Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/16/2010 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS


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08:06:33 AM Start
08:06:51 AM HB318
08:59:27 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 318 UNREGULATED POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            HB 318-UNREGULATED POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:06:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  318,  "An  Act  relating  to public  use  of                                                               
unregulated water systems."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:08:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS,  speaking  as  the  sponsor  of  HB  318,                                                               
related  his understanding  that  in Salcha  there's a  regulated                                                               
water supply  that's used  by a  few folks.   The cost  to supply                                                               
that  water  is onerous.    He  then  inquired  as to  where  the                                                               
department intends  to head in  terms of resolving some  of these                                                               
issues to provide an easier,  less cumbersome way to provide good                                                               
drinking water  for Alaskans who  may not  live in an  area where                                                               
they  utilize a  community water  system.   He then  specifically                                                               
inquired as to what the department  is going to do to accommodate                                                               
the residents in Salcha.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:10:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN  RYAN,   Director,  Division  of   Environmental  Health,                                                               
Department of  Environmental Conservation (DEC), stated  that DEC                                                               
tries to  do what it  can to help all  water systems.   There are                                                               
about  1,600 federally  regulated water  systems in  Alaska.   Of                                                               
those, 295 are  extremely small water systems;  these are systems                                                               
that are the size of Salcha  or smaller.  The department tries to                                                               
provide as much  technical assistance and support  as possible to                                                               
help these  systems stay  in or come  into compliance.   However,                                                               
the  department  is restricted  in  many  ways by  the  mandatory                                                               
federal definition  of a water  system.  She emphasized  that the                                                               
state   has   no   additional  requirements   beyond   what   the                                                               
Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA) mandates.   Therefore, the                                                               
department doesn't  have much  ground to  maneuver other  than to                                                               
provide  as much  technical assistance  as possible  to help  the                                                               
water system stay in or come into compliance.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN informed the committee  that the current requirements of                                                               
water  systems  are based  on  someone  becoming sick  or  dying,                                                               
albeit it  may be  from somewhere  else in  the U.S.   Therefore,                                                               
there's  a public  health reason  for  the requirements.   For  a                                                               
ground  water system,  the  requirements  aren't that  difficult.                                                               
However, the EPA is reviewing  the potential problems with ground                                                               
water systems.   At  this point,  Salcha only  needs to  test, it                                                               
doesn't  have to  do any  treatments  if there's  nothing in  the                                                               
water.  Ms. Ryan said  that she doesn't believe it's unreasonable                                                               
to require  a system to test  the water to ensure  that the water                                                               
doesn't contain anything dangerous.   The [contaminants] that are                                                               
required to  be tested  are outlined and  there's a  clear public                                                               
health reason for the testing.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN then  related  that DEC's  plan for  the  future is  to                                                               
provide  as much  support as  possible to  water systems  so that                                                               
they can provide safe water and  stay in compliance with the EPA.                                                               
The department has developed some  methods that have been working                                                               
well.    For  a  water  system that  is  having  difficulty,  the                                                               
department utilizes  an intensive  intervention process  in which                                                               
the department, some nonprofits,  other funding agencies, and the                                                               
USDA intensively  work with  the water  system for  a week.   The                                                               
operators, whether  it's the local government  or another entity,                                                               
are trained to ensure the best  possible setup.  In this process,                                                               
follow up  occurs to  ensure the water  system remains  on track.                                                               
Ms. Ryan likened this to a mental health model.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:14:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS  requested  that  Ms.  Ryan  describe  the                                                               
efforts  or direction  the department  gave Salcha  regarding its                                                               
water system  or, he asked,  were the residents of  Salcha merely                                                               
notified that  the water system  was out of compliance  and could                                                               
no longer be used.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN  related her belief  that the committee  packet includes                                                               
quite  a bit  of communication  between the  Salcha water  system                                                               
representative  and the  department.   The  Salcha community  has                                                               
been  a water  system since  the 1990s  and the  first record  of                                                               
Salcha in DEC's database is  1990.  Therefore, the department has                                                               
been working with  Salcha for 20 years.  Last  year Salcha placed                                                               
a  notice in  the  paper  advertising water,  which  is when  the                                                               
department  contacted Salcha  to ask  if things  had changed  and                                                               
whether the  water system  was serving more  people.   Salcha was                                                               
informed  that if  it  was serving  more people,  it  would be  a                                                               
federally  regulated system  not just  a state  regulated system.                                                               
The  aforementioned,  she  opined,   is  the  dialogue  that  has                                                               
resulted in the discussion before  the committee today.  Ms. Ryan                                                               
