Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/17/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
02:05:39 PM Start
02:06:44 PM HB19
03:00:53 PM HB46
03:13:07 PM HB172
03:44:51 PM Presentation(s) Agriculture Activities in Alaska
04:04:27 PM Presentation(s): Nenana Agriculture Land
04:34:12 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:00 pm Today --
-- Location Changed --
*+ HB 19 BAN NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Presentation: Agriculture Activities in AK by TELECONFERENCED
Arthur Keyes
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Presentation: Nenana Agriculture Land by Rep. TELECONFERENCED
Talerico and Elijah Verhagen
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 46 PROCURE AK FISH/AG PROD.;ALASKA GROWN TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 172 INDUSTRIAL HEMP PRODUCTION LICENSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
               HB 19-BAN NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:06:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that the  first order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 19, "An Act limiting  the application of                                                               
neonicotinoid pesticides."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND,  speaking  as  the sponsor  of  HB  19,                                                               
remarked:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     One  in   three  bites  of   food  we  eat   relies  on                                                                    
     pollinators.   Alaska's primary pollinators  are native                                                                    
     bumble bees; the diversity of  native bees in Alaska is                                                                    
     astonishing.   About 4,000 different species  have been                                                                    
     cataloged in North America, and  of those, 49 are found                                                                    
     in  Alaska.   Bumble  bees are  the  most prominent  of                                                                    
     those  and  are  excellent pollinators,  especially  of                                                                    
     Alaska's  berry  species  ....   More  than  9  million                                                                    
     European honeybees  are imported into Alaska  each year                                                                    
     for honey  production.  These  bees play  a significant                                                                    
     role  in  pollinating  Alaska's  crops  and  wildlands.                                                                    
     Alaskan beekeepers  are starting to overwinter  bees in                                                                    
     order to develop heartier Alaskan bee stock.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Bee populations have been in  an alarming decline since                                                                    
     2006, in many  parts of the world.  For  the first time                                                                    
     this year,  a bumble bee  species in the  United States                                                                    
     was declared endangered by the  U. S. Fish and Wildlife                                                                    
     Service.  Widespread  use of a relatively  new class of                                                                    
     toxic  pesticide,  neonicotinoids,   is  a  significant                                                                    
     contributing  factor.    In addition  to  killing  bees                                                                    
     outright, research  has shown  that even low  levels of                                                                    
     neonicotinoids impair  bees' ability to find  their way                                                                    
     back  to the  hive, collect  food, produce  new queens,                                                                    
     and mount an effective immune response.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     This  legislation would  protect  both agriculture  and                                                                    
     wild plants  that rely on  pollinators.  The  bill aims                                                                    
     to prevent  the spread of these  pesticides before they                                                                    
     impact  Alaskan agriculture.   Over  two-thirds of  the                                                                    
     ...  farmers involved  with  the  Alaska Grown  program                                                                    
     grow crops  that depend on  bees for pollination.   So,                                                                    
     in  spirit   of  Co-Chair  Tarr's  third   annual  Food                                                                    
     Security  Week, we  introduce this  bill,  not only  to                                                                    
     protect  Alaska's pollinators  but to  protect Alaska's                                                                    
     growing agricultural industry.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:09:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  moved to adopt  the proposed  committee substitute                                                               
(CS)  for HB  19,  Version 30-LS0219\D,  Nauman,  3/8/17, as  the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:10:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOANNA SCHULTZ,  Staff, Representative Harriett  Drummond, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Drummond, prime                                                               
sponsor  of HB  19, informed  the committee  the main  difference                                                               
between the  original version of the  bill and Version D  is that                                                               
under  Version D,  if [neonicotinoid]  pesticides are  used, then                                                               
[the  treated  seeds,  foliage,  or soil],  must  remain  in  the                                                               
greenhouse for  the remainder of  their life span.   In addition,                                                               
the  bill  exempts  certified pesticide  applicators  and  allows                                                               
certified pesticide "users" to  continue using pesticides outside                                                               
or inside a  greenhouse.  In response to  Co-Chair Josephson, she                                                               
clarified that  [under Version D],  anything the  pesticides have                                                               
been used on must stay in a greenhouse.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:11:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  said he  has heard  that bees  are dying                                                               
around the world  and he asked whether there is  evidence that is                                                               
currently happening in Alaska.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  replied that  it  is  not happening  in                                                               
Alaska yet, because the neonicotinoid  class of pesticides is not                                                               
widely used  in Alaska at  this time.   The goal of  the proposed                                                               
