Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/16/1993 07:55 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
TELECONFERENCE
CONTINUATION FOLLOWING CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
* SB 50
SB 165
<TELECONFERENCE ON ABOVE BILL>
SB 183 APPRO: EXXON VALDEZ RESTORATION PROJECTS
<TELECONFERENCE ON ABOVE BILL>
txt
                                                                               
                             MINUTES                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         April 16, 1993                                        
                            7:55 p.m.                                          
  TAPES                                                                        
                                                                               
  SFC-93, #63, Side 1 (124-end)                                                
  SFC-93, #63, Side 2 (575-end)                                                
  SFC-93, #65, Side 1 (000-041)                                                
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Drue  Pearce,  Co-chair,  convened  the  meeting  at                 
  approximately 7:55 p.m.                                                      
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  In addition to  Co-chairs Pearce  and Frank, Senators  Jacko                 
  and  Rieger  were  present.    Senators  Kelly,  Sharp,  and                 
  Kerttula did not attend.                                                     
                                                                               
  ALSO ATTENDING:  Senator Lincoln;  Senator Little;  Attorney                 
  General Charlie Cole; Bruce Campbell, Commissioner, Dept. of                 
  Transportation   and   Public   Facilities;   John   Sandor,                 
  Commissioner,  Dept.  of  Environmental  Conservation;  Carl                 
  Rosier, Commissioner, Dept.  of Fish and Game;  Dusty Kaser,                 
  Chugach   Alaska   Corporation;   Russell    Heath,   Alaska                 
  Environmental   Lobby;   Karl  Becker,   Cordova  Commercial                 
  Fishermen  in  Prince  William  Sound;  Willard  E.  Dunham,                 
  Chairman,  Seward Association for  the Advancement of Marine                 
  Science; Chip Thoma, Juneau Activist; and aides to committee                 
  members and other members of the legislature.                                
                                                                               
  PARTICIPATING VIA TELECONFERENCE:                                            
                                                                               
       Anchorage - Rick Steiner, resident of Cordova, Alaska                   
                                                                               
       Kodiak    - Mayor Jerome Selby                                          
                   Mary Forbes, Audubon Society                                
                                                                               
       Homer       -  David Stutzer,  Kachemak Bay  State Park                 
  System                                                                       
                      Advisory Board                                           
                                                                               
       Kenai     -  Tom   Wright,  United  Cook   Inlet  Drift                 
  Association                                                                  
                                                                               
       Seward    - Wayne Carpenter,  Director, Seward  Chamber                 
  of                                                                           
                      Commerce                                                 
                   Larry Johnson, resident of Seward                           
                                                                               
       Valdez    - Nancy Lethcoe, Alaska Wilderness Safaris                    
                      and Alaska Wilderness Recreation Tour                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
                      Association                                              
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SB 165    -    APPROP: ALYESKA SETTLEMENT/FY 93 SUPPLMNT                     
                                                                               
                 A  teleconference and  discussion was  had in                 
                 conjunction with SB 183.                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SB 183    -    APPRO: EXXON VALDEZ,CAPITAL BUDGET FY 94                      
                                                                               
                 Discussion  was  had  with  Attorney  General                 
                 Charlie  Cole,   Commissioner  John   Sandor,                 
                 Senator  Lincoln, those  in  the audience  in                 
                 Juneau,   and   participants    from   listed                 
                 teleconference sites.                                         
                                                                               
  Upon convening  the meeting,  Co-chair Pearce  advised of  a                 
  teleconference hookup  for public testimony on SB 165 and SB
  183.                                                                         
                                                                               
  CHARLIE COLE, Attorney  General, Dept.  of Law, came  before                 
  committee in response to a question from Senator Rieger.  He                 
  explained that both the Seldovia Native Association and Cook                 
  Inlet Regional Corporation would be warranting title to land                 
  conveyed in  the  Kachemak Bay  State Park  purchase.   Both                 
  organizations would further  attest to  the fact that  there                 
  are  no   liens,  encumbrances,  defects,   or  third  party                 
  interests in the property, except  the timber agreement that                 
  is specified in greater detail.                                              
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger  raised   questions  regarding  the  interim                 
  conveyance  of the lands from  the federal government to the                 
  above-mentioned  Native organizations  and asked  if it  was                 
  sufficiently  valid.    The  Attorney  General said  he  was                 
  satisfied that the state would be receiving marketable title                 
  to the lands.                                                                
                                                                               
