Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/15/1993 08:35 AM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 167    An Act  relating to  air quality  control and  the                 
            prevention,   abatement,   and   control  of   air                 
            pollution;   relating   to   civil  and   criminal                 
            penalties,  damages, and  other  remedies for  air                 
            quality   control   violations;   clarifying   the                 
            definition  of  `hazardous  substance' to  include                 
            releases   and   threatened   releases    to   the                 
            atmosphere; amending the lien  provisions relating                 
            to  the   oil  and  hazardous   substance  release                 
            response   fund;   relating   to  inspection   and                 
            enforcement   powers   of   the    Department   of                 
            Environmental Conservation; and  providing for  an                 
            effective date.                                                    
            HB  167   was  held   in  Committee   for  further                 
  Co-Chair  Larson   placed  HB  167  into  Subcommittee  with                 
  Representative   Therriault  as   Chair  and   with  members                 
  Representative    Hanley,    Representative    Parnell   and                 
  Representative Brown.                                                        
  STEVE PANONE, (teleconference),  PRESIDENT, GOVERNMENT  HILL                 
  COMMUNITY COUNCIL, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, provided the Committee                 
  background information regarding previous benzene gas  fumes                 
  on   Government  Hill.    The  Department  of  Environmental                 
  Conservation captured air samples of the  gas to verify that                 
  there was a  problem.  At  this time, the  vapors have  been                 
  eliminated.   He  added, Government  Hill Community  Council                 
  supports  the  amendments  provided  by  Representative  Kay                 
  Representative  Brown indicated  that the Department  of Law                 
  will  address   their  concerns   with  the   bill  in   the                 
  SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, explained the amendment provided                 
  by  the Department of Law  address Sections #.010 and #.015.                 
  He provided the Committee  with a copy of the  Department of                 
  Law  concerns addressing  proposed  sections and  amendments                 
  included with other minor changes  sought by the Department.                 
  [Attachment #5].                                                             
  Representative Brown provided the Committee with a packet of                 
  amendments  addressing both  the  technical and  substantive                 
  issues.  [Attachment #3].                                                    
  She provided the Committee with a  brief history of the bill                 
  process.  Representative Brown introduced  HB 39 on 1/11/93.                 
  At   the  request   of  the   Department  of   Environmental                 
  Conservation,  she   introduced  a  sponsor   substitute  on                 
  2/03/93,  incorporating the  working group's  proposal.   On                 
  2/19/93,  Representative  Hanley  introduced  HB  167  which                 
  incorporated HB 39 as well as other elements from the old SB
  383, which was never adopted.                                                
  HB 39 was  referred to the  House Labor and Commerce,  House                 
  Resources and  House  Finance Committees.   HB  167 was  not                 
  referred  to  the  House  Resources  Committee.   The  House                 
  Judiciary Committee held  two meetings  on HB 167.   At  the                 
  first meeting,  copies of  the bill  were not  available for                 
  members or public.   There  was little  opportunity for  the                 
  public to review or comment on the bill.  The major standing                 
  committee  for the  bill, House  Resources Committee,  which                 
  should have done the work on the bill has not been involved.                 
  Consequently,  the  public  has not  had  an  opportunity to                 
  review the provisions of the bill  which is before the House                 
  Finance  Committee.   She  offered  her appreciation  to the                 
  House  Finance  Committee  for  the  time  allotted  to  air                 
  concerns with the bill.                                                      
  Representative  Brown  pointed  out that  the  bill  has not                 
  adequately addressed  the  budgetary aspects  of the  fiscal                 
  impact.    Also,  the criminal  penalties  indicated  in the                 
  proposed legislation are not appropriately handled.   Felony                 
  penalties  should   be  reinstated  for  the   most  serious                 
  emissions.    These  can  harm   or  damage  public  health.                 
  Representative Brown distributed a letter  from Alan Schuler                 
  concerning  "Emissions  During  the  Cleaning  of  Petroleum                 
  Storage Tanks".  [Attachment #2].                                            
  Co-Chair MacLean echoed R. Brown's concerns.  She added that                 
  the State  should apply  more stringent  regulations to  the                 
  recommended   federal   guidelines.      Additionally,   the                 
  application and  emission fees  are not  fairly regulated.                   
  The services rendered by DEC would include costs of the time                 
  in  transit  to rural  areas  which will  create prohibitive                 
  costs to the rural utilities.                                                
  Representative Brown  provided the Committee with  a handout                 
  from the  Government Hill  Community  Council regarding  air                 
  quality for the  Port of Anchorage.   [Attachment #1].   The                 
  community remains deeply concerned  about the health  danger                 
  posed by the amount of benzene in the air.                                   
  Co-Chair Larson placed the bill into subcommittee.  The bill                 
  was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects