Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/29/2002 04:00 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                         April 29, 2002                                                                                         
                            4:00 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Torgerson, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Gary Wilken, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
Senator Robin Taylor                                                                                                            
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 302(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An  Act  establishing  the  Alaska   Gas  Corporation,  a  public                                                              
corporation,   and  providing  for   its  structure,   management,                                                              
responsibilities, and operation,  and requiring the development of                                                              
a project plan  to evaluate whether construction  and operation of                                                              
a natural gas transmission pipeline  project by the corporation is                                                              
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 53                                                                                                               
"An   Act  establishing   the   Alaska  Seismic   Hazards   Safety                                                              
     MOVED HB 53 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 382(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to  the evaluation  and cleanup  of sites  where                                                              
certain  controlled  substances  may  have  been  manufactured  or                                                              
stored; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 508(RLS)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to  results of  testing for paralytic  shellfish                                                              
poisoning and to participation of  the Department of Environmental                                                              
Conservation in the development of operating plans of qualified                                                                 
regional dive fishery development associations."                                                                                
     MOVED CSHB 508(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 47(RLS)                                                                                       
Urging the United  States Environmental Protection  Agency and the                                                              
Alaska  Department   of  Environmental  Conservation   to  provide                                                              
maximum possible  flexibility in  application of ultra  low sulfur                                                              
diesel fuel requirements to Alaska.                                                                                             
     MOVED CSHJR 47(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
HB 53 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/18/02.                                                                                
HB 382 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
HB 508 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
HJR 47 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                      
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Mr. Milton Wiltse, Director                                                                                                     
Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys                                                                                  
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
794 University Ave Ste 200                                                                                                      
Fairbanks AK 99707-3645                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 53.                                                                                          
Mr. Gary Carver                                                                                                                 
Kodiak AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 53.                                                                                         
Mr. Sheldon Winters                                                                                                             
State Farm Insurance                                                                                                            
300 Vintage Blvd.                                                                                                               
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 53.                                                                                          
Representative Gretchen Guess                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 382.                                                                                        
Lieutenant Julia Grimes                                                                                                         
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 382.                                                                                      
Ms. Mary Siroky, Legislative Liaison                                                                                            
Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                                        
410 Willoughby Ste 303                                                                                                          
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported on HB 382 and HB 508.                                                                           
Ms. Julie Decker, Executive Director                                                                                            
Southeast Alaska Dive Fisheries Association                                                                                     
No Address Provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 508.                                                                                      
Ms. Donna Vukich                                                                                                                
No Address Provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HJR 47.                                                                                        
Ms. Meera Kohler                                                                                                                
No Address Provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HJR 47.                                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 02-23, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
             HB 53-SEISMIC HAZARDS SAFETY COMMISSION                                                                        
CHAIRMAN  JOHN TORGERSON  called  the Senate  Resources  Committee                                                            
meeting to  order at 4:00  p.m. and announced  HB 53 to be  up for                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN DAVIES,  sponsor  of HB  53,  said that  most                                                              
other  states  formed  earthquake  commissions  after  the  second                                                              
largest  earthquake in  Alaska that  measured 9.2  on the  Richter                                                              
scale.  He added, "Alaska,  ironically,  is the  only one to  date                                                              
that hasn't."                                                                                                                   
He  said it's  important  to  understand the  distinction  between                                                              
preparedness for  disaster and mitigating it. Preparation  is done                                                              
to make sure  things are in  place, like exit routes  and response                                                              
