Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 124

03/21/2005 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 197 OIL SPILL EXEMPTIONS FOR GAS WELLS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HJR 15 OPEN OCEAN AQUACULTURE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 15(RES) Out of Committee
*+ HJR 5 NO MILK TAX TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 21, 2005                                                                                         
                           1:52 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 BILL NO. 197                                                                                                              
"An Act exempting certain natural  gas exploration and production                                                               
facilities from  oil discharge  prevention and  contingency plans                                                               
and proof  of financial responsibility,  and amending  the powers                                                               
and  duties of  the Alaska  Oil and  Gas Conservation  Commission                                                               
with  respect to  those  plans; and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15                                                                                                   
Relating to open ocean aquaculture in the federal exclusive                                                                     
economic zone.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHJR 15 (RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5                                                                                                    
Opposing imposition of a milk tax on Alaskans.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 197                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OIL SPILL EXEMPTIONS FOR GAS WELLS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(S): OIL & GAS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
03/03/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/03/05       (H)       O&G, RES                                                                                               
03/15/05       (H)       O&G AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/15/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/15/05       (H)       MINUTE(O&G)                                                                                            
03/16/05       (H)       O&G RPT 5DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/16/05       (H)       DP:    SAMUELS,   GARDNER,    DAHLSTROM,                                                               
                         ROKEBERG, KOHRING;                                                                                     
03/16/05       (H)       NR: KERTTULA                                                                                           
03/21/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 15                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OPEN OCEAN AQUACULTURE                                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): FISHERIES                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
03/01/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/01/05       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
03/09/05       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/09/05       (H)       Moved CSHJR 15(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/09/05       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/10/05       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) 4DP                                                                                    
03/10/05       (H)       DP: HARRIS, WILSON, LEDOUX, THOMAS                                                                     
03/21/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 197 as sponsor.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LARRY DIETRICK, Director                                                                                                        
Division of Spill Prevention and Response                                                                                       
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 197.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
IAN FISK, Staff                                                                                                                 
to Representative Bill Thomas                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HJR 15 on behalf of Representative                                                                
Thomas, sponsor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PAULA TERREL                                                                                                                    
Alaska Marine Conservation Council                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HJR 15.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JERRY MCCUNE                                                                                                                    
United Fishermen of Alaska                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HCR 15.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  RALPH  SAMUELS  called  the  House  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order at  1:52:27  PM.    Representatives                                                             
Olson, Ramras,  Samuels, Seaton,  LeDoux, Elkins, and  Gatto were                                                               
present  at  the call  to  order.   Representatives  Kapsner  and                                                               
Crawford arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 197-OIL SPILL EXEMPTIONS FOR GAS WELLS                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SAMUELS  announced that  the  first  order of  business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 197 "An  Act exempting  certain natural                                                               
gas  exploration and  production  facilities  from oil  discharge                                                               
prevention  and   contingency  plans   and  proof   of  financial                                                               
responsibility, and amending the powers  and duties of the Alaska                                                               
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission  with respect to those plans;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VIC KOHRING,  Alaska State  Legislature, said  HB
197 is  designed to  correct an  unintended consequence  of House                                                               
Bill 531  in 2004.   While  trying to  place restrictions  on the                                                               
coal   bed  methane   industry,  the   legislature  inadvertently                                                               
required gas  drilling companies to create  oil spill contingency                                                               
plans, he said.  This bill  will provide an exemption where there                                                               
is  negligible  risk  for  oil  spills.    There  are  no  fiscal                                                               
consequences, and there is support  from the industry, the Alaska                                                               
Oil and  Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC),  and the Department                                                               
of Environmental Conservation (DEC), he concluded.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:55:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  questioned language in Section  2 where it                                                               
said  the exemption  does not  apply  to gas  drilling where  oil                                                               
could be encountered.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING  said the  exemption doesn't apply  to gas                                                               
drilling where oil could be encountered.   There are areas in gas                                                               
formations that  are capable  of flowing  oil, so  only if  it is                                                               
