Legislature(2001 - 2002)
04/10/2001 05:30 PM House O&G
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 76 - RIGHT-OF-WAY LEASING ACT VICE CHAIR FATE announced the next order of business, SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 76, "An Act relating to the Alaska Right-of-Way Leasing Act; and providing for an effective date." Number 1258 WILDA RODMAN, Staff to Senator Gene Therriault, Alaska State Legislature, presented SSSB 76 on behalf of Senator Therriault, sponsor, explaining the changes it makes to the 1972 Alaska Right-of-Way Leasing Act. In Section 1, it increases the maximum term of right-of-way lease renewals from the current 10 years to 30 years; this changes the length of terms for renewals only, not the length of the original lease terms. Therefore, the renewal process for pipelines with leases that expire in 2004, including the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), will proceed uninterrupted. MS. RODMAN reported that Section 2 places in statute a provision allowing for the extension of leases under their existing terms if the lessee has applied for renewal but the terms of the lease are still under negotiation on the date of expiration. She explained that the language proposed in AS 38.35.110 states that the lease will be continued until the commissioner issues a final determination on renewal. MS. RODMAN noted that Section 3 requires lessees under new and renewed right-of-way leases to reimburse the state for costs associated with monitoring the operation, maintenance, and termination of pipelines. Under current statute, they reimburse for costs associated with the monitoring of construction. This adds operation, maintenance, and termination, which Ms. Rodman said she understands to be the status quo, written into individual leases and contracts currently; therefore, this just puts into statute what is already being done. Number 1385 MS. RODMAN explained that Section 4 amends the definition of "state land" for purposes of the Alaska Right-of-Way Leasing Act. She said in talking to Bill Britt, state pipeline coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), this is more a preventive measure than to address a current situation. She said as Mr. Britt explains it, if the state were to purchase a highway easement across private property under the current terms of the Act, prospective pipeline owners would have to apply for a lease under the Act. However, the DNR doesn't have authority for a Department of Transportation and Public Facilities easement. Therefore, this restricts the definition of "state land" to say that pipeline owners only have to apply for a right-of-way permit over lands in which the state has sufficient interest to grant the right-of-way lease. MS. RODMAN turned attention to Section 5, noting that it allows for existing pipeline leases to be amended, upon request, to incorporate the new provision for renewal periods of up to 30 years; she reiterated that this applies to the renewal period only. Number 1529 WILLIAM G. BRITT, JR., Pipeline Coordinator, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Natural Resources, responded via teleconference to a question by Representative Dyson. He said the bill is a good idea. He also indicated the DNR has worked with Senator Therriault's office as well as with the TAPS owners to craft language that they all support. Number 1580 STEVEN JONES, Manager, Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) Right-of-Way Renewal, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, came forward to testify on SSSB 76. Voicing support for the bill, Mr. Jones concurred with Mr. Britt's comment that this represents a joint effort to work out language on what are basically some administrative changes to the Alaska Right-of-Way Leasing Act. VICE CHAIR FATE asked whether there were any questions; none were offered. Number 1611 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON made a motion to move SSSB 76 from committee [with individual recommendations and an indeterminate fiscal note]. There being no objection, SSSB 76 was moved out of the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas.