Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

04/11/2012 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 119 ATHLETIC TRAINERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 259 PHARMACY AUDITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 266 PRACTICE OF NATUROPATHY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 27 FLAME RETARDANTS /CHEMICALS CLEARINGHOUSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        SB 27-FLAME RETARDANTS /CHEMICALS CLEARINGHOUSE                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:08:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the final order of  business would be                                                               
CS  FOR  SENATE BILL  NO.  27(HSS),  "An  Act relating  to  flame                                                               
retardants  and to  the manufacture,  sale,  and distribution  of                                                               
products containing  flame retardants;  relating to  a multistate                                                               
chemicals clearinghouse; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAM  GOTTSTEIN, Staff,  Senator Bill  Wielechowski, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, stated  that SB 27  would help ensure  Alaskans live                                                               
in safe  toxic-free homes.   This  bill would  ban polybrominated                                                               
diphenyl ethers or  PBDEs, which are toxic  flame retardants from                                                               
being  manufactured, distributed  or sold  in the  state.   These                                                               
toxic chemicals can  be found in many  household items, including                                                               
mattresses,   upholstered  furniture,   and  plastic   covers  on                                                               
electronics.  He  said that the negative health  effects of using                                                               
these chemical is  well-documented.  He related that  a number of                                                               
studies on prenatal  exposure to PBDEs show  decreased mental and                                                               
physical  development, increased  thyroid problems,  reproductive                                                               
health problems, and an increased  risk of testicular cancer.  He                                                               
pointed  out that  children are  most  at risk  from exposure  to                                                               
toxic chemicals  since exposure to small  concentrations of these                                                               
toxins at a  critical stage of development can  lead to permanent                                                               
negative health effects.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GOTTSTEIN said Alaskans are  particularly vulnerable to toxic                                                               
flame  retardants for  three reasons.   First,  Alaskans tend  to                                                               
spend  more  time  indoors.    Second,  Alaskans  eat  a  greater                                                               
quantity of  subsistence foods that  have high  concentrations of                                                               
the  biocumulating  chemicals.    Third, toxins  like  PBDEs  are                                                               
carried  in the  atmosphere  through a  process  known as  global                                                               
distillation.  He referred to a  news article that came out three                                                               
days  ago  that  indicates  an uncommonly  high  level  of  flame                                                               
retardant chemicals are  found in a very  remote Arctic location,                                                               
which  made national  news.   Thus Alaskans  are at  an increased                                                               
risk.  He related that  the sponsor has received numerous letters                                                               
of  support  from  pediatricians, firefighter  associations,  the                                                               
Alaska Mental Health Trust, and Alaska Federation of Natives.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GOTTSTEIN  asked  to  make  a  few  points,  including  that                                                               
Representative Holmes had  introduced a similar bill.   He raised                                                               
issues  that  have  been  raised during  hearings  on  the  bill.                                                               
First, SB 27 does not compromise  fire safety.  The bill does not                                                               
exempt products  from meeting existing  fire safety  standards so                                                               
there  should be  no  trade off  resulting  in legislature  being                                                               
forced to  decide between the  lesser of two  evils.    This bill                                                               
would  keep children  safe  from fires  and  from harmful  health                                                               
effects from  exposure to harmful  chemicals.  Second,  this bill                                                               
will  not  increase  costs  to  consumers.    Other  states  have                                                               
researched this  extensively.  He  held up an extensive  study by                                                               
the State  of Illinois -  too large  for members' packets  - that                                                               
looked  for cost  effective alternatives.    Illinois found  that                                                               
transportation issues  resulted in cost  issues.  He  referred to                                                               
page 2,  lines 24-25, which  exempts transportation.   He pointed                                                               
out  that cheap  alternatives are  available in  the marketplace,                                                               
especially  in large  markets such  as European  Union, Wal-Mart.                                                               
He noted that 12 other  states have banned these chemicals except                                                               
for a couple of industries, which  this bill exempts.  Finally, a                                                               
number   of   legislators   have  raised   concerns   since   the                                                               
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  is working to address this                                                               
issue.   He  offered his  belief that  over 90,000  chemicals are                                                               
registered under  the Toxic Substance  Control Act, and  of those                                                               
only five have ever been banned by  the EPA.  He pointed out that                                                               
lead, mercury,  and asbestos are substances  with negative health                                                               
effects yet none have been banned.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.   GOTTSTEIN   reported   that  three   independent   chemical                                                               
manufacturers  have   performed  a  voluntary  phase   out.    He                                                               
emphasized  that the  phase out  is voluntary  and puts  American                                                               
companies  at a  disadvantage  since  foreign chemical  companies                                                               
continue to use the chemicals.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  related  his understanding  the  federal                                                               
government will  take care  of in  2014.   He recalled  the issue                                                               
coming up several years.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BILL WIELECHOWSKI,  Alaska  State Legislature,  answered                                                               
that the  EPA is not banning  PBDEs, but is asking  companies for                                                               
voluntary compliance by 2014.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:15:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GOTTSTEIN  related his  understanding that  in 2013  or 2014,                                                               
the voluntary  ban goes into  effect on three manufacturers.   He                                                               
stated  that SB  27 would  apply  to the  chemical compounds  for                                                               
penta,  octa, and  deca BDEs.   He  offered his  belief that  the                                                               
voluntary  compliance for  penta  and octa,  but  not deca  BDEs,                                                               
which   are  also   very  dangerous   toxic   chemicals.     More                                                               
importantly, the  EPA ban  does not apply  to the  importation of                                                               
these  chemicals from  outside manufacturers.   Essentially,  the                                                               
problem exists in which the  U.S. companies are doing right thing                                                               
yet  foreign  companies  are continuing  to  import  these  toxic                                                               
chemicals.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:16:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON moved  to  adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  SB  27,  labeled  27-LS0300\E,  Bannister,                                                               
4/9/12,  as  the working  document.  [Version  E was  before  the                                                               
committee.]                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON objected for purpose of discussion.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:17:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES suggested the bill  is similar to her prior                                                               
bill on the same subject.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:17:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KONRAD JACKSON,  Staff, Representative  Kurt Olson,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  stated that  SB  27  is similar  to  a version  the                                                               
committee reviewed last  session.  He referred to page  1, line 7                                                               
of   the  original   bill,  which   read,  "A   person  may   not                                                               
manufacturer,  sell,  or  distribute..."    He  stated  that  the                                                               
language in the  proposed substitute, (CS), for SB  27, Version E                                                               
reads, "a person  who is a manufacturer or a  distributor may not                                                               
manufacturer, sell, or  distribute a product.   The intention was                                                               
to not harm businesses or retailers  who may have the products on                                                               
the shelf.   The  companies have invested  money in  the products                                                               
which will be sold and not replaced  as time goes on and could be                                                               
a pretty unfair burden to businesses.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON related  his understanding  this bill  would protect                                                               
Alaska businesses.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON  commented that Representative Holmes  mentioned this                                                               
bill looks a lot like a bill she had on the same topic.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:19:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER related his  understanding that the EPA has                                                               
moved  to phase  out the  products  and the  businesses may  have                                                               
several inventory  pieces on  their shelves.   He inquired  as to                                                               
whether  the  businesses  will  have  any  duty  to  disclose  to                                                               
consumers the PBDEs in the products.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES  said she did  not believe so.   She stated                                                               
that  the  businesses may  not  know  their merchandise  contains                                                               
PBDEs, which is part of why  the committee made the change to the                                                               
original bill.   The committee wanted to make sure  SB 27 did not                                                               
apply to the company, but to the manufacturer of the product.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:20:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER  asked  how the  three  chemicals  release                                                               
toxins.   He further  asked whether the  toxins are  airborne, if                                                               
they leach  out, or  become worse  if exposed  to fire,  heat, or                                                               
water.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES answered  yes to all three.   She explained                                                               
that the  products are  in chairs  and mattresses  and breakdown.                                                               
She   agreed  they   are  more   dangerous  in   smoke  and   can                                                               
bioaccumulate and  get into the  fish cycle, which is  why higher                                                               
concentrations  are found  in  the  Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K)  Delta.                                                               
She said, "The answer is all of the above."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:21:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER recalled  the chemicals  are in  furniture                                                               
and mattresses to  reduce the coating from burning.   He asked if                                                               
the chemicals are found in clothing or wall coverings.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON also  asked if the chemicals are  found in children's                                                               
clothing.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES answered that the  PBDEs have been found in                                                               
computers,  mattresses, couches,  and televisions.   She  was not                                                               
sure if the PBDEs are in clothing.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:22:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON noted  changes to bill make  it only apply                                                               
to manufacturer and distribution.   He inquired as to whether any                                                               
manufacturer  or   distributor  distributes  these   products  in                                                               
Alaska.   He further asked  whether Costco would be  considered a                                                               
distributor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES referred  to page 4, to  the definitions of                                                               
manufacturer and distributors.  She  stated that the changes were                                                               
put in at  the request of the committee and  she concurs with the                                                               