  Referring to the  proposed visitor  center within the  park,                 
  Co-chair Frank noted plans for docks, hiking trails, public-                 
  use cabins,  public moorings,  etc, and  suggested that  the                 
  proposed  $500.0  does  not  appear  adequate for  both  the                 
  visitor  center  and  other  planned  projects.   He  voiced                 
  concern that the  state may end up  with a park that  is not                 
  very accessible or usable.  JOHN SANDOR, Commissioner, Dept.                 
  of   Environmental   Conservation,  came   before  committee                 
  acknowledging  that the area  could use  additional funding.                 
  He  explained  that  the Kachemak  Bay  Park  Visitor Center                 
  Advisory Board has a substantial list of projects.  However,                 
  the department has  not yet  developed a detailed  amenities                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  plan for areas within the spill.  The intent is to work with                 
  communities   and  the   visitor   industry  in   developing                 
  facilities  over a period  of time.   Attorney  General Cole                 
  suggested  that the  visitor  center should  be  "reasonably                 
  modest  at  the outset,"  because  of costs  associated with                 
  staffing.                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR GEORGIANNA LINCOLN next came  before committee.  She                 
  acknowledged that numerous individuals seeking to  speak via                 
  teleconference had been waiting since early morning, and she                 
  said she would be brief.  She referred to earlier introduced                 
  legislation  for  restoration  projects and  noted  that  it                 
  resulted  from numerous teleconferences and input from those                 
  in oil-spill impacted areas in an attempt to ascertain their                 
  wishes for expenditure of the $50 million.  SB 183 was later                 
  introduced.  It  does not  include many of  the projects  of                 
  importance to residents of oil-spill areas.  Co-chair Pearce                 
  observed that SB 183 is sponsored by the Governor.  Projects                 
  therein  were  selected  by the  trustee  council.   Senator                 
  Lincoln reiterated that  the list  of projects developed  by                 
  residents of the area does  not mesh with projects  selected                 
  by the trustees.                                                             
                                                                               
  Senator  Lincoln  referenced  documentation evidencing  that                 
  most of the injury from the  EXXON VALDEZ oil spill occurred                 
  within  Prince William Sound.  Yet,  an inordinate amount of                 
  funding in SB 183 would be expended elsewhere.                               
                                                                               
  Senator  Lincoln  further  pointed to  the  $4.5  million in                 
  interest  that has accumulated  on the $50  million.  Noting                 
  that the  interest is not included within  the bill, Senator                 
  Lincoln asked how it would be spent.  She then questioned SB
  183 expenditure of funds on both the oyster hatchery and sea                 
  life  center  at  Seward.    Further, sport  and  commercial                 
  fishermen  have  indicated opposition  to  the  proposed Ft.                 
  Richardson  Hatchery.  There are sites within the spill area                 
  for hatchery operations.                                                     
                                                                               
  In her  closing remarks, Senator  Lincoln questioned whether                 
  SB 183  meets legal  restrictions  and the  intended use  of                 
  restoration funds.                                                           
                                                                               
  TELECONFERENCE                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-chair Pearce noted the limited, three-hour teleconference                 
  window,  asked  that  those wishing  to  testify  keep their                 
  testimony  brief,   and  advised   of  a   fax  number   for                 
  transmission of written testimony.                                           
                                                                               
