Legislature(1997 - 1998)
01/30/1997 01:07 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 46 - MINING CLAIMS ON PUBLIC LANDS Number 915 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 46, "An Act relating to mining; and providing for an effective date." He advised there was a proposed committee substitute and asked for a motion to adopt it as a work draft. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES moved to adopt the substitute. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. There being none, Work Draft 1/29/97, Luckhaupt, 0-LS0265\B was before the committee. Co-Chairman Hudson invited Representative Kelly to present the bill. Number 950 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY, a prime sponsor of HB 46, explained, "HB 46 comes out of the permitting process for some of the larger mines that have recently come up to speed here in Alaska, most notably Fort Knox and Illinois Creek. In getting those mines up and producing, a number of flaws were discovered in Title 38, specifically as it relates to mining on state land. This bill addresses those flaws and brings the statutes into line with the procedures that actually exist within DNR. The bill is supported by industry and the Administration. To my knowledge, there is little or no controversy surrounding this." Representative Kelly offered to go through the bill section by section. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES indicated if there was no objection to the bill, that was unnecessary. Number 1017 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if the committee had questions. He then called on Jules Tileston to testify. Number 1031 JULES TILESTON, Director, Division of Mining and Water Management, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), stated, "The Administration does support the bill and the amendments that you are looking at now. I would be pleased to answer any questions." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there were questions and said he would entertain a motion. Number 1068 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion that CSHB 46 move from committee with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY pointed out there was an amendment before the committee. Number 1075 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES withdrew her motion. She referred to Amendment 0-LS0265\B.1, Luckhaupt, 1/30/97, which read: TO: Draft CSHB 46( )("B" Version) Page 5, line 29, through page 6, line l: Delete "The rental amount shall be revised by the commissioner if the change between the index for the first six months of the current year and the most recent index used to revise the rental, or the reference base index if the rental amount has never been revised, equals or exceeds $5." Page 6, line 4: Delete "index annually" Insert "rental amount each 10 years" REPRESENTATIVE BARNES moved that the amendment be adopted. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. There being none, the amendment to the committee substitute was adopted. Number 1103 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to move CSHB 46, as amended, from the committee with individual recommendations and asked unanimous consent. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection and noted there was none. He advised that someone wished to testify and asked Representative Barnes to hold her motion. Number 1174 BAERENT STRANDBERG, Strandberg Mineral Services, testified via teleconference from Mat-Su. He referred to the original bill and indicated the Strandbergs had been involved in one of the largest placer mines in Alaska and had written a lengthy report on the Valdez Creek project. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON inquired whether Mr. Strandberg was working from the 1/29/97 committee substitute adopted as a work draft and described it. Number 1223 MR. STRANDBERG responded, "No, no, apparently not." He indicated a legislative aide was helping him. Mr. Strandberg referred to the "South Denali entrance problem," which he said had some relation to the bill. He asked how he could coordinate with the committee. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES suggested Mr. Strandberg state his concern and then let the bill's sponsor identify whether or not that was addressed in the new committee substitute. MR. STRANDBERG agreed. He referred to AS 38.05.285(a) and stated, "It says that state lands may not be closed to mining or mineral location under AS 38.05.185 - 38.05.275 except as provided in AS 38.05.300 and unless the commissioner makes the finding that mining will be incompatible with significant surface uses on state land." He explained he had a problem with the commissioner making a determination of whether mining was compatible with other uses. MR. STRANDBERG said, "If you're in a mining district, the industry that is moving into the district should be evaluated as to whether it is compatible with mining. And that comes in with the Denali south entrance. We believe that the tourist industry being jammed up against industrial projects will create significant additional costs." MR. STRANDBERG explained, "And what I would like to see in this bill right here, I'd like to see you add an amendment in there where any additional activities will be evaluated as to its potential upset of the financial structure of the project. And for instance, there's a mine that went down just outside of Yellowstone where President Clinton came in to play and killed the mining operation. And we do have a number of projects that are coming in right next door to state and federal parks. And I'd like to see your committee here address ... that issue. And I think that's our major one." Number 1391 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON voiced his understanding that they were looking at page 4, line 12, of the adopted draft. He asked whether Representative Kelly understood what Mr. Strandberg was suggesting. Number 1396 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY responded, "As I understand, this is state law and this bill does not affect what he is referring to here. If he would like, I would gladly let him contact my office to entertain amendments at a later time, in a different committee." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said it did not, then, apply to what was being addressed by HB 46. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY agreed it did not apply. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether Mr. Strandberg had heard that. Number 1423 MR. STRANDBERG replied he would contact Representative Kelly's legislative assistant. He had tried to contact someone from Representative Kelly's office that morning, he said. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY acknowledged that telephone call and said his staff had tried unsuccessfully to return it. He indicated his staff would contact Mr. Strandberg that afternoon. MR. STRANDBERG said that was his only question. It was a significant problem trying to mix the tourist business with mining. "I don't see how it's compatible," he concluded. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion that CSHB 46, as amended, move from the committee with individual recommendations and asked unanimous consent. Number 1465 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. There being none, CSHB 46(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. HB 46 - MINING CLAIMS ON PUBLIC LANDS TAPE 97-7, SIDE A Number 006 The next order of business was House Bill No. 46, "An Act relating to mining; and providing for an effective date." REPRESENTATIVE BARNES referred to the fiscal note from the DNR for HB 46. At $1,000, it was a very small fiscal note for changes required in regulations. Representative Barnes believed the DNR could absorb that cost. She saw no reason for HB 46 to go to the House Finance Committee for that amount. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES moved that the House Resources Standing Committee zero out the fiscal note and further moved that a zero fiscal note be moved from the committee along with CSHB 46(RES), as amended. She asked unanimous consent. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. Number 081 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN inquired whether they needed to rescind the previous action. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES replied no. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON concurred, saying it was an attachment and the motion was proper. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES advised that the committee needed to prepare a zero fiscal note and specify that it was by the House Resources Standing Committee. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said he would ask the committee to prepare that. Number 131 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA stated, "I'd like to know what the entailed costs are for the $1,000 and why they have a $1,000 fiscal note." She asked if someone from the DNR could explain it. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES responded, "It says on the bottom that it is for revising the regulations that goes with this. And I believe that those revisions, as I stated, can be made as part of their ... in-house budget." REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA still wanted to know how the department came up with the $1,000 fiscal note. Number 202 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES pointed out there was a narrative at the bottom stating how the DNR would use the $1,000. REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA responded, "I'd just like to state that it's kind of dumb that we have a fiscal note here for $1,000 and nobody from the department, the Division of Mining Development, that is here to back it up." Number 249 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON acknowledged the motion and request for unanimous consent to attach and advance CSHB 46, as amended, with the fiscal note zeroed. He indicated staff had been ordered to prepare a zero fiscal note. He asked if there was any objection to the motion. There being no objection, CSHB 46(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee with a zero fiscal note.