plans, when  a disaster occurs. Mitigation  is done ahead  of time                                                              
to  reduce the  effects of  the expected  disaster.  He said  that                                                              
building codes  are a form  of mitigation for earthquake  country.                                                              
When disasters are infrequent, such  as large earthquakes, there's                                                              
a tendency to forget about the risks;  that is why a commission is                                                              
necessary. Representative  Davies said his main concern  is that a                                                              
systematic look be  taken at what steps the state  should take, so                                                              
that  when  the next  earthquake  occurs,  the  loss of  life  and                                                              
property is reduced.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  WILKEN questioned  why another  section of government  is                                                              
necessary to do this instead of DMV or the University.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  DAVIES  answered   that  government  tends  to  be                                                              
segmented into  different areas. He  is proposing a  commission be                                                              
established in the executive branch  so that it has the ability to                                                              
look across  inter-agency lines.  Although DMV and  the University                                                              
have taken some  steps, in his and others'  estimation (structural                                                              
engineers  from Anchorage  and scientists  from the University  of                                                              
Alaska), the state  has not taken some steps that  it should have.                                                              
He  pointed out,  "If we  have this  commission  that's above  the                                                              
individual agency level,  we will get the appropriate  look at the                                                              
problem that we're not getting now."                                                                                            
SENATOR WILKEN asked if all four fiscal notes are current.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  DAVIES   replied  that  two  are   redundant.  The                                                              
Division of Geological  and Geophysical Surveys  (DGS) fiscal note                                                              
contains some  travel costs  that are also  built into  the fiscal                                                              
note from the Governor's Office.                                                                                                
SENATOR  HALFORD said  he  noticed the  commission  will have  the                                                              
authority to  accept grants, contributions and  appropriations and                                                              
asked if any are pending right now.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES  said he didn't know of any  but that grants                                                              
are generally available through federal agencies.                                                                               
SENATOR HALFORD  pointed out  the fiscal  note is incredibly  low,                                                              
but it's  covered by  the fact  that DNR  would provide  technical                                                              
support from existing positions.                                                                                                
MR. MILTON  WILTSE, Director, DGS,  DNR, stated support for  HB 53                                                              
because similar  commissions have been very effective  in bringing                                                              
together private and  public sector organizations to  look at ways                                                              
to mitigate  the impacts  of an earthquake  and how to  get things                                                              
done  on a  voluntary basis,  through building  codes and  various                                                              
public policies.                                                                                                                
MR. GARY CARVER  said he is also  a geologist who moved  to Kodiak                                                              
five years  ago from California.  He had a considerable  amount of                                                              
experience   interacting  with  the   California  Seismic   Safety                                                              
Commission  in California,  so  he has  a  first hand  perspective                                                              
regarding  this  issue.  The  California  commission  was  created                                                              
because California is  in a high seismic exposure  area and lacked                                                              
any kind of coherent way to provide  expertise to decision makers.                                                              
He noted, "Creation  of the commission there provided  the kind of                                                              
focus that  we need here  in Alaska and,  over the long  haul down                                                              
there, has more than paid its way  in reducing earthquake losses…"                                                              
MR. SHELDON  WINTERS, State Farm  Insurance, said that  State Farm                                                              
works with commissions in other states  and has found them to be a                                                              
very  effective way  to identify  mitigation  issues for  disaster                                                              
potential of  major earthquakes.  He said,  "A commission  such as                                                              
this allows for  coordination of the different  agencies, programs                                                              
and expertise, and  allows for consistent policies  to be followed                                                              
by all those agencies."                                                                                                         
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass HB 53  from committee with individual                                                              
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.  There were no                                                              
objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                               
           CSHB 382(FIN)-CLEANUP OF ILLEGAL DRUG SITES                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GRETCHEN GUESS, sponsor  of HB 382, said the intent                                                              
of this bill  is to insure that  illegal drug labs are  cleaned up                                                              
before they are reoccupied. The State  of Alaska has no guidelines                                                              
to insure that illegal drug labs,  such as meth-amphetamine (meth)                                                              
labs,  are cleaned  up  so two  things tend  to  happen. Either  a                                                              
residential owner wants to clean  up the lab and doesn't know what                                                              
to do. In Juneau, when the owner  of a house with a lab discovered                                                              