  JEROME  SELBY, Mayor,  Kodiak, Alaska,  first  testified via                 
  teleconference.  He explained that soon after the settlement                 
  was  reached,   the  city   established  a   committee  that                 
  subsequently assembled a list of restoration projects.  That                 
  document was submitted  to the trustees and  has essentially                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  been ignored since only two projects  have been funded.  Mr.                 
  Selby cited need  for $7.5 million for  a fisheries industry                 
  technology center for analysis of  the impact of the  spill,                 
  $1.0 million for  purchase of  Dept. of Fish  and Game  weir                 
  sites in the Kodiak area, and  $9 million for acquisition of                 
  critical habitat  in the  Afognak area.   The  $17.5 million                 
  total is  a modest  request from  an area  that absorbed  in                 
  excess of 50% of the damage  from the oil spill.  The  spill                 
  also  impacted 17 of the 22 publicly owned cultural resource                 
  sites in the  Kodiak Island Borough.   The area also  lost a                 
  $100 million fishery.                                                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
  In his  closing remarks, Mayor Selby noted that projects for                 
  the Kodiak area contained within SB 165 and SB 183 amount to                 
  $3.2 million out of a total of  $102 million.  He then asked                 
  if it is appropriate that the area that absorbed over 50% of                 
  the  spill  receives  only 3%  of  the  funds.   He  further                 
  questioned whether  research grants contained within  SB 183                 
  were  needed  or  could  legally be  funded.    Mayor  Selby                 
  suggested that  the only  thing that  approaches the  damage                 
  caused by the spill  is the treatment the area  is presently                 
  receiving by way of exclusion from restoration funding.                      
                                                                               
  DAVID STUTZER,  Kachemak Bay State  Park Citizens'  Advisory                 
  Board, next testified from Homer, Alaska.  He explained that                 
  the board passed a  resolution in support of the  $7 million                 
  for the buy-back of park land and timber and mineral rights.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Speaking to the  proposed $500.0 for  a visitor center,  Mr.                 
  Stutzer asked that the committee consider appropriating  the                 
  funding to other  capital improvement  projects.  The  state                 
  division of parks does not have  funding to man and maintain                 
  the facility.                                                                
                                                                               
  TOM WRIGHT, United Cook Inlet  Draft Association, next spoke                 
  from  Kenai,  Alaska.     He  said  that   the  Association,                 
  consisting  of  585  permit holders,  does  not  support the                 
  majority of the projects within SB 183 since little would be                 
  spent to restore resources impacted by the spill.  SB 183 is                 
  not  the  result of  public  input.   Most  of  the proposed                 
  expenditures   are   directed    toward   tourism/recreation                 
  projects.  Mr. Wright voiced support  for sections of SB 183                 
  that are duplicated  in HB 10, pointing specifically  to the                 
  $3 million  for acquisition of  conservation easements along                 
  the Kenai River and the fishery industrial technology center                 
  at Kodiak.  The Association also supports the $7 million for                 
  Kachemak Bay State  Park as  well as the  Main Bay  Hatchery                 
  upgrade.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Mr. Wright next reiterated comments  by Senator Lincoln that                 
  the Ft. Richardson  Hatchery is not supported  by commercial                 
  fishermen nor is  it totally  supported by sport  fishermen.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Instead of spending $4 million for a hatchery to raise trout                 
  for  interior Alaska, the  Association requests that funding                 
  be used for summer  workers in the  Cook Inlet System and  a                 
  long-term research program for the Susitna River system.                     
                                                                               
  RICK STEINER,  a resident  of Cordova,  next testified  from                 
  Anchorage.                                                                   
  He noted that expenditure of  settlement moneys has enormous                 
  implications.  The  world is watching  to see how the  state                 
  will  attempt  to  restore resources  impacted  by  the most                 
  damaging oil spill  in human history.   Mr. Steiner said  he                 
  was  awed  by his  initial reading  of SB  183 since  it has                 
  little to do  with environmental restoration.   He suggested                 
  that  the  U.S.  Dept.  of   Justice,  which  collected  the                 
  settlement on behalf  of the  state, should closely  monitor                 
  expenditure.    He  stressed  that  SB 183  should  move  no                 
  further.  Mr. Steiner acknowledged that upgrades to the Main                 
  Bay Hatchery as  well as the oyster hatchery  are legitimate                 
  projects.  Many  projects, however, such  as the Seward  Sea                 
  Life Center and the Ft.  Richardson Hatchery, have little to                 
  do with restoration.                                                         
                                                                               
