Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/09/1993 11:15 AM O&G
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON OIL & GAS February 9, 1993 11:15 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Rick Halford Senator Bert Sharp Senator Judith Salo MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Loren Leman, Chairman Senator Al Adams COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 81 "An Act repealing the 65-day time limit for approval or disapproval of a proposed oil discharge contingency plan by the Department of Environmental Conservation; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 75 "An Act relating to the reporting of certain steering malfunctions, losses of power, or other situations significantly affecting the seaworthiness of tank vessels; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS ACTION SB 81 - No previous action to record. SB 75 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Steve Porter ARCO Alaska, Inc. P.O. Box 100360 Anchorage, Alaska 99510-0360 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 81. Janice Adair, Assistant Commissioner Department of Environmental Conservation 410 Willoughby Ave., Suite 301 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1795 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 81. Russell Heath, Executive Director Alaska Environmental Lobby P.O. Box 22151 Juneau, Alaska 99802 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 81 and SB 75. Mike Conway, Director Spill Prevention and Response Department of Environmental Conservation 410 Willoughby, Suite 105 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1795 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 75. Ray Gillespie Gillespie & Associates 9478 Riverbend Court Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 75. Jerry Luckhaupt Legislative Legal Counsel 130 Seward Street Juneau, Alaska 99801-2105 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 75. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-1, SIDE A Number 001 SENATOR HALFORD called the Special Committee on Oil and Gas meeting to order at 11:15 a.m. and announced SB 81 REPEAL 65-DAY DEADLINE: OIL SPILL PLANS to be up for consideration. STEVE PORTER, ARCO, said this bill comes from a grass roots effort from spill planners, the agencies - the people who review plans on a daily basis. They have problems with trying to coordinate the Alaska Coastal Management Program with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Spill review authority. Deleting the 65 day provision in the statute does not allow for a stopping process. They recommend reviewing DEC regulations to design a process for the interior and coordinate it with the Alaska Coastal Zone program. Number 57 JANICE ADAIR, Department of Environmental Conservation, agreed with Mr. Porter's testimony. She said they do want to make sure the 15 contingency plans from the interior of Alaska are not subject to CZM review and have the 65 day requirement so DEC has to take some action during that time period. SENATOR SALO asked if 65 days could be done in regulation. MS. ADAIR said that it already was in regulation. Number 77 RUSSELL HEATH, Alaska Environmental Lobby, supported SB 81 because it would improve the ability for both the oil companies and the public to review the oil contingency plans. SENATOR HALFORD closed the hearing on SB 81 and announced SB 75 REPORTING OIL TANKER MALFUNCTIONS to be up for consideration. SENATOR PEARCE, sponsor of SB 75, requires the operator of a vessel carrying petroleum products to notify either the Coast Guard or the proper state authority whenever they experience a malfunction lasting more than 60 minutes. She introduced the bill after reading a preliminary report about the sequence of events that led to the recent wreck of the Braer off the Shetland Islands where the ship's captain spent a considerable amount of time trying to get permission from the owners to send an SOS. She said that maritime insurance law is so structured that a large percentage of the cargo and the boat itself go to the salvaging boat. This causes owners to delay sending an SOS until the last possible moment. She does not intend for action to necessarily take place, but it would give the Governor the authority to declare an emergency if there were a severe case. It is not her intent to include, because of the definition of tank vessel that is used, the ships coming out of Skagway and ships out of the Red Dog Mine. SENATOR PEARCE said she picked the 60 minute figure after interviews with boat owners and operators. Number 207 SENATOR SALO asked how she felt about the DEC being designated as the state agency. SENATOR PEARCE said she hadn't had an opportunity to talk if over with Mr. Conway or Ms. Adair. She doesn't have a problem with DEC being defined as the agency. She said she would want the person in charge of the vessel to do the reporting and in most cases this would be the captain of the vessel. SENATOR SALO said she understood section (c) of the bill as taking care of the 5th concern in the DEC position paper. SENATOR HALFORD asked what definition was being used for within state waters. SENATOR PEARCE said using that term allowed flexibility to go out to 200 miles. Number 296 MIKE CONWAY, Director, Division of Spill Prevention and Response, supported SB 75 with DEC's suggested amendments. They thought 60 minutes might be too much time to report a vessel casualty in some areas. SENATOR HALFORD asked him if they could go out to 200 miles rather than just 3 miles. MR. CONWAY couldn't answer that. The reporting requirements are more stringent within 3 miles. SENATOR PEARCE said that the portions of OPA 90 that are going into effect this month cover waters out to 200 miles (Economic Exclusive Zone). Number 355 SENATOR PEARCE said it was her intent to capture barges that were carrying fuel and she thought they should decide what size they wanted to include since there were small vessels carrying fuel to rural Alaska. Number 367 RUSSELL HEATH, Alaska Environmental Lobby, supported SB 75 saying it looks like a low cost measure which might prevent a disaster. He encouraged the committee to replace the 60 minute time limitation with "as soon as possible." Number 373 SENATOR SALO asked what size limitation for barges they should consider. MR. HEATH said he didn't know how effective communications were on the river and he didn't know what regulations govern barges on internal waters. SENATOR PEARCE commented that if the Governor's Northern Sea Route is successfully promoted that there would be a lot more traffic up the west coast. She did not intend for small vessels to have to buy more equipment for communications. Number 400 RAY GILLESPIE, representing a group of refined fuel product distributors, offered to work with staff to identify those areas that would be appropriate for a capacity limit or geographic areas that would be appropriate to make a threshold requirement for reporting. Number 415 SENATOR SHARP said he hoped to pursue information excluding refined products up to a certain vessel size. Number 428 JERRY LUCKHAUPT, drafter of SB 75, said he deliberately used the terms "waters of the state" because it has an obscure definition. He used this wording so they could have jurisdiction out to 200 miles. The extra reporting requirement on docking and filling the form for DEC was a way to encourage compliance out to 200 miles. Number 453 SENATOR HALFORD said they would hold SB 75 for further work and adjourned the meeting at 11:45 a.m.