determined by  the AOGCC that  there is  no potential for  oil to                                                               
seep out, then there would be an exemption.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said it can't be known before drilling.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked about line  13 on page 3 where "crude                                                               
oil does not include natural  gas or refined petroleum products."                                                               
He wanted  to make  clear that  pipelines with  refined petroleum                                                               
products will be required to have oil spill contingency plans.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  DIETRICK,  Director,  Division  of  Spill  Prevention  and                                                               
Response,  Department of  Environmental Conservation,  said AOGCC                                                               
is  responsible  for  determining  the likelihood  of  oil  being                                                               
present.  He said he is not  aware of AOGCC ever making the wrong                                                               
determination.  If there is  oil present, the requirement will be                                                               
imposed.  If a contingency plan was  not in place and there was a                                                               
spill, the permittee will still  need to respond appropriately as                                                               
directed by other statutes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:00:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DIETRICK thinks  the reference to crude oil tries  to make it                                                               
clear that the bill applies to the gas-only situation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  that was  his concern.   "Crude  oil                                                               
does not include natural gas--I  don't have a problem with that--                                                               
but then  we have 'or  refined petroleum products,' and  if we're                                                               
exempting pipelines  that are carrying refined  oil products from                                                               
having  an oil  spill contingency  plan, I  would have  a problem                                                               
with that, but I am not sure if that's the effect of the bill."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK  said,  "There  are  no  other  categories  of  the                                                               
regulated facilities that  would be exempted by  this, other than                                                               
the  gas exploration  activities, so  the scenario  of a  refined                                                               
petroleum  product  pipeline, say,  or  oil  storage tank  that's                                                               
currently regulated would still continue to be regulated."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  if  the  language  should  include                                                               
refined petroleum  products "if we're just  trying to distinguish                                                               
between crude oil and natural gas."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:02:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK said  he thinks  there  is a  technical reason  for                                                               
clarifying the definition, and he'll ask the Department of Law.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  noted  that  on   page  3,  line  13,  the                                                               
definition  of crude  oil does  not include  natural gas,  and he                                                               
asked if natural gas is always part of crude oil.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. DIETRICK said  natural gas is separately  defined in statute,                                                               
and the intent is to distinguish  them.  Natural gas has a stand-                                                               
alone  definition.   It  is a  component of  crude,  but for  the                                                               
purposes  of  applying  the exemption,  the  two  are  considered                                                               
separately.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  noted that  on page 3,  line 25,  there is                                                               
the  language that  oil does  not include  natural gas,  and then                                                               
there is a different definition on page 4, line 7.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:05:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked if it was  just non-conventional gas                                                               
that is being considered.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK answered  that the  bill concerns  non-conventional                                                               
gas because that is what was inadvertently changed last year.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked if  HB 197  conforms to  the current                                                               
procedures for conventional gas.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK  said that  is  correct,  and the  definitions  are                                                               
technical changes to make it consistent.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked about the deletion on page 2, line 8.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK replied,  "The  change made  by  [house bill  531],                                                               
narrowed that definition of 'non-conventional'  to the gas wells,                                                               
and that  was the problem  area, so  that's why they  deleted it,                                                               
and it's replaced with the language,  which is all new in Section                                                               
1.  So they deleted  the reference to non-conventional, which was                                                               
changed  by 531  to have  a  different--it narrowed  it from  its                                                               
originally broad thing,  which would have continued  to allow gas                                                               
wells to  be exempt.   So  when it narrowed  it down,  it implied                                                               
then  that  contingency plans  would  be  required for  the  non-                                                               
conventional  or the  coal  bed wells,  and  that's what  they're                                                               
trying to fix."   Section 1 substitutes for  the deleted language                                                               
in Section  2, he added.   If AOGCC makes the  determination that                                                               
oil is not present, then no contingency plan would be required.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:08:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING  said it is  not his intention  to include                                                               
refined petroleum products, and  he would support clarifying that                                                               
language.   He also  noted a technical  correction that  he would                                                               
like fixed on page  4, line 1, where he would  like to insert the                                                               
word "to" after the word "oil".                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS  asked who  is responsible  if there  is an                                                               
oil spill when no contingency plan was required.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK said  the  operator is,  and that  is  part of  the                                                               
