Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

04/05/2019 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:04:31 PM Start
01:05:13 PM Presentation(s): U.s. Army Corps of Engineers
02:03:18 PM HB27
02:34:56 PM HB3
03:07:55 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Process for the Evaluation of the TELECONFERENCED
Dept. of Army Application Submitted by the
Pebble Limited Partnership by David S. Hobbie,
Regional Regulatory Div. Chief, US Army Corps of
Engineers
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 27 REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= HB 3 STATE LAND SALE; PFD VOUCHER AND ASSIGN. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 5, 2019                                                                                          
                           1:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Lincoln, Co-Chair                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 27                                                                                                               
"An  Act relating  to the  manufacture,  sale, distribution,  and                                                               
labeling  of  child-related  products  containing  certain  flame                                                               
retardant   chemicals;  relating   to  an   interstate  chemicals                                                               
clearinghouse; adding  unlawful acts  to the Alaska  Unfair Trade                                                               
Practices  and  Consumer Protection  Act;  and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 3                                                                                         
"An  Act  relating  to  the  purchase and  sale  of  state  land;                                                               
relating to discounts  for veterans on state  land purchases; and                                                               
relating  to  the  assignment  of  permanent  fund  dividends  to                                                               
purchase state land."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  27                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TARR                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/11/19                                                                               
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       RES, L&C                                                                                               
04/03/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/03/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/03/19       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/05/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB   3                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE LAND SALE; PFD VOUCHER AND ASSIGN.                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAUSCHER                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/19                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       MLV, RES, FIN                                                                                          
03/13/19       (H)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                          
03/13/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/13/19       (H)       MLV, RES, FIN                                                                                          
03/14/19       (H)       MLV AT 2:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/14/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/14/19       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
03/26/19       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/26/19       (H)       Moved SSHB 3 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/26/19       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
03/27/19       (H)       MLV RPT 4DP 2NR                                                                                        
03/27/19       (H)       DP: THOMR. PARSONSSON, JACKSON, TARR,                                                                  
                         RAUSCHER                                                                                               
03/27/19       (H)       NR: TUCK, LEDOUX                                                                                       
04/03/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/03/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/03/19       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/05/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DAVID HOBBIE, Chief                                                                                                             
Regional Regulatory Division                                                                                                    
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Alaska District                                                                          
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-provided a PowerPoint presentation                                                                    
entitled, "POA-2017-271 Project Brief," dated 4/5/19.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SHEILA NEWMAN, Deputy Chief                                                                                                     
Regional Regulatory Division                                                                                                    
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Alaska District                                                                          
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-provided a PowerPoint presentation                                                                    
entitled, "POA-2017-271 Project Brief," dated 4/5/19.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JEFF TUCKER, Past President                                                                                                     
Alaska Fire Chiefs Association                                                                                                  
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 27.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA MILLER, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Community Action on Toxics                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 27.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VI WAGHIYI                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 27.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE DUPLESSES                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 27.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KELLY MCLAUGHLIN                                                                                                                
Gustavus, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Ms. Katherine Duplesses read the written                                                                 
testimony of Ms. McLaughlin in support of HB 27.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PAUL MIRANDA, Southcentral Vice President                                                                                       
Alaska Professional Fire Fighters Association                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 27.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER GIBBONS, Vice President                                                                                                
State Government Affairs                                                                                                        
External Affairs                                                                                                                
The Toy Association, Inc.                                                                                                       
Sacramento, California                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 27.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW HACKMAN, Principal Lobbyist                                                                                              
Serlin Haley LLP                                                                                                                
No city provided, Maine                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Representing the Juvenile Products                                                                       
Manufacturers Association, testified in opposition to HB 27.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARRELL BREESE, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    On  behalf  of  Representative  Rauscher,                                                             
sponsor, answered questions regarding SSHB 3.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MARTY PARSONS, Director                                                                                                         
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding SSHB 3.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANNE WESKE, Director                                                                                                            
Permanent Fund Dividend Division                                                                                                
Department of Revenue (DOR)                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a question regarding SSHB 3.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:04:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GERAN   TARR  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  1:04 p.m.  Representatives Hannan,                                                               
Talerico, Spohnholz, Hopkins,  and Tarr were present  at the call                                                               
to order.  Representatives Rasmussen,  Rauscher, and Tuck arrived                                                               
as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:05:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS                                                                                 
         PRESENTATION(S):  U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced the first  order of business would  be a                                                               
presentation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:06:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  HOBBIE, Chief,  Regional  Regulatory  Division, U.S.  Army                                                               
Corps of  Engineers (USACE) -  Alaska District,  co-provided with                                                               
Ms. Sheila Newman a  PowerPoint presentation entitled, "POA-2017-                                                               
271  Project  Brief,"  dated  4/5/19.   Addressing  slide  3,  he                                                               
reviewed the USACE's  two authorities in regard  to oversight and                                                               
permitting  activities or  denial of  the [proposed]  Pebble Mine                                                               
Project.  First, he explained, Section  10 of the 1899 Rivers and                                                               
Harbors Act gives the USACE  authority and jurisdiction over work                                                               
that is done in, under, above,  or through navigable waters.  Due                                                               
to  some  of  the  facilities  for  Pebble,  USACE's  Section  10                                                               
authority is invoked  for the project.  Second,  he said, Section                                                               
404  of  the Clean  Water  Act  [authorizes  the USACE  to  issue                                                               
permits for]  the discharge of  fill material into waters  of the                                                               
U.S.,  which includes  wetlands.    As the  lead  agency [on  the                                                               
Pebble Mine Project], he continued,  USACE must comply with other                                                               
federal laws:  the Endangered  Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife                                                               
Coordination Act,  the National Environmental Policy  Act (NEPA),                                                               
the  National Historic  Preservation  Act,  the Magnuson  Stevens                                                               
Fishery Conservation  and Management Act, and  the Marine Mammals                                                               
Protection Act.   All of these acts, he noted,  will be evaluated                                                               
under this action.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:09:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  referenced a USACE  presentation in 2013  that was                                                               
provided to  the Administrative  Regulation Review  Committee, in                                                               
which  an  authority  under  Section 103  of  the  [1972]  Marine                                                               
Protection,  Research, and  Sanctuaries  Act [also  known as  the                                                               
Ocean Dumping  Act] was  discussed.  She  asked whether  this act                                                               
has any bearing  on the environmental impact  statement (EIS) for                                                               
the Pebble Project.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOBBIE replied  that  the Pebble  Project  is not  proposing                                                               
anything that would invoke Section  103 of the aforementioned act                                                               
and therefore it isn't listed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE  returned to slide  3 and said  the USACE is  the lead                                                               
agency  for  this activity  in  large  part  because it  has  the                                                               
largest  scope  of  authority  for   any  of  the  other  federal                                                               
agencies.   Displaying slide  4, he  said other  federal decision                                                               
makers for  the Pebble  Project are the  U.S. Coast  Guard (USCG)                                                               
and   the  Department   of  Interior's   Bureau  of   Safety  and                                                               
Environmental  Enforcement  (BSEE).    He pointed  out  that  the                                                               
USCG's authority  is strictly  for the  bridge over  the Newhalen                                                               
River  and  that  the  BSEE  is involved  because  [a  permit  is                                                               
required] for the right-of-way  encompassing the proposed natural                                                               
gas pipeline that would lie  on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)                                                               
of Cook Inlet.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:10:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOBBIE moved  to slide  5,  a diorama  of USACE's  decision-                                                               
making process.  The USACE, he  noted, is currently in the Public                                                               
Review process,  highlighted in  green.   He said  USACE received                                                               
the [permit] application  in December 2017, the  Notice of Intent                                                               
was published  in 2018, and  scoping was done from  April through                                                               
June  2018 during  which nine  public  meetings were  held.   The                                                               
draft environmental  impact statement (DEIS) has  been published,                                                               
he continued, which  is what is currently out  for Public Review,                                                               
which  expires  on  May  30,  2019, and  for  which  nine  public                                                               
hearings  will be  held  in  the same  locations  as the  scoping                                                               
meetings.  So  far, he added, five Public  Review hearings having                                                               
been  conducted,   mainly  in  the  [southwest],   and  the  four                                                               
remaining hearings will be held  in Anchorage, Homer, Dillingham,                                                               
and Nondalton.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:12:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  noted that 20 legislators  signed a letter                                                               
requesting a time  extension for the Public Review  process.  She                                                               
asked  why the  USACE  is  sticking to  its  short 90-day  review                                                               
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE responded that the USACE  has yet to decide whether it                                                               
will or  will not grant  an extension.   The USACE  currently has                                                               
more  requests  to  stay  with  the  current  timeline,  but,  he                                                               
qualified, it  is not a  voting process although it  is something                                                               
that  is taken  into consideration.   He  pointed out  that under                                                               
regulation the  USACE is only  required to conduct  Public Review                                                               
for 45  days.  Part of  the rationale, he continued,  is that the                                                               
USACE has  a public facing  web site  that is updated  daily with                                                               
live information.   So, he  said, the public has  seen everything                                                               
that the USACE has seen up  to the publishing of the DEIS [except                                                               
for] the comments that the USACE  received after the DEIS.  While                                                               
the  current comment  period is  90 days,  Mr. Hobbie  added, the                                                               
majority of  the information has  been available for  much longer                                                               
than that.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  interpreted Mr. Hobbie's answer  as saying                                                               
it is irrelevant  how many people have asked  [for an extension].                                                               
She said  [those asking for  an extension include]:   Bristol Bay                                                               
Native    Corporation,   Bristol    Bay   Economic    Development                                                               
[Corporation], Bristol  Bay Native Association, United  Tribes of                                                               
Bristol   Bay,   Bristol   Bay  Regional   Seafood   [Development                                                               
Association],  Commercial  Fishermen  for  Bristol  Bay,  and  20                                                               
members of  the Alaska House  of Representatives.  She  asked why                                                               
the Donlin [Gold  Mine] permit review was extended  to six months                                                               
while  the Pebble  Project's review  is  being held  to 90  days,                                                               
which she agreed is double the minimal requirement.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE  answered he  hoped he didn't  come across  as meaning                                                               
that  the   people  requesting  an  extension   were  irrelevant.                                                               
Rather, he said, he was trying  to relate that there are requests                                                               
to not  extend and that  is taken  into consideration, but  it is                                                               
not the  driver in  totality.  Regarding  Donlin, he  stated that                                                               
the applicant requested USACE to extend the comment period.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HANNAN   inquired   whether  an   extension   is                                                               