it, he  gutted the  house and  burned the  hazardous material.  He                                                              
ended  up getting  fined. However,  in most  cases, a  residential                                                              
owner  will  vacuum the  carpet  and  re-rent  the house  but  the                                                              
mercury,  lead and  other chemicals  are  still in  the house  and                                                              
cause health risks  to the new tenants. This bill  sets up testing                                                              
and decontamination  criteria and guidelines for  people to follow                                                              
to insure that a unit is fit for occupancy.                                                                                     
CSHB  382(FIN)  insures   that  the  occupant,  as   well  as  the                                                              
residential owner, is  notified and that the owner  signs a return                                                              
receipt.   She   wanted  to   insure   that  the   Department   of                                                              
Environmental Conservation  (DEC) had  to provide the  material to                                                              
the law enforcement agency.                                                                                                     
She explained that the term "rent"  is an interesting verb because                                                              
it could be used  for the person who rents to  someone else or the                                                              
person or to  the person who pays  to rent that property.  Page 4,                                                              
line 13  says a  person is in  violation and guilty  of a  class A                                                              
misdemeanor if  that person knowingly transfers,  sells, leases or                                                              
rents  a  property  to  another person.  They  also  added  in  an                                                              
affirmative  defense, which  was suggested  by the legal  drafter,                                                              
which requires  notification to  a property  manager, if  there is                                                              
one involved in the situation.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS said  that  this bill  is  supported by  the                                                              
municipalities,  troopers and police  forces who often  bust these                                                              
labs and then  watch them be reoccupied knowing  they haven't been                                                              
cleaned up.                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  asked if  they can usually  find the  owner of                                                              
the  property  and  whether this  generally  happens  with  rental                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS  replied  that  currently,  law  enforcement                                                              
notifies  the property  owner  of  the bust  on  the property  and                                                              
that's where the process stops. The  property owner has nowhere to                                                              
go for clean-up information after he or she has been notified.                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked  what the next step is if  they don't get                                                              
a return receipt from the person being notified.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS said that  is a very  good question  and she                                                              
didn't know.                                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON said they could  just be setting themselves up.                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS said they  would have  to have something  in                                                              
place if  the certified mail or  the return receipt does  not come                                                              
back. She  said law enforcement  in Alaska  has not had  a problem                                                              
finding the property owner and getting the receipt back.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON said  he didn't know if they  should leave that                                                              
in there.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR asked about the incident in Juneau.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS explained that  an out-of-state landlord came                                                              
to Juneau  after being notified of  a bust at his  Juneau property                                                              
and tried  to find some guidelines  and help. He ended  up gutting                                                              
the  house and  taking  the  contents to  the  dump  but the  dump                                                              
wouldn't take  it because it  was hazardous material.  Not knowing                                                              
what to do,  he burned it outside  of his home and was  fined. DEC                                                              
had no guidelines; no one had guidelines.                                                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR asked who fined him.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS said she believed  it was either the state or                                                              
the city. She wasn't sure.                                                                                                      
SENATOR STEVENS asked who declared it hazardous waste.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS replied  that law  enforcement officers  are                                                              
trained  to do  that,  but  in this  case  she thought  the  owner                                                              
disclosed it when he went to the dump.                                                                                          
SENATOR TAYLOR  moved to adopt  the proposed committee  substitute                                                              
to HB 382. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                      
LIEUTENANT  JULIA   GRIMES  said  she  was  available   to  answer                                                              
SENATOR STEVENS asked how often this occurs in a given year.                                                                    
LIEUTENANT  GRIMES  replied  that  in  2000,  50  meth  labs  were                                                              
eradicated.  Right  now  police  officers  are  following  federal                                                              
guidelines for notification of the  property owner and placarding.                                                              
To her knowledge,  the police haven't failed to  find the property                                                              
owners in these cases.                                                                                                          
SENATOR  STEVENS asked  if any  statistical data  is available  to                                                              
determine  how   many  repeat  incidents  happened   at  the  same                                                              
LIEUTENANT GRIMES said  she didn't have that data,  but she didn't                                                              
think that happens very often.                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked  if she thought the certified  mail was a                                                              
good thing, a bad thing or over burdensome.                                                                                     
