Legislature(2015 - 2016)GRUENBERG 120

03/15/2016 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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10:02:53 AM Start
10:03:27 AM HB283
11:18:26 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 283 NATL. RES. WATER NOMINATION/DESIGNATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 283-NATL. RES. WATER NOMINATION/DESIGNATION                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:03:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  announced that the  only order of business  would be                                                              
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 283,  "An  Act  relating  to the  nomination  and                                                              
designation  of  state  water  as  outstanding  national  resource                                                              
water; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:04:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LARRY   HARTIG,   Commissioner,    Department   of   Environmental                                                              
Conservation (DEC),  introduced HB 283,  companion bill to  SB 63,                                                              
paraphrasing  from the sponsor  statement,  which read as  follows                                                              
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  283 (HB283) creates  a process for  water in                                                                   
     Alaska  to  be designated  as  an  Outstanding  National                                                                   
     Resource  Water (ONRW).  The  purpose of  an  ONRW -  or                                                                   
     Tier  3 -  designation is  to  offer special  protection                                                                   
     for waters  of "exceptional  recreational or  ecological                                                                   
     significance."  Once a water  is designated as  an ONRW,                                                                   
     the   only   additional   pollutants   from   wastewater                                                                   
     discharges  that   can  be  added  to  that   water  are                                                                   
     temporary and limited.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The state  is required to  establish a process  for ONRW                                                                   
     designation under  the federal Clean Water  Act. Current                                                                   
     statute  and the  Constitution are  not clear  regarding                                                                   
     the  Department  of Environmental  Conservation  (DEC)'s                                                                   
     authority  to   designate  ONRWs.  ONRWs   are  afforded                                                                   
     special protection:  because only temporary  and limited                                                                   
     pollutants  are allowed to  be added  to ONRWs, an  ONRW                                                                   
     designation  effectively  becomes  a land  use  decision                                                                   
     with  the possibility  of impacting  or barring  further                                                                   
     development  on   lands  near  ONRWs.  Given   the  far-                                                                   
     reaching consequences  of designation, ONRW  designation                                                                   
     is more appropriately the Legislature's decision.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     This   bill  clarifies   that   the  final   designation                                                                   
     decision   is  made   by   the  Legislature.   It   also                                                                   
     establishes  a  process  by  which  nominations  can  be                                                                   
     submitted to  and compiled by  DEC for submittal  to the                                                                   
     Legislature for consideration.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     There  is no  anticipated  increased  cost to  implement                                                                   
     this  bill. DEC will  be able  to establish  regulations                                                                   
     and collect nominations with current staffing levels.                                                                      
     There  are currently no  ONRWs in  the State of  Alaska;                                                                   
     however,  DEC  has  received  three  requests  for  ONRW                                                                   
     designations,  which  DEC   is  holding  until  a  final                                                                   
     process for designation is established.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     It  is important  to the  protection  of Alaska's  human                                                                   
     and  environmental health  to have  a clear process  for                                                                   
     designation of  Outstanding National Resource  Waters or                                                                   
     Tier 3 waters in the state.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG continued  to clarify  the difference  of the                                                              
Tier 1, 2, and  3 designations, and the amount  of pollutants that                                                              
are  allowed at  each  level.   The Tier  3  allows no  additional                                                              
pollution,  whereas the Tier  2 represents  a multi-use  waterway.                                                              
Additionally, once  designated Tier 3  status, the waters  are not                                                              
eligible for reclassification, he stressed.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:12:31 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked  whether other levels of classification  can be                                                              
modified, once designated.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG answered  that  there are  no provisions  for                                                              
altering  these  classifications,   but  litigation  and  a  court                                                              
ruling could be brought against any tier status.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:14:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS    asked   when   did   the   U.S.                                                              
Environmental   Protection   Agency    (EPA)   issue   regulations                                                              
requiring states to create processes for Tier 3 designations.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  answered   that  the  requirement  has  been                                                              
around for  some time, regarding  the tier designations.   Federal                                                              
law  40  CFR 131.12,  requires  states  to  have  anti-degradation                                                              
provisions, and  it provides  a specific list  of inclusions.   He                                                              
reported  on  other  states  facing  court  challenges,  and  said                                                              
Alaska's policy was adopted in 1997.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked,  "What's  happened  in  the                                                              
last 17-plus years?"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  explained  that  DEC  regulations  stipulate                                                              