  WAYNE  CARPENTER,  Director,  Seward  Chamber  of  Commerce,                 
  Seward, Alaska, next  spoke via teleconference.   He advised                 
  of substantial  inquiry and assessment  associated with  the                 
  drafting of  SB 165  and SB  183.  Governor  Hickel and  his                 
  staff  visited the Seward  area to assess  needs relating to                 
  the sea life  center.  Mr. Carpenter recommended support for                 
  the  bill.  He  cited the deaths of  thousands of sea birds,                 
  disappearance of sea  lions (70% are gone  from Resurrection                 
  Bay and the Gulf of Alaska), and lack of salmon returning to                 
  spawning grounds as indications that the impact of the spill                 
  and other  environmental degradation on  marine environments                 
  is unknown.   The marine mammal research  and rehabilitation                 
  center  will provide a much needed  facility.  Mr. Carpenter                 
  commended  inclusion of  the  fishery industrial  technology                 
  center  at  Kodiak.     He  then   urged  support  for   the                 
  legislation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  LARRY  JOHNSON,  local  businessman,   Seward  Alaska,  next                 
  testified in support of SB 183.   He attested to need for  a                 
  responsible  balance  between  capital investment  and  land                 
  acquisition.  He indicated that the proposed Seward Sea Life                 
  Center meets both the language and intent of the settlement.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  NANCY  LETHCOE,  Valdez,  Alaska, next  spoke  on  behalf of                 
  Alaska Wilderness  Safaris  (a  business  operated  by  Mrs.                 
  Lethcoe and her husband).   She voiced opposition to  SB 183                 
  and the fact that no hearings on the bill were had by Senate                 
  Resources  or  Senate  Judiciary.    Mrs.   Lethcoe  further                 
  attested  to the  lengthy wait  associated with  testifying,                 
  noting that  many who had  been waiting  since morning  left                 
  prior to commencement of the current meeting.                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
  End, SFC-93, #63, Side 1                                                     
  Begin, SFC-93, #63, Side 2                                                   
                                                                               
  Mrs.  Lethcoe  explained  that  she  and  her  husband  have                 
  operated their business  for 18 years.   They were operating                 
  in Valdez before the pipeline  terminal opened.  Independent                 
  travelers  pay  hundreds  of  dollars  a  day  for  a  truly                 
  wilderness experience--wild land with no manmade structures.                 
  Prince William  Sound is  one of  the few  coastal areas  of                 
  undeveloped  wilderness   in  the  United   States  that  is                 
  accessible to the boating public.   Today, it looks much the                 
  same as it  did when the  Revolutionary War was fought.  Its                 
  purity is a scarce and valuable resource.                                    
                                                                               
  Prior  to  the   spill,  the  Lethcoes  operated   a  small,                 
  profitable,  family-operated business.    The spill  changed                 
  that.  Income from the business was down 50%.  Last year, it                 
  recovered to approximately 80%.                                              
                                                                               
  Mrs.  Lethcoe  said that  federal  courts  have consistently                 
  ruled  in  favor  of  oil   companies  and  against  tourism                 
  businesses.   For that  reason, and  because  of the  hours,                 
  emotional toll,  and effort  involved, the  Lethcoes elected                 
  not  to  pursue a  suit against  Exxon  but to  devote their                 
  energies to ensuring that restoration  projects did not hurt                 
  their business more than the spill.  Mrs. Lethcoe termed the                 
  proposed  legislation  "one of  our  worst nightmares."   It                 
  would  deprive  the  business  of   access  to  the  natural                 
  resources upon which  the business was  built.  It does  not                 
  advance but  reduces wilderness  tourism by  introduction of                 
  marinas, cabins, and other development within Prince William                 
  Sound.  Mrs. Lethcoe voiced  objection to use of restoration                 
  funds for elimination of the  wilderness resource upon which                 
  their business depends.                                                      
                                                                               
  Mrs. Lethcoe  further suggested  that the  proposed road  to                 
  Whittier would not be  built for Alaskans but for  mass out-                 
  of-state tourism companies.  She  urged that the legislation                 
  not pass from committee.                                                     
                                                                               