LIEUTENANT  GRIMES   responded  that  she  didn't   think  it  was                                                              
burdensome, since  it's what they  have been doing to  comply with                                                              
federal  law. They  are assisted  a  lot by  the Drug  Enforcement                                                              
Agency (DEA).                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  TAYLOR said  his only  concern is  what enforcement  tool                                                              
will be used  by the department when the owner  fails, within four                                                              
days,  to remove  the occupants,  secure  the property  or do  any                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS responded that  as long as they do not try to                                                              
re-rent a  unit or  try to  sell it without  disclosure,  there is                                                              
none. If the owner  chooses not to clean it up,  that's okay; they                                                              
just  can't   reoccupy   it.  The  guidelines   solely  apply   to                                                              
reoccupying the property.                                                                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR asked what would happen  if an owner reoccupies it.                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  replied that would be a  class A misdemeanor                                                              
(page 4, line 13).                                                                                                              
SENATOR TAYLOR said  he thought if they were going  to hold people                                                              
to that  kind of standard,  they should  have something  more than                                                              
registered  mail to  get hold  of them.  Four days  may not  be an                                                              
adequate  period of  time for  notification. He  asked where  that                                                              
number came from.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS replied that  some states use immediate, some                                                              
use 24 hours,  some use 48 hours. She added,  "Given distances and                                                              
absentee landlords, we doubled it…And  it is 'knowingly' under the                                                              
class  A misdemeanor."  She noted  the  Municipality of  Anchorage                                                              
allows 48 hours to secure a condemned property.                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON said  that 'knowingly'  in this  case is  upon                                                              
return of the  receipt after being notified by mail  or some other                                                              
SENATOR TAYLOR  asked Lieutenant  Grimes what chemicals  are found                                                              
in a standard run-of-the-mill meth lab.                                                                                         
LIEUTENANT  GRIMES   replied  that   the  typical  chemicals   are                                                              
extremely caustic  and corrosive,  such as toluene,  camping fuel,                                                              
paint thinner,  acetone, spray cleaner, butane fuel,  gum scrubber                                                              
detergent products  and muriatic  acid. Sulfuric acid  is obtained                                                              
from  drain cleaner.  Lithium batteries  are required  as well  as                                                              
sodium hydroxide,  found  in lye. The  chemical reactions  between                                                              
those chemicals cause  the real toxic residue,  which gets spilled                                                              
a lot.  Fumes are absorbed  into carpeting, furniture,  upholstery                                                              
and walls and remain until they are  properly cleaned up. They are                                                              
a  real  hazard  to  anybody  who  goes  in  without  the  correct                                                              
equipment.  Law  enforcement  officers  go into  these  labs  with                                                              
appropriate breathing apparatus and clothing.                                                                                   
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if anyone knew the cost of cleanup.                                                                        
MS.  MARY SIROKY,  legislative  liaison  for DEC,  explained  that                                                              
cleanups  can include  removing carpeting,  furniture, and  taking                                                              
down dry wall. Other  states have looked at painting  as a form of                                                              
SENATOR  TAYLOR said  they are  talking about  a very  significant                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS said that depends  on the level of chemicals.                                                              
DEC would set guidelines on decontamination.                                                                                    
SENATOR  TAYLOR  said  that  there is  frequently  more  than  one                                                              
victim, not  only those  who use the  drugs that are  produced and                                                              
that entire industry, but also the  owners of property, the people                                                              
who come  up with a  plan, inspectors,  etc. He commented,  "I can                                                              
see this having  a devastating affect on someone,  especially in a                                                              
multi-unit place."                                                                                                              
MS. SIROKY responded that the law  enforcement agency, which is in                                                              
charge of the cleanup, would make  the determination of whether or                                                              
not  the  vapors and  chemicals  are  restricted  to one  area  or                                                              
multiple areas.  Their research  shows that most  of the  time the                                                              
damage stays in  one unit. DEC will keep a list  of people who are                                                              
qualified  to   test,  but  are   not  certified,   and  establish                                                              
guidelines on what  has to be done, but an owner  can choose to do                                                              
it himself or hire someone who is certified to do it.                                                                           
SENATOR TAYLOR asked where those people would be located.                                                                       
MS. SIROKY  said they have a list  of about five or six  labs that                                                              
are  capable  of doing  most  of  the testing.  According  to  DEC                                                              
research, no lab in the state is  currently capable of testing for                                                              
one of the substances,  other than the state lab.  DEC anticipates                                                              
the state  lab will  fill that  need until  it's available  in the                                                              
