Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/08/1993 03:40 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE April 8, 1993 3:40 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Mike Miller, Chairman Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman Senator Steve Frank Senator Drue Pearce Senator Fred Zharoff MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Al Adams Senator Dave Donley COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 103 "An Act relating to air quality control and the prevention, abatement, and control of air pollution; and providing for an effective date." HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 16 Relating to establishing the coal policy of the state. PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 103 - See Resources minutes dated 2/17/93. HCR 16 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Russell Heath, Director Alaska Environmental Lobby P.O. Box 22151 Juneau, Alaska 99802 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 103. Aimee Boulanger Alaska Center for the Environment 519 W 8th Ave., Suite 201 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 103. Eric Myers 6710 Potter Heights Anchorage, Alaska 99516 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 103. Resa Jerrel National Federation of Independent Businesses 9159 Skywood Lane Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 103. Bob Stiles Alaska Coal Association 1227 W 9th, No. 201 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HCR 16. Charlie Boddy Alaska Miners Association 1129 Kodiak Street Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HCR 16. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-20, SIDE A Number 001 SENATOR MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. and announced SB 103 AIR QUALITY CONTROL PROGRAM to be up for consideration. RUSSELL HEATH, Director, Alaska Environmental Lobby, opposed SB 103, because he said it is not the bill that was crafted by the working committee last year which they participated in and supported. He opposed SB 103, because it fails to protect the quality of Alaska's air, restricts the public's right to influence public policy, and restricts the rights of local governments to control the quality of the air in their own communities and neighborhoods. Also, the fee structure in SB 103 subverts the key intent of the Clean Air Act which is to reduce emissions. Logically, the size of the fee should be tied to the amount emitted, but in SB 103 it is tied to the per-hour cost to DEC to process the permit application which encourages letter-perfect applications, not less pollution. MR. HEATH stated that he was not allowed to participate at the Senate Resources subcommittee level and said there were provisions in this legislation that make it impossible for state or local governments to require standards more stringent than those required by the federal Clean Air Act. Number 243 SENATOR LEMAN said he was one of the three members of the subcommittee and didn't see their work as being in favor of any industry. He thought SB 103 was a very fair bill and that a representative from his organization would have been invited if they had asked to attend. SENATOR MILLER agreed. Number 243 SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt the CS to SB 103 for purposes of discussion. There were no objections and it was so ordered. Number 244 AIMEE BOULANGER, Community Coordinator for Pollution Issues for the Alaska Center for the Environment, said this is not the bill they had originally supported. They cannot support SB 103. She said she did attend the subcommittee's meeting while they were working on SB 103, but she did not feel it was appropriate to interrupt their meeting to comment. The public has been cut out of the process of influencing the course of progress in their own neighborhoods and cut out of the process of deciding what is an acceptable risk for their own families. SB 103 does not create an incentive or rewards for business to prevent pollution, she continued. Section 010 is absolutely unacceptable for the basic health needs of Alaskans. Number 340 SENATOR MILLER commented that if she would have asked to come to the table, she would have been welcome. ERIC MYERS, Anchorage, said he served on the DEC Air Quality Advisory Work Group as a representative of the general public. He said the timber industry did not act in good faith to come to reach a consensus. Subsection (c) 2 which requires that a proposed standard is technologically and economically feasible, he commented, restricts what is good for the public health and well being and should not be dictated by whether it is economically feasible - although it would probably be a rare instance. SENATOR FRANK commented that if you are going to shut businesses down, the legislature should be in a position to make that policy determination rather than just abrogating that authority and responsibility to the regulating authority. MR. MYERS said clean air should not be raised to an absolute standard of being economically feasible. Number 433 RESA JERREL, National Federation of Independent Businesses, said normally she is not involved in this type of issue, but in 1991 she put it out as a ballot question to her members. The question being, should DEC regulations be restricted to federal standards? Sixty one percent came back and said yes, they should be restricted to just the federal standard. She said the Governor's Task Force on Regulatory Reform in March recommended all departments be restricted to federal standards. She supported Sections 010 and 015 particularly. Number 454 SENATOR FRANK asked what the remaining percentages were. MS. JERREL replied that 61% said yes, 33% no, and 6% were undecided. SENATOR FRANK moved to pass CS to SB 103 from committee with individual recommendations and asked for unanimous consent. There were no objections and it was so ordered. Number 463 SENATOR MILLER announced HCR 16 ESTABLISH STATE COAL POLICY to be up for consideration. BOB STILES, President, Alaska Coal Association (ACA), supported HCR 16, because the policy reflects the work of a lot of the membership of the ACA as well as other industrial organizations throughout the state. This legislation sends a message to the international investment community and international customers for Alaskan coal that Alaska is a good place to do business. This perception is tremendously important and of value to the long-term future of the state. Number 490 SENATOR FRANK asked if he expected a domestic market to be viable? MR. STILES replied yes, that the domestic market is in two places - Hawaii, which is currently importing Indonesian coal, and in the state of Washington. SENATOR FRANK asked what the chances for waiving the Jones Act were. MR. STILES said there are numerous waivers to the Jones Act. The State Ferry System has a waiver to the Jones Act, for instance. He believes there is a good possibility of getting a Jones Act exemption and, given that exemption, opens some potential markets to Alaskan coal that are not now available to us. Number 508 CHARLIE BODDY, Alaska Coal Association and Alaska Miners Association, said they supported HCR 16. SENATOR LEMAN moved to discharge HCR 16 from committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR MILLER adjourned the meeting at 4:20 p.m.