application process.   If  an oil  contingency response  plan was                                                               
not  required, the  operators are  still required  to immediately                                                               
respond to a spill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:10:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DIETRICK said  that  the idea  of requiring  a  plan is  for                                                               
specific situations where the risk is  high enough to have a high                                                               
level of preparedness in place.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:11:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SAMUELS  set  the  bill  aside  until  teleconferencing                                                               
problems could be fixed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HJR 15-OPEN OCEAN AQUACULTURE                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SAMUELS announced that the  next order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  JOINT  RESOLUTION  NO.  15,  Relating  to  open  ocean                                                               
aquaculture in the federal exclusive economic zone.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
IAN  FISK,  Staff to  Representative  Bill  Thomas, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, said  there is draft federal  legislation that would                                                               
allow open ocean aquaculture.   The fishing industry has numerous                                                               
concerns, he  said, including disease  transmission, antibiotics,                                                               
damage  to  the  environment  by  anoxic  conditions  created  by                                                               
overfeeding,  health of  farmed fish  to consumers,  escapes into                                                               
the  natural  environment  of  non-native  species,  and  use  of                                                               
genetically modified organisms.   He added that  there are socio-                                                               
economic  concerns about  impacts to  existing fisheries  and the                                                               
communities and  businesses that depend  on them.  Mr.  Fisk said                                                               
the federal exclusive economic zone  as all federal waters from 3                                                               
miles  to the  200-mile limit.   He  said Alaska's  fisheries are                                                               
soundly  managed  now  for sustainability  and  maximum  resource                                                               
value.   Alaskans  are the  primary participants  in the  state's                                                               
fisheries, and  much of the  economic benefits stay in  the state                                                               
and  spread  through  communities, local  businesses,  and  state                                                               
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK  said the legislature  banned fin fish farming  in state                                                               
waters in 1990, and HJR 15  refers to federal waters.  Since 1990                                                               
the international  fish farming industry  has caused harm  to the                                                               
state's fisheries,  but "we are  starting to see the  benefits of                                                               
sticking to our  guns," because Alaska has carved out  a niche in                                                               
the world market, which is  producing better fish prices based on                                                               
Alaska's natural and  healthy fish products.  "We've  made a name                                                               
for ourselves," he said.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:15:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK said  the committee substitute (CS) adds  a resolve that                                                               
the legislature opposes  open ocean aquaculture for  fin fish and                                                               
predator  shellfish  in  the  waters off  Alaska,  and  it  urges                                                               
Congress  to  prohibit  the  use  of  genetically  modified  fish                                                               
anywhere in  the United States  exclusive economic zone.   The CS                                                               
also  states  support  for   the  regional  fisheries  management                                                               
councils,  and requests  that the  councils be  granted authority                                                               
over any  proposals regarding open  ocean aquaculture  in federal                                                               
waters.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:16:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved  to adopt CS HJR  15(FSH) version 24-                                                               
LS0631\Y, Utermohle, 3/21/05, as a work draft.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  why,  on   page  3,  line  9,  the                                                               
resolution requests a  legislative environmental impact statement                                                               
(EIS), if it is already required by law.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK said the Administrator  of the National Marine Fisheries                                                               
Service has said that an EIS will not be required.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  pointed out the sentence  in the resolution                                                               
that prohibits  genetically modified fish, "what  would happen if                                                               
we wound  up with  devastating diseases to  the entire  stock and                                                               
the  virtual elimination  of  any  kind of  fishery,  but it  was                                                               
possible,  with  the  introduction  of  a  gene,  to  build  some                                                               
resistance into the fish.  This  prohibits us from saving our own                                                               
fishery," he said.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK said Alaska's fish  stocks are very biologically diverse                                                               
and,  in  the  case  of   salmon,  they  are  very  abundant  and                                                               
ubiquitous, so  there is  a very  small risk  for such  an event.                                                               
The bigger  risk, he  said, is if  we allow  genetically modified                                                               
organisms into  net pens  that are  prone to  failure.   He added                                                               
that the introduction of unnatural  fish is the biggest threat to                                                               
natural stock.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked what was prone to failure.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISH  clarified that net pens  fail.  "We've seen  the escape                                                               
of lots  of farmed fish  from farms in  British Columbia.   If we                                                               
allowed  genetically-modified  organisms,  in my  opinion,  we're                                                               
just playing with fire," he said.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO   said  his   concern  is  that   "the  way                                                               
