Doctor and Board Member, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Anchorage, said she supports improved notification so citizens can make informed choices. She addressed Ms. Ryan's comment about pesticides no longer being DDT or agent orange, and Dr. Lenger said that the product Weed and Feed contains 2- 4D, which is a component of agent orange. Many common pesticides have quite toxic components, she added. As a physician, she is concerned about the health effects of pesticides, including impacts on the endocrine system, nervous system, immune system, reproductive system, and on infant development. Pesticides can contribute to breast cancer and miscarriages, she noted. She added that recent studies show that even small quantities can be quite damaging over time. She said she has had patients who have had problems with exposure to pesticides and ended up in the hospital. She concluded that in medicine, the easiest and most important undertaking is prevention of illness; once someone is ill, it is a much more difficult task to treat them. 2:46:28 PM RUTH MCHENRY, Copper Center, said that she wants to choose whether to go to places where pesticides are used in the same way she wants to choose what she eats. There are different opinions about the health risks of pesticides, she said, "Since no one cares as much about my health as I do, I want to be able to make my own decisions. I can do that only if the state requires pesticide application notices." She requested adding the term "public lands" because that is where many rural Alaskans get their food. She also questioned the exemption for restaurants and hotels. Chemicals can be present in the carpet of a restaurant, not just foods, she said, and people live in hotels long term. Because chemicals persist longer in Alaska's climate, she wants the notices to be up for more than 48 hours. "We everyday Alaskans, unlike chemical manufacturers, are your constituents. Our health and safety are important," she said. 2:48:51 PM CO-CHAIR RAMRAS told Ken Perry, pesticide industry representative, to speak as long as he wants. KEN PERRY, President, PARATEX Pied Piper Pest Control, Anchorage, said he raised five children in Alaska and has personal concerns for his children's health "that transcends pecuniary interest." He said that forcing manufacturers of chemicals to pay fees has inherent dangers. Alaska needs "more alternatives in the area of chemicals, rather than less," he said. He said newer, less toxic products won't find the way to Alaska's market. "If I requested a manufacturer to register a new product for me to try out in our special temperatures, and the bottle or can costs $25 to $100, why should they pay virtually any amount or beg for a variance to register it one time here?" he asked. He said the industry will keep using old products, and there is "high and [venomous] environmental activism in this state." He said residents of Alaska may want "specialty products," including disinfectants, fungicides, paints, specialty plant and animal products, and a host of other chemicals, and manufacturers will refuse to register them. Mr. Perry said HB 19 is extremely short sighted regarding public notification. He said that Alaska has been at the forefront of personal liberties and property rights. He added that it is an unscientific demand and a violation of the rights of people who choose to use chemicals on their property. He said it is like making people who wear mosquito repellant to "hang an 8 1/2 by 11 sign on their back saying 'stay away from me, I use Deep Woods Off." MR. PERRY said "the public is far more likely to contact a cold or flu virus from the doorknob he touches than a now-dried pesticide applied to a baseboard, crack, or crevice or the discreetly placed rodenticide base station." He added that "we fully support any individual's right to know," but it is "incumbent on them" to find out themselves. He said people can put signs up saying they don't use pesticides if too many people are asking. He added that increased regulation cannot be offset by the dollars brought in by the bill. He said there are two big unknowns. The first is the actual amount of registration fees that may be collected. "I swear honestly to you today that I am not confident in the estimates coming from the proponents," he said. The second unknown, he stated, is "the fact that the larger portion of the pesticide program in Alaska is paid for by federal sharing funds. We are glued to events currently affecting the federal budget, and there is no way of saying with any certainty that these funds will continue to be available at the current levels. Any new regulations imposed now will have to be assumed by higher state contributions if federal funds do diminish." 2:54:14 PM CO-CHAIR RAMRAS said Mr. Perry's testimony was very articulate, and the committee is reviewing his email. 