legislation is  to prevent the  bees in Alaska, which  are mostly                                                               
wild   pollinators,   from  being   impacted   by   the  use   of                                                               
neonicotinoid pesticides.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  questioned how bee activity  is recorded                                                               
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  answered   through  the  Department  of                                                               
Environmental Conservation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:13:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  restated his  question  as  to how  the                                                               
state will  know whether  the use of  the pesticide  has affected                                                               
bees in Alaska.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINA CARPENTER, Director,  Division of Environmental Health,                                                               
Department  of Environmental  Conservation  (DEC), answered  that                                                               
DEC  is not  directly tracking  bee kill-off  in Alaska,  but the                                                               
department works with  its counterparts in other  states to track                                                               
those bee  kill-offs throughout  the nation  and also  works with                                                               
the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:14:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  asked whether  there are  any unintended                                                               
consequences Ms.  Carpenter has seen  in other states  from using                                                               
neonicotinoid pesticides.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENTER  offered  to  provide   the  committee  with  some                                                               
examples.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:16:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  concluded her  presentation of HB  19 by                                                               
warning  that  the  legislature  needs  to  stop  the  spread  of                                                               
neonicotinoid  pesticides  to  prevent their  widespread  use  in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:16:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON observed the bill  directs that the use of the                                                               
pesticides  would have  to be  entirely within  a greenhouse  and                                                               
whatever is  being grown  would have to  stay in  the greenhouse.                                                               
He asked, "Is the  idea that if a private person  wants to take a                                                               
risk with exposure, that's up to the individual?"                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  indicated yes.   She clarified  that the                                                               
bill  references commercial  greenhouses  and pointed  out it  is                                                               
unknown whether seedlings  coming up from the Lower  48 have been                                                               
pretreated with  neonicotinoids.   Large home  improvement stores                                                               
and stores such  as Fred Meyer, sell thousands  of seedlings that                                                               
are grown elsewhere,  and Alaska has no control  over how they've                                                               
been treated unless  they come from a state that  forbids the use                                                               
of neonicotinoids.   Furthermore, some states may  not forbid use                                                               
in a  greenhouse where  some seedlings are  started; the  goal of                                                               
the legislation is  to keep use of the  pesticides from spreading                                                               
in  Alaska.   Representative Drummond  explained that  use by  an                                                               
individual  in his/her  own backyard  may  not seem  significant;                                                               
however, bees spend  the summer in her backyard and  she does not                                                               
want to  expose them to neonicotinoids.   Representative Drummond                                                               
described  the legislation  as a  contribution to  a much  larger                                                               
effort.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:18:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  asked  where   else  this  ban  has  been                                                               
enforced, and to what effect.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHULTZ offered her understanding  that Maryland passed a ban                                                               
last year  that focuses on  the restriction of sales  rather than                                                               
on usage, and  the state will allow existing products  to be sold                                                               
for two  years before the  ban takes  full effect.   In addition,                                                               
certain  cities  have enacted  bans,  for  example, Portland  and                                                               
Eugene, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked whether there have  been any efforts                                                               
internationally.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHULTZ said  the European Union, in 2013, enacted  a ban and                                                               
has been reviewing the ban either last year or this year.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked whether the European  Union has seen                                                               
any effects on the bee population since enacting the ban.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHULTZ  said she has not  seen studies but surmised  that is                                                               
because they  are still in the  process of being conducted.   She                                                               
added, "But that was the goal of  the ... ban, so that they could                                                               
really see if it ... made a difference."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:20:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON expressed his  understanding that Minnesota is                                                               
a cutting-edge  jurisdiction, in terms  of banning some  of these                                                               
pesticides.   He  asked whether  other states  ban at  least some                                                               
classes of pesticides.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHULTZ  agreed Minnesota  has been  working on  some related                                                               
legislation,  but only  Maryland  passed legislation  to ban  the                                                               
