HB 408: "An Act establishing the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission."

00HOUSE BILL NO. 408 01 "An Act establishing the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 04 (1) although the state has made significant improvements in disaster 05 preparedness since the great earthquake of 1964, there has been little corresponding 06 improvement in measures to reduce the disaster potential of major earthquakes and, 07 consequently, to reduce dependence on disaster relief; 08 (2) there is a pressing need to provide a consistent policy framework and a 09 means for continuing coordination of programs and public safety practices related to seismic 10 hazards at all governmental levels and in the private sector; this need is not being addressed 11 by any continuing state government organization; 12 (3) through concerted efforts coordinated by a Seismic Hazards Safety 13 Commission, the state can make long-term progress toward mitigating the effects of seismic 14 hazards on persons and property, thereby reducing the costs of responding to and recovering

01 from major earthquakes. 02 * Sec. 2. AS 44.19 is amended by adding new sections to read: 03 Article 13. Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission. 04  Sec. 44.19.635. Commission established; membership. (a) The Alaska 05 Seismic Hazards Safety Commission is established in the Office of the Governor. 06  (b) The commission is composed of 11 members appointed by the governor 07 for terms of three years. A member holds office until a successor is appointed. A 08 vacancy is filled for the unexpired term. 09  (c) The governor shall appoint to the commission 10  (1) a representative from the University of Alaska; 11  (2) a representative from local government; 12  (3) a representative from the Department of Natural Resources; 13  (4) a representative from the Department of Military and Veterans' 14 Affairs; 15  (5) a representative from an appropriate federal agency; and 16  (6) six members from members of the public who are knowledgeable 17 in the fields of geology, seismology, hydrology, geotechnical engineering, structural 18 engineering, emergency services, or planning. 19  (d) The commission shall elect annually from its members a chair and vice- 20 chair. A majority of the commission may vote to replace an officer of the commission. 21  (e) Eight members constitute a quorum. 22  (f) Members of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission serve without 23 compensation but are entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized for boards 24 and commissions under AS 39.20.180. 25  Sec. 44.19.637. Powers and duties. (a) The commission shall 26  (1) recommend goals and priorities for seismic hazard mitigation to the 27 public and private sectors; 28  (2) recommend policies to the governor and the legislature, including 29 needed research, mapping, and monitoring programs; 30  (3) offer advice on coordinating disaster preparedness and seismic 31 hazard mitigation activities of government at all levels, review the practices for

01 recovery and reconstruction after a major earthquake, and recommend improvements 02 to mitigate losses from similar future events; 03  (4) gather, analyze, and disseminate information of general interest on 04 seismic hazard mitigation; 05  (5) establish and maintain necessary working relationships with other 06 public and private agencies; 07  (6) review predictions and warnings issued by the federal government, 08 research institutions, and other organizations and persons and suggest appropriate 09 responses at the state and local levels; and 10  (7) review proposed seismic hazard notifications and supporting 11 information from state agencies, evaluate possible socioeconomic consequences, 12 recommend that the governor issue formal seismic hazard notifications when 13 appropriate, and advise state and local agencies of appropriate responses. 14  (b) The commission may 15  (1) advise the governor and the legislature on disaster preparedness and 16 seismic hazard mitigation and on budgets for those activities and may recommend 17 legislation or policies to improve disaster preparedness or seismic hazard mitigation; 18  (2) conduct public hearings; 19  (3) appoint committees from its membership and appoint external 20 advisory committees of ex-officio members; and 21  (4) accept grants, contributions, and appropriations from public 22 agencies, private foundations, and individuals. 23  Sec. 44.19.639. Definitions. In AS 44.19.635 - 44.19.639, 24  (1) "commission" means the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety 25 Commission; 26  (2) "disaster preparedness" means establishing plans and programs for 27 responding to and distributing funds to alleviate losses from a disaster as defined in 28 AS 26.23.900; 29  (3) "seismic hazard mitigation" or "mitigation" mean activities that 30 prevent or alleviate the harmful effects of seismic hazards to persons and property, 31 including identification and evaluation of the seismic hazards, assessment of the risks,

01 and implementation of measures to reduce potential losses before a damaging event 02 occurs. 03 * Sec. 3. AS 44.66.010(a) is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 04  (20) Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission (AS 44.19.635) -- 05 June 30, 2002. 06 * Sec. 4. Notwithstanding AS 44.19.635, enacted by sec. 2 of this Act, four initial members 07 of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission shall serve terms of two years, and three 08 initial members shall serve terms of four years. 09 * Sec. 5. This Act is not intended to transfer to the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety 10 Commission the authorities and responsibilities of other state agencies, boards, councils, or 11 commissions or of local governments.