policy for  issuing permits, as  promulgated under state law.   He                                                              
described  the federal  and state  permit exchange  that has  been                                                              
used for  compliance with the Clean  Water Act and to  ensure anti                                                              
degradation  practices.    However,  the way  the  department  was                                                              
handling the  permits was  not set out  explicitly in  guidance or                                                              
regulation.   In  2010 DEC  issued  interim guidance  and began  a                                                              
public  process  to  vet proposed  regulations.    Workshops  were                                                              
held,  and  input  taken  to determine  how  best  to  handle  the                                                              
requirement.   The process  being developed caused  constitutional                                                              
questions to  arise of whether a  state agency or  the legislature                                                              
holds the  authority for  designating a  waterway as  conservation                                                              
status; Tier 3.   The attorney general (AG) has  been involved and                                                              
the legal question remains.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:19:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON asked  about  the existence  of  Tier 3  or                                                              
Tier 1 waters in the state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG replied  that Tier 1  designations have  been                                                              
made, via regulation, but none for Tier 3.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON ascertained  that the  majority of  Alaskan                                                              
waters are designated Tier 2.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG replied, correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON asked what  will occur  if Alaska  fails to                                                              
create a  process for designating  Tier 3 waters, and  not satisfy                                                              
the federal mandate.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  speculated that  the federal government  will                                                              
enforce  the   requirement,  and   possibly  take  the   lead  for                                                              
designating Alaska's waters.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:21:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  asked  whether  any  waters  in  Alaska  have  been                                                              
proposed for Tier 3 designation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  said  DEC  has  received  four  nominations,                                                              
which are:   Bristol Bay watershed; Koktuli River,  Chilkat River,                                                              
and  the Yakutat  forelands  watershed.   The  department has  not                                                              
taken  action  due  to  the  ambiguity   that  exists  around  the                                                              
process, he pointed out.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:23:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ observed  that,  to this  point, Alaska  has                                                              
been operating without an adopted policy.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG said  that  a policy  exists,  but DEC  lacks                                                              
guidance for the implementation process.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ  asked what  has  transpired  to prompt  the                                                              
introduction of the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG responded  that DEC  has an  anti-degradation                                                              
policy,  18 AAC  70.15, which  contains elements  of the  process.                                                              
Hundreds of  permits have been  issued under this  policy, without                                                              
challenge.    However,  a  series  of  cases  have  been  brought,                                                              
outside  of Alaska,  which created  concern for  how explicit  the                                                              
DEC  guidance  policy  needs  to  be in  order  to  meet  the  EPA                                                              
requirements.  Thus,  the agency is working proactively  to create                                                              
a clear guidance policy.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:25:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  asked if it's accurate  to say that                                                              
Alaska lacks a process for implementing existing policy.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   HARTIG  clarified   that   the   policy  has   been                                                              
implemented for  nearly two decades, but today  the implementation                                                              
process  is coming  under  scrutiny.   Today's  political  climate                                                              
requires explicit, transparent, guidance policies.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  restated that the bill  proposes to                                                              
solve  a   problem;  that  being   the  lack  of  a   process  for                                                              
designating Tier 3 waters.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG explained that  the anti-degradation  policy,                                                              
as  implemented by  DEC,  deals with  all  tier designations  but,                                                              
until now, no Tier 3 waters had been proposed.  He said:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     How   we  take  in   nominations  and   how  we   decide                                                                   
     nominations [for  Tier 3 waters],  that has not  been in                                                                   
     any  kind  of  guidance  or   regulation.    That's  new                                                                   
     because  nobody had  ever proposed  any  before; now  we                                                                   
     [have] four [nominations].                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  clarified that there  is no current                                                              
process for designating Tier 3 waters.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  said a process exists:  legislation.   At any                                                              
time,  he  explained,  an  interested  party  could  approach  the                                                              
legislature  requesting a  bill  be drafted  to  designate Tier  3                                                              
waters.  The  administration believes that the  decision should be                                                              
held  at the  legislative level,  and  not be  designated via  the                                                              
agencies  permit  process.    He  said  the  legislature  has  the                                                              
ability  to complete  the most  comprehensive review,  as well  as                                                              