sale  of  neonicotinoids,  [with   the  exemption  to]  certified                                                               
pesticide applicators.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:20:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  inquired as  to  the  availability of  the                                                               
neonicotinoid pesticides.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:21:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND advised  [neonicotinoid pesticides]  are                                                               
already available in  the retail market.  She said  she is unsure                                                               
whether    or   how    professional    applicators   are    using                                                               
[neonicotinoid]  pesticides.     She   related  that   her  staff                                                               
contacted  all the  growers  in Alaska  that  were available  for                                                               
comment and  none of them  are using  [neonicotinoid pesticides].                                                               
Notwithstanding that, she remarked that  anyone can go to [Alaska                                                               
Mill Feed  & Garden  Center] and  purchase products  that include                                                               
neonicotinoid pesticides.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked  if there is a brand name  to look for                                                               
in the list of ingredients on a particular product.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  answered that  there  are  a number  of                                                               
these classes of pesticides.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  explained  his consideration  is  for  the                                                               
average customer walking  into a store to buy a  pest killer, not                                                               
the  professionals that  "know  what they're  doing."   He  asked                                                               
again if there is a brand name to identify.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  answered, "Bayer is  one of them."   She                                                               
said that  until she learned about  neonicotinoid pesticides, she                                                               
had been  unaware she was  applying them  to her plants  for many                                                               
years.  She  described the product as expensive -  about $150 for                                                               
1.5 gallons.   She  said she  limits her use  of the  product she                                                               
bought  [containing neonicotinoid  pesticides] to  only when  she                                                               
sees aphids.   She explained  that the products are  not supposed                                                               
to be used  when plants are flowering, because that  is when bees                                                               
come to the plants to pollenate  them.  She said the average user                                                               
may  not  follow  the  rules, but  commercial  users  are  exempt                                                               
because they  are supposed  to be applying  the pesticide  at the                                                               
appropriate time in the plants' cycles.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked if the  pesticide used  to obliterate                                                               
wasps can also damage bees.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  answered that she  is not sure,  but she                                                               
noted that  there are some  wasps in  the pollinator class.   She                                                               
added, "But if you're just  attacking wasps, I can't imagine that                                                               
it's going to impact flowers nearby."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  questioned  whether  wasps,  bees,  and                                                               
bumblebees are all the same classification of insect.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  said she doesn't know.   Notwithstanding                                                               
that, she  related that the  49 pollinators identified  in Alaska                                                               
include  not only  bees  of  various types,  but  also wasps  and                                                               
certain varieties of flies.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:27:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROB CARTER,  Manager, Plant Materials  Center (PMC),  Division of                                                               
Agriculture, Department of Natural  Resources (DNR), offered that                                                               
most  [pesticides], including  neonicotinoid pesticides,  are not                                                               
selective:  "They will kill things."   In response to a follow-up                                                               
question  from  Representative Rauscher,  he  said  he would  not                                                               
state that the  pesticides kill "all" insects.  He  said, "I will                                                               
say  that  ...  these  do  have significant  impact  on  a  large                                                               
majority of the  insects out there.  That is  their intention and                                                               
that is their use and why they were created."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:27:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  remarked that  wasps  eat  aphids.   He                                                               
offered  his  understanding  that  wasps had  been  brought  into                                                               
Alaska for  that specific purpose.   He asked, "So, if  these are                                                               
on the plant, the aphids are  there, and the wasp eats the aphid,                                                               
then what's the deal?"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:27:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER answered that wasps and  bees are in the same kingdom,                                                               
phylum,  and  class,  but  are  in  a  different  suborder.    He                                                               
confirmed there are parasitic wasps  that attack aphids.  He said                                                               
[neonicotinoid  pesticides] also  kill  aphids, but  he does  not                                                               
know if a wasp would be affected  by eating an aphid that had fed                                                               
on a plant that had been treated with a neonicotinoid pesticide.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:29:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE said he applauds  HB 19, but he expressed                                                               
concern  about unintended  consequences.   He questioned  whether                                                               
the proposed  legislation might  result in  a situation  in which                                                               