2:54:45 PM ARNDT VON HIPPEL, Retired Heart Surgeon, Anchorage, said he retired a couple of years after being sprayed vigorously by pesticides resulting in severe angina, which may or may not be related to the deterioration in his heart that forced him to retire. He noted that he had been the only heart surgeon in Alaska, and "spraying in this fashion is hardly a safe thing to do if you only have one heart surgeon." He said that the pesticide sprayed in Alaska is not safe, and it does far more harm than good. He said that people use very toxic chemicals to eliminate aphids when soapy water will do, and to eliminate yellow jackets when non-toxic bear spray works just as well. He said that people who apply pesticides almost always violate the label, and their licenses should be revoked. Pesticide people were pushing for its use for spruce beetles and leaf miners, he said, and it didn't do any good. He noted that there is a mid- town cancer cluster in Anchorage that "looks like it may be a major cancer epidemic, but because home owners are worried about their real estate values, they asked us not to look into it." He said in addition to the toxic residues, dirty cans and hoses often end up in streams and sewers. He believes that the state- of-the-art is so primitive it reminds him of medicine in the late 1800s. He concluded by saying that pesticides being used in Alaska are very toxic, and people are using them for ornamental or frivolous reasons. 2:58:59 PM PAM MILLER, Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxins, Anchorage, reported that the National Research Council has said that pesticides are the only toxic substances that are purposefully applied to the environment. She added that pesticides are supposed to be regulated so that they do not cause unreasonable harm, but that does not mean registered pesticides are safe. Registered pesticides are known to cause cancer, genetic damage, birth defects, miscarriages, liver and kidney damage, neurological damage and endocrine effects, but less than 10 percent of commonly-used chemicals have been adequately tested, she said. She noted that the herbicide called Roundup has associations with congenital malformations or birth defects. She told the committee that this study was done last year, but Roundup is still on the market and Monsanto touts it as the safest pesticide for common use. Ms. Miller said the literature does not support Ms. Ryan's statement that pesticides are advanced and dissipate quickly. Alaska is the only state that does not require a fee for pesticide registration, she added, and HB 19 is fiscally positive. 3:01:54 PM EMILY NENON, Alaska Government Relations Director, American Cancer Society, Anchorage, said HB 19 is an important step in protecting the health of Alaskans. The American Cancer Society has supported similar legislation around the country, and this kind of basic registration is long overdue in Alaska, she said. She added that public notice is a critical first step in raising awareness of pesticide use. The next step is a tracking mechanism, and she supports future legislation to address that. 3:03:45 PM LAURA MONFORE, Anchorage, said that in 1992 she was a nurse, a soldier, a wife and a mother, and she was almost killed by exposure to multiple pesticides which were claimed to be safe. Along with permanent brain damage and cognitive disturbances, she also developed sensitivity to almost all man-made chemicals. She said it is important to understand that each of us carries a toxic load of all the toxins that we have ever inhaled, absorbed, or ingested. She said many stay with us for years, accumulating and reacting. Between 15-25 percent of the population is chemically sensitive, she said, and many people are not aware of it, so they can't protect themselves. She said it is tragic that our public places and offices are places of poisoning. She said the main two pesticides that almost killed her are Malathion, an organo-phosphate, and chlorine, also known as Clorox, which turns into a gas. Chlorine gas killed many in World War II, and there are safer and more effective cleansers, she said. She added that the newer pesticides are not at all less toxic nor are they less damaging to our health, she said. CO-CHAIR RAMRAS asked Ms. Monfore to fax some written testimony. 3:07:41 PM SHANNON KUHN, Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, Anchorage, stated that HB 19 is a crucial bill because every summer thousands of youths flock to public parks unwittingly exposing themselves to pesticides--from the chemicals sprayed on the flowers to the weed killers on the grass. She added that children are more susceptible and they often put things in their mouths, like contaminated grass. Toxic effects include impaired stamina, coordination, and memory. She said that adults are also negatively affected. Most of the pesticides that EPA considers the safest are known carcinogens. Based on the need to protect public health, she said, we have the right to know what has been sprayed. 3:10:20 PM CO-CHAIR RAMRAS closed public testimony. [HB 19 was held over] ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:11 PM.