  MARY FORBES, Audubon  Society, Kodiak,  Alaska, next  voiced                 
  disappointment  in  the  proposed legislation.    While some                 
  projects are supported, by and large the legislation appears                 
  to be  an "inappropriate  way of  using restoration  money."                 
  She  suggested  that  reimbursement moneys  to  be  used for                 
  construction of the road to  Whittier would be better placed                 
  within the Dept.  of Environmental Conservation or  Dept. of                 
  Fish  and  Game  where  resource-related budgets  have  been                 
  slashed.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Ms. Forbes voiced support for the  Kachemak Bay buy-back but                 
  suggested that other pieces of legislation (SB 53 and HB 76)                 
  would accomplish the same.                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Ms.  Forbes   expressed  further  disappointment   that  the                 
  consensus work from last year and  efforts relating to HB 10                 
  and SB  98 have been ignored  by the Governor.   She further                 
  voiced  her  understanding that  while  the trustees  are to                 
  oversee  disbursement  of civil  settlement  moneys, use  of                 
  criminal settlement moneys is left to state determination.                   
                                                                               
  Co-chair   Pearce   called  for   additional  teleconference                 
  testimony.   There was no  indication from the various sites                 
  that  additional  people  wished  to  speak.   The  Co-chair                 
  directed that testimony be taken from those  in the audience                 
  in Juneau.                                                                   
                                                                               
  DUSTY  KASER,   Chugach  Alaska  Corporation,   came  before                 
  committee in support  of SB 165,  particularly the docks  at                 
  Tatitlek and  Chenega and the  road from Cordova  to Shepard                 
  Point.     In   discussions   with  the   Governor,   Native                 
  organizations  agreed  it  made  sense   for  the  Dept.  of                 
  Transportation  and Public  Facilities to build  the Shepard                 
  Point road.  All  projects within the bill are  badly needed                 
  and wanted by  communities involved.   Mr. Kaser noted  that                 
  Tatitlek and  Chenega were  heavily impacted  by the  spill.                 
  Part  of the  intent  behind the  Alyeska  settlement is  to                 
  alleviate  the impact  by  providing needed  facilities  and                 
  direct economic benefit via jobs.                                            
                                                                               
  SB 165 provides grant funds to Chugach Alaska Corporation to                 
  construct the proposed docks.   Chugach and impacted village                 
  corporations  share common  shareholders--all tied  to local                 
  councils.  All have vested interested in timely, economical,                 
  and  environmentally   safe  completion  of   the  projects.                 
  Chugach  Alaska  is  better able  to  meet  community needs,                 
  desires, and priorities because it works directly with those                 
  impacted by the  spill.  Further,  the facilities are to  be                 
  built on Native land.   That includes the road  from Cordova                 
  to Shepard Point.                                                            
                                                                               
  Mr. Kaser explained that Chugach Alaska would  serve only as                 
  project manager  on the  dock construction.   Since  funding                 
  would flow as a grant, it would not be necessary for Chugach                 
  to  follow  the  state  procurement  code.    That  provides                 
  flexibility; the process  will move faster; and  each dollar                 
  will go further.   It is  hoped that construction can  begin                 
  this year, providing  the permitting process does  not delay                 
  the  effort.    Mr  Kaser  said  there would  also  be  less                 
  administrative cost.  Engineering  and construction would be                 
  accomplished by recognized industry leaders.  Chugach can be                 
  selective in terms of  who bids on projects while  the state                 
  would not be  able to do so.  It will  also maximize the use                 
  of local hire and subcontracting  to ensure that the largest                 
  portion of funds remains within the  community.  Further, if                 
  the $7.2 million  for each  of the projects  is not  totally                 
  utilized on one, excess funds can  be utilized on the other.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Construction  of  the  docks  will  be to  state  standards.                 
  Chugach  is  agreeable   to  state  review  of   design  and                 
  construction inspection  to ensure that those  standards are                 
  met.                                                                         
                                                                               
