Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/09/1994 03:37 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE March 9, 1994 3:37 P.M. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Mike Miller, Chairman Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman Senator Steve Frank Senator Al Adams Senator Dave Donley Senator Fred Zharoff MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Drue Pearce COMMITTEE CALENDAR Briefing by Director Chuck Findley: Reauthorization of Clean Water Act...Safe Drinking Water Act by Region X Briefing: Water/Wastewater Works Advisory Board SENATE BILL NO. 295 "An Act relating to financial assistance for certain owners or operators of underground petroleum storage tank systems; and providing for an effective date." HOUSE BILL NO. 232 "An Act relating to a bow hunting tag and bow hunting safety; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS ACTION SB 295 - No previous action to consider. HB 232 - See Resources minutes dated 2/22/94 and 2/23/94. WITNESS REGISTER John Barnett, Executive Director Board of Storage Tank Assistance 410 Willoughby Juneau, Ak. 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 295 Patti Swenson, Legislative Aide Representative Con Bunde State Capitol Juneau, Ak. 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 232. Chuck Findley, Director Region X POSITION STATEMENT: Gave briefing on the Clean Water Act and Safe e Drinking Water Act. John Hargesheimer Water and Wastewater Advisory Board P.O. Box 72020 Fairbanks, Ak. 99707 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave briefing on Board activities. Floyd Damron Water and Wastewater Advisory Board 2550 Denali St. 8th Floor Anchorage, Ak. 99503 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on Board activities. Richard Helinski, Chairman Water and Wastewater Advisory Board P.O. Box 190703 Anchorage, Ak. 99519 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on Board activities. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-17, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:37 p.m. and announced SB 295 (GRANTS/LOANS FOR STORAGE TANK OWNERS) to be up for consideration. JOHN BARNETT, Executive Director, Board of Storage Tank Assistance, said they work with DEC to administer the Storage Tank Assistance Fund. He said that SB 295 clarifies some problems they have found. One of them is the appeal authority of the Board being limited to dealing with appeals for eligible costs and appeals for priority ranking positions on the funding applications. There are over 150 people who have been determined ineligible by the Department. The first section of SB 295 clarifies this authority for the Board. The second section extends the application period for the financial assistance for underground storage tank systems. MR. BARNETT explained that they have two active financial assistance programs; a closure and upgrade program; and a cleanup assistance program. He said they would like to allow all of the closure upgrade applicants to remain eligible for cleanup should they find contamination if they have applied by the July 1 deadline. Number 108 SENATOR ZHAROFF said the primary focus has been on underground tanks and asked what was being done for above ground tanks. MR. BARNETT said the Governor has a new Commission, The Rural Bulk Fuel Task Force, to address some of the rural above ground tank needs. Neither DEC nor his program are empowered to undertake any activities for above ground storage tanks. SENATOR ZHAROFF asked if there were any funds for this program. MR. BARNETT replied that they didn't have a revenue source at this time. The Governor has a proposal to dedicate 1 cent per gallon of his proposed motor fuel tax increase to the program. These funds would be sufficient to satisfy their needs, but not the above ground program. He said there are federal mandates that came down on the underground storage tank program which have been the driving force behind the fund. SENATOR MILLER asked if there was a cutoff date for the people who are on the list beyond that date. MR. BARNETT said the only deadline in statute is the cleanup application deadline of July 1, 1994. There is no deadline for the closure upgrade applicants. Any contamination found after July 1, 1994 by those upgrade closure applicants would have about 2 years to discover that contamination, but then they would have to demonstrate that that contamination occurred before December 22, 1993. That is when both the state and federal level required leak protection equipment. SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass SB 295 from Committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. Number 200 SENATOR MILLER announced HB 232 (BOW HUNTING STAMP & BOW HUNTING SAFETY) to be up for consideration. PATTI SWENSON, Aide to Representative Con Bunde, explained that the only change in the CS to HB 232 is that it restricts the area for use of the bow hunting tag to bow hunting area only or during a bow hunting only season. She said that changed the fiscal note as well. MS. SWENSON noted the effective date has also been changed. Number 230 SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt the CS to HB 232 (Resources) Utermohle version, for discussion purposes. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR MILLER said they would bring this up at a later time and said they would have a briefing by the Region X Director, Chuck Findley. MR. FINDLEY gave an overview of the status of the Clean Water Act. He said there was a lot more action on the Senate side right now. SB 1114 was reported out of the Public Works Committee at the end of February and floor debate will happen sometime between April and June. Some of the significant issues discussed will probably be water rights, property rights, and unfunded mandates. The states are not to enthused about SB 1114, because a lot of the provisions go too far in the direction of federal control, MR. FINDLEY said. The watershed section, in particular, is too prescriptive and the non-point source program is more in the direction of an enforcement program which states aren't comfortable with. On the House side, he said, a bill is coming out that has to do with wetlands and property rights. Number 252 On the Safe Drinking Water Act side there is the Slattery bill that has a lot of support from both the industry and state sectors. It would change the current standards and would also give them a lot more flexibility in testing requirements for communities in terms of the kinds of contaminants. MR. FINDLEY said overall the Safe Drinking Water Act has a lot of momentum in Congress. It could get passed before the Clean Water Act. The non point source program will be much tougher and the watershed planning section would be brand new. He said the Clean Water Act has a more aggressive program for supporting Indian's efforts, for instance more money for construction of waste water treatment systems and for control of non point source problems on tribal lands. SENATOR FRANK asked for examples of non point source pollution in Alaska. MR. FINDLEY replied that forestry operations would be a classic example. He mentioned some of the common features in all the Safe Drinking Water bills is the state revolving fund for construction of waste water treatment systems. This is a loan fund which states run to make loans to communities to build treatment systems. SENATOR FRANK commented that saying everyone has to filter their water is kind of a sledge hammer approach. He said the current law says you have to have filtration systems in place, but then it provides 11 different criteria. Another common issue which is likely to be in most Safe Drinking Water bills is a user fee to support state programs, MR. FINDLEY said. SENATOR MILLER thanked Mr. Findley for his briefing and announced a briefing by the Water and Wastewater Works Advisory Board. JOHN HARGESHEIMER, RICHARD HELINSKI, Chairman, and FLOYD DAMRON of the Water and Wastewater Advisory Board joined the committee. MR. HARGESHEIMER said the Board advises the Department of Environmental Conservation on facility construction and operation. They are primarily concerned with operator certification and training issues. Number 470 SENATOR FRANK asked if they have any input into the congressional process. MR. HARGESHEIMER said there is some discussion between the Board and staff in DEC. In addition, most of them in the field are members of professional organizations that take national positions on federal legislation. There are several people that are active on that. Also, on a personal basis there are a number of people in the industry that actively participate in trying to influence legislation. He thought the affect of the national professional organizations was significant. They put together opinions for federal legislation. Each of those organizations has a state corresponding chapters. All of them are members of at least one of them so conceivably they could call him and he could go through the professional organization. MR. HELINSKI mentioned that the President elect of the Water Environmental Federation is from Fairbanks. SENATOR LEMAN asked for his reaction to the Department's position on water quality standards. MR. HARGESHEIMER said if we as a society want no risk you have to go to a big number and it costs a lot of money. 10 to the minus 5th will cost less than 10 to the minus 6th. The DEC followed the appropriate direction given to them by the administration since they really didn't have the money to go to the 10 to the minus 6th or 7th. Number 541 MR. DAMRON said they just congratulated the Commissioner on his stand. SENATOR ZHAROFF asked what coordination they have with other states. MR. HELINSKI said he makes contact with the other advisory board members. He, personally, has contacts from going to college in Washington. TAPE 94-17, SIDE B Number 588 SENATOR MILLER adjourned the meeting at 4:25 p.m.