Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/14/1994 04:43 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                       February 14, 1994                                       
                           4:43 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Mike Miller, Chairman                                                 
 Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman                                            
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Senator Drue Pearce                                                           
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Fred Zharoff                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 308                                                           
 "An Act modifying administrative procedures and decisions by state            
 agencies that relate to uses and dispositions of state land,                  
 property, and resources, and to the interests within them, and that           
 relate to land, property, and resources, and to the interests                 
 within them, that are subject to the coastal management program;              
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
                                                                               
 SB 240 (MUNICIPAL TAX CREDIT/HABITAT PROTECTION) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT           
 NOT HEARD THIS DATE.                                                          
 SB 217 (INCREASE LAND GRANT TO UNIV. OF ALASKA) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT            
 NOT HEARD THIS DATE.                                                          
 SCR 13 (GOLD RUSH CENTENNIAL DECADE) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT NOT HEARD             
 THIS DATE.                                                                    
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
   SB 308 - No previous action to record.                                      
                                                                               
 SB 240 - See Resources minutes dated 2/4/94 and 2/14/94.                      
                                                                               
 SB 217 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
          1/26/94 and 2/2/94.                                                  
                                                                               
 SCR 13 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 Jim Eason, Director                                                           
 Division of Oil and Gas                                                       
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 P.O. Box 107034                                                               
 Anchorage, Ak. 99510-0734                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 308                                       
                                                                               
 Senator Little                                                                
 Capitol Building                                                              
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 George Findling, Manager                                                      
 Public Relations                                                              
 Arco Alaska                                                                   
 Anchorage, Ak. 99510                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 308.                                      
                                                                               
 Darcy Richards, Program Director                                              
 Aleutians West Coastal Research Service Area                                  
 Anchorage, Ak 99510                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 Mike Wenig                                                                    
 Trustees of Alaska                                                            
 725 Christensen Dr.                                                           
 Anchorage, Ak. 99501                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 Navette Bowen, Alaska Marine Conservation council                             
   Anchorage, Ak.                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308                                    
                                                                               
 Susan Flensburg                                                               
 Bristol Bay Coastal Resource Service Area                                     
 P.O. Box 849                                                                  
 Dillingham, Ak. 99576                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 Connie Gatling                                                                
 Kenai-Soldotna                                                                
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 Mike O'Maera                                                                  
 P.O. Box 1125                                                                 
 Homer, Ak. 99603                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 Gail Parsons                                                                  
 P. O. N4, Box 2397                                                            
 Homer, Ak. 99603                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
 Hal Spence                                                                    
 Homer News                                                                    
 3482 Landings St.                                                             
 Homer, Ak. 99603                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 Tom Lohman                                                                    
 North Slope Borough                                                           
 P.O. Box 69                                                                   
 Barrow, Ak. 99723                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 308.                                   
                                                                               
 Riki Ott                                                                      
 United Fishermen of Alaska                                                    
 P.O. Box 1430                                                                 
 Cordova, Ak. 99574                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed SB 308.                                        
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-7, SIDE A                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at            
 4:43 p.m. and announced  SB 308  (ADMIN ACTION RE LAND/RESOURCES/             
 PROPERTY) to be up for consideration.                                         
                                                                               
 JIM EASON, Director, Division of Oil and Gas, supported SB 308.  He           
 said it is intended to clarify the intent of the legislature                  
 regarding how best interest findings and coastal zone consistency             
 determinations, under Title 38 and Title 46, are to be developed.             
                                                                               
 He explained that it makes more explicit the Director's authority             
 to establish the scope of administrative review for a disposal and            
 the written findings in support of a best interest finding and a              
 coastal zone consistency determination.  The scope, under this                
 legislation, will be limited to those reasonably foreseeable, non-            
 speculative, direct effects.  The written decision will be designed           
 to address those affects.                                                     
                                                                               
 He said the scope would also be limited to the applicable laws and            
 facts pertaining to the land, resources, and property that the                
 Director finds material to the determination - and that are known             
 or made known during the review of the findings. The scope may be             
 limited to the issues based upon the law and facts and the nature             
 of the uses which are found to be relevant.                                   
                                                                               
 This legislation will also address the issue of sequencing or the             
 ability of the Director to make findings for sales and disposals in           
 a sequenced fashion.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 167                                                                    
                                                                               
 Timing is important, Mr. Eason said, because the bids received on             
 sale 78, which was enjoined, are being retained by the Department,            
 with the possibility that there may be an opportunity to conduct              
 that sale if the Court reverses the Superior Court before June 29.            
                                                                               