  RUSSELL  HEATH, Alaska Environmental Lobby, next came before                 
  committee, voicing opposition to SB 183.   He suggested that                 
  it violates both the intent and spirit of the Exxon criminal                 
  settlement  in  that  the purpose  of  settlement  moneys is                 
  "exclusively for restoration projects."  SB 183 makes only a                 
  token nod to that  intent because only $15 million  would be                 
  expended on such projects.  Most of the money would be spend                 
  on concrete.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Mr. Heath stressed  that the  EXXON VALDEZ oil  spill was  a                 
  crime against nature.   The criminal settlement was  paid in                 
  restitution for that  crime to, in  a small way, repair  the                 
  catastrophic damage done  to animals, plants, land,  and sea                 
  in the oil impacted  area.  The best and most  effect way to                 
  return Prince William Sound and other impacted areas to pre-                 
  spill  health is to  protect them  from further  threats and                 
  damage.  Nature is  the best restorer.  The  natural working                 
  of   the  ecosystem  will   replenish  plant   and  wildlife                 
  populations.  There  is nothing  that can be  done, at  this                 
  point, that would be more effective than letting nature take                 
  its course.  For nature to  do that, critical and productive                 
  habitat  must  be protected  from  further destruction.   If                 
  additional habitat is  lost, it will  be more difficult  for                 
  wildlife  populations   to  recover.     For  that   reason,                 
  environmental  and  other  groups  statewide  overwhelmingly                 
  support acquisition  of habitat as the best  use of criminal                 
  settlement moneys.                                                           
                                                                               
  Most of the  moneys allocated  by SB  183 will  be spent  on                 
  tourist  facilities   and  hatcheries.     Building  tourist                 
  facilities  is  not  restorative, and  there  are  more cost                 
  effective  ways of restoring  damaged fish  populations than                 
  hatcheries that will require subsidies for many years.                       
                                                                               
  The Kachemak buy-back, habitat acquisition on the Kenai, and                 
  restoration of subsistence  resources fulfill the  intent of                 
  the settlement and  are the only projects  the environmental                 
  community supports.                                                          
                                                                               
  Mr. Heath  voiced objection  to the lack  of public  process                 
  associated with the bill.  Few of the people, organizations,                 
  and  communities  affected by  the  spill were  consulted in                 
  development of the legislation.   Opportunity for the people                 
  of  Alaska  to  review  and  influence  the  bill  has  been                 
  extremely limited by  the fact that  it was waived from  two                 
  prior committees and rapidly scheduled in Senate Finance.                    
                                                                               
  In  his  closing  remarks,  Mr.  Heath  reiterated statewide                 
  support for habitat acquisition and  requested that the bill                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  be redrafted to comply with the  true intent of the criminal                 
  settlement.                                                                  
                                                                               
  KARL BECKER, a commercial fisherman in Prince William Sound,                 
  next came  before committee.  He advised of many individuals                 
  in Cordova who wished to speak via teleconference.  However,                 
  due to the lateness of the hour,  many had to leave the site                 
  to provide for their families.   He asked that an additional                 
  day  of  testimony be  scheduled  for  SB 183.    Mr. Becker                 
  stressed that the bill reflects little public input from oil                 
  impacted  areas  and  contains  little  to  restore  damaged                 
  resources  and services.   He observed  that SB  98 conforms                 
  closely to the  needs and interests  of those living in  the                 
  region  affected by the  spill.  It  does so because  of the                 
  lengthy  public process  by  which it  was  developed.   Mr.                 
  Becker urged committee  members to  respect that history  of                 
  public input through passage of SB 98.                                       
                                                                               
  Senator  Kelly  asked  who  introduced  SB 98,  and  Senator                 
  Lincoln advised that it is her bill.                                         
                                                                               
  WILLARD  E.  DUNHAM,  Chairman, Seward  Association  for the                 
  Advancement  of Marine Science,  next came before committee.                 
  He voiced support for the Alaska  Sea Life Center at Seward.                 
  Much  time  and  effort   was  spent  by  the   Governor  in                 
  development  of the  project.   Mr.  Dunham also  pointed to                 
  multiple  hearings on  the subject  as  part of  last year's                 
  legislation.    He  further noted  that Seward  is the  only                 
  first class city  that received  oil on its  beaches as  the                 
  spill traversed along the west side of Prince William Sound,                 
  along the Kenai Peninsula  up to Cook Inlet, out  to Kodiak,                 
  and then along the Aleutian Chain.  The facility has been in                 
  the planning stage  for over twenty years  and has undergone                 
  much  evolution in  response to documented  scientific need.                 
  There is no place to study marine mammals (or a holding lab)                 
  north of Santa Cruz, California.   The sea life center would                 
  provide  the  opportunity  to  conduct  both   research  and                 
  rehabilitation as well  as public  education.  The  aquarium                 
  would be fully funded and require no  additional moneys from                 
  the state.                                                                   
                                                                               
