Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/09/1994 03:37 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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             
 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                                                                    
 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                
 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               
 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           
 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             
 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                
 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              
 SENATOR MILLER thanked Mr. Findley for his briefing and announced             
 a briefing by the Water and Wastewater Works Advisory Board.                  
 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                  
 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               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked what coordination they have with other                  
 MR. HELINSKI said he makes contact with the other advisory board              
 members.  He, personally, has contacts from going to college in               
  TAPE 94-17, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 588                                                                   
 SENATOR MILLER adjourned the meeting at 4:25 p.m.                             

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