provide for the public process component.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:30:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  returned to the possibility  of the                                                              
federal government  designating Alaska's Tier 3 waters,  and asked                                                              
how that  might occur given  Commissioner Hartig's  testimony that                                                              
the process does exist, as held by the state legislature.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  said an ambiguity exists in the  system.  The                                                              
department  has authority  from the legislature  to implement  the                                                              
federal  Clean Water  Act, which  stipulates the  anti-degradation                                                              
provisions.    Further,  the  legislature   has  granted  DEC  the                                                              
authority to set  water quality criteria, and to  protect waterway                                                              
use.    The question  is,  does  that include  the  authority  for                                                              
designating Tier 1,  2, and 3 waters.  The possibility  for naming                                                              
Tier 2.5  waters also  exists.   The AG's  office is debating  the                                                              
question  and  has  opined  that there  may  be  a  constitutional                                                              
prohibition for  the state agency  to enact a Tier  3 designation.                                                              
The federal  government would  provide procedural guidance  should                                                              
a  court rule  that  DEC  retains  the designation  authority  but                                                              
continues to lack a clear process.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:32:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON commented  that it  appears caution  may be                                                              
required  for  designating  waterways   Tier  3;  however,  having                                                              
federal intervention  also needs to be  avoided.  The Tier  2.5 is                                                              
an interesting  designation, he  noted, and  asked if  that status                                                              
would allow  a future  legislature to  revisit and possibly  amend                                                              
the designation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   HARTIG  stated   his  belief   that  a   subsequent                                                              
legislature   could   vote   to  change   a   previously   enacted                                                              
designation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON asked whether  a local boundary  commission                                                              
might be useful as a designation council.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG said yes,  and pointed  out that  some states                                                              
have seated  a commission or advisory  board.  He opined  that the                                                              
legislature  would be best  to hold  control over the  designation                                                              
process, and theorized on the benefits of such an arrangement.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:37:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES stated  her  understanding  that Alaska  is  neither                                                              
compelled, nor required, to have Tier 3 designated waters.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  concurred,  and  added  that  a  policy  and                                                              
process for  designation remains  as a  federal requirement.   The                                                              
decision for  whether or not  to designate  is held by  the state,                                                              
he underscored.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:38:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS asked how  many other  states share                                                              
Alaska's lack  of a clearly  defined process; save  designation by                                                              
the legislature.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG offered to provide further information.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:40:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  for clarity  on how the  department                                                              
would  be  presenting  recommendations   regarding  a  designation                                                              
process  to  the  legislature  in  order  to  have  appropriations                                                              
authorized to conduct a study.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  said  the  vision  is  to  have  the  public                                                              
nominate waterways  to DEC  and the  department would  forward the                                                              
list  to   the  legislature  for   consideration.     The  elected                                                              
officials would  make determinations  and prioritizations.   Funds                                                              
would  then be  appropriated to  the agency  to conduct  necessary                                                              
watershed   analysis  and   formulate  a   response  for   further                                                              
consideration by the legislature.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  clarified  that the  initial  legislative                                                              
step would  require specific funding,  from either the  capital or                                                              
operating budget,  and the final designation of  a watershed would                                                              
reside with the legislature.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG concurred.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  asked  whether  the  funds  appropriation                                                              
would result in starting or ending the process.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  stepped through  the  process:   waters  are                                                              
publicly nominated;  nominees are provided to the  legislature for                                                              
review; and  the legislature chooses  what further steps  to take.                                                              
The  legislative steps  to be  taken  might include:   no  action;                                                              
direction  to  DEC  to  generate   a  comprehensive,  legislative,                                                              
report  for possible  action; or  acknowledgment  that a  waterway                                                              
should be designated  Tier 3 via direct action.   However, without                                                              
authority  from  the  legislature,  the  agency will  not  act  on                                                              
making  Tier 3  designations,  and funding  will  be necessary  to                                                              
study nominated watersheds.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  stated  that  the authority  for  DEC  to                                                              
implement Tier  3 would be granted  by virtue of  an appropriation                                                              
act being  passed by the  legislature.   He referred to  the bill,                                                              