biological  systems go,  you introduce  a  predator, and  they're                                                               
very  efficient at  what they  do, and  especially when  you have                                                               
this incredible food  supply.  If, indeed, we  had something that                                                               
was so  attractive to a predator,  that we were simply  losing so                                                               
many fish  that there wasn't any  sense to fish any  more, but we                                                               
could make the  fish bigger so they couldn't eat  it, or make the                                                               
fish resistant to a bacteria or  a virus ... so they wouldn't die                                                               
from it,  wouldn't that be detrimental  if we said we  can't save                                                               
the fish by saving  them?  That's the concern that  I see in that                                                               
one statement," he said.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK said Representative Gatto's  concern is "so nightmarish"                                                               
he doesn't  know how to  respond to it.   "If  we get to  a point                                                               
where our natural stocks are to  that level of depletion, I would                                                               
hate to think that we would  have to engineer the entire response                                                               
to it," he said.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said pike  are effective predators; "they're                                                               
good at  what they do  and they enjoy doing  it.  If,  indeed, we                                                               
had  a pike-like  situation where  we're losing  our stocks  like                                                               
crazy, and somebody says there isn't  any way to save these guys"                                                               
unless  we genetically  modify them,  then, "nightmarish  or not,                                                               
we're making legislation that could make a nightmare," he said.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR RAMRAS asked how much  a wild Alaska fish costs compared                                                               
to a farmed fish.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK said he guesses wild  Alaska salmon retails for 40 to 50                                                               
percent more  than farmed fish.   That  is just salmon,  he said,                                                               
and any other  number of species could be farmed.   Alaska's fish                                                               
get  a premium  price because  of  the name  association and  the                                                               
inherent  quality  that Alaska's  system  produces.   "Our  whole                                                               
management  system  is  considered  world class,"  he  said,  and                                                               
farmed Alaska fish will confuse the market place.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR RAMRAS  asked the  difference between  a hatchery  and a                                                               
fish farm,  and if a hatchery  were to keep fish  until they were                                                               
bigger, would they be considered farmed fish.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK  said hatcheries only  assist fish through a  very early                                                               
stage of their lives, and they  spend their entire adult lives as                                                               
any other fish would.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR RAMRAS asked if farmed fish are kept in pens.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK said farmed  fish have to be kept in  pens and fed until                                                               
they are marketable.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR RAMRAS  said the  Douglas Island  Pink and  Chum (DIPAC)                                                               
fish hatchery  in Juneau sees  a two  to three percent  return of                                                               
their fish, and he asked if farmed fish have a higher return.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FISK said,  "Definitely.  The fish don't have  to compete and                                                               
behave like  a real  fish, they  just sit  there ...  like salmon                                                               
cows, fattening  up, living  close to  each other,  festering and                                                               
getting diseased,  instead of being like  a real fish out  in the                                                               
ocean competing and becoming robust like our own wild fish."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:27:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAULA  TERREL, Alaska  Marine Conservation  Council (AMCC),  said                                                               
she fishes commercially, but she  is representing the AMCC, which                                                               
works  with  coastal  communities   -  trying  to  keep  Alaskans                                                               
fishing.    Most  board members  are  commercial  fishermen,  she                                                               
added.   The  AMCC  supports  CSHJR 15(FSH)  and  would like  one                                                               
change.  On  page 2, line 28,  she said, it would  be stronger to                                                               
remove  "in the  waters  off Alaska,"  because  farmed fish  from                                                               
other areas can have a negative impact on Alaska fisheries.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:29:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. TERREL said a company  has requested permission from the Food                                                               
and  Drug Administration  to supply  fish farms  with genetically                                                               
modified fish.  A genetically  modified fish would be an invasive                                                               
species, she said.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  said if global  warming is real  and raises                                                               
water temperatures, and  salmon want cold water,  "and they start                                                               
to get  away from us and  start moving further and  further north                                                               
... and we  start losing the volumes  of fish we have  now" and a                                                               
company says it  can make the salmon tolerant to  warmer water by                                                               
genetic modification,  "and you  could lose your  whole industry,                                                               
or you could do this, would you do it?" he asked.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TERREL   said  genetic  modification  modifies   the  fish's                                                               
hormones, "I don't  know that you are  modifying their resistance                                                               
to disease  or other  things," she  said.   The water  is getting                                                               
warmer, and salmon are still here,  she added.  Alaska has world-                                                               
class  fishery management  and she  doesn't think  Representative                                                               