private sector.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR  TAYLOR asked  how the  state  lab in  Anchorage does  the                                                              
testing on a meth lab in Tok.                                                                                                   
MS. SIROKY  replied that the samples  are shipped to the  lab. DEC                                                              
envisions  the  responsibility  will  be  upon the  owner  of  the                                                              
facility  to hire  a contractor  or get  the expertise  to do  the                                                              
sampling  and ship  it  to the  lab.  DEC will  not  be out  there                                                              
sampling; it will just verify the lab samples.                                                                                  
SENATOR TAYLOR  said he was trying  to figure out what  happens to                                                              
somebody in a more rural community.  He is concerned about a class                                                              
A misdemeanor  against mom  and pop living  in Glennallen  and how                                                              
they would go through the process  of making sure it was inspected                                                              
- finding the  guy that is the  inspector, getting the  stuff to a                                                              
lab, getting it cleaned up and having  somebody verify it, etc. He                                                              
thought it would work fine in Anchorage,  but he didn't know about                                                              
rural areas.                                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  asked Representative  Guess what  would happen                                                              
if the bill didn't pass.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS  replied  that   right  now  the  police  or                                                              
troopers will bust  a meth lab, they post that it  was a meth lab,                                                              
they send  notice to  the residential  owner and  that's where  it                                                              
stops. They  will not know  if the building  was ever  cleaned and                                                              
most likely it will not be cleaned in an appropriate way.                                                                       
Regarding Senator  Taylor's concern,  she said  the intent  of the                                                              
bill is  that DEC would  provide guidelines and  a list of  who to                                                              
talk to about testing. DEC would  also answer questions. The state                                                              
is not going  to go in and  spend state resources cleaning  up mom                                                              
and pop's rental.                                                                                                               
4:40 p.m.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR  TAYLOR  suggested  that she  use  Civil  Rule 4  for  the                                                              
notification  process,  so that  if  registered  mail is  used  to                                                              
notify  a  person, a  refusal  must  be  received. He  noted  that                                                              
currently, before a building can  be let for public use, the owner                                                              
must get an occupancy permit. He  suggested "bootstrapping" off of                                                              
that  because   those  permits  are  available   in  almost  every                                                              
community. A local building inspector  could come out and see that                                                              
the cleanup was adequate.                                                                                                       
LIEUTENANT GRIMES  clarified when law enforcement finds  a lab and                                                              
does an  eradication, DEA has a  contract with a  civilian company                                                              
that  will go wherever  the  lab is located.  So  far, it has  not                                                              
mattered  if the  lab was  in a  remote  location or  in an  urban                                                              
location.  The  company  will  haul   away  any  gross  amount  of                                                              
hazardous   chemicals  and   materials  identified   by  the   law                                                              
enforcement officers on the scene.                                                                                              
SENATOR STEVENS asked if after the  DEA removes the offending lab,                                                              
the building is condemned and DEC  comes in and determines whether                                                              
there are any remnants of the production.                                                                                       
LIEUTENANT  GRIMES replied  that right now  law enforcement  takes                                                              
samples and  other evidence  required to make  a case  and arrests                                                              
and that's all.                                                                                                                 
TAPE 02-23, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Lieutenant Grimes explained:                                                                                                    
     ... call this  company contracted to DEA,  and they tell                                                                   
     this  company   what  they   have  identified   as  bulk                                                                   
     chemicals or  contaminated equipment that is  HAZMAT and                                                                   
     has  to be handled,  you know,  specifically as  HAZMAT.                                                                   
     And  that   material  is  dealt  with,  you   know,  the                                                                   
     glassware and other equipment you use to make the meth-                                                                    
     amphetamine isn't  always seized because  it's hazardous                                                                   
     material.  So  it's destroyed  but  it's picked  up  and                                                                   
     dealt with  properly by this company. But  the carpeting                                                                   
     inside the  house, for instance, or whatever  else might                                                                   
     be contaminated  - that part  of the residence,  that is                                                                   
     what  remains  that  needs  to  be  dealt  with  by  the                                                                   
SENATOR ELTON  said he didn't  see any irreconcilable  differences                                                              
and  he thought  the issue  was about  the  protocols on  handling                                                              
these incidents. He thought Senator  Taylor's points were good and                                                              
that  they could  be worked  out  with the  sponsor before  Senate                                                              
Finance  hears the bill.  He said  he was  comfortable moving  the                                                              
bill out of committee.                                                                                                          
