Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/24/1994 08:35 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 238 An Act establishing a procedure for review of proposed projects under the Alaska coastal management program, and relating to petitions for compliance with and enforcement of district coastal management programs under that program and to the disposition of those petitions. SB 238 was HELD in Committee for further consideration. SENATE BILL 238 "An Act establishing a procedure for review of proposed projects under the Alaska coastal management program, and relating to petitions for compliance with and enforcement of district coastal management programs under that program and to the disposition of those petitions." KEN ERICKSON, STAFF TO SENATOR DRUE PEARCE, stated that the Coastal Policy Committee (CPC) coordinates State agencies and local coastal districts in reviewing and issuing State permits for proposed development projects affecting natural resources in Alaska's coastal zones. SB 238 would clarify when and how certain parties can petition the Coastal Policy Council during an Alaska Coastal Management Program consistency review. He added that the bill would correct a problem that occurs when a petition is brought before the council after a final commission level decision on a consistency review has been made. Under the current Alaska Coastal Management Program statutes and regulations, the State's resource commissioners cannot delegate their responsibility to participate in an elevation consistency determination to the commissioner level, nor may they delegate their authority to decide a petition in the final consistency determination. The clarifications would ensure that complaints are heard and addressed in a timely manner. Mr. Erickson summarized that the bill would ensure that citizens, State agencies, and affected projects have a voice in the development policies of the state's coastal areas. PAUL RUSANOWSKI, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL 5 COORDINATION, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, provided the Committee with background information on the proposed legislation. In 1977, when the Legislature enacted AS 46.40.100, it created an ability for certain people to appeal issues to the CPC through "petitions". In 1984, when the CPC promulgated it's regulations creating the consistency review process for consistency determinations in 6 AAC 50, it amended a section of the regulations that specifically allowed consistency determinations to be reviewed by the CPC, intending to have consistency determinations appealed to court rather than to the CPC. At that time there was no commensurate statutory change to AS 46.40.100. Since regulations cannot remove a statutory right, the ability to bring a petition from a final consistency determination to the COC remains. The situation has created a dual appeal mechanism, consequently, conflicts have arisen. Representative Brown questioned how the legislation would affect the oil and gas lease sale. Mr. Rusanowski acknowledged there would be no change in how the system determination was made for an oil or gas lease sale. The legislation would provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the system determination. Mr. Rusanowski noted that the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources would be prohibited from making a final determination until disposal of the appeal. He added that the Coastal Policy Council would have thirty (30) days to address the consideration of comments which would have to occur at the regional or director level. Representative Foster commented on a letter of opposition from Unalakleet, the Bering Straits Coastal Resource Service Area Board indicating their concern with the deletion of due deference to that local coastal district. [Copy on file]. Mr. Rusanowski responded that a representative from the Bering Straits participated in the meetings which generated the consensus bill and that they are aware of the process. The board objects because there has been a petition which was handled in their district in which the process had been unsatisfactory in addressing local interest and concerns. Representative Foster asked if the Bering Straits Coastal Resource Service Area Board continues to oppose the legislation. Mr. Rusanowski stated they do. Representative Hanley MOVED to report CS SB 238 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. Representative Foster OBJECTED. 6 A roll call was taken on the MOTION. IN FAVOR: Hanley, Martin, Navarre, Therriault, Brown. OPPOSED: Foster, Grussendorf, Larson. Representatives Hoffman, Parnell and MacLean were not present for the vote. Lacking six votes to move a bill from Committee, the MOTION FAILED (5-3). SB 238 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.