there are  trees along a highway  being killed by pests,  but "we                                                               
can't do anything about it."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:30:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHULTZ  pointed  out  that  Version D  would  not  ban  the                                                               
application    of   neonicotinoid    pesticides   by    certified                                                               
applicators, which  generally would be  the ones treating  a pest                                                               
invasion alongside a highway.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:31:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  noted that  she is  a botanist  who has  worked on                                                               
this issue  for about 20 years.   She opined that  the changes in                                                               
Version D are  reasonable, because most of the  concern about the                                                               
application of  [neonicotinoid pesticides] is in  regard to those                                                               
individuals who are  untrained and over apply the  product or use                                                               
it   under  the   wrong  conditions.     Limiting   the  use   of                                                               
neonicotinoid  pesticides  to  commercially  trained  applicators                                                               
manages  "improper application  in  the environment"  as well  as                                                               
protecting the applicators from any unnecessary exposure.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  expressed  his  support of  HB  19  and  his                                                               
concern regarding  the health of  the bee population in  the U.S.                                                               
He stated  his assumption that the  proposed legislation pertains                                                               
to healthy ecosystems, but surmised  it may also link to economic                                                               
systems in  Alaska.  He  asked the  bill sponsor to  explain "why                                                               
bees are important in that respect."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND answered  that  over  two-thirds of  the                                                               
farmers  in  the  Alaska  Grown   program  depend  upon  bees  to                                                               
pollinate their  crops.  She  reemphasized the proportion  of the                                                               
world's food that relies on  pollination.  She stated, "There are                                                               
billions of bees  that are bred and moved around  in the world of                                                               
agriculture to be  there at the appropriate  time for pollinating                                                               
those particular crops.  It's a huge industry in the Lower 48."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON drew  attention to the fiscal note.   He noted                                                               
that he  is not a legislator  who subscribes to the  idea that in                                                               
tough fiscal times no legislation  should ever cost anything.  He                                                               
invited the bill sponsor to comment on the fiscal note.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND replied  that she  is having  difficulty                                                               
believing that  DEC needs  "one entire person  to track  a single                                                               
pesticide"  when  it  is  already  tracking  a  number  of  other                                                               
chemicals.   She added,  "But it's  hard for  me to  question the                                                               
professionals in this manner."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:34:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHULTZ pointed  out that  the fiscal  note aligns  with the                                                               
original  bill  version;  therefore,  it does  not  include  "the                                                               
certified applicators  piece."   She said,  "That may  and should                                                               
lower the fiscal note."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:34:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  questioned why  the bill sponsor  chose to                                                               
focus  on  the application  rather  than  sale of  [neonicotinoid                                                               
pesticides].   He  said studies  have  shown that  [neonicotinoid                                                               
pesticides]  can  also kill  birds  and  potentially mammals  and                                                               
fish, as well.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:35:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR,  based on her experience  with similar legislation                                                               
in the past,  imparted that "you cannot ban the  sale, because it                                                               
violates the U.S. Constitution Interstate  Commerce Clause."  The                                                               
choice, she  explained, is to  limit how  the product is  used in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:35:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  noted that last  year, on the  federal level,                                                               
there was  a "fairly  controversial" bipartisan  effort regarding                                                               
"further restrictions on chemicals and that sort of thing."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHULTZ, after ascertaining  that Co-Chair Josephson had been                                                               
referring to Maryland, offered her  understanding that "they have                                                               
restricted where you  can purchase these pesticides;  so, you can                                                               
purchase  neonicotinoid pesticides  where you  can also  purchase                                                               
restricted use  pesticides."  She  said she  is not aware  of any                                                               
stores in Alaska that "strictly sell restricted use pesticides."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:36:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  mentioned that beekeepers  are concerned                                                               
about [neonicotinoid pesticides],  and he said he  wants to learn                                                               
as  much  as  possible  about  the issue  before  voting  on  the                                                               
proposed  legislation.   He  referred  to  reading material  that                                                               
states that  a single kernel  of corn treated  with neonicotinoid                                                               
pesticides can kill a songbird that  ingests it and "as little as                                                               