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:24:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  read that someone  may buy cribs  at Wal-                                                               
Mart and  resell them to  the hotel.   He questioned  whether the                                                               
person would  be considered a  distributor.   He said he  did not                                                               
think anyone was manufacturing in the state.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON   responded  that  the   Mattress  Ranch                                                               
advertises  that it  makes its  own mattresses.   He  pointed out                                                               
that if  the business affixes its  brand name on a  mattress, the                                                               
company is considered the manufacturer.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON said  he  understood  the mattresses  are                                                               
manufactured in  the Lower  48.   He asked  whether a  company in                                                               
Alaska is now being singled out.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:25:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON referred  to page 4, line  26, which read                                                               
"(A) manufacturers  a product  or whose brand  is affixed  to the                                                               
product; or...."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:25:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON inquired  as to  whether a  person buying                                                               
mattresses at Mattress Ranch who  then sells them to hotels would                                                               
be  considered a  distributor.   He asked  whether the  bill will                                                               
have accomplished anything  since there seems to be  all sorts of                                                               
loopholes.  He related a scenario  in which a person buys hotdogs                                                               
at Costco  and sells them  and the  hotdogs contain PDBEs  if the                                                               
person would be considered a  distributor.  He suggested the bill                                                               
may be too broad.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:26:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMILY BREESE, speaking on behalf  of herself, stated that she has                                                               
worked as a volunteer fire  fighter.  She has become increasingly                                                               
concerned  about  breathing PBDEs,  which  were  thought to  keep                                                               
people safe, but  are actually harming us.  She  pointed out that                                                               
PBDEs  are used  as  flame retardants,  but  may promote  cancer,                                                               
developmental  problems, and  thyroid  or reproductive  problems.                                                               
She  asked the  reason to  continue to  use these  chemicals when                                                               
there are safe, economical alternatives  in the marketplace.  She                                                               
expressed concern  that her  family could  be exposed  to harmful                                                               
toxins from sitting on the sofa  or using the computer.  She said                                                               
she is  especially concerned due to  bioaccumulation issues since                                                               
she  is also  an  Alaskan and  a firefighter.    She related  her                                                               
understanding  that some  of the  highest concentrations  of PBDS                                                               
are  found in  fresh  water  lakes of  Denali  National Park  and                                                               
Preserve (Denali Park), close to  her home.  She highlighted that                                                               
a large  amount of PBDEs  are found in  Alaska.  She  also stated                                                               
she is exposed  to toxins in a higher amount  when she is engaged                                                               
in  firefighting.   Furthermore, currently  consumers don't  have                                                               
the right to know that PBDEs  are found in these products so they                                                               
can't  easily limit  their exposure.   She  concluded that  PBDEs                                                               
need to  be banned  now so  people can  better make  decisions on                                                               
what is  best for  Alaskans well-being and  health.   She offered                                                               
her support for SB 27.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
[SB 27 was held over.]                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB119 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 ver E.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Fiscal Note-DCCED-CBPL-03-01-12.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Supporting Documents-AATA Handout.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Supporting Documents-Assorted Letters.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Fiscal Note-5-2-033012-ADM-N.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Supporting Documents-Athletic Training Educational Overview.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Supporting Documents-Letter AAFP.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Supporting Documents-Other States Chart Comparison.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Supporting Documents-US Bureau of Labor Statistics Athletic Trainers.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB119 Draft Proposed CS ver X.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB27 ver I.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Fiscal Note-DEC-SWM-12-09-11.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Summary of Changes.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Article ADN Compass Piece Frank Von Hippel 2-20-11.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Article American Public Health Association 9-2004.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Article Mind Disrupted.org on PBDE health effects.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Article-CECBP Scientific Guidance Panel-Science of Toxic Chemicals.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Email American Academy of Environmental Medicine 1-30-12.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Letter AK Professional Fire Fighters 3-3-2011.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Letter Alaska Mental Health Trust 11-29-11.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Letter Alaska Nurses Association 10-17-10.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Letter Dr Kathy Stepien 12-12-11.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Letter Dr Monica Gross 12-4-11.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Letter IL Representative Elaine Nekritz 12-6-11.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Supporting Documents-Resolution Alaska Federation of Natives 2011.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Opposing Documents-Email Dave Tyler-Bickford 2-24-12.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Opposing Documents-Letter Westchester Medical Center- Jt Burn Docs 2-21-12.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Draft Proposed CS ver E.PDF HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB27 Leg Memo regarding Draft Proposed CS version E.PDF HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB119 Supporting Documents-Proposed Conceptual Amendment-Brenda Sheldon 4-11-12.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119
SB27 Supporting Documents-Report on PBDE Alternatives from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 27
SB119 Supporting Documents-Email and AATA Comment Sheet.pdf HL&C 4/11/2012 3:15:00 PM
SB 119