related  her  belief  that  Salcha would  need  to  meet  certain                                                               
requirements, which  the department  likely related, in  order to                                                               
be  an approved  federal  water  system and  serve  more than  25                                                               
people.  For  instance, Salcha would have to hire  an engineer to                                                               
review the  well in  order to  ensure that  the well  was drilled                                                               
properly  and  encased  properly so  that  contamination  doesn't                                                               
enter the  wellhead at  the source.   A  second step  about which                                                               
Salcha would've  been told was  testing.  The  federal government                                                               
requires  testing   for  more   [contaminants]  than   the  state                                                               
requires.  Again, she acknowledged  that the aforementioned would                                                               
have  a cost.   Ms.  Ryan specified  that the  federal government                                                               
requires  testing for  inorganic or  volatile organic  compounds,                                                               
total  coliforms, lead  and copper,  radio nuclei,  nitrates, and                                                               
arsenic.   The aforementioned testing would  cost several hundred                                                               
dollars and  the results would be  available within approximately                                                               
a month.  The department's goal for  Salcha would be for it to do                                                               
the  aforementioned to  ensure that  the  water is  safe and  can                                                               
serve the  entire community.   However, she recalled  that Salcha                                                               
wasn't  sure it  wanted  to  go that  route,  which  lead to  the                                                               
conversations  with  the  department   relating  that  if  Salcha                                                               
chooses not to follow the  [federal requirements], then it needed                                                               
to limit the  number of people using the well.   After some time,                                                               
Salcha  likely  decided  it wasn't  interested  in  pursuing  the                                                               
aforementioned  route,  and thus  DEC  communicated  the need  to                                                               
reduce the number  of people accessing the water  system in order                                                               
to avoid crossing the federal threshold.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:20:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS  related  his understanding  that  once  a                                                               
water  system serves  more than  25  people, it  falls under  the                                                               
federal EPA  regulations for  which the state  has primacy.   The                                                               
department must enforce  the federal EPA regulations  in order to                                                               
continue to  receive federal  funds.   He asked  if there  is any                                                               
timeframe  in  which the  water  systems  can be  provided  while                                                               
coming into compliance or is there  any help they can be provided                                                               
in  order to  help them  come  into compliance  with the  federal                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN answered  that there  is no  set timeframe.   Once  DEC                                                               
learns  of  a  system  that meets  the  federal  definition,  the                                                               
department begins a conversation regarding  what it will take for                                                               
the  water system  to  comply with  the  federal requirements  or                                                               
reduce the  population being  served.   She acknowledged  that it                                                               
takes time  to ensure that  the water is  safe.  For  example, if                                                               
Salcha decided  it wanted to  become a federally  regulated water                                                               
system and  performed the testing,  the department would  be fine                                                               
waiting for the engineer reviews.   As long as the water is shown                                                               
to be safe by testing, DEC  would allow the water system to serve                                                               
the community while continuing to  get the engineering performed.                                                               
Therefore, there is some flexibility  if DEC knows a water system                                                               
wants to  be a  federal public  water system  and works  with the                                                               
department to achieve  what is necessary.   However, Salcha chose                                                               
early on that it didn't want  to go that route, and therefore had                                                               
to reduce the number of people it served.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:23:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked if DEC  offered help to Salcha and it                                                               
was turned  down.  He  inquired as to  what led to  the situation                                                               
that Salcha is in today.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN   responded  that  DEC   can  only   provide  technical                                                               
assistance,  such as  what laboratory  or  engineers to  contact.                                                               
She opined that  she didn't know what other  assistance DEC could                                                               
provide Salcha because  the stage it is at  isn't that difficult.                                                               
Salcha simply  needs to go  to a  laboratory to run  some samples                                                               
and  hire an  engineer  to  review the  well  casing.   Ms.  Ryan                                                               
surmised  that   Representative  Harris   may  be   asking  about                                                               
variances,  which have  been mentioned  at early  hearings.   She                                                               
acknowledged that  Pete Fellman, Staff to  Representative Harris,                                                               
doesn't  believe DEC  has used  all of  its options  to give  the                                                               
community a  variance to  comply.  However,  that's not  the case                                                               
because  a variance  can  only  be used  for  specific rules,  as                                                               
defined in the  federal law.  A variance can't  be used for water                                                               
system testing or the initial  engineering review.  Variances can                                                               
be  used  if, for  instance,  testing  returns  show a  level  of                                                               
arsenic above  the minimum level  but not dangerously high.   The                                                               
variance in  the aforementioned case  can be used to  provide the                                                               
community the  time and the money  to determine how to  come into                                                               
compliance  with arsenic.   By  federal  law, DEC  can't issue  a                                                               