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  suggested having  the  bill  referred to  the                                                              
Senate Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                     
SENATOR HALFORD said  he is interested in the  new legal standard,                                                              
because there are some other places  he would like to apply it. He                                                              
thought  the legal  standard in  the definition  of "illegal  drug                                                              
manufacturing  site" is a  good one because  it means  property in                                                              
which there is a reasonably clear possibility.                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  said  he  didn't  mind holding  the  bill  in                                                              
committee if Senator Taylor would help out with it.                                                                             
SENATOR TAYLOR agreed to do so.                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON announced he would  hold the bill in committee.                                                              
       CSHB 508(RLS)-DIVE FISHERY ASSOCIATIONS/PSP REPORTS                                                                  
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON   announced  CSHB   508(RLS)  to  be   up  for                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE DREW  SCALZI presented  CSHB 508(RLS) on  behalf of                                                              
the House  Resources Committee  and said CSHB  508(RLS) is  a very                                                              
simple bill. The regional dive fishery  is looking for better ways                                                              
to  get  information  out about  areas  with  paralytic  shellfish                                                              
poisoning (PSP).  Currently, DEC  faxes the  test results  back to                                                              
the applicant. The bill, through  the intent language, asks DEC to                                                              
post  those  hot  spots  on  a  website   that  is  accessible  to                                                              
interested parties.  It also asks,  in section 2, that  when ADF&G                                                              
develops  an   annual  operating   plan  for  the   regional  dive                                                              
fisheries, which it does every year,  that DEC be included upfront                                                              
in the planning  process. Currently, DEC comes in  after the fact,                                                              
which is cumbersome,  especially if it shoots down  or restricts a                                                              
SENATOR  TAYLOR asked  why  legislative intent  is  being used  to                                                              
address  this problem.  He  pointed  out, "We  could  send them  a                                                              
letter which would do the same thing. This is unenforceable."                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI  said  DEC  could  speak to  that,  but  he                                                              
explained the  initial draft placed  that provision in  section 1,                                                              
and not under  intent language. However, DEC wanted  more latitude                                                              
to develop the  web page. DEC's concern is that  if information is                                                              
put on the web page in the wrong  manner, the general public might                                                              
be  unduly alarmed  about a  red tide.  DEC wants  the ability  to                                                              
structure  the   website  so  that   the  people  who   need  that                                                              
information can access it through a series of steps.                                                                            
SENATOR TAYLOR  said his concern is broadcasting  information that                                                              
could be very damaging to proprietary  operations, for example for                                                              
a shellfish grower here in Juneau.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI  said that is why the intent  language gives                                                              
DEC the latitude to develop the site.  The information would still                                                              
be public,  but  DEC could  design it  so that it  is more  geared                                                              
toward  the  people  who  are  interested,   rather  than  provide                                                              
information that could be misleading.                                                                                           
MS. MARY  SIROKY, legislative liaison  to DEC, said DEC's  goal is                                                              
to provide  this information through  some sort of log-in  key for                                                              
use  mainly  by producers.  Producers  want  rapid access  to  the                                                              
information and  prefer using a  secure way through  the internet,                                                              
as opposed to  relying on faxes and phones. DEC  would provide the                                                              
producers with  a log-in  key that would  not be available  to the                                                              
general public.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI  said the reason is kind of  the opposite of                                                              
the  problem.  When  a beach  is  known  to  be clean,  the  shell                                                              
fishermen need  every opportunity to  harvest the product  and get                                                              
the  product to  market as  rapidly as  they can.  They feel  that                                                              
sharing the information would improve that ability.                                                                             
SENATOR  TAYLOR said he  is concerned  that Representative  Scalzi                                                              
keeps  saying this  is public  information.  He asked  if he  sent                                                              
clams to DEC for testing, whether  the results would become public                                                              
MS. SIROKY  said very little information  is not available  to the                                                              
public under  the state's  Freedom of  Information Act,  so should                                                              
someone  request the  results, DEC  would be  required to  provide                                                              
that information.                                                                                                               
SENATOR TAYLOR asked, regarding section  2, if state law has to be                                                              
changed to have  DEC participate in the development  of the annual                                                              
operating plan.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI replied yes.                                                                                              
MS. JULIE  DECKER, Executive  Director, Southeast Alaska  Regional                                                              
Dive Fishery Association, said PSP  results are faxed to a list of                                                              