one-tenth  of a  coated  kernel seed  per  day during  egg-laying                                                               
season  can impair  reproduction..."   He questioned  how weather                                                               
such as  rain or  snow may affect  the strength  or neonicotinoid                                                               
pesticides  on plants  and  whether there  could  be runoff  that                                                               
could affect other plants.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHULTZ  stated that she  is not an expert.   Notwithstanding                                                               
that, she offered her understanding  that the chemicals enter the                                                               
plant and end up in the pollen that is collected by the bees.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:39:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON imparted  to anyone  curious about  the issue                                                               
that  the  proper   federal  law  to  look  at   is  the  Federal                                                               
Insecticide,  Fungicide, and  Rodenticide Act  (FIFRA), which  he                                                               
offered  his understanding  had not  recently been  amended.   He                                                               
added, "It was TOSCA, which was  the Toxic Chemicals Act that was                                                               
just..."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON opened public testimony on HB 19.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:40:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  OTNESS expressed  appreciation that  the issue  before the                                                               
committee is being addressed.  He  opined that the onus should be                                                               
on the manufacturers  of pesticides to first prove  that they are                                                               
not  harmful.    He  said [neonicotinoid  pesticides]  have  been                                                               
linked as  the source  of "massive  die-offs."   He characterized                                                               
neonicotinoid  pesticides as  a powerful  poison, and  he offered                                                               
his understanding that  they are derived from  the tobacco plant,                                                               
which  in itself  is  a  powerful drug.    He concluded,  "Before                                                               
things get to the point where  there could be conflicts of people                                                               
wanting  to  use  this  on  a  commercial  scale,  I  think  it's                                                               
excellent that  we address it  proactively right now and  sort of                                                               
take that  attitude with much  of what  we're facing ahead  of us                                                               
here.   I think  it would  ... clarify  a lot  of things  for the                                                               
public, and also those who might want to use it to begin with."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:42:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LOUIS TOZZI  noted that he had  sent an e-mail to  the committee,                                                               
but would  address a few  important points today.   Regarding the                                                               
threat neonicotinoid  pesticides have on bees,  he explained that                                                               
the biggest issue is that  neonicotinoid pesticides are systemic;                                                               
all tissue  of the  plants -  including the  nectar and  pollen -                                                               
pick up and retain the  pesticides, which "makes the plant itself                                                               
a pesticide."   Bees gather nectar,  which has low levels  of the                                                               
pesticide, but in  the process of making honey  from that nectar,                                                               
water   evaporates,  which   essentially   has   the  effect   of                                                               
concentrating [the neonicotinoid pesticides].   Mr. Tozzi advised                                                               
that because  neonicotinoid pesticides are long-lived,  they tend                                                               
to last in the plant for the entire  life of the plant.  He said,                                                               
"So while applying  them when the plant is blooming  is an issue,                                                               
it  ... could  have been  applied much  sooner than  that and  it                                                               
still presents an impact to the honey bees."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOZZI directed  attention to language in the  bill that read,                                                               
"applied to  the soil in  granular form".   He advised this  is a                                                               
big problem,  because "it creates  a loophole where a  farmer who                                                               
purchases  ... or  greenhouse person  who purchases  treated seed                                                               
from  ... outside  of Alaska  could potentially  plant that  seed                                                               
outdoors."   He  explained this  possibility would  exist because                                                               
the bill  language, in only  specifying granular form,  would not                                                               
prevent "a liquid or a seed with a treatment on it."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TOZZI  suggested  another   possible  issue  is  that  after                                                               
application,  these chemicals  will often  "drift out"  as a  dry                                                               
residue  to  areas  beyond  the intended  farm  fields,  and  the                                                               
neonicotinoid pesticides are readily  picked up by the indigenous                                                               
plants in the adjacent countryside.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:46:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked what  Mr. Tozzi's  credentials are                                                               
regarding [neonicotinoid pesticides].                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOZZI answered that he is a  beekeeper and part of a group of                                                               
beekeepers  working   to  breed  an  Alaska-hardy   bee  so  that                                                               
beekeeping  in Alaska  can be  more  sustainable.   He said  bees                                                               
overwinter in  Alaska, but not  without much intervention  on the                                                               
part  of  beekeepers.    He  concluded, "And  so,  I  don't  have                                                               
scientific  background  other than  what  I  need  to know  as  a                                                               