variance for a water system  that doesn't want to perform testing                                                               
or have an engineer review the  system.  Ms. Ryan opined that DEC                                                               
is providing  all the technical  assistance it can to  Salcha and                                                               
reiterated that  she didn't know  what more assistance  she could                                                               
provide.  Furthermore,  because the cost for the  initial work is                                                               
so low,  $15,000, she said  she wasn't sure Salcha  would qualify                                                               
for funding  from the other  branch in DEC that  provides funding                                                               
for  water  systems.    The funding,  she  recalled,  requires  a                                                               
minimum  level of  $100,000  for a  grant or  loan.   In  further                                                               
response  to   Representative  Harris,  Ms.  Ryan   reminded  the                                                               
committee that there are 295 water  systems in the state that are                                                               
the  size of  Salcha or  smaller.   She was  sure that  it was  a                                                               
struggle  for some  of those  water systems,  of which  three are                                                               
fairgrounds that  provide water to  the local community,  to meet                                                               
the  federal   EPA  requirements.    She   further  reminded  the                                                               
committee  that, to  a  degree, DEC  has its  hands  tied by  the                                                               
federal law.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:27:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON asked whether DEC  advised Salcha in writing that                                                               
it  may  qualify for  a  variance  if it  [met  a  couple of  the                                                               
requirements].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN replied  not to  her  knowledge.   She reiterated  that                                                               
unless Salcha was  further along in the process,  such as needing                                                               
to treat a  contaminant in the water that  isn't considered life-                                                               
threatening, it wouldn't  qualify for a variance.    She said she                                                               
couldn't  believe  that DEC  would've  told  Salcha there  is  an                                                               
option for a variance because it's not at that point.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  asked if DEC  told Salcha that  if it did  A, B,                                                               
and C, it would be qualify for loans or financial assistance.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN responded,  "Probably not."   She  reiterated that  the                                                               
community couldn't  obtain a loan  for the initial  assessment of                                                               
the water as the cost is too low.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:29:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  asked  if  Salcha  has  the  ability  to  be  a                                                               
disadvantaged community, in terms of state statute.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN  answered that she  wasn't sure  and thus would  have to                                                               
review that.   However, she offered a guess  that Salcha wouldn't                                                               
be a disadvantaged community.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:29:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CISSNA  characterized   this  as   an  important                                                               
discussion.   She informed the  committee that the country  has s                                                               
99 percent  safe water standard,  while in Alaska  it's somewhere                                                               
in  the 70th  percentile.   Moreover, recent  research has  shown                                                               
that there's  an enormous  cost when a  water system  drops below                                                               
the  safe  water  standards.    Such  a  situation  is  extremely                                                               
dangerous, particularly  to children.  She  then highlighted that                                                               
she's not hearing  any plan between Salcha, DEC,  and the federal                                                               
government  that  addresses what  she  referred  to as  a  "moral                                                               
constitutional  requirement."     She  characterized  not  paying                                                               
attention to safety issues as  evil.  Representative Cissna asked                                                               
if the  interaction with  Salcha has been  purely via  e-mail and                                                               
letters or  has anyone actually  visited the community  and spoke                                                               
with Salcha residents.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN related her understanding  that DEC staff did visit with                                                               
a   Salcha  fairground   representative  on   several  occasions.                                                               
However, if  they don't  want to  be a  water system,  then DEC's                                                               
hands are  tied to  a degree.   A water  system that  serves more                                                               
than 25 people has to comply with the federal requirements.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:33:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked if  the 25  persons using  the water                                                               
system refers to  25 persons using it  per day or is  it the same                                                               
25 persons using it.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN specified  that it's averaged; 25 people per  day over a                                                               
six-month  period.   Furthermore,  if an  individual takes  water                                                               
home to  four others, then those  folks are counted as  well.  As                                                               
she recalled,  the Salcha water  system was serving well  over 25                                                               
people.   If the number  of individuals  using a water  system is                                                               
"on the line," the department tends to be flexible, she related.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:34:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  explained that  he had  requested Representative                                                               
Harris  review alternative  approaches  to  the situation,  which                                                               
resulted  in a  committee  substitute  (CS) labeled  26-LS1357\E,                                                               
Bullard, 3/15/10.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:35:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETE  FELLMAN, Staff,  Representative John  Harris, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, explained  that Version E clarifies  in statute some                                                               
of the possible  solutions that seem to be written  into the Code                                                             
of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).   When the C.F.R. was updated in                                                             
1996,  the  updates  addressed   unfunded  mandates  as  well  as                                                               
assistance  to small  communities and  disadvantaged communities.                                                               
The updated  C.F.R. provided  a means for  the state  to exercise                                                               
flexibility in the  way that it addresses small  water systems in                                                               
an area in  which the community is disadvantaged  or doesn't have                                                               
the  ability to  obtain water.   The  hope with  Version E  is to                                                               
specify  in statute  that technical  assistance, water  supplies,                                                               
possible variances and guidance, as  well as loans and grants can                                                               
be provided.    Mr. Fellman emphasized that the  federal law does                                                               
provide  ways and  means to  help small  water systems  come into                                                               
compliance with federal requirements.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. FELLMAN then  informed the committee that the  well in Salcha                                                               
was  drilled  sometime  after  2003.     He  noted  that  he  has                                                               
information from  2005 when folks  first started using  the well.                                                               
The Salcha well has been tested  and has never had a problem with                                                               
safety, and therefore  that's not the issue.  He  opined that the                                                               
issue really revolves around the fact  that less than 25 people a                                                               
day were using the Salcha well.   When the number of people using                                                               
the well  was verified, the  community was told  the [requirement                                                               
to have a well that's not  covered by the federal government] was                                                               
less than  25 people  per month  not per  day.   He characterized                                                               
threshold of users as a moving  target and noted that he has seen                                                               
three different  manners of language  regarding the  threshold of                                                               
25 users  of a well.   However,  C.F.R. 40.41.2 clearly  says "at                                                               
least 50  service connections or  regularly serves an  average of                                                               
at least 25 individuals daily".   Therefore, there were less than                                                               
25  people a  day using  the Salcha  water system  and they  were                                                               
still required to limit use.   With regard to the engineering and                                                               
variance  language, it  is lengthy  and extensive  and there  are                                                               
costs.  Mr. Fellman reminded  the committee that the Salcha water                                                               
system is  maintained voluntarily  through community  support and                                                               
the earlier  projected cost of  $15,000 to meet  the requirements                                                               
would  be  fairly  significant.     In  conclusion,  Mr.  Fellman                                                               
expressed  hope that  Version E  will provide  some clarity  with                                                               
regard to what DEC can do.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:41:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HERRON  informed the committee  that it's the  intent of                                                               
the co-chairs  not to adopt  Version E  in order to  provide time                                                               
for everyone to review it.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:41:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  identified a pivotal matter  in the Salcha                                                               
situation  to be  the public  advertisement  of available  [safe]                                                               
water.  She then opined that  perhaps one of the things the state                                                               
hasn't done a good enough  job of is understanding the importance                                                               
of clean  water.  She  pointed out that  the lack of  clean water                                                               
contributes  to the  state's  rising health  care  costs.   [With                                                               
regard to  the Salcha  situation], Representative  Cissna related                                                               
her understanding  that the required  testing that  is verifiable                                                               
hasn't been done.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. FELLMAN noted  that he has copies of the  last test performed                                                               
on the Salcha  water system.  He further  noted his understanding                                                               
that the  Salcha water system  has been  tested every year.   The                                                               
testing was performed in a  state laboratory and the results were                                                               
free of any  coliform or any possible contaminants.   With regard                                                               
to  the "advertising"  of the  Salcha water  system, Mr.  Fellman                                                               
clarified that  there was  a newspaper  article about  the Salcha                                                               
fairgrounds  and  the  Salcha   Fairground  Association  and  the                                                               
article mentioned that it has a  well that provides water for the                                                               
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:44:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA surmised that in  the case of Salcha, folks                                                               
believe  they  have  done  what's   necessary.    Therefore,  she                                                               
surmised that they don't seem to understand the law well enough.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FELLMAN opined  that it's  highly unlikely  that folks  will                                                               
drive  to Salcha  for water.   Therefore,  it wouldn't  even make                                                               
sense to advertise coming to Salcha for water.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  agreed, but  returned  to  the fact  that                                                               
there  are laws  that often  people don't  understand.   She then                                                               
inquired as to Mr. Fellman's view of Version E.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FELLMAN said  that Version  E clarifies  and allows  average                                                               
people to  review statute rather  than having  to also go  to the                                                               
C.F.R. in order to understand  the process.  Furthermore, Version                                                               
E  may help  DEC  be  clearer with  communities  and maintain  an                                                               
attitude in which the community  and the department work together                                                               
rather than the department being in the role of an enforcer.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:47:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  related his  understanding that  Salcha is                                                               
currently  providing water  under certified  letter that  it will                                                               
serve less  than 25 residents  without specifying  whether that's                                                               
25 residents per day or per month.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FELLMAN specified  that  the aforementioned  is  one of  the                                                               