Gatto's scenario would happen.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:32:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  said  salmon   are  sensitive  to  water                                                               
temperatures, but the way they  navigate to their spawning stream                                                               
is with the magnetic pole and through their sense of smell.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:33:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  MCCUNE, United  Fishermen  of Alaska,  said "[someone  is]                                                               
putting in for a permit for  genetic modified that's shot up with                                                               
hormones  so it  makes  a king  salmon huge  but  its head  stays                                                               
[really] teeny so the brain doesn't  catch up with the body."  He                                                               
said  the  reason  the  hatcheries   started  was  to  complement                                                               
Alaska's  wild  stocks.   It  has  nothing  to do  with  "genetic                                                               
modified,"  which has  been  banned  in some  states  and in  the                                                               
European  Union.   It  has  nothing  to  do with  replacing  wild                                                               
stocks, he said.  Hatcheries raise  their fish to a certain size,                                                               
and if  they held them  too long, the  timing would be  wrong, he                                                               
added.   Holding them for  too long introduces disease  and other                                                               
problems.   "They have  to go  out at a  certain time  so they'll                                                               
come back at a certain time," he said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:35:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  questioned  Ms.  Terrel's  statement  that                                                               
modifying genes only results in a hormonal change.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCCUNE  said, yes, "to  make a  fish grow [really]  fast," so                                                               
growing a king salmon takes one  year instead of the natural five                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTO   said   it  is   curious   that   genetic                                                               
modification only affects hormones.   "You can genetically modify                                                               
corn and everything  else, and make it grow bigger,  and it's not                                                               
hormones, it's something else," he said.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCCUNE  said, "You  change the genetics.   Fish  have certain                                                               
genetics, and  they go back  to certain streams because  ... they                                                               
have these two bones in there  that [have] a polar pull that goes                                                               
back to  certain water.  If  you have genetic modified  fish, all                                                               
you do is  grow a fish fast, you're not  going to replace genetic                                                               
modified  fish to  help our  wild  stocks, because  you would  be                                                               
changing the whole gene pool of  the wild stocks.  Each stock has                                                               
a unique gene pool," he said.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to adopt Amendment 1, as follows:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 9, after "by"                                                                                                 
     Delete "law"                                                                                                               
     Insert "the National Environmental Policy Act"                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said he wants  to make sure that open ocean                                                               
aquaculture  is in  conformance with  the National  Environmental                                                               
Policy Act of 1969.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 1 carried.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:39:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SAMUELS  asked Mr.  Fisk about  removing the  words "off                                                               
Alaska" from the resolution.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FISK said  he would  not mind  banning aquaculture  from all                                                               
federal waters.  "It is up to the committee," he said.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD said he thinks it's a "dandy amendment."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SAMUELS asked if Amendment 2 reads as follows:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 28, after "shellfish"                                                                                         
     Delete "in the waters off Alaska"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Amendment  2  was  considered  as   moved,  and  there  being  no                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 carried.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  RAMRAS  moved  to  report  CSHJR  15(FSH)  version  24-                                                               
LS0631\Y as amended with individual  recommendations.  Hearing no                                                               
objection, CSHJR 15(RES) was reported  out of the House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 197-OIL SPILL EXEMPTIONS FOR GAS WELLS                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SAMUELS announced that the  next order of business would                                                               
be  revisiting HOUSE  BILL  NO. 197,  "An  Act exempting  certain                                                               
natural  gas  exploration  and  production  facilities  from  oil                                                               
discharge  prevention   and  contingency   plans  and   proof  of                                                               
financial responsibility,  and amending the powers  and duties of                                                               
the Alaska  Oil and Gas  Conservation Commission with  respect to                                                               
those plans; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON offered Amendment 1 as follows:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 1, after "oil"                                                                                                
     Insert "to"                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:42:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 1 carried.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:43 p.m. to 2:44 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:44:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  he wants  the committee  to consider                                                               
offering an  amendment to delete "or  refined petroleum products"                                                               
from page  3, lines 13-14  and from page 4,  lines 7-8.   He will                                                               
wait until the sponsor can explain why it is in the bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:45:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[HB 197 was held over]                                                                                                          
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing  Committee meeting was adjourned  at 2:45 p.m.                                                               
2:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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