page 1, lines [5]-7, which read as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Sec.   AS  46.03.085.   Outstanding  national   resource                                                                 
     water. (a) Water  of the state may not be  designated as                                                                 
     outstanding national  resource water as specified  in 40                                                                   
     C.F.R.   Part   131.12  except   by   an  act   of   the                                                                   
     legislature.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  said  it's   necessary  to  clarify  that                                                              
agency authorization  will require  a statutory  act, not  just an                                                              
appropriations act.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG restated  the steps  envisioned, and  pointed                                                              
out that amendments to the bill are being entertained.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  opined that,  as  currently written,  the                                                              
appropriation could  serve as the  required legislative  act, thus                                                              
providing DEC the authority to make Tier 3 designations.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG said, "That wasn't our intent."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:48:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  suggested  that  a Tier  3  status  should                                                              
require a  minimum of two positive  acts by the legislature:   one                                                              
to begin the review, and one to implement the designation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:49:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  maintained interest  in  receiving                                                              
additional  information:    How  other states  have  handled  this                                                              
federal requirement;  which states have  not enacted a  process to                                                              
designate  Tier  3  waters;  and   a  copy  of  the  AG's  opinion                                                              
indicating   a  legal   ambiguity  regarding   DEC's  ability   to                                                              
designate Tier  3 waters.  He  opined that a legislative  act does                                                              
not appear  to be required for DEC  to designate waters  to a tier                                                              
status.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  clarified  that  the  AG has  not  issued  a                                                              
formal opinion.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:50:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON pointed out  that Lake  Tahoe is a  Tier 3                                                              
designation,  and   said  it  is   apparent,  when   crossing  the                                                              
California/Nevada  border that the  Nevada side hosts  large scale                                                              
development,  but  the California  side  shows  very little.    He                                                              
asked for  information on how these  two states handle  the shared                                                              
designation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG offered to provide further information.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON expressed  a need  for caution,  regarding                                                              
locking up waters that may be principle for future development.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:52:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:52:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HEIDI KRITZ,  Spokesperson, United  Tribes of Bristol  Bay, stated                                                              
opposition to  HB 283.  She  named the tribes she  represents from                                                              
the Bristol  Bay area and pointed  out the Native's  dependence on                                                              
traditional  subsistence practices.    The tribes  do not  support                                                              
politicizing  the determination  of outstanding national  resource                                                              
waters,  she opined,  and  said the  decisions  should be  science                                                              
based.   Alaskans need the  ability to  engage in the  process for                                                              
nominating Tier 3  waters and to protect watersheds  for continued                                                              
traditional use.  She said:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We  cannot  support  this bill  as  Alaskans  deserve  a                                                                   
     fair,  just,  and  scientific  based  process  for  this                                                                   
     important  tool to  recognize  and preserve  our  waters                                                                   
     that support  our bountiful  resources that support  our                                                                   
     communities and state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:55:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MARK VINSEL, Executive  Administrator, United Fisherman  of Alaska                                                              
(UFA), stated  opposition to  HB 283  and stressed the  importance                                                              
for  having   a  clearly   defined  policy   for  nominating   and                                                              
recognizing  Tier 3  waters  using science  based  decisions.   He                                                              
recommended  that   DEC  retain  purview  over  the   process  and                                                              
determinations,  in collaboration with  the Department  of Natural                                                              
Resources  (DNR)  and  the  Alaska   Department  of  Fish  &  Game                                                              
(ADF&G), as  well as include  public hearings.   The bill is  in a                                                              
skeletal  form  and  subject  to "tightening  up,"  he  noted  and                                                              
suggested  that the word  "may" throughout  the proposed  language                                                              
is ineffective.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON indicated how  the bureaucratic  make-up of                                                              
DEC  may  change  in  the  future  and  asked  whether  the  final                                                              
determinations  wouldn't  be better  served in  the  hands of  the                                                              
people's elected representatives.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VINSEL   acknowledged   that  a  legislative   role   may  be                                                              
necessary;  however, a  robust process  involving  the public  and                                                              
other state agencies, is optimal.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:00:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GUY ARCHIBALD,  Director, Inside Passage Water  Keepers, Southeast                                                              
Alaska Conservation  Council (SEACC), stated opposition  to HB 283                                                              
and clarified the  use of Tier 3 waterways:   The designation bans                                                              