problems and requires clarification.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:49:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS,  referring to  Section  1  of Version  E,                                                               
asked if  a public water system  used by 25 people  or more would                                                               
be a regulated public water system.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:49:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIT  CARLSON-VAN  DORT,  Legislative  Liaison,  Office  of  the                                                               
Commissioner,    Department   of    Environmental   Conservation,                                                               
confirmed that  such a public  water system would be  a regulated                                                               
public water  system under federal  law.  In further  response to                                                               
Representative Harris, related  her belief that it  would also be                                                               
a regulated public water system per statute.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:49:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS  questioned  then  whether  inserting  the                                                               
language "per day"  at the end of  line 6 on page 1  of Version E                                                               
would provide clarity.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARLSON-VAN DORT replied yes,  adding that using the language                                                               
"25 people per  day averaged over six months"  would conform with                                                               
federal language.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:50:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS expressed  concern  with  the language  in                                                               
Section  1(a)(2)  that  specifies the  department  shall  provide                                                               
communities  with financial  assistance  per  AS 46.03.030(b)  or                                                               
46.03.036(b).    He  inquired   as  to  what  the  aforementioned                                                               
statutes refer.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARLSON-VAN DORT, upon referring  to the statute, related her                                                               
understanding that those statutes  outline the municipal matching                                                               
grant program  through the  Division of Water.   She  related her                                                               
further understanding  that those  statutes refer to  the program                                                               
that  requires a  minimum threshold  for the  amount of  grant or                                                               
loan funds the  department would consider.   However, she offered                                                               
to review  it further and  provide the committee with  a definite                                                               
answer.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:52:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ recalled  Ms. Ryan's  earlier testimony  relating                                                               
that  the  department  has  financial  assistance  available  for                                                               
larger projects.  She then inquired  as to whether DEC is able to                                                               
provide   assistance  to   communities  with   smaller  financial                                                               
requests, such as would be the case for Salcha.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN said  that she  isn't sure  because it's  handled in  a                                                               
different  program within  the Division  of Water.   She  related                                                               
that she has been told that there's  a minimum for the loan.  Ms.                                                               
Ryan  highlighted that  loans are  easier to  obtain, but  have a                                                               
minimum amount  whereas grants are  more difficult to  obtain and                                                               
the grantee  must illustrate  disadvantaged qualifications.   The                                                               
Division of Water,  she said, told her that  Salcha wouldn't meet                                                               
the  requirements for  a grant  because they  don't fit  into the                                                               
definition  of a  disadvantaged community.   Furthermore,  Salcha                                                               
would likely not be able to  obtain a loan because loans are only                                                               
provided for  larger amounts.   She offered to double  check with                                                               
the Division of Water.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:54:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ,  referring  to the  correspondence  between  the                                                               
Salcha Fair Association representative  and the department staff,                                                               
pointed  out  that  department staff  used  a  threatening  tone.                                                               
Therefore,   she   requested   that    Ms.   Ryan   review   that                                                               
correspondence.   She  encouraged the  department to  improve the                                                               
[tone]  of  its  interactions  with communities,  most  of  which                                                               
aren't familiar with the law.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN agreed to do so.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:56:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  suggested  that  a  water  system  that's                                                               
located in a community with over  25 people and accessible to the                                                               
entire  community should  be  defined in  regulation.   She  then                                                               
asked  if there  is  any  other public  way  to  obtain water  in                                                               
Salcha.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN  pointed  out  that the  regulations  include  a  clear                                                               
definition [of  a public  water system]  that mimics  the federal                                                               
definition.    The state's  definition  refers  to smaller  water                                                               
systems because the  state has water systems that  don't meet the                                                               
federal  definition  that  the  state  regulates,  which  is  the                                                               
category in  which Salcha is  now.   For the state  water system,                                                               
the water system must be smaller  than a water system outlined in                                                               
the federal regulations but larger  than a water system serving a                                                               
duplex.   She further  clarified that those  with a  private well                                                               
for a  home or duplex don't  interact with DEC at  all.  However,                                                               
if the well serves two  duplexes, it becomes federally regulated,                                                               
which is  the category in which  Salcha is now.   She offered her                                                               
understanding that  the belief  is that once  a system  serves 25                                                               
people, they  could pay  a certain  fee in  order to  perform the                                                               
requirements to ensure safe water.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[HB 318 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB 318 (Version E).PDF HCRA 3/16/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 318