Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/14/1994 04:43 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.