beekeeper."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:47:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 2:48 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:48:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON indicated that he  would like to hear from Ms.                                                               
Carpenter regarding Mr. Tozzi's  comment that treated seeds could                                                               
be  placed  outside and  thus  circumvent  a prohibition  on  the                                                               
granular form of [neonicotinoid pesticides].                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:48:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER,   regarding  the  systemic   nature  of                                                               
[neonicotinoid pesticides], said  he would like to  know if there                                                               
are  other  pesticides that  are  also  [systemic].   He  further                                                               
questioned  if  the  comments  about  [neonicotinoid  pesticides]                                                               
becoming part of honey could also apply to other pesticides.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:49:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENTER offered to follow up with information.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:50:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  said he has  friends in Fairbanks  that are                                                               
beekeepers   and    understands   the   biggest    challenge   in                                                               
overwintering the bees is in keeping  them fed.  He asked if bees                                                               
are more resistant  to one pesticide over another  or whether the                                                               
problem  with  the  neonicotinoid  pesticides is  that  they  are                                                               
longer lived.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:51:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOZZI answered that "the  pesticides" are long-lived and will                                                               
last through  winter after being  brought back  to the hive.   He                                                               
reiterated his  explanation about  the evaporation of  water from                                                               
the honey  resulting in a  more concentrated level  of pesticide.                                                               
He said one theory as to  the mid-winter disappearance of bees in                                                               
the Lower  48 is  that the bees,  having ingested  the pesticide,                                                               
which is a  neurotoxin, "lose track of where  they're supposed to                                                               
be and what they're supposed to be  doing and then fly off in the                                                               
middle of  winter."  Mr. Tozzi  said he has heard  anecdotally of                                                               
that happening in Alaska, but he  said he cannot say that is what                                                               
the cause  was.   Mr. Tozzi  noted that  the pesticides  are also                                                               
stored  in the  beeswax,  which is  an  economic factor,  because                                                               
"clean beeswax  is something that's  very difficult to  come by."                                                               
He said  the ongoing  low level [of  pesticides] to  the colonies                                                               
makes it much more difficult for them to survive the winter.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:53:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA  K.  MILLER,  Biologist  and  Executive  Director,  Alaska                                                               
Community  Action on  Toxics (ACAT),  had  her written  testimony                                                               
paraphrased by  Patti J.  Saunders.  Ms.  Miller's testimony  - a                                                               
letter  to   Representative  Drummond   dated  March   15,  2017,                                                               
[included in  the committee packet]  - read as  follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I am  writing on behalf  of Alaska Community  Action on                                                                    
     Toxics,  a  statewide non-profit  environmental  health                                                                    
     research and advocacy organization.  Thank you for your                                                                    
     introduction   of  HB   19,   "An   Act  limiting   the                                                                    
     application of  neonicotinoid pesticides."  We strongly                                                                    
     endorse this  bill as an  important measure  to protect                                                                    
     bees and other pollinators so  crucial to a majority of                                                                    
     our  crops   that  serve   as  vital   food  resources.                                                                    
     Neonicotinoid  pesticides  have  long  been  associated                                                                    
     with harm to  bees and other pollinators.  In 2016, the                                                                    
     Environmental  Protection  Agency  (EPA)  released  the                                                                    
     first risk  assessment of neonicotinoid  pesticides and                                                                    
     concluded  that  they  can cause  significant  harm  to                                                                    
     honeybees.    Increasing   independent    peer-reviewed                                                                    
     scientific   evidence   has   demonstrated   that   the                                                                    
     widespread use of the  dangerous class of neonicotinoid                                                                    
     pesticides is  a factor in  the precipitous  decline of                                                                    
     bees and other pollinators.  Studies have shown serious                                                                    
     adverse   effects   to  bees   including   navigational                                                                    
     ability,   mobility,  and   reproduction.  Even   small                                                                    
     exposures to neonicotinoid  pesticides can damage bees'                                                                    
     ability  to  gather  pollen, impair  their  memory  and                                                                    
     social behavior, weaken their  immune systems, and harm                                                                    
     colony  health  and  longevity. Scientists  have  shown                                                                    
     that  exposure  to   certain  neonicotinoid  pesticides                                                                    
     reduces  bees'  immune defenses,  promoting  infections                                                                    