  An  exhibit  for the  sea life  center  at the  great Alaska                 
  sportsman show in Anchorage gathered 504 names in support of                 
  the facility.                                                                
                                                                               
  CHIP THOMA, Juneau Activist, next came before committee.  He                 
  voiced objection  to the  administration's handling  of both                 
  the Exxon and Alyeska settlements, suggesting that the state                 
  settled for between 10  to 50 cents on the dollar.  Speaking                 
  to the Alyeska settlement contained within SB 165, Mr. Thoma                 
  suggested that  it is  approximately $450  million short  in                 
  terms of Alyeska's liability.  He further suggested that the                 
  administration  has  taken  a  "cavalier  attitude"   toward                 
  settlement without investigating actual damage to resources.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  The result of inappropriate settlements  is a cynical bill--                 
  SB  183--which  does not  address  damage to  Prince William                 
  Sound and Kodiak.                                                            
                                                                               
  Mr.  Thoma  suggested  that  Governor  Hickel  has  a  naive                 
  attitude toward natural  resources.  He then  voiced support                 
  for  the  Kachemak  Bay  buy-back   but  suggested  that  it                 
  represents  a visual back-drop for the  ride to Homer rather                 
  than  primary habitat.   He stressed that  habitat should be                 
  acquired  for  fish and  wildlife  purposes rather  than for                 
  visual effect.                                                               
                                                                               
  In his closing remarks,  Mr. Thoma termed SB 183  a concrete                 
  bill rather  than restoration  or preservation  legislation.                 
  It is  not in  the spirit  of settlement  terms calling  for                 
  acquisition of equivalent resources.   He suggested that the                 
  Clinton administration would ensure acquisition of  valuable                 
  migratory resources within Alaska and the Lower  Forty-eight                 
  states.                                                                      
                                                                               
  At this  point in  the hearing,  Co-chair Pearce  redirected                 
  attention  to the  teleconference  network  and  advised  of                 
  additional testimony.                                                        
                                                                               
  NANCY LETHCOE again testified from Valdez, Alaska,  speaking                 
  as  president  of  the  Alaska  Wilderness  Recreation  Tour                 
  Association which  represents over  300 members.   She  said                 
  that the  Association board supports  SB 98  and HB 10.   It                 
  does not support  SB 183.   She stressed  that the  proposed                 
  road  to Whittier does  not represent  restoration.   It is,                 
  instead, a road for the out-of-state cruise ship industry.                   
                                                                               
  Mrs.  Lethcoe   further  voiced  opposition   to  additional                 
  sections of the bill  including the Alaska Sea  Life Center,                 
  saying  that  it represents  another  "type  of mass-tourism                 
  development  project  that benefits  out-of-state companies"                 
  rather than in-state Alaskans.                                               
                                                                               
  Further,  the  Association's  sport fishing  membership  has                 
  expressed opposition to the Ft. Richardson Hatchery.                         
                                                                               
  The  Association  supports provisions  for  the  buy-back in                 
  Kachemak Bay.  That project is also included in SB 98 and HB
  10.  The  Association also  supports acquisition of  habitat                 
  along coastal areas and Afognak Island.  Acquisition of Seal                 
  Bay  was  included  in  three  previous bills  dealing  with                 
  criminal settlement  moneys, but  it is  not included  in SB
  183.    Mrs.  Lethcoe  urged  that  SB  183  not  pass  from                 
  committee.                                                                   
                                                                               