automatically granted  if the corporation  that is  the developer                                                               
asks to  extend it, but not  automatic if citizens of  the region                                                               
ask for it.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOBBIE  replied  it  is not  automatically  granted,  it  is                                                               
something the USACE  takes into consideration.   He explained the                                                               
applicant was  requesting an  extension because  it needed  to do                                                               
additional fieldwork  and data gathering.   Because it  knew that                                                               
that  information  would  be  needed,  he  continued,  the  USACE                                                               
determined that granting an extension was appropriate.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN stated  she is seeking an answer  as to how                                                               
the people  who live in  the region  can get more  opportunity to                                                               
participate in  the review.   She remarked  that from  an office,                                                               
March  through May  might seem  like a  very long  time, but  for                                                               
people living  in Alaska it  is a  changing time of  seasons with                                                               
breakup,  fishing being  thought  of,  winter activities  closing                                                               
out, and spring hunting, and therefore  it is a very short window                                                               
of time.   The local people have asked for  an extension of time,                                                               
she said, and it seems like they are being disregarded.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:16:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHEILA  NEWMAN, Deputy  Director,  Regional Regulatory  Division,                                                               
U.S.  Army   Corps  of  Engineers  (USACE)   -  Alaska  District,                                                               
responded to Representative Hannan  by providing some background.                                                               
She related  that in spring 2017  the USACE asked all  31 Bristol                                                               
Bay tribal  communities what would work  for them as far  as when                                                               
they  would  and would  not  be  available  to comment,  and  the                                                               
communities told  the USACE they  would not be available  as late                                                               
as October and  as early as May.  In  developing the strategy for                                                               
community  involvement specifically  in  those  rural and  tribal                                                               
communities, she  said, the USACE has  in writing - from  all the                                                               
tribes that responded  - where and when they would  like to meet,                                                               
and even  what language they  would like the communication  to be                                                               
in.   So, she continued,  the USACE developed the  timeframes for                                                               
these based specifically on community input.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:17:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  when in  the timeline  depicted on                                                               
slide 5 did the cooperating  agencies start providing their input                                                               
and cooperation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE answered, "From the beginning."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS therefore  surmised that  input from  the                                                               
cooperating agencies began  with the Department of  the Army (DA)                                                               
Permit Application submitted in December 2017.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE replied it took the  USACE a few weeks to invite them,                                                               
but  that within  a month  all of  the cooperating  agencies were                                                               
onboard with all of the same information that the USACE had.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  inquired about  the  ways  in which  the                                                               
questions  and comments  of the  cooperating  agencies have  been                                                               
absorbed  into the  DEIS and  looked into.   He  further inquired                                                               
whether  there  are  any  examples of  when  their  concerns  and                                                               
questions were addressed in the DEIS.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN responded that the  cooperating agency comments on the                                                               
preliminary  DEIS, before  it was  released publically,  were all                                                               
assessed and there is a  comment analysis report specifically for                                                               
those cooperating  agencies comments publically available  on the                                                               
project web site.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  said he didn't  have the web site  at his                                                               
fingertips due to  being in the committee meeting.   He therefore                                                               
requested  an  example  of  some  of  those  comments  that  were                                                               
addressed in the DEIS and not dismissed as not appropriate.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN answered she couldn't  pull specific comments from her                                                               
head,  but said  she  would  provide the  exact  location of  the                                                               
complete report once the presentation was done.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:19:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS referred  to a June 29,  2018, letter from                                                               
the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA).   He said the letter raised                                                               
several  dozen concerns,  such  as the  effects  of noise,  dust,                                                               
vibration and traffic of the  shoreline plant, risks on local air                                                               
quality  from leaks  from the  natural gas  pipeline system,  and                                                               
runoff  through  culverts  and nonpoint  sources  from  disturbed                                                               
right of ways.   He asked whether any of  those concerns had been                                                               
addressed and whether Ms. Newman was familiar with the letter.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN replied that many  letters were received and since UFA                                                               
is  not  a cooperating  agency,  she  assumes  the letter  was  a                                                               
scoping  comment.    After  scoping,  she  said,  the  USACE  did                                                               
incorporate  specifically  for  some  of  those  things  and  the                                                               
comments it  received.  For  example, she continued,  stream flow                                                               
reduction,   impacts   to   groundwater,   effects   of   climate                                                               
variability, turbidity,  dust, water  temperature, sedimentation,                                                               
and  fish  displacement were  expressed  during  scoping and  the                                                               
scoping report  is available  on the web  site.   These technical                                                               
questions by UFA  and others were addressed in the  EIS with some                                                               
unique analytical elements.   So, she added, the  short answer is                                                               
yes.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS offered his  understanding, then, that the                                                               
concerns were brought in and addressed in the DEIS.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN responded correct.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  requested the committee be  provided with                                                               
those scoping comments as well as the cooperating agency link.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  answered that those  are all publically  available on                                                               
the Pebble Project EIS web site.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:21:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE  moved to slide  6 and  resumed the presentation.   He                                                               
reviewed  the State  of  Alaska approvals  and  permits and  what                                                               
actions the state  would need to take for Pebble  to move forward                                                               
if the USACE were to grant a  permit for the project.  He pointed                                                               
out that  the USACE permit  would be  only for placement  of fill                                                               
material for  the dam itself.   The state, he said,  would be the                                                               
one responsible for  how tall and thick the dam  would need to be                                                               
as well  as other  things such as  what earthquake  effects would                                                               
need to  be considered.   The  state has  a tremendous  amount of                                                               
authority, more than  does the USACE, he noted;  there are things                                                               
USACE doesn't have the authority to look at, but the state does.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:22:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  requested  clarification on  whether  the                                                               
USACE does an assessment of the dam construction.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NEWMAN  replied that  in  the  EIS  the USACE  assessed  the                                                               
placement of fill and what those  impacts would be.  She said the                                                               
USACE also addressed  the variables in the  alternative with each                                                               
of  the  three  primary  methods of  tailings  dam  construction:                                                               
centerline  construction, upstream  construction, and  downstream                                                               
construction.   She noted the  applicant is  proposing centerline                                                               
construction  and  in  one  of the  variables  the  applicant  is                                                               
proposing  centerline and  downstream  construction.   The  USACE                                                               
assesses the effect of a dam  being present, she pointed out.  It                                                               
should not be  confused with the stability of that  dam as far as                                                               
the state  dam safety program  would go to determine  whether the                                                               
structure is sound.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  offered her  understanding that  the USACE                                                               
does  not assess  the  impacts  of a  dam  failure or  downstream                                                               
effects  of   a  dam  failure;   the  USACE  assesses   only  the                                                               
construction of the dam.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN responded, "Two separate  issues."  She said the USACE                                                               
did  a Failure  Modes and  Effects Analysis  (FMEA), which  is an                                                               
analysis of  the effects  of a  failure with the  dam.   This was                                                               
something that was done for the  first time with the Donlin.  The                                                               
USACE,  she  explained, brought  in  dam  experts, including  the                                                               
State of  Alaska's dam experts,  and looked  at a scenario  of 55                                                               
percent tailings  release from  a breach in  the structure.   The                                                               
USACE  assessed the  effects  of that  in  the EIS.    It is  two                                                               
different issues, she reiterated.   One is about the stability of                                                               
the structure  itself, which the  USACE will not assess,  but the                                                               
state dam  safety program will.   The second is an  analysis that                                                               
falls under  the context of  NEPA, but  the USACE took  the extra                                                               
step of doing the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:24:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  requested an  explanation  of  what a  55                                                               
percent dam failure is.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN answered  that when looking at  scenarios for tailings                                                               
releases, any  percentage can  be picked from  0 to  100 percent.                                                               
Given  what  the   applicant  is  proposing  as   the  method  of                                                               
construction and what  is known about the terrain,  she said, the                                                               
dam experts determined that a  55 percent release of tailings was                                                               
a reasonable amount to assess for the purposes of the EIS.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked whether Ms.  Newman is aware  of the                                                               
Alaska  Department of  Natural Resources  (DNR) communication  in                                                               
August 2018  to its  dam assessment  coordinator asking  that the                                                               
USACE do an assessment of a complete dam failure.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  replied she is  not aware of  internal communications                                                               
from the state's Department of Natural Resources.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  posed a scenario  in which  the Department                                                               
of  Natural Resources  has requested  the USACE  to increase  the                                                               
percentage rate of failure assessment  to 100 percent.  She asked                                                               
whether USACE would do that or  whether it would be a judgment of                                                               
USACE's engineers that 55 percent was the likely failure rate.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  responded that that  failure rate was not  taken into                                                               
consideration.  She  said the reasonableness of the  effects of a                                                               
failure is what  is analyzed in the  EIS; it is not  a dam safety                                                               
program.  An  extrapolation could be done of  the further effects                                                               
of a greater  release than 55 percent, she stated.   The USACE is                                                               
not required to  do a Failure Modes and  Effects Analysis; rather                                                               
it was  done because of  the level  of interest in  this project.                                                               
The State of  Alaska, she pointed out, can choose  to do whatever                                                               
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis it likes.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:26:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  inquired whether 55  percent represents                                                               
the amount that would be held back by the dam or the dam itself.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN answered  that a 55 percent  tailings release scenario                                                               
doesn't necessarily mean total dam  failure.  It means that there                                                               
is a breach in the core  of the dam structure and tailings, which                                                               
are nothing  more than  mine waste,  will be  flushed downstream.                                                               
The USACE, she continued, looked  at what would be the downstream                                                               
effect  of  a  tailings  failure, a  scenario  the  agency  would                                                               
characterize as  being a low probability  high consequence event.                                                               
Scenarios  were  developed for  the  bulk  tailings storage  dam,                                                               
pyritic tailings storage, and the  water management prong.  It is                                                               
just the effects of the  release to the downstream resources, she                                                               
added, which  is what  the USACE  is required to  look at  in the                                                               
EIS.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ asked  what USACE's  findings were  for                                                               
the effects of dam failure.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  replied that the  USACE hasn't drawn  any conclusions                                                               
because the EIS  is still in the draft stage,  but the agency did                                                               
identify  there would  be dilution  of tailings,  which could  be                                                               
just mine  waste such as  rock and  soil flushed down  the stream                                                               
system.   There  was  identification, she  stated,  of a  certain                                                               
distance downstream that there would be  an effect.  She said she                                                               
couldn't provide specifics  without the EIS in front  of her, but                                                               
suggested  that  a  review  of  the  Failure  Modes  and  Effects                                                               
Analysis would show  the scenarios and what, at  this time, USACE                                                               
believes the  downstream effects  would be.   She added  that the                                                               