permanent  or  long  term  degradation   of  water  quality  by  a                                                              
permitted discharger.   A grandfather law exists  for any existing                                                              
dischargers,  which are  already  in place.   Additionally,  other                                                              
uses that do  not require discharge, such as  boating and fishing,                                                              
are allowed.   A  Tier 3  designation does  not ban industry  from                                                              
operating on  the land  or discharging into  the water.   Industry                                                              
would  be required  to treat any  effluent to  match the  existing                                                              
quality of  the water  that receives the  discharge or  utilize an                                                              
alternative  land  based  application,   such  as  the  deep  well                                                              
injection used  by oil and gas  companies, or recycling,  which is                                                              
what the  Pogo Mine  utilizes.  A  misconception appears  to exist                                                              
regarding  the   difference  between  the   Tier  2  and   Tier  3                                                              
designations,  he  opined  and   explained  the  differences:    A                                                              
citizen can nominate  a Tier 2 water body for  Tier 3 designation,                                                              
through   gathering  published   science,  collecting   additional                                                              
scientific  data, and  submitting  the information  to  DEC.   The                                                              
agency invokes a  process and possibly reclassifies  the waterway,                                                              
as requested.   When  that occurs, a  timeline is instigated  that                                                              
limits the  amount of  time for the  additional discharge,  or new                                                              
pollution, to  be allowed into the  water body.  He  reported that                                                              
Alaskan waterways are  assumed to be Tier 2 status,  and, further,                                                              
little data  exists on  the majority  of Alaskan watersheds;  99.7                                                              
percent  lack scientific  study.   Also,  no  mandate exists  that                                                              
baseline  water   quality  be  determined  prior   to  the  agency                                                              
permitting discharge.   The process should be handled  the same as                                                              
any land use or  other action that is permitted  under the purview                                                              
of  DEC,  or  DNR  he opined.    The  process  should  be  clearly                                                              
defined, handled  as an administrative  procedure, and based  on a                                                              
consistent set  of scientifically  determined criteria.   Further,                                                              
it   should   be   a   public   process,   with   open   hearings.                                                              
Additionally,  he  pointed  out,  two states  standout  as  having                                                              
extensive Tier  3 designated waterways:   Colorado with  6,000 and                                                              
New Mexico  with 2,000.   Both  of these  states also host  robust                                                              
natural resource extraction industries and vibrant economies.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:04:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ  asked  for elaboration  on  the  opposition                                                              
statement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ARCHIBALD qualified  that SEACC's  opposition is  due to  DEC                                                              
lacking a  specific and  clear set  of criteria  on which  to base                                                              
designations.   Allowing  the legislature  to  make the  decision,                                                              
would unnecessarily politicize the process, he opined.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:06:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  inquired whether  SEACC,  or the  witness                                                              
personally, have  been involved in a petition  drive regarding the                                                              
Bristol Bay watershed area.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARCHIBALD responded, "No."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:06:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  asked about other states  that lack                                                              
a defined process for designating Tier 3 waters.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARCHIBALD  answered that  other states are  in the  same stage                                                              
of creating  a process  as  Alaska, and  named Idaho  for one.   A                                                              
variety  of processes  have  been adopted  across  the nation,  he                                                              
reported,   some   are   administrative,   others  rely   on   the                                                              
legislature  only, and  in some  cases a board  is entrusted  with                                                              
the  duties.     Some  states  utilize  a  combination   of  these                                                              
approaches and the results vary widely, he finished.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:07:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked if SEACC, or its  national governing                                                              
body, donated money  to the petition drive to limit  a large scale                                                              
mine in Bristol Bay.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARCHIBALD responded, "Not to my knowledge."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:08:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MALENA   MARVIN,   Owner,   Schoolhouse   Fish   Company,   stated                                                              
opposition  to HB  283, paraphrasing  from  a prepared  statement,                                                              
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
       Thanks for letting me submit testimony today. The                                                                        
        following are notes from my remarks in committee                                                                        
     today.   To  be  clear, I  oppose  HB 283,  because  our                                                                   
     family's  commercial fishing  business  is dependent  on                                                                   
     protection of clean water.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     We  are   members  of   the  Seafood  Producers   Co-op,                                                                   
     Petersburg Vessel  Owners Association, Alaska  Trollers,                                                                   
     and  others,  and my  partner  Eric Grundberg  has  been                                                                   
     fishing out of Petersburg for over a decade.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We are starting  a direct-market small  seafood business                                                                   