                                                                               
 He said there is a companion bill that addresses an amendment to AS           
 38.05.180 (c) to remove the requirement that the Department hold a            
 sale within 90 days of the quarter in which it is originally                  
 scheduled.  It is important that this receive the Committee's                 
 consideration early on.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 185                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked for his definition of "non-speculative                   
 effect".  MR. EASON said there are many opinions on what is                   
 speculative.  The intent is to set a higher standard, so the Court            
 is not encouraged lightly to step in and exercise its discretion.             
 It will place a higher burden on fact as to what is or is not                 
 speculative.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE said she was concerned that this legislation was               
 being rushed through Committee.  She was also concerned about                 
 people who administer coastal management plans having input.                  
                                                                               
 Number 280                                                                    
                                                                               
 GEORGE FINDLING, Manager, Public Relations, Arco Alaska, pointed              
 out that detailed findings and analysis can never be definitive               
 because the impacts of oil and gas development arise only from                
 activity on leases.  They are not known at the lease sale stage.              
                                                                               
 Second, he noted, already state agencies retain considerable                  
 control through mitigation measures and permits over subsequent               
 activities on oil and gas leases.                                             
                                                                               
 Third, he said DNR compiles thousands of pages of findings which              
 courts find inadequate.                                                       
                                                                               
 Fourth, in 1990 the legislature limited best interest findings to             
 criteria listed in AS 38.05.035.  Now, there is a need for the                
 legislature to further limit the court's ability to impose                    
 additional best interest findings.                                            
                                                                               
 In conclusion he said this is the type of bill they could support.            
                                                                               
 DARCY RICHARDS, Program Director, Aleutians West Coastal Research             
 Service Area, administers the Coastal Management Plan for the                 
 Western Aleutians.  She urged the Committee not to move the bill              
 until the public had adequate opportunity to review it.                       
 MIKE WENIG, Trustees for Alaska, asked the Committee to take more             
 time to consider the merits of this legislation.  He said DNR did             
 not consider a caribou herd in a recent oil development lease.                
                                                                               
 Number 354                                                                    
                                                                               
 NAVETTE BOWEN, Alaska Marine Conservation Council, commented that             
 the bill could have more public review before the Committee acted             
 on it.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SUSAN FLENSBURG, Bristol Bay Coastal Resource Service Area, said              
 she needed more time for reviewing the bill.                                  
                                                                               
 CONNIE GATLING, Kenai-Soldotna, requested that the bill not move              
 from Committee until the public has had more time for meaningful              
 review.  It is a major rewrite of Title 38 and has far reaching               
 implications.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 439                                                                    
                                                                               
 MIKE O'MAERA said there should be more opportunity for discussion             
 of the bill.  On page 2, line 8, he thought "non-speculative" had             
 to be defined.                                                                
                                                                               
 He said there seems to be some attempt to limit the ability of                
 people to present information as it becomes available and seems to            
 lock action into the initial phase of the administrative review.              
                                                                               
 Page 2, line 26 talks of limiting the scope to a discrete phase of            
 the project.  This appears to be an attempt to shield the process             
 from public scrutiny.                                                         
                                                                               
 He thought this bill would foster distrust of the oil companies and           
 increase litigation on a constitutional basis.                                
                                                                               
 Number 493                                                                    
                                                                               
 GAIL PARSONS supported Mr. O'Maera's testimony.  She wanted time              
 for more public input.                                                        
                                                                               
 HAL SPENCE, Homer News, asked why there is such a hurry with this             
 bill.  SENATOR MILLER said that LS 79 was coming up shortly.                  
                                                                               
 TOM LOHMAN, North Slope Borough, said the public has not had enough           
 time to review this legislation.  He didn't think the bill was                
 necessary.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 565                                                                    
                                                                               
 RIKI OTT, United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), opposed SB 308, because           
 it is not necessarily in the state's best interest to have leases             
 in the middle of good fishing grounds.  If you don't consider all             
 the potential mitigation measures, then you're disadvantaging both            
 the oil industry and future decision makers.  If you don't put all            
 the issues up front, the developer won't have a good idea of                  
 whether they can economically develop or not.                                 
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-7, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 570                                                                    
                                                                               
  Future decision makers, likewise might be in the middle of a multi-     -    
 phased development and have only the choice of letting it proceed             
 or stop.                                                                      
                                                                               
 On page 2, lines 14 & 15 it seems like input from the public is               
 trying to be limited.  Limiting the affects to the specific                   
 geographic scope of the lease/sale does not take into account the             
 fact that we have migratory fish.  She noted that LS 79 which is to           
 be held soon, is in an environmentally sensitive area.                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER thanked everyone for their participation.  He said             
 the Committee would consider SB 308 again on Thursday and adjourned           
 the meeting at 5:30 p.m.                                                      
                                                                               

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