USACE  may learn  more when  it goes  through the  public comment                                                               
period  on  the  DEIS  and  then   at  that  point  it  can  draw                                                               
conclusions from the analysis.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:28:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  offered  her  understanding  that  the                                                               
USACE is  not required  to assess  the risk  of dam  failure, but                                                               
that USACE chose  to do that given the interest  in this project.                                                               
She asked why  the USACE chose to do a  Failure Modes and Effects                                                               
Analysis versus a risk assessment,  and offered her understanding                                                               
that  a Failure  Modes  and  Effects Analysis  is  a little  more                                                               
conceptual in nature.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN responded  that the USACE uses exactly  what the state                                                               
uses   DNR's  permitting risk assessment tool.  Given  it is used                                                               
by dam  experts in the  State of Alaska to  determine probability                                                               
of potential dam  failures and the severity  of consequences, she                                                               
said, the USACE believed it was a good method to use in the EIS.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:29:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  stated that the  EIS process is  a very                                                               
technical and  detailed process to  understand.  She said  she is                                                               
concerned  about  the  public's  ability  to  grasp  all  of  the                                                               
information and be  able to provide feedback in the  time that is                                                               
being described.   Given information  on the web site  is updated                                                               
daily, she  surmised it  would be very  difficult for  anyone who                                                               
wasn't  a paid  professional  to be  able  to provide  meaningful                                                               
feedback.   She  inquired  whether this  process  is designed  to                                                               
facilitate professionals  who are engaged  in this project  or is                                                               
intended to  have a  broader discussion  that involves  people in                                                               
the communities that are impacted.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  replied that she  has been answering  the committee's                                                               
questions in  a very technical manner.   The purpose of  the EIS,                                                               
she said,  is to  identify and  disclose to  the public  what the                                                               
potential impacts  of the project  are.  She explained  that when                                                               
she says   project  she  is meaning what  Pebble has  proposed in                                                               
its permit application.  The  information in the EIS is literally                                                               
what  is being  proposed  and what  the  USACE anticipates  those                                                               
effects  to be.   She  said she  is giving  to the  committee the                                                               
thought process behind  how the USACE developed  those models and                                                               
scenarios and  that is not  what the public is  reviewing, unless                                                               
they choose to.   There are definitely members of  the public who                                                               
will want to  dive into the baseline information, she  noted.  In                                                               
regard to the  web site being updated daily, she  explained it is                                                               
the information from  the public that is updated daily.   That is                                                               
something  that  the USACE  is  doing  for  the first  time,  she                                                               
pointed out,  and if  legislators wanted to  put comments  on the                                                               
web site  the public would  be able  to see what  legislators are                                                               
saying,  thereby   allowing  the  public  to   think  about  what                                                               
legislators  are saying  in relation  to  what they  want to  say                                                               
themselves.    She  said  that  is  different  than  the  project                                                               
information mentioned by  Mr. Hobbie, which is  the baseline data                                                               
that has now been out there for over a year.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:32:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN referred  to the decision-making process                                                               
[outlined on  slide 5]  and asked  how many  environmental impact                                                               
statements the  USACE has completed in  the past 12 months.   She                                                               
clarified to  Mr. Hobbie  that she is  referring to  the [Alaska]                                                               
District and  nationally, as  a means  for giving  perspective to                                                               
the USACE's level of professionalism.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE estimated  that in the district, as both  the lead and                                                               
a cooperating agency, the USACE  has completed approximately six.                                                               
He  offered   his  guess  that  nationally   the  USACE  probably                                                               
completes 20  environmental impact statements  a year.   He noted                                                               
that these numbers are just for the regulatory program.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN surmised the  USACE must have a standard                                                               
procedure developed for doing this work.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOBBIE  responded  that  the  process  is  spelled  out  via                                                               
regulation, so  the USACE cannot  alter from the  process itself.                                                               
He said  the regulations  have been around  for decades  and thus                                                               
the  process is  very  well laid  out.   However,  he noted,  the                                                               
technical aspect of  evaluating the information that  comes in is                                                               
a bit of  a different question and in answering  that question he                                                               
would say that  between the {Alaska] District,  the USACE's third                                                               
party  contractor,   and  the  cooperating  agencies,   there  is                                                               
probably  500  years  of  experience  combined.    Therefore,  he                                                               
continued,  he  is  comfortable   saying  yes  to  Representative                                                               
Rasmussen's question.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  asked whether, for the  Pebble Project,                                                               
the  USACE  has  followed  the   standard  process  it  typically                                                               
follows, or has  deviated from the process, or  there is anything                                                               
special  about  the project  that  wouldn't  allow the  USACE  to                                                               
follow the  normal course that  it has  followed 20 times  in the                                                               
last year.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE answered  that the process is identical  but there may                                                               
be some  variables.  For example,  he said, because of  the known                                                               
controversy around this  project there has been  much more public                                                               
engagement  and  involvement,  including the  public  facing  web                                                               
site, real  time updates  of the public  web page  with comments,                                                               
concerns,  and information.   So,  the  process is  the same,  he                                                               
added, but the extent to which things are done may change.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  offered  her  understanding  that  the                                                               
Pebble  Project has  had more  public engagement  than a  typical                                                               
project.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE replied, "Yes."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:36:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked what  the other six district projects                                                               
are that the USACE has done.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE  responded that  they are  Donlin [Gold  Mine], Alaska                                                               
Stand  Alone Pipeline  (ASAP), Greater  Mooses  Tooth 1,  Greater                                                               
Mooses Tooth 2, the Nanushuk Project, and the Liberty Project.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  surmised  the   district  Mr.  Hobbie  is                                                               
referring to is only Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE answered, "That is correct."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  inquired whether Mr. Hobbie  would say the                                                               
Alaska  District projects  are substantially  different than,  or                                                               
really similar to, the rest of the U.S.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOBBIE replied  that  there are  probably  more permits  for                                                               
large oil  and gas  extraction projects in  Alaska than  in other                                                               
areas.    In  regard  to   mining,  he  said  West  Virginia  has                                                               
mountaintop mining.   He related that he used to  work in Florida                                                               
where phosphate mining  was a big deal.  There  is surface mining                                                               
and  there is  gravel mining,  he continued,  and the  techniques                                                               
utilized  for surface  mining are  very similar.   He  noted that                                                               
Alaska  has an  abundance of  aquatic resources,  so projects  in                                                               
Alaska often impact  more aquatic resources than  in other areas.                                                               
While states like Arizona and  Wyoming are more arid than Alaska,                                                               
he added, they are very similar type projects.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN surmised  that compared  to mines  in West                                                               
Virginia,  Nevada, and  Arizona, mines  in the  Bristol Bay  area                                                               
would be different in their analysis and needs.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE responded, "No, very  similar; you might be looking at                                                               
different resource impacts."  For  example, he related, he worked                                                               
on a  big project in  Florida called  Lake Bell, where  the issue                                                               
wasn't fisheries but  drinking water for three  million people in                                                               
Miami.   The  resource was  different, he  said, but  the overall                                                               
process and extraction of the material were very similar.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  noted the  USACE  has  done projects  in                                                               
Alaska and  around the country.   He  surmised the USACE  has the                                                               
ability to decide to dive  deeper and look into additional points                                                               
of interest or points that might be more controversial.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE replied  he would need to have an  example in order to                                                               
provide an  answer.  The USACE  cannot just say it  wants a bunch                                                               
of extra  stuff because  it wants  it, he said,  there has  to be                                                               
rationale justification for it.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS clarified he  isn't looking for a specific                                                               
example, but is asking whether the  USACE has the authority to be                                                               
able  to say  that this  is something  more interesting  or needs                                                               
more information based on the EIS process.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE responded,  "Not if it falls outside the  scope of our                                                               
authority."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS said  he isn't looking at  the USACE going                                                               
outside of what  it is able to do.   He offered his understanding                                                               
that  for other  projects the  USACE  held off  waiting for  more                                                               
information from others, like the  state permitting process.  For                                                               
example, he  continued, the  Chuitna Project  was held  off until                                                               
state permits could give further information.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  answered that the  USACE is still constrained  by its                                                               
authority.   She explained Chuitna  was a surface coal  mine, and                                                               
coal mining is  the only type of mining that  has its own federal                                                               
law -  the Surface Control Mining  and Reclamation Act.   So, she                                                               
continued, the  only reason  that that  occurred was  because the                                                               
Army, nationally,  has a memorandum  of understanding  (MOU) with                                                               
the  Office  of  Surface  Mining saying  that  [the  USACE]  will                                                               
operate that way  for surface coal mining.  No  such thing exists                                                               
for gold, phosphate, or copper, she said.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:40:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS posed  an example of the  USACE wanting to                                                               
look more into  impacts on the salmon streams.   He asked whether                                                               
the USACE  would have the  authority to ask for  more information                                                               
from the project's developers.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOBBIE  replied   that  if  the  USACE   believes  it  lacks                                                               
information  to perform  a reasonable  analysis  or an  analysis,                                                               
then,  yes, it  could ask  for additional  information.   He said                                                               
that  in  many  areas  the  USACE looks  to  the  state  to  help                                                               
understand  whether the  USACE has  everything it  needs to  do a                                                               
complete analysis.   With  this regard,  he continued,  the USACE                                                               
would want  to look heavily  upon the  state since the  state has                                                               
the preponderance of expertise regarding fisheries in the state.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS offered his  understanding that the Pebble                                                               
Partnership has not yet put forth its state permit applications.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE  responded he  doesn't know  because he  doesn't track                                                               
state permitting.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  offered   his  understanding  that  [the                                                               
Pebble Partnership] is  going through the DEIS and  will be doing                                                               
the  state permitting  process afterwards.   He  inquired whether                                                               
the USACE believes it currently  has all the information it needs                                                               
and doesn't  have any  additional questions  for what  might come                                                               
out in the state permitting process.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE answered that the  state is cooperating with the USACE                                                               
on this  project, so if the  state tells the USACE  it is lacking                                                               
some analysis  the USACE would look  heavily into that.   But, he                                                               
added,  if  the  state  needs the  information  for  the  state's                                                               
permitting, that has no impact on the USACE's evaluation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:42:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  offered  her  understanding  that  the                                                               
USACE is  an independent audit  that is based on  the regulations                                                               
the Corps  has to follow,  and the  state has its  own permitting                                                               
process  that  it  has  to  follow.    She  offered  her  further                                                               
understanding that everything the USACE does is science based.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN replied the USACE  has factual determinations in rules                                                               
and must evaluate an application based upon those criteria.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN inquired whether  the criteria the USACE                                                               
must follow  have any  social aspect  from the  public testimony.                                                               