     here in Petersburg,  Schoolhouse Fish Co., and  are also                                                                   
     part  of   a  new  League   of  Alaskan  Direct   Market                                                                   
     fishermen.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Weakening  the state's  ability to  protect clean  water                                                                   
     does  not help  family  fishermen  like us.  We  benefit                                                                   
     from  and are  thankful that  the state  has invested  a                                                                   
     lot  of money and  time into  marketing Alaska's  waters                                                                   
     as   pure   and  clean.   This   bill   undercuts   that                                                                   
     investment.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     I was  shocked to  learn about  this bill.   It's  a big                                                                   
     step in the  exact opposite direction we need  to go. We                                                                   
     should be  strengthening, not weakening, our  ability to                                                                   
     protect  clean  water  since   fishing  is  our  state's                                                                   
     biggest jobs  creator and  our state's most  sustainable                                                                   
     industry.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  should be working  to implement  a clearly  non-                                                                   
     partisan  process  for  ensuring  Tier  III  waters  are                                                                   
     considered.  These   designations  should  be   open  to                                                                   
     thorough  public review  by an  agency experienced  with                                                                   
     considering  scientific criteria, as  would be  the case                                                                   
     if  they are  processed by  an agency  or consortium  of                                                                   
     agencies led by DNC.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I do  not believe  that a  partisan legislature  heavily                                                                   
     influenced by  mining and oil corporations is  the right                                                                   
     place  to carry out  implementation  of the Clean  Water                                                                   
     Act.  Alaska's  legislature   has  an  uncommonly  short                                                                   
     session and  is neck deep in very serious  budget issues                                                                   
     that  will  not  be resolved  anytime  soon.  The  Clean                                                                   
     Water  Act should  be  fully  implemented in  Alaska  by                                                                   
     agencies with  the experience, scientific  expertise and                                                                   
     staff bandwidth to do a thorough and non-partisan job.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Despite  Commissioner   Hartig's  failure   to  properly                                                                   
     answer this  question when  brought in committee  today,                                                                   
     it is  common knowledge that  Alaska is one of  the last                                                                   
     states  to avoid  implementing  this part  of the  Clean                                                                   
     Water Act.  This is  despite the fact  that we  have the                                                                   
     greatest economic stake in clean water.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Let's  remember why  we have  the Clean  Water Act -  to                                                                   
     ensure   our  water  stays   fishable,  swimmable,   and                                                                   
     drinkable for  future generations.   We should  be doing                                                                   
     everything we can to support this goal, not weaken it.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Representative    Craig   Johnson's    insinuation    in                                                                   
     committee  that Tier  III  designations  could "lock  up                                                                   
     water  for development  forever"  is  [not] factual  and                                                                   
     disingenuous.   Tier  III   designations  only   prevent                                                                   
     pollution,  not  development, and  I  think we  can  all                                                                   
     agree  that Alaska  welcomes development  that does  not                                                                   
     pollute water.  His use of Lake Tahoe as  an analogy was                                                                   
     a  poor  comparison   lacking  in  fact  and   heavy  on                                                                   
     innuendo.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     As  a  member  of  United  Fishermen  of  Alaska  member                                                                   
     groups,  I'd  have  to  agree with  Mr.  Vinsel  that  a                                                                   
     robust  public  process  is  the  best  way  to  protect                                                                   
     Alaska's outstanding waters.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:14:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE  BROWN, Fisherman,  stated  opposition to  HB 283,  citing                                                              
the   necessity   for   Alaska's  waterways   to   be   protected.                                                              
Nominations have  been languishing, despite the importance  to the                                                              
communities  that rely  on clean  water.   The legislature  should                                                              
not be  in charge  of this type  of decision,  as members  are not                                                              
trained scientists.   Once deemed to  be a Tier 3  waterway, there                                                              
should  be no  reason for  a need  to reverse  that decision,  she                                                              
opined.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:17:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES closed  public  testimony and  announced  HB 283  as                                                              
held over.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB283 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB283 ver A.PDF HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB283 Fiscal Note DEC.PDF HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB283 Supporting document - FAQs.pdf HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB283 Supporting Documents - Transmittal Letter to Speaker Chenault 1.28.2016.pdf HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB283 Supporting document - KHNS Article.pdf HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB 283 Backup UFA Oppose HB 283.pdf HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB 283 Backup UFA comments on DEC Antidegradation Regs (1).pdf HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283
HB283 DEC response to Mar 15 meeting.pdf HFSH 3/15/2016 10:00:00 AM
HB 283