Legislature(2003 - 2004)

2003-03-12 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2003-03-12                     House Journal                      Page 0513
HB 191                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 191 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                       
the Governor, entitled:                                                                             
     "An Act relating to the Alaska coastal management program and                                  
     to policies and procedures for consistency reviews and the                                     
     rendering of consistency determinations under that program;                                    
     relating to the functions of coastal resource service areas; creating                          
     an Alaska Coastal Program Evaluation Council; eliminating the                                  
     Alaska Coastal Policy Council; annulling certain regulations                                   
     relating to the Alaska coastal management program; relating to                                 
     actions based on private nuisance; relating to zoning within a third                           
     class borough covered by the Alaska coastal management                                         
     program; and providing for effective dates."                                                   
was read the first time and referred to the House Special Committee on                              
Fisheries and the Resources, Judiciary, and Finance Committees.                                     
The following fiscal note(s) apply:                                                                 
1.  Zero, Dept. of Fish & Game                                                                      
2.  Zero, Dept. of Environmental Conservation                                                       
3.  Fiscal, Dept. of Natural Resources                                                              
The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 11, 2003, follows:                                    
"Dear Speaker Kott:                                                                                 
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am                          
transmitting a bill to reform and streamline the Alaska Coastal                                     
Management Program (ACMP).  This legislation is premised upon the                                   
statutory changes contained in Executive Order 106, which I presented                               
to you on February 12, 2003.  Executive Order 106 would transfer                                    
responsibility for the ACMP program from the division of                                            
governmental coordination in the office of management and budget to                                 
the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                

2003-03-12                     House Journal                      Page 0514
The Alaska Coastal Management Program was first enacted in 1977 in                                  
order to participate in the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of                                  
1972.  The federal program is voluntary, and encourages states to                                   
adopt coastal programs by providing federal funds and the opportunity                               
for federal consistency review.  Federal consistency review enables the                             
state to apply its authorities to projects located on federal land and the                          
federal outer continental shelf where otherwise it would be preempted                               
by federal law.                                                                                     
The goal of this legislation is to create a new coastal management                                  
program that retains the benefits of the federal act but eliminates the                             
duplication and complexity built into the present ACMP.  This bill                                  
would achieve this goal by choosing the simplest of the three                                       
management techniques allowed by the federal act.  The bill provides                                
certainty and predictability to the ACMP process by clarifying the                                  
standards and responsibilities for program implementation.                                          
The central streamlining concept of the bill is the reliance on existing                            
state statutes and regulations as the enforceable policies of the ACMP.                             
The current duplicative consistency review process in AS 46.40.096                                  
and 6 AAC 50 is eliminated by simply relying on the issuance of                                     
current state permits by the resource agencies as the means of                                      
determining whether an activity is consistent with the ACMP.                                        
The bill would eliminate district coastal management enforceable                                    
policies but retains a local role in three ways.  First, AS 29                                      
municipalities would retain their existing land use authorities to                                  
regulate private activity within their jurisdiction.  Second, the bill                              
authorizes the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as the                                        
implementing agency, to adopt local ordinances as enforceable                                       
policies to be applied in consistency reviews of federal projects and                               
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) development.  The DNR would consult                                   
with the local government when interpreting and applying the local                                  
ordinance as part of a consistency review.  Third, the bill would                                   
specifically adopt certain existing coastal district policies for federal                           
OCS development as state enforceable policies.                                                      
Coastal resource service areas in the unorganized borough would no                                  
longer exist.  However, municipalities within the unorganized borough                               
could participate in both the funding and regulatory aspects of the                                 

2003-03-12                     House Journal                      Page 0515
program. Because the bill would affect the way coastal communities                                  
participate in the program, I have consulted with communities across                                
the state and incorporated their suggestions into the legislation.                                  
The bill would also eliminate the Coastal Policy Council, but would                                 
create a Coastal Program Evaluation Council to submit a report to the                               
Governor on the implementation of these reforms.  The council would                                 
sunset July 1, 2005.                                                                                
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                            
                                Frank H. Murkowski