She  offered her  opinion that  she would  like a  project to  be                                                               
based on  the financial  feasibility, which  she knows  the USACE                                                               
doesn't  do, or  the science  behind  it, or  factors that  don't                                                               
include emotion.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NEWMAN  responded that  the  USACE's  decision on  a  permit                                                               
application falls into  two broad categories.   One category, she                                                               
said,  is the  factual  determinations that  are  made under  the                                                               
404(b)(1)  analysis   [of  the  Clean   Water  Act]  and   if  an                                                               
applicant's  proposed  discharge  complies with  those  404(b)(1)                                                               
guidelines  then that  portion of  the requirement  is met.   The                                                               
other  category, she  continued, is  the public  interest review,                                                               
and 21  public interest  factors go  into that,  including things                                                               
like socioeconomics.   The cultural  resources, the land  use and                                                               
management  and  subsistence  type determinations,  are  in  that                                                               
portion  of the  USACE's Record  of Decision.   But,  she pointed                                                               
out,  when the  USACE talks  about  whether something  is in  the                                                               
public  interest,  it  is talking  about  the  national  interest                                                               
because the  federal government  is not  just looking  at whether                                                               
this proposal is  good for one state, it is  whether the proposal                                                               
is within the public interest of the nation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:45:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN resumed the USACE's  PowerPoint presentation.  Turning                                                               
to the process requirements outlined  on slide 7, she stated that                                                               
under the USACE's  regulations this is a standard  permit and for                                                               
any  applicant a  general standard  permit usually  occurs within                                                               
less that  120 days.   The USACE, she continued,  determined that                                                               
this  particular  permit application  requires  an  EIS level  of                                                               
analysis and that is 105 days.   She explained she is making this                                                               
distinction because,  as far as  an authorization, it is  still a                                                               
standard permit.  She pointed out  that the USACE made the permit                                                               
application  publically available  back  in 2018.    There is  no                                                               
requirement for  the USACE to do  that, she said, and  the agency                                                               
doesn't do  that for  other applications, but  did it  because of                                                               
the  level of  interest  for this  particular  application.   She                                                               
noted  the USACE  originally  had a  30-day  opportunity for  the                                                               
scoping period  but expanded it to  90 days, and that  it will be                                                               
90 days for the DEIS.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  moved to  slide 8 regarding  public engagement.   She                                                               
said that due to the level  of public interest the USACE has done                                                               
a number of  "extra-curricular" things.  The  application and the                                                               
baseline material were  put on a public facing  web site, thereby                                                               
providing  the public  with  a  year-plus to  look  at  it.   She                                                               
pointed out  that there are no  requirements for the USACE  to do                                                               
that  and  the  agency  hasn't  ever  done  that  for  any  other                                                               
applications.   Scoping was conducted  and meetings were  held in                                                               
nine  locations,  she  noted,  again not  a  requirement  of  the                                                               
process but  something the USACE chose  to do given the  level of                                                               
interest.    She further  pointed  out  that  the DEIS  was  made                                                               
available  10  days prior  to  the  start  of the  90-day  public                                                               
comment period.   The USACE  has held routine  media roundtables,                                                               
she noted,  and newsletters have been  sent to folks.   The USACE                                                               
has  made sure  that there  are  multiple avenues  for people  to                                                               
comment, she  added.   These measures are  above and  beyond what                                                               
the USACE is required to do, which is to put a notice out there.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NEWMAN displayed  slide 9  regarding the  public facing  web                                                               
site  and stated  the USACE  has done  a lot  of firsts  for this                                                               
project.  For example, she said,  a geo-reference tool was put on                                                               
the web site  so members of the public can  pin their comments to                                                               
a specific  location.  The  USACE has made comments  available to                                                               
everyone regardless  of where they  have come from,  whether they                                                               
are cooperating agency comments  or an individual's neighbor, she                                                               
added.  These  comments can be seen in real  time since the USACE                                                               
keeps the site updated every day.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:48:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK referred  to slide  7 regarding  the process                                                               
requirement of a standard permit being  [less than] 120 days.  He                                                               
requested some examples of non-standard permits.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN answered that there  are no non-standard permits.  The                                                               
USACE makes  issuances that  are either  general permits  or just                                                               
standard permits.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  inquired  about the  difference  between  a                                                               
standard and a general permit.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN replied that general  permits generally take less than                                                               
60 days  and are for any  suite of type of  activities - anything                                                               
from maintenance to exploration  and surveying to minor discharge                                                               
of fill material.  There is a  whole suite of them, she said, and                                                               
she believes the USACE is up to 52 general permits now.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  returned to the  presentation and addressed  slide 10                                                               
regarding  Alaska  Native tribes.    She  said that  specifically                                                               
because of where  this project is located, the  USACE reached out                                                               
to all  31 Bristol Bay region  tribes about 10 months  before the                                                               
USACE had  the application to ask  the tribes how best  the USACE                                                               
could communicate with them for  going through this process.  She                                                               
offered her  belief that 14  tribes responded and said  they were                                                               
very  specific   about  what  their  availability   and  lack  of                                                               
availability was, where they wanted  to meet, and how they wanted                                                               
to communicate.  The USACE  developed its strategy for tribes and                                                               
engagement  based  on  their  direct input  to  the  agency,  she                                                               
pointed out.   The USACE has  kept up its commitment  to give the                                                               
tribes  real time  transparent  information in  a  way that  they                                                               
could receive it  because of the lack of connectivity  in some of                                                               
the rural communities.  For example,  she continued, a lot of the                                                               
information has  gone to them  via thumb drives, disks,  and hard                                                               
copies,  and there  have been  lots of  meetings in  communities.                                                               
She further noted  that since many of these  tribes are sovereign                                                               
nations  there  have   also  been  many  government-to-government                                                               
consultations.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR noted  this is  the  third hearing  on the  Pebble                                                               
Project,  the first  being with  the project  proponents and  the                                                               
second being with project opponents  or people with concerns.  It                                                               
was heard  in the second  hearing, she related, that  travel over                                                               
tribal  lands would  be required  in some  areas, but  that there                                                               
isn't  willingness at  this time  to  provide such  access.   She                                                               
asked how  the USACE evaluates  this or whether it  falls outside                                                               
the USACE's operations.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE  responded that the USACE  has heard this on  the news                                                               
but has nothing  in writing from anyone saying  that access would                                                               
be required  over these lands and  would be restricted.   He said                                                               
that  if in  the  end  the USACE  determined  to  grant a  permit                                                               
authorization the agency would look  at the least environmentally                                                               
damaging practicable alternative (LEDPA)  [slide 5].  Practicable                                                               
would be  the key piece,  he continued,  because if the  land was                                                               
not available then  there is no longer  a practicable alternative                                                               
and  it may  limit  the ability  for Pebble  to  look at  certain                                                               
alternatives if  it is  unable to  cross the  land.   However, he                                                               
added,  the USACE's  permit  is not  authorized  for real  estate                                                               
interest  at all  and  that  is something  Pebble  would have  to                                                               
acquire.   He  said that  if the  USACE had  in writing  from the                                                               
appropriate  people  who owned  the  appropriate  land that  they                                                               
wouldn't  authorize  this,  then yes,  those  alternatives  might                                                               
become moot at that point.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   TARR  offered   her   understanding   that  all   four                                                               
alternatives have the  land crossings.  She  inquired whether the                                                               
USACE's receipt of such a  communication would have any impact on                                                               
this part of the process or whether  it would be part of what the                                                               
USACE would incorporates into its final Record of Decision.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  answered that each  of the three  action alternatives                                                               
has a  portion that  crosses corporation  land, or  Alaska Native                                                               
Claims  Settlement  Act  (ANCSA)  corporation  land,  or  village                                                               
corporation land.   So, she said, it would come  into play in the                                                               
USACE's  determination of  which  alternative  is practicable  at                                                               
that point in time.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:53:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK offered  his  understanding  that the  USACE                                                               
hasn't  received  [notice]  of  any restrictions  to  access  the                                                               
lands.   Given the EIS process  is a long and  expensive process,                                                               
he  asked why  the  USACE  wouldn't first  ensure  that there  is                                                               
access before taking on this endeavor.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE  replied that  the USACE  doesn't have  the authority.                                                               
In further  response to Representative  Tuck, he stated  that the                                                               
USACs   permits do  not give any real estate  rights or interests                                                               
and the  USACE has no authority  to compel an applicant  to prove                                                               
it has access to land.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN resumed  the USACE's presentation.   Turning to slides                                                               
11-13,  she provided  an overview  of  the applicant's  proposal.                                                               
She  said the  transportation corridor  for the  proposed project                                                               
includes a  road from  the mine  site to the  north side  of Lake                                                               
Iliamna   with  an   ice-breaking   ferry,   then  down   another                                                               
transportation  corridor to  Amakdedori Port  and a  gas pipeline                                                               
over  to Anchor  Point on  the Kenai  Peninsula.   The mine  site                                                               
itself,  she  noted, is  a  typical  surface mine  complete  with                                                               
tailings facilities, open pits, and water management ponds.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:55:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR pointed  out that the committee didn't  get to talk                                                               
about  the transportation  corridor  in the  prior two  meetings.                                                               
She asked whether the USACE,  under its evaluation and authority,                                                               
is  looking at  the least  damaging  alternative.   She said  the                                                               
committee  has heard  that travel  across  the lake  can be  very                                                               
dangerous, more  like ocean  travel than  lake travel,  and asked                                                               
how  this is  factored  in  for the  practicality.   She  further                                                               
offered her understanding that this  transportation corridor is a                                                               
new part of the proposal.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NEWMAN  responded  that  the USACE  must  analyze  what  the                                                               
applicant proposes, and  this is what the  applicant is proposing                                                               
to do in its application.   She said the development alternatives                                                               
include  a difference  in the  transportation corridor  - another                                                               
alternative transportation  route would  be along the  north side                                                               
of  Lake Iliamna  and  over  into a  port  site  in Iniskin  Bay.                                                               
Safety is  one consideration  of the  21 public  interest factors                                                               
that the  USACE reviews, she  explained.  When evaluating  all of                                                               
the alternatives  to make a  LEDPA determination,  she continued,                                                               
the  USACE  must be  cognizant  that  the alternatives  meet  the                                                               
applicant's purpose  and need.   To have a functioning  mine site                                                               
and  bring   minerals  to  market  requires   the  transportation                                                               
corridor and the mine site.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN returned to the  presentation and discussed the extent                                                               
of  the USACE's  jurisdiction outlined  on  slide 14.   She  said                                                               
many, many things  will go on with the mine,  but the things that                                                               
the USACE can  actually authorize or not authorize  are listed on                                                               
the slide.   These are the only things within  the whole endeavor                                                               
that  fall within  the  USACE's authorities,  she  added.   These                                                               
authorities  are the  work within  the navigable  waters and  the                                                               
discharged  fill  material,  basically  earthen  materials,  into                                                               
wetlands.  She explained that at  the end of this process, if the                                                               