  RICK  STEINER, resident of  Cordova, Alaska, again testified                 
  from Anchorage.   He reiterated  earlier comments that  many                 
  who  wished  to  testify  via  teleconference  lost  out  by                 
  attrition.  He  further advised that the process  behind the                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  proposed bill is flawed.   The moneys were collected  by the                 
  U.S.  Dept.  of Justice  in  federal  court for  a  specific                 
  purpose--compensation for environmental damage  inflicted by                 
  the  spill.    Expenditure of  those  moneys  is  to be  for                 
  environmental restoration  rather  than  sea  life  centers,                 
  hatcheries, etc.  He stressed that  SB 183 should not go any                 
  further.                                                                     
                                                                               
  At the request of Co-chair  Pearce, ATTORNEY GENERAL CHARLIE                 
  COLE again  came before  committee.   The Co-chair asked  if                 
  projects to be funded within SB  165 and SB 183 meet consent                 
  decree  requirements.    Mr.  Cole  responded,  "Yes."    He                 
  acknowledged considerable testimony in  favor of acquisition                 
  of habitat.   The trustee council is interested in acquiring                 
  threatened habitat  and has looked  at a number  of parcels,                 
  including a 21,000  acre tract  at Seal Bay.   The reply  to                 
  inquiries relating to the purchase  price brought a response                 
  of more than $50 million.  The state would thus not  be able                 
  to acquire much habitat if it  spent the entire $50 million,                 
  plus interest.                                                               
                                                                               
  Attorney General  Cole next  directed attention to  proposed                 
  amendments.   Co-chair  Pearce noted  an initial  amendment,                 
  designated Amendment  No. 1,  by Co-chair  Frank.   Mr. Cole                 
  referenced Amendment No.  2 which  he explained would  place                 
  oversight of  feasibility documentation  for the  Alaska Sea                 
  Life Center at Seward in the "Office of the Governor, Office                 
  of  Management  and   Budget"  rather  than  the   Dept.  of                 
  Administration.     Co-chair  Pearce  voiced   concern  that                 
  construction   not  commence  prior   to  preparation  of  a                 
  financing package  as well as information on  how the center                 
  will  be  operated.    She  further suggested  that  placing                 
  oversight over a  project sought by the  Governor within his                 
  office  makes  the arrangement  "awfully  close."   Co-chair                 
  Pearce suggested that  the committee work with  the Attorney                 
  General on appropriate language.                                             
                                                                               
  Pointing to Amendment No. 3,  the Attorney General explained                 
  that it  would delete "substantial,  ongoing" from  language                 
  calling  for  a  lapse  of  moneys  back into  the  fund  if                 
  substantial, ongoing work on  the grants for the Alaska  Sea                 
  Life  Center,  Main   Bay  Hatchery,   and  restoration   of                 
  subsistence  resources  in unincorporated  rural communities                 
  has not begun by December 1, 1994.                                           
                                                                               
  Referencing Amendment No.  4, Co-chair Pearce noted  that it                 
  reflects language worked out between  Co-chair Frank and the                 
  Dept.  of  Environmental  Conservation.   It  would  add "or                 
  public  research  institutions"  to   language  relating  to                 
  research funding for private entity programs directed toward                 
  prevention,  containment, cleanup,  and amelioration  of oil                 
  spills.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Attorney General Cole  explained that Amendment No.  5 would                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  add "and related  facilities" to language providing  for the                 
  Kachemak Bay State Park visitor center.                                      
                                                                               
  Senator Kelly  voiced concern  that projects  may enter  the                 
  actual construction  phase before they are fully funded.  He                 
  specifically pointed to the Alaska Sea Life Center and noted                 
  past  requests  for   $36  million.     He  then  asked   if                 
  construction  is  expected to  commence  based on  the $12.5                 
  million appropriated in SB 183.                                              
                                                                               
  End, SFC-93, #63, Side 2                                                     
  Begin, SFC-93, #65, Side 1                                                   
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Pearce  noted lack  of  continued  availability of                 
  teleconference lines  for further  discussion at this  time.                 
  She then announced  that the committee  would again meet  at                 
  9:00 a.m.  tomorrow.  Bills  to be  heard at that  time have                 
  been posted.                                                                 
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:15 p.m.                         
                                                                               

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