Alaska shippers who  have paid for the test. DEC  tries to provide                                                              
the results as soon  as possible after they are known.  She said a                                                              
DEC website  would provide a much  more efficient process  for the                                                              
DEC lab. This bill  will make DEC's job easier as  it will receive                                                              
fewer phones calls  from divers. The bill will  also eliminate the                                                              
problem of  who is allowed to see  the PSP results by removing DEC                                                              
completely that issue.  In addition, this idea fits  the vision of                                                              
a more  developed shellfish industry.  It is possible the  rest of                                                              
the  shellfish industry  may  follow in  these  footsteps if  this                                                              
proves to be a successful way to  distribute information. The site                                                              
will also  be useful  for data collection  and planning  purposes.                                                              
The  following is  a  letter she  submitted  to  the committee  in                                                              
support of HB 508:                                                                                                              
     On behalf of SARDFA, the Southeast  Alaska Regional Dive                                                                   
     Fisheries Association,  I would like to  express support                                                                   
     for House Bill 508.                                                                                                        
     HB 508 will do two things: 1:establish  a state web site                                                                   
     where  all paralytic shellfish  poisoning (PSP)  results                                                                   
     for  geoducks   will  be  posted  and  2)   include  the                                                                   
     Department  of Environmental  Conservation (DEC) in  the                                                                   
     planning stages of the dive fisheries each year.                                                                           
     It is necessary to establish  a state web site where all                                                                   
     geoduck PSP  results will be  posted for three  reasons.                                                                   
     First, the web site will allow  the DEC lab personnel to                                                                   
     be more  efficient. Second,  it will eliminate  DEC from                                                                   
     the  role of  deciding  who is  allowed  to receive  PSP                                                                   
     results (e.g. only allowing  those who paid for tests to                                                                   
     see  the results).  Third,  as  both the  harvested  and                                                                   
     farmed shellfish  industries grow, the web  site will be                                                                   
     a  public  place  to  access   PSP  results  for  entire                                                                   
     geographical areas. This will  allow the geoduck fishery                                                                   
     to  be planned  by both  harvesters  and shippers,  will                                                                   
     allow  potential from  sites to be  chosen while  taking                                                                   
     historical  PSP levels into  account and will  allow the                                                                   
     DEC regulator  to see  if PSP bloom  are occurring  in a                                                                   
     given geographical areas.                                                                                                  
     Because SARDFA  felt posting PSP results on  the web was                                                                   
     so  necessary  with  respect  to  the  geoduck  fishery,                                                                   
     SARDFA began  posting the results  this year on  its new                                                                   
     web site.  You can view SARDFA's simplistic  postings at                                                                   
     www.sardfa.org and click on "PSP Results".                                                                                 
     Including  DEC  in  the  planning  stages  of  the  dive                                                                   
     fisheries   each  year   is   necessary  to   coordinate                                                                   
     information and  scheduling between the  groups involved                                                                   
     (DEC, ADF&G  and SARDFA). Currently the  geoduck fishery                                                                   
     and  possibly  the horse  clam  fishery in  the  future,                                                                   
     requires   coordination   of  area   boundaries,   water                                                                   
     sampling stations  and PSP planning  related to  old and                                                                   
     new  fishing  areas  in  order   to  schedule  the  work                                                                   
     necessary to open the fishery.  Much of the work must be                                                                   
     done during the summer months  when weather and daylight                                                                   
     HB 508 is another step toward  creating a more efficient                                                                   
     and improved  working structure  between state  agencies                                                                   
     and private  entities. Thank you for  your consideration                                                                   
     of this bill.                                                                                                              
SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass CSHB 508(RLS) from committee with                                                                 
individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                    
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
        CSHJR 47(RLS)-LOW SULFUR DIESEL FUEL REQUIREMENTS                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON announced CSHJR 47(RLS) to be up for                                                                         
MR. BILL LAWRENCE, staff to Representative Carl Morgan, sponsor,                                                                
said he would answer questions.                                                                                                 
MS. DONNA VUKICH supported CSHJR 47(RLS).                                                                                       
MS. MEERA KOHLER supported CSHJR 47(RLS).                                                                                       
SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass CSHJR 47(RLS) from committee and                                                                  
asked for unanimous consent. There were no objections and it was                                                                
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON adjourned the meeting at 5:03 p.m.                                                                           

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