USACE does  decide to  issue a  permit, the  only things  it will                                                               
issue a permit for are the things listed on slide 14.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  moved to slide  15.  She noted  the interdisciplinary                                                               
team is required under NEPA and  includes the USACE and a team of                                                               
independent   scientific  experts   from  AECOM   covering  every                                                               
resource area that USACE analyzes,  plus the cooperating agencies                                                               
that joined the USACE in writing the DEIS.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. NEWMAN  displayed slide 16  and summarized  the presentation.                                                               
She said the USACE's analysis  is constrained by its authorities.                                                               
The  USACE,  she continued,  has  taken  unprecedented steps  for                                                               
public engagement and  made a special effort  with its engagement                                                               
of  rural  communities  and  tribes.   She  said  the  regulatory                                                               
division of  the USACE  does not have  a vested  interest whether                                                               
this  project does  or  does not  happen.   At  the  end of  this                                                               
process, she noted,  the USACE will provide a minimum  of 30 days                                                               
after release of the Final EIS (FEIS) before making a decision.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR inquired  whether the USACE would  be available for                                                               
additional follow-up or if the committee submitted questions.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE answered that Ms.  Newman will be going to Washington,                                                               
DC,  in a  week,  and  the USACE  will  be  conducting four  more                                                               
hearings over  the next two weeks.   So, he continued,  timing is                                                               
currently  difficult   with  regard   to  having  this   type  of                                                               
interaction.  Right  now, is the comment period, he  added, so if                                                               
the committee has comments it  should submit them.  Any questions                                                               
should be submitted  in writing, he said, and the  USACE would do                                                               
its best,  although he couldn't  guarantee answers in one  or two                                                               
days.    He  encouraged  the  committee  members  to  attend  the                                                               
remaining public hearings.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:00:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  requested committee  members to state  any further                                                               
questions they might have.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK recalled an  earlier statement that the USACE                                                               
looks  heavily to  the  state  for data  information.   He  asked                                                               
whether the  state's process occurs  consecutively, concurrently,                                                               
or before the USACE's process.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOBBIE replied concurrently.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked whether the  state is keeping  up with                                                               
the USACE.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOBBIE responded  there  hasn't been  a  challenge with  the                                                               
state  thus far.    At one  time  the state  was  short for  some                                                               
technical expertise from  fisheries, he said, but  the USACE gave                                                               
an extension and the state met it.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN pointed  out that there have  been no prior                                                               
questions or information, even from the mine, about the 1,900-                                                                  
foot-long  causeway  wharf  or  the  122  miles  of  natural  gas                                                               
pipeline that would cross two bodies of water.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  whether  the USACE  has taken  any                                                               
steps to  verify that there  is an  economic viability for  a 20-                                                               
year mine.  He further asked that  given the size of the ore body                                                               
with the potential for a 70-  or 80-year mine plan, why the USACE                                                               
is  not  looking at  reasonable,  foreseeable  expansions of  the                                                               
project  and evaluating  it on  a  larger scale  which is  highly                                                               
likely in the future.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  stated the  committee  might  follow-up with  the                                                               
USACE on some of the aforementioned issues.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
         HB  27-REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:03:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 27,  "An Act relating  to the  manufacture, sale,                                                               
distribution, and  labeling of child-related  products containing                                                               
certain  flame retardant  chemicals;  relating  to an  interstate                                                               
chemicals  clearinghouse;  adding  unlawful acts  to  the  Alaska                                                               
Unfair  Trade   Practices  and   Consumer  Protection   Act;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:03:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR continued with the  public testimony on HB 27 [that                                                               
was opened on 4/3/19].                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:03:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF  TUCKER, Past  President,  Alaska  Fire Chiefs  Association,                                                               
testified in support  of HB 27.  He stated  the association fully                                                               
supports the  bill in  its current form  and has  supported other                                                               
forms  in  the  past.    He related  that  on  a  national  basis                                                               
firefighters are experiencing a  great increase in cancers caused                                                               
by the materials currently being  fought in fires.  Banning these                                                               
types of materials,  he continued, would be a  great step towards                                                               
helping to  protect firefighters and the  folks that firefighters                                                               
serve.  He urged that the bill be passed.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:05:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA  MILLER, Executive  Director, Alaska  Community Action  on                                                               
Toxics,  testified in  support of  HB 27.   She  related that  on                                                               
March  19  [2019] the  Anchorage  Assembly  unanimously passed  a                                                               
substantially  similar law  called the  Protecting the  Health of                                                               
Children  and  Firefighters  Ordinance.    Passing  HB  27  would                                                               
protect the health of people throughout the state, she added.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILLER said  flame retardants  are hazardous  and can  cause                                                               
lifelong harm.   Babies and  toddlers have higher  exposures than                                                               
adults, she  noted, and  these chemicals  have disproportionately                                                               
negative health effects on children.   The scientific evidence is                                                               
very  clear,  she  continued.    Flame  retardant  chemicals  are                                                               
associated  with   serious  adverse  health   effects,  including                                                               
cancers, neurodevelopmental, and reproductive harm.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER  stated that  flame retardants  do not  provide proven                                                               
fire  safety  benefits  and  fire safety  standards  can  be  met                                                               
without  them.   Flame  retardant  chemicals  make products  more                                                               
toxic while in use, she said,  and more toxic if they catch fire.                                                               
Flame retardants increase  the risk of cancer  and other diseases                                                               
in firefighters  because they make  fires more toxic.   She noted                                                               
that firefighters are  exposed to flame retardants  at levels two                                                               
to  three  times higher  than  the  general population  and  they                                                               
experience increased risk  of a number of cancers.   For example,                                                               
she continued,  the breast cancer  rate among  women firefighters                                                               
is six times  the national average, as demonstrated  in the study                                                               
of  San  Francisco firefighters.    The  Consumer Product  Safety                                                               
Commission,  she reported,  determined  that organohalogen  flame                                                               
retardants are  associated with adverse  health effects,  such as                                                               
reproductive   impairment,  neurodevelopmental   harm,  endocrine                                                               
disruption, cancer, and immune disorders.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILLER said  states  are  taking the  lead  on these  issues                                                               
because necessary  change isn't  happening at the  federal level.                                                               
She  related  that  there  are   40  adopted  policies  on  flame                                                               
retardants in 13 states and  28 policies are being considered now                                                               
in 17 states.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER  pointed out  that health  care for  firefighters with                                                               
cancer can cost  more than $1 million per person,  not to mention                                                               
the pain  and suffering of  their families and community.   Death                                                               
for firefighters  and first  responders has  a huge  social cost,                                                               
she added, plus there are the  death benefits that can and should                                                               
be provided  to survivors.   Inaction will cost the  taxpayers in                                                               
the long run, she continued.   Alaska has the opportunity to lead                                                               
and build  on the foundation  of law  now passed in  Anchorage as                                                               
well as other states, she said in conclusion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:10:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VI WAGHIYI testified  in support of HB  27.  She stated  she is a                                                               
tribal citizen of the Native  village of Savoonga and is speaking                                                               
today  as a  mother and  grandmother on  behalf of  her children,                                                               
grandchildren, and  future generations.   She related  that there                                                               
is  strong  support for  the  bill  in  her community  and  other                                                               
communities  in the  region,  and letters  of  support have  been                                                               
submitted.  She said Kawerak,  Inc. submitted a letter of support                                                               
and is the regional Native  nonprofit representing and serving 20                                                               
communities in her region.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WAGHIYI continued as follows:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
       Community-based research has shown high levels of                                                                        
         these flame retardant chemicals in our homes,                                                                          
     traditional foods, and in the  blood of our people.  We                                                                    
     are  disproportionately exposed  and have  some of  the                                                                    
     highest levels of these  and other persistent chemicals                                                                    
     of any  population on the  planet because of  our place                                                                    
     in  the Arctic.   We  are suffering  health disparities                                                                    
     such  as cancers,  thyroid  disease, and  developmental                                                                    
     health harms.  Our  children are vulnerable to exposure                                                                    
     and  toxic health  effects of  these  chemicals.   This                                                                    
     requires  urgent action  to  enact protective  measures                                                                    
     such as  HB 27.   The federal government is  not taking                                                                    
     responsibility,  so   it  is  up   to  you   to  ensure                                                                    
     legislation  is  enacted  to   phase  out  harmful  and                                                                    
     unnecessary   flame   retardant  chemicals   from   our                                                                    
     children's products  and furniture.  I  want to protect                                                                    
     the  ability  of  our  children  to  learn  our  songs,                                                                    
     traditions, and stories.  Please pass HB 27.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:12:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE DUPLESSES testified in support of  HB 27.  She said she                                                               
grew up  in a proposed Superfund  site in Green Bay,  WI, and she                                                               
has lived all over the world  from California to South Africa and                                                               
now Anchorage  is her home.   By training, she continued,  she is                                                               
an ecologist  and conservation biologist and  most importantly in                                                               
the topic  she is  the mother  of a  two-year-old daughter.   She                                                               
stated she has an acute  understanding of children and toxins and                                                               
she  would  like to  see  HB  27 pass.    Given  the evidence  is                                                               
overwhelming, she said  she was shocked that this  issue is still                                                               
being talked about.   These are known  carcinogens, she stressed,                                                               
and HB 27 should be passed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:14:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY MCLAUGHLIN provided written testimony  in support of HB 27,                                                               
which was read to the committee by Ms. Duplesses:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Children and firefighters may seem  an odd pairing, but                                                                    
     firefighters   and  children   share  one   frustrating                                                                    
     quality:   they're often  overlooked.   Children cannot                                                                    
     advocate well  for themselves, they  rely on  adults in                                                                    
     their lives  to do it  for them.  Firefighters  are the                                                                    
     most under-acknowledged  public servants,  evidenced by                                                                    
     the fact  that we rely  heavily on volunteers  to serve                                                                    
     us in  the life-threatening situation we  hope never to                                                                    
     face.  I'm calling today to advocate for both.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Children are  just one of  the victims of  the damaging                                                                    
     effects of flame retardants.   Their tiny bodies uptake                                                                    
     and therefore accumulate  the damaging chemicals faster                                                                    
     than adults.  But damage  is often not seen directly or                                                                    
     until  later  in life  and  can  be devastatingly  life                                                                    
     altering.  I  am extremely sensitive to  this topic due                                                                    
     to a  recent discovery that  my drinking water  well is                                                                    
     contaminated by  a similar group of  chemicals that are                                                                    
     used  in firefighting  foam  and are  very  toxic.   My                                                                    
     children  have been  exposed  despite  my diligence  in                                                                    
     choosing  a car,  car  seats,  clothing, cookware,  and                                                                    
     toys without flame retardants.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Many,  even most,  people are  not aware  of the  toxic                                                                    
     nature  of  many  common products  and  the  burden  of                                                                    
     safety should  never have  to fall  on consumers.   All                                                                    
     products  on   the  market  should  be   of  toxic-free                                                                    
     chemicals.   These chemicals  are pervasive  and action                                                                    
     must be taken  to regulate them.   It is unconscionable                                                                    
     that  in the  false  name of  public  safety my  family                                                                    
     suffers.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Further  cementing my  allegiance  to  this cause  came                                                                    
                          st                                                                                                    
     Monday night, April 1,   ironically.  There was a house                                                                    
     fire two  streets down  from me.   Our  local volunteer                                                                    
     firefighters left their houses  at about 10:30 p.m. and                                                                    
     fought a  battle that  few of  us thankfully  ever see.                                                                    
     They  worked on  adrenalin  through  the night,  taking                                                                    
     breaks  in shifts  to stave  off exhaustion.   Most  of                                                                    
     them got home  at about 4:30 a.m.  Some  of them got an                                                                    
     hour or two  of sleep.  Then they got  up and got their                                                                    
     kids to school, they went  to work, then when they were                                                                    
     done with a  full day's work they didn't  go home, they                                                                    
     went  back  to  the  fire  hall and  to  the  scene  to                                                                    
     debrief.     These  people  do  more   work  with  less                                                                    
     gratitude than even mothers, I  think.  We owe them the                                                                    
     removal  of  toxic  chemicals from  the  long  list  of                                                                    
     dangers they  face while they  volunteer their  time to                                                                    
     keep us safe.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Fire retardants don't  increase safety for firefighters                                                                    
     or for  those potentially caught inside.   They off-gas                                                                    
     toxic chemicals  in our  homes, cars,  daycare centers,                                                                    
     and  work places.   They  release toxic  gases as  they                                                                    
     burn.  There  is no upside.  I am  in strong support of                                                                    
     this  bill,  HB  27, the  Toxic-Free  Firefighters  and                                                                    
     Children Act.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  noted the groundwater of  Gustavus is contaminated                                                               
with [perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:18:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  MIRANDA, Southcentral  Vice President,  Alaska Professional                                                               
Fire Fighters  Association, testified  in support of  HB 27.   He                                                               
noted  the association  represents 500  professional firefighters                                                               
across the state  and that he is an  8-year firefighter paramedic                                                               
with the  Anchorage Fire  Department.   He thanked  Co-Chair Tarr                                                               
for introducing the bill and  the committee for hearing the bill,                                                               
which his association fully supports.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MIRANDA  pointed  out  that  cancer is  a  big  concern  for                                                               
firefighters,  with  data  showing that  firefighters  experience                                                               
cancer at much higher rates than  the public.  Study after study,                                                               
he  related, has  concluded  that  organohalogen flame  retardant                                                               
chemicals are  a leading cause  of cancer in firefighters.   Used                                                               
throughout today's  households in furniture and  other materials,                                                               
organohalogen  flame  retardants   release  toxic  cancer-causing                                                               
chemicals   when  they   burn,  such   as  dioxins   and  furans.                                                               
Firefighters,  he said,  are  then exposed  to  large amounts  of                                                               
these carcinogens  through absorption and inhalation  during fire                                                               
fighting operations.   Recent studies, he added,  have shown that                                                               
firefighters  have  three  times   the  level  of  these  harmful                                                               
chemicals in their systems after a fire.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.   MIRANDA  stated   that   eliminating  organohalogen   flame                                                               
retardants would be a step in  the right direction and would go a                                                               
long way  in providing a  less toxic atmosphere  for firefighters                                                               
and reducing  their exposure to  these toxins.  He  expressed the                                                               
association's support for passage of HB 27.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:20:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR asked  whether  Mr. Miranda  was  involved in,  or                                                               
advocated for, the Anchorage ordinance.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA  replied he wasn't  involved in its  development, but                                                               
he advocated  for it  on behalf of  the Alaska  Professional Fire                                                               
Fighters Association.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR inquired  whether people breathed a  sigh of relief                                                               
when the  Anchorage ordinance was  passed.  She  further inquired                                                               
whether the association has ideas  about what the impact would be                                                               
if HB 27 were passed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA responded  that firefighters have a  much higher rate                                                               
of cancer  than the general public.   So, he said,  anything that                                                               
can  be  done to  help  reduce  that is  the  step  in the  right                                                               
direction and firefighters would be appreciative of that.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:22:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN inquired whether  Mr. Miranda has looked at                                                               
HB  27  and thought  about  it  in  parallel with  the  Anchorage                                                               
ordinance.   She  further inquired  whether there  are any  major                                                               
differences between them in the ban and how it is applied.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA answered  he would have to look closer  as far as any                                                               
specific  differences   in  the  Anchorage  ordinance,   but  his                                                               
understanding is that it is quite similar.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN noted  that  HB 27  focuses on  children's                                                               
products  or  products  affiliated   with  households  that  have                                                               
children in them.   She asked whether the  Anchorage ordinance is                                                               
also that narrow or covers a broader swath of consumer products.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIRANDA offered  his belief that the  Anchorage ordinance may                                                               
be a broader swath of  consumer products, including furniture and                                                               
other things.  He said he would  look at that and get back to the                                                               
committee with an answer.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:23:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN stated  her  understanding  that HB  27                                                               
does cover furniture.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR confirmed HB 27 includes upholstered furniture.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN inquired about electronics.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR replied  that  the difference  is  HB 27  includes                                                               
electronics while  the Anchorage  ordinance does  not.   She said                                                               
she  would  follow up  further  with  committee members  in  this                                                               
regard.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:24:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  GIBBONS,  Vice  President,  State  Government  Affairs,                                                               
External  Affairs,  The  Toy   Association,  Inc.,  testified  in                                                               
opposition to HB  27.  She explained that The  Toy Association is                                                               
the   trade  association   for   manufacturers,  importers,   and                                                               
retailers of toys and youth  entertainment products sold in North                                                               
America and  represents more  than 950 companies.   She  said The                                                               
Toy Association shares the committee's  interest in assuring that                                                               
children's products are  safe; safety is the  number one priority                                                               
for the industry.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIBBONS  stated she opposes HB  27 because it would  apply to                                                               
any component  of a  product, even  to its  electronic component.                                                               
Toy manufacturers typically  do not add flame  retardant to toys,                                                               
she said, but some of these  substances may be present in certain                                                               
components  of  toys,  such  as  electronic  circuit  boards  and                                                               
assemblies, which  are inaccessible  to children but  critical to                                                               
the electrical  safety of  the products in  which they  are used.                                                               
Electronic devices,  she explained, are in  constant contact with                                                               
an electrical current and this  risk is currently being addressed                                                               
in  electronic devices  by using  flame retardant  chemicals.   A                                                               
consistent and reliable alternative  for flame retardants in this                                                               
application has yet  to be found, she said, and  without a viable                                                               
alternative parts  could present  an increased  flammability risk                                                               
in the event of certain electrical  faults.  She pointed out that                                                               
to  date   no  other  state  or   local  jurisdiction,  including                                                               
Anchorage, has  passed flame retardant  laws that would  be under                                                               
use  in  inaccessible  or  electronic  components  in  children's                                                               
products.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIBBONS  said another  major concern  with HB  27 is  that it                                                               
requires the labeling of products  to state that the product does                                                               
or does  not contain flame  retardant chemicals.  So,  she noted,                                                               
even  those products  that have  never had,  or never  will have,                                                               
flame  retardants  present would  still  be  required to  have  a                                                               
label.   The  bill  would require  manufacturers  to create,  and                                                               
retailers to  carry, a product that  is designed to only  be sold                                                               
in Alaska.  She advised that  a massive and costly undertaking in                                                               
creating  new  labeling  for  the  state of  Alaska  may  not  be                                                               
possible  for some  businesses and  could result  in products  no                                                               
longer being  offered for sale in  the state.  Ms.  Gibbons urged                                                               
that the committee not move forward with HB 27.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:26:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR, regarding  inaccessible  electronics, noted  that                                                               
while something isn't supposed to  be accessible to a child, kids                                                               
often take  things apart.  She  said she has gone  back and forth                                                               
about how  to address this piece  of the bill due  to the concern                                                               
that kids  are likely to  tinker with  [a toy], along  with their                                                               
hand-to-mouth  behavior.   She requested  Ms.  Gibbons to  define                                                               
inaccessible.  She inquired, for  example, whether the electronic                                                               
unit inside  a teddy bear that  plays a song would  be considered                                                               
inaccessible to a child.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIBBONS  replied the association would  consider something to                                                               
be inaccessible  during reasonable and foreseeable  use and abuse                                                               
of a product and there  are several standards that [the industry]                                                               
has to test for  in order to not have a  part be inaccessible and                                                               
create  a small-part  hazard  for a  child.   If  it meets  those                                                               
tests,  she  continued,  [the   association]  would  consider  it                                                               
inaccessible.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR requested  Ms. Gibbons  to provide  a copy  of the                                                               
aforementioned standard.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIBBONS agreed to  do so and noted it is  ASTM F963, a safety                                                               
standard for  toys that is  mandatory under the  Consumer Product                                                               
Safety Improvement Act of 2008.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:29:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW   HACKMAN,   Principal   Lobbyist,   Serlin   Haley   LLP,                                                               
representing  the  Juvenile Products  Manufacturers  Association,                                                               
testified  in opposition  to  HB  27.   He  said the  association                                                               
represents everything from strollers  to bassinettes to car seats                                                               
and is the  industry that helps bring children into  the home and                                                               
care for  those children after  they have  been born.   He stated                                                               
the association is opposed to HB 27 as currently drafted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HACKMAN related  that the  association's manufacturers  have                                                               
proactively worked to eliminate  flame retardants where they have                                                               
been  mandated  in  the  past.   In  California  under  Technical                                                               
Bulletin 117, he said, the  association worked with the Bureau of                                                               
Appliance   Repair  and   Home  Furnishings   to  eliminate   the                                                               
requirement that juvenile products  be subject to flame retardant                                                               
requirements.    He  further  noted   that  the  association  was                                                               
actively  involved   in  person  in  several   work  sessions  in                                                               
Anchorage  in helping  inform  discussions and  come  up with  an                                                               
element  that  struck a  reasonable  balance.   He  stressed  the                                                               
importance  of  some  of the  provisions  incorporated  into  the                                                               
Anchorage  ordinance that  specifically impact  the association's                                                               
industry.   Car seats,  he explained, are  mandated to  meet very                                                               
stringent  flame   resistance  performance  standards   that  are                                                               
administered   by    the   National   Highway    Traffic   Safety                                                               
Administration.  Flame retardants,  he said, must be incorporated                                                               
into those products to meet  those federal standards.  Conditions                                                               
in a  vehicle fire  are very different,  he continued,  and there                                                               
are sources of ignition that  are particularly flammable, and the                                                               
federal government  has taken  a very  strong position  that this                                                               
standard is required.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HACKMAN said  his association  shares The  Toy Association's                                                               
concern about  including inaccessible electronic components.   He                                                               
pointed  out  that  particularly  in infant  products  the  child                                                               
cannot reasonably  and foreseeably  come into contact  with those                                                               
components.  He related that  the association has researched what                                                               
materials are  typically used and  the materials listed in  HB 27                                                               
are not typically  used in the association's  products.  However,                                                               
he noted,  the Underwriters Laboratories (UL)  has standards that                                                               
require   certain   performance   applications  that   at   times                                                               
necessitate the use of flame retardants.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HACKMAN noted the Anchorage  ordinance had no requirements in                                                               
any  jurisdiction requiring  labeling  for  juvenile products,  a                                                               
provision the  association supported.  He  said the association's                                                               
members estimated  it would cost  $50,000-$80,000 per  product to                                                               
create a  specific label for  Alaska, which outweighs  the entire                                                               
sales of that product category in the state of Alaska.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. HACKMAN encouraged the committee,  if it moves HB 27 forward,                                                               
to look  hard at the  compromise that  was drafted and  passed in                                                               
the Anchorage  ordinance.  He  said the association  was actively                                                               
involved in those discussions and  appreciates that the city took                                                               
those actions.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  asked whether the Juvenile  Products Manufacturers                                                               
Association   supported  the   ordinance  that   was  passed   in                                                               
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HACKMAN  replied that the association  removed its opposition                                                               
and indicated  to those  city council  members who  had questions                                                               
for  the association  that it  supported the  inclusion of  those                                                               
provisions.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR said she looks  forward to working with Mr. Hackman                                                               
to address the association's concerns.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:34:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR closed public testimony and held over HB 27.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        HB   3-STATE LAND SALE; PFD VOUCHER AND ASSIGN.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:34:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR announced  the final  order of  business would  be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO.  3, "An Act relating to the                                                               
purchase  and  sale of  state  land;  relating to  discounts  for                                                               
veterans on state land purchases;  and relating to the assignment                                                               
of permanent fund dividends to purchase state land."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[Before the committee was the  SSHB 3, introduced and referred to                                                               
the House  Special Committee on  Military and  Veterans' Affairs,                                                               
committee of first referral, on 3/13/19.]                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER,  sponsor, explained  SSHB 3  would allow                                                               
utilization of  [a person's] permanent  fund dividend  (PFD) year                                                               
after year  to help cover the  payments on the purchase  of state                                                               
land.  The  state disposes of land in various  ways each year and                                                               
one of them is through a  bidding process, he noted.  Payment for                                                               
the land can  be outright or through payments.   He said the bill                                                               
would also give a 33  percent advantage to veterans for utilizing                                                               
in the  purchase of state  land.  Three veterans  are co-sponsors                                                               
of the bill, he added.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:37:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  referred to  Section  2  and requested  a                                                               
definition  of veteran  for use  of the  benefit proposed  in the                                                               
bill.  She further asked whether  the definition is for as little                                                               
as 90 days served in the U.S. military.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DARRELL  BREESE, Staff,  Representative  George Rauscher,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, answered questions  regarding SSHB 3 on behalf                                                               
of   Representative  Rauscher,   sponsor.     He  confirmed   the                                                               
definition is  90 days and  said the  definition can be  found on                                                               
page 2, lines  4-8, which states:  "on active  duty in the United                                                           
States armed  forces for  [U.S. ARMED FORCES]  at least  90 days,                                                           
unless  tenure   was  shortened   due  to  a   service  connected                                                               
disability or  due to receiving  an early separation  upon return                                                               
from  a tour  of duty  overseas,  and has  received an  honorable                                                               
discharge  or a  general discharge  under honorable  conditions."                                                               
That definition,  he explained, is  what is currently  in statute                                                               
for eligibility  for the  25 percent  discount that  veterans are                                                               
currently eligible for.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked how  that compares to other veterans'                                                               
benefits that the  state offers; for example, whether  90 days is                                                               
a standard threshold.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  responded that he didn't  know and would get  back to                                                               
the committee with the answer.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:38:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN inquired  whether there is a  cap on the                                                               
discount; for  example, no matter  how much the property  costs a                                                               
veteran would get a discount exponentially.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  replied that existing  statute currently offers  a 25                                                               
percent discount  to veterans.  Section  4 of the bill  would, in                                                               
addition to  that, provide  a one-third discount.   Section  3 of                                                               
the bill, page 2, starting on  line 9, would limit the veteran to                                                               
using one  discount at  a time  - the 25  percent and  33 percent                                                               
discount discounts  could not be  combined - [and  each discount]                                                               
could only be  used once in a  lifetime.  The limit is  set at 33                                                               
percent, so  if the price  of the  property were $10  the veteran                                                               
would pay $6.66.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR offered her understanding  that if a veteran wished                                                               
to purchase two pieces of  property, he/she could purchase one of                                                               
the properties  at a 25  percent discount and  the other at  a 33                                                               
percent  discount so  long  as  the veteran  signed  up with  the                                                               
mechanism that  it be paid through  the PFD.  So,  she continued,                                                               
there  would  be an  opportunity  for  a veteran  to  potentially                                                               
purchase two  pieces of property  that a discount is  applied to,                                                               
although one would  have to be paid for with  a cash payment plan                                                               
and  to  receive the  other  the  veteran  would have  to  assign                                                               
his/her PFD toward payment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE thanked Co-Chair Tarr  for clarifying his comments and                                                               
agreed she is correct.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:40:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK stated  he  doesn't interpret  Section 4  as                                                               
saying that.  He said he  interprets Section 4 as meaning that if                                                               
a veteran  has already purchased  land prior to 8/1/19  using the                                                               
25  percent   [discount],  then  the  veteran   can  purchase  an                                                               
additional piece of  property at 33 percent  [discount], and that                                                               
from 8/1/19  onward it would  only be the 33  percent [discount].                                                               
He asked whether his interpretation is incorrect.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  responded his  understanding is  that the  25 percent                                                               
discount offered under Section 1,  which is currently in existing                                                               
statute, remains unchanged  and that a veteran  is still eligible                                                               
to  purchase that  property at  25 percent  off.   If willing  to                                                               
assign one's PFD, the limitation  is only on land purchased after                                                               
8/1/19.   So, he continued, if  one purchased land prior  to 2019                                                               
as a veteran,  he/she can't then apply the  one-third discount to                                                               
that purchase.   The intention is that the  one-third discount is                                                               
not until after 8/1/19.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  requested Mr. Marty  Parsons of the  Department of                                                               
Natural Resources  (DNR) to  provide clarification  regarding the                                                               
8/1/19 date and how it applies to the two discount options.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:42:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTY PARSONS, Director, Central  Office, Division of Mining Land                                                               
Water and Mining, Department of  Natural Resources (DNR), replied                                                               
his  understanding  is  that  after 8/1/19  would  be  the  first                                                               
opportunity to use the one-third discount of pledging the PFD.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  offered  her   understanding  that  the  existing                                                               
program of a 25 percent discount would remain unchanged.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS  stated that that is  his understanding.  He  said he                                                               
doesn't see anywhere in the bill there that is sunset.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK restated  his  understanding  as being  that                                                               
Section 1  allows a veteran to  take advantage of the  25 percent                                                               
[discount] and  Section 4  would allow the  purchase of  new land                                                               
after 8/1/19, regardless of whether  [a purchase prior to 8/1/19]                                                               
had been  taken advantage of.   [A veteran] could  take advantage                                                               
of  the  one-third discount,  he  continued,  as long  as  he/she                                                               
[assigned] his/her permanent  fund dividend, but it  would not be                                                               
an option if the PFD weren't used.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE responded that  Representative Tuck's understanding is                                                               
correct.  The one-third discount,  he said, is only applicable if                                                               
all or a  portion of [the veteran's] PFD is  assigned to help pay                                                               
off  the  purchase  of  the  land.   He  added  that  Section  4,                                                               
subsection  (g)  on  page  2,  lines  20-21,  implies  that  both                                                               
discounts are  in existence,  because it is  stated that  the [25                                                               
percent and the  33 percent] discounts cannot be  combined in one                                                               
purchase.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:44:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  posed a hypothetical scenario  of himself as                                                               
a  veteran making  his first  purchase  of land  after 8/1/19  in                                                               
which he gets the 33 percent  discount because he used his PFD as                                                               
collateral or  payment.  He  offered his understanding that  at a                                                               
later time  he could use Section  1 to purchase another  piece of                                                               
land at a 25 percent [discount].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE answered,  "That is the intention  of the legislation,                                                               
correct."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK, regarding  the aforementioned  hypothetical                                                               
scenario, asked  whether he could  use his PFD for  that purchase                                                               
as well or  would be restricted from doing so.   He further asked                                                               
why it would  be wanted to restrict people from  using their PFDs                                                               
to pay for lands.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE  replied that  the  one-third  discount for  veterans                                                               
purchasing land  is a once-in-a-lifetime  opportunity and  the 25                                                               
percent discount  is also a  once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.   He                                                               
explained that Section 5 of  the bill would allow anyone, veteran                                                               
or non-veteran, to  use their PFD to pay off  the purchase of the                                                               
land.   So,  yes, if  Representative Tuck  in the  aforementioned                                                               
scenario purchased the land with  a 25 percent discount, he could                                                               
still assign  his PFD for  payment under Section 5,  assuming the                                                               
entire dividend  hasn't been  assigned to  pay off  the one-third                                                               
purchase.  The dividend would have  to be divided up, he said, in                                                               
order to use it for the purchase of both properties.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked why the provision  for purchasing land                                                               
at  the one-third  discount requires  that the  veteran's PFD  be                                                               
assigned for payment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE responded  that the  primary focus  of the  permanent                                                               
fund is  that [a PFD]  be given to  everyone in Alaska  who wants                                                               
one.   It's a  way of  securing the  [land] purchase  because for                                                               
most of  the state  land sales  the purchase  is financed  by the                                                               
state, he said.  Using the  PFD for payments is made easy because                                                               
it only  requires the checking of  a box.  It  is convenience, he                                                               
added, and  it is also  for encouraging  veterans to buy  land in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK surmised  that if  he were  to miss  the PFD                                                               
application  deadline,   he  would   not  have  the   33  percent                                                               
[discount] available to him.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE  confirmed that the  33 percent discount could  not be                                                               
used if [a  veteran] did not apply for, or  was not eligible for,                                                               
a PFD.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked  what would happen if his  full PFD was                                                               
garnished.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE deferred to the  Department of Revenue (DOR) to answer                                                               
the question.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:48:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE   WESKE,  Director,   Permanent   Fund  Dividend   Division,                                                               
Department of  Revenue (DOR), responded to  Representative Tuck's                                                               
question.  She  explained that, if a  garnishment occurs, usually                                                               
the   first  priority   is  a   garnishment,   not  a   voluntary                                                               
contribution, or,  in this  case, an assignment.   So,  the funds                                                               
would go to  the garnishing agency, she said, and  then DNR would                                                               
be notified that  no funds would be processed  on [DNR's] behalf.                                                               
That means  it would fall  on DNR to  collect if DNR  had already                                                               
pre-credited this individual  or it would fall on  DNR to contact                                                               
the individual  that the  funds didn't  come DNR's  way due  to a                                                               
garnishment.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  stated he  doesn't  know  why it  would  be                                                               
wanted to put a condition  on the one-third discount for veterans                                                               
based on  whether they file  for a PFD.   He said  he understands                                                               
why it  would be wanted to  provide the ability to  pay for lands                                                               
using permanent fund dividends.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:50:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  how  many  veterans have  currently                                                               
taken  advantage of  the current  discount  of 25  percent.   She                                                               
further asked  for the ratio  of the  number of parcels  for sale                                                               
each year and the number of veterans who took advantage of them.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS answered  that roughly an average of  17 veterans per                                                               
year take  advantage of  the current 25  percent discount.   Last                                                               
year, he  said, 80 parcels were  sold under the state  land sales                                                               
program and 14 or 15 veterans took advantage of it.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN inquired whether  payments to the state for                                                               
most land sales are monthly  payments or annual payments in which                                                               
a person's PFD would achieve the payment.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARSONS replied  there are  multiple  payment options  under                                                               
which a purchaser can contract  with the state   annual, monthly,                                                               
and quarterly - for which the purchaser signs a contract.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN posed  a scenario of $3,000 for  the PFD in                                                               
2019  and  asked  whether  that amount  would  cover  the  annual                                                               
payment for the average parcel purchased by a veteran.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS responded  it depends, because land  across the state                                                               
varies widely  in its  value.   The land is  sold at  fair market                                                               
value, he  explained, which is  determined through  an appraisal.                                                               
Land in Interior  Alaska might sell for $13,000 or  $14,000 for a                                                               
five-acre  parcel, while  a smaller  parcel  in Southeast  Alaska                                                               
might sell for $30,000 or $40,000.   There are cases where $3,000                                                               
could cover  the entire  payment for  the year,  he said,  but in                                                               
most cases,  it would cover a portion of it.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE drew  attention to  page 2  of the  DNR fiscal  note,                                                               
which  states:    "Over  19  years of  tracking  the  25  percent                                                               
veterans  discount,  veterans have  purchased  an  average of  14                                                               
parcels of state  land a year."  He also  noted that according to                                                               
the fiscal note the average price per parcel is $18,300.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:54:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  inquired whether an  "eligible veteran"                                                               
as  described under  Section  1 of  the bill  must  be an  Alaska                                                               
resident.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE deferred to Mr. Parsons  for an answer, but noted that                                                               
Section 1 doesn't say an eligible veteran must be an Alaskan.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS  replied that the  initial auction under  which these                                                               
lands would be sold are for Alaska residents.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ offered her  understanding that the one-                                                               
third discount  and being eligible  for a  PFD isn't a  matter of                                                               
determining that only Alaskan residents are using this benefit.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE replied  that page 1, lines 13-14, state,  "has been a                                                               
state  resident  for   a  period  of  not  less   than  one  year                                                               
immediately preceding  the date  of sale".   Therefore,  he said,                                                               
[the veteran] would have to be an Alaska resident.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:56:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN asked  whether  the  closing costs  for                                                               
these  sales  are typically  negotiated  or  whether there  is  a                                                               
standard breakdown of who pays what for the closing costs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE deferred to Mr. Parsons for the answer.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS responded that [the  land sales program] doesn't have                                                               
a closing  cost.  He said  the purchaser puts down  a bid deposit                                                               
when  the land  is purchased  and if  the purchaser  goes into  a                                                               
state contract those payments get rolled into the contract.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN inquired  whether a  title is  involved                                                               
with these land sales.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARSONS answered  that the  unique thing  about Alaska  land                                                               
sales is that the title remains  with the state and does not pass                                                               
to the purchaser until the  purchaser has completely paid off the                                                               
purchase obligation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked how  the purchaser has anything to                                                               
show for the  money he/she has put into the  purchase if there is                                                               
nothing in title on record.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS  replied that unique  to Alaska's land  sales program                                                               
is that there  is not equity that the purchaser  gains until such                                                               
time  as  the  purchaser  has paid  off  the  entire  contractual                                                               
obligation.   The title remains with  the state, he said,  and is                                                               
not patented to the purchaser  until the purchaser has completely                                                               
paid off the contract.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:58:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  asked who pays the  recording costs and                                                               
other fees  for the change in  title once the purchaser  has paid                                                               
off the contract.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS  responded that, in  receiving the title, there  is a                                                               
cost of  $250 to  the purchaser for  the processing  of documents                                                               
and issuing the patent.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN noted  there isn't a set  amount for the                                                               
PFD  and asked  whether  there  is something  in  place that  the                                                               
purchaser must pay a certain [minimum] amount each year.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BREESE answered that under  the bill the purchaser can assign                                                               
his/her PFD to  pay all or a  portion of the payment  due to DNR,                                                               
so the PFD  could cover the full payment or  only a small portion                                                               
of the payment that is remaining.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:00:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  said her  concern with the  verbiage is                                                               
that it doesn't set a minimum  payment.  She suggested this could                                                               
be covered  via an amendment  so as to  ensure that the  state is                                                               
protected.   She  inquired about  the  point at  which the  state                                                               
would foreclose for nonpayment, for  example if a purchaser's PFD                                                               
was garnished.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BREESE  replied that  this  is  not  a garnishment,  but  an                                                               
assignment of  the PFD.   He  deferred to  Mr. Parsons  to answer                                                               
about penalties for late or nonpayment.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN   clarified  she  was  speaking   to  a                                                               
purchaser  not receiving  his/her PFD  because it  was garnished,                                                               
and the purchaser was therefore unable to pay.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  asked Mr.  Parsons about the  timeline for  when a                                                               
contract would become null and void for nonpayment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS responded  it varies.  He said  the division normally                                                               
works hard with its customers to  get them back on track, so they                                                               
don't lose their  interest in the land.  Normally  after 90 days,                                                               
he continued,  the division begins  a letter writing  campaign to                                                               
get the purchaser  back into compliance.  Then there  is a series                                                               
of  several  months  during  which  the  division  walks  through                                                               
different types of  notices until getting to the  point where the                                                               
division writes the purchaser a  letter stating that the division                                                               
directors have decided that the  purchaser's contract is void and                                                               
the purchaser  has 30 days  to pay  the remaining balance  or the                                                               
contract will be cancelled.  The  division tries very hard not to                                                               
cancel contracts and take back properties, he added.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:03:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN surmised  there is  nothing in  statute                                                               
that says  at a certain  point in time  the state must  take back                                                               
the land.   She  said she appreciates  the division  working with                                                               
people, but she is concerned because this is a business.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARSONS  answered the  division  works  very hard  with  its                                                               
customers because  it is a  very generous  program as far  as the                                                               
ability  to enter  into contractual  obligations.   He noted  the                                                               
state has  taken steps over the  past several years where  it had                                                               
an egregious  contract holder  that it  couldn't bring  back into                                                               
compliance  and the  contract was  cancelled and  the state  took                                                               
back the land.  The division  tries to make that the exception as                                                               
opposed to the  rule.  He said the division  understands that the                                                               
real  estate  is a  business  and  the  division can  cancel  the                                                               
contract any time  after an individual has been  determined to be                                                               
in default.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO inquired whether  the sponsor's intent is                                                               
for people to  be able to use  the PFD, and the PFD  only, to pay                                                               
off the land purchase regardless of its cost.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  answered that  that wasn't quite  in his                                                               
intent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO recalled  that he  introduced a  similar                                                               
bill, but it was incredibly  complicated, and those complications                                                               
were probably why  it didn't advance very far.   He said he likes                                                               
the simplicity  of SSHB 3  and surmises  the general idea  of the                                                               
bill is that  there would be less cash flow  out of state coffers                                                               
as well as  the ability to provide someone with  equal or greater                                                               
value for his/her permanent fund [dividend].                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  replied he  had  many  reasons for  the                                                               
bill.    "It  is  just  moving  in  computer  numbers  more  than                                                               
handwritten checks  and contracts  and payments  and non-payments                                                               
and default payments  and all this other stuff," he  said,  so it                                                               
did  have an  ease  of that;  I  appreciate that."    He said  he                                                               
realizes after  listening to Representative Tuck  and the answers                                                               
he was given  that it probably wasn't his intent  to have both of                                                               
them sitting side-by-side utilized.   He said he will be offering                                                               
a friendly  amendment to page 2,  line 10, to replace  "and" with                                                               
"or  and  that way [a  veteran] can  use the program  he/she sees                                                               
fit, if such an amendment is possible.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:06:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  opened  public  testimony   on  SSHB  3.    After                                                               
ascertaining  no  one wished  to  testify,  public testimony  was                                                               
closed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:07:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[HB 3 was held over.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:07:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:07 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 27 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Bill Version U 1.11.19.PDF HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Bill Version U 1.11.19Sectional Analysis.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Fiscal Note - Dept of Law 3.29.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - CDC - Skin Exposures and Effects.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Expert Testimony Vytenis Babrauskas.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Flame Retardants - NIH Fact Sheet July 2016.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Knoblauch article 1.24.18.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Leg Research on FF health costs.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Flame Retardants Slide Presentation 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - Athey 2.4.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - School Nurses 3.12.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support from ACS CAN AK 2.21.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letters of Support from Firefighters 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Past Support re Flame Retardants in AK.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - GCDSE 4.1.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Aronno Letter of Support 4.4.19_Redacted.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letters of Support Combined.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - American Chemistry Council Letter of Opposition 4.3.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association Letter of Opposition 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Consumer Technology Association Letter of Opposition 4.3.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Flame Retardants Slide Presentation 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Testimony Learning Disabilities Assoc 4.3.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - Propes 4.1.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - AK Children's Trust 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - AK Fire Chiefs Assoc 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - AK Nurses Association 3.29.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - AKPIRG 4.3.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - Kawerak Inc 4.3.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - McLaughlin 4.3.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 3 Sponsor Statement 3.12.2019.pdf HMLV 3/14/2019 2:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Ver A 3.12.2019.pdf HMLV 3/14/2019 2:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Ver M 3.12.2019.pdf HMLV 3/14/2019 2:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 Explanation of Changes 3.12.2019.pdf HMLV 3/14/2019 2:00:00 PM
HMLV 3/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 3
HB 3 DOR Fiscal Note.pdf HMLV 3/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 3
HB3 DNR Fiscal Note.pdf HMLV 3/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 3
HB27 Supporting Document - AKPFFA Letter 4.4.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Whitson Letter of Support 4.4.19_Redacted.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Fuller Letter of Support 4.4.19_Redacted.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Hauser Letter of Support 4.4.19_Redacted.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HRES US Army Corps of Engineers Presentation Pebble 4.5.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
Pebble