     associated with  such diseases as deformed  wing virus.                                                                    
     Recent  scientific  studies  have  shown  that  chronic                                                                    
     exposure  of  honeybees   to  environmental  levels  of                                                                    
     neonicotinoid pesticides can  impair their learning and                                                                    
     memory. Another  study reported that wild  bees exposed                                                                    
     to neonicotinoid-coated  seeds had reduced  nesting and                                                                    
     were  not successful  in building  brood cells  for new                                                                    
     larvae.  In addition,  chronic exposure  to one  of the                                                                    
     most    commonly    used    neonicotinoid    pesticides                                                                    
     (imidacloprid) was found to  be associated with reduced                                                                    
     brood  production, reduced  colony growth,  and an  85%                                                                    
     reduction  in  the   production  of  bumblebee  queens.                                                                    
     Neonicotinoid  pesticides   are  also  found   to  have                                                                    
     adverse   effects   on   many  other   non-target   and                                                                    
     beneficial  organisms,  including  butterflies,  birds,                                                                    
     and aquatic  insects. There are also  emerging concerns                                                                    
     about the  possible adverse  neurodevelopmental effects                                                                    
     of  neonicotinoid pesticides  on  children. We  believe                                                                    
     the evidence  supports the need for  urgent legislative                                                                    
     action. We urge  swift passage of this  bill to suspend                                                                    
     the use of these harmful chemicals in Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:57:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH   asked  how   widespread   [neonicotinoid                                                               
pesticides] are commercially compared to other pesticides.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PATTI J. SAUNDERS, Development  Director, Alaska Community Action                                                               
on Toxics (ACAT), answered that  they are commonly available, but                                                               
she has not  done the research yet to know  the percentages.  She                                                               
stated, "Just reading  the label isn't necessarily  going to help                                                               
people,  because this  class of  pesticides is  not labeled  as a                                                               
class."  For example, someone  might see "imidacloprid" may be on                                                               
the label,  but someone reading that  may not realize that  it is                                                               
[a  neonicotinoid pesticide  that  is killing  bees].   She  said                                                               
education of both  sellers and consumers is necessary.   She said                                                               
she  thinks there  is already  a lot  of concern  among regarding                                                               
neonicotinoid pesticides,  and she  surmised that  Alaskans would                                                               
welcome  more  information   about  "these  endocrine  disrupting                                                               
pesticides."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:59:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  removed his objection to  the previous motion                                                               
to  adopt  the proposed  committee  substitute  (CS) for  HB  19,                                                               
Version  30-LS0219\D, Nauman,  3/8/17, as  the working  document.                                                               
There  being  no further  objection,  Version  D was  before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:59:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON   closed  public  testimony  on   HB  19  and                                                               
announced that HB 19 was held over.                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB019 Sponsor Statement 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Ver A 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Ver D 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Fiscal Note - DEC - SWM 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Supporting Document - Beyond Pesticides 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Supporting Document - Center Food Safety 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - Scott Lawrence 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Supporting Document - Letter of Support ACAT 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Supporting Document - Letter of Support Yarducopia 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Supporting Document - Letters of Support 3.16.17.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB046 Sponsor Statement 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 46
HB046 Ver J 3.14.17.PDF HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 46
HB046 Fiscal Note - DOA - DGS 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 46
HB046 Fiscal Note - DNR - AGS 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 46
HB046 Supporting Docuemnt - A Performance Audit of the Alaska Agriculture and Fisheries Products Preference.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 46
HB046 Supporting Document-AlaskaAgFacts08.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 46
HB046 Supporting Document-Articles 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 46
HB172 Sponsor Statement 3.13.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Ver A 3.14.17.PDF HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Fiscal Note -DCCED-AMCO 3.13.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Fiscal Note - LAW-CRIM 3.13.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Fiscal Note - DNR-PMC 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Section Analysis 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Supporting Document - Letter of support-Constance Fredenberg 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Supporting Document - Letter of Support-Jack Bennett 3.14.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Supporting Document - 2014 Farm Bill Sec. 7606 3.15.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Supporting Document - Letter of Support - Kenai Peninsula Borough 3.15.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Supporting Document - Industrial Hemp Updated Slide Presentation 3.15.17.pdf HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
HB172 Supporting Document - Modern-uses-for-cannabis-Chart3-640x453 3.15.17.jpg HRES 3/15/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/20/2017 7:00:00 PM
HRES 3/22/2017 6:00:00 PM
HB 172
Nenana Totchaket Bridge To Resources Presentation.pdf HRES 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM