Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/24/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:03:32 PM Start
01:09:37 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
01:32:07 PM HB19
02:31:26 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: AK Gasline Development TELECONFERENCED
Corporation Board of Directors
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 19 BAN NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 19(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 134 BOARD OF GAME MEMBERSHIP TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
              HB  19-BAN NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:32:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  19,  "An  Act  limiting the  application  of                                                               
neonicotinoid  pesticides."    [Before   the  committee  was  the                                                               
proposed  committee  substitute  (CS)  for  HB  19,  Version  30-                                                               
LS0219\D,  Nauman,  3/8/17,  adopted  as  the  working  draft  on                                                               
3/17/17.]                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR recalled  that during the bill's  first hearing the                                                               
committee heard the sponsor's prepared  statement and took public                                                               
testimony.  She invited the sponsor to provide further comment.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:32:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND,  prime sponsor of HB  19, drew attention                                                               
to the  committee packet  containing written  answers to  all the                                                               
questions  asked   at  the  bill's   first  hearing,   copies  of                                                               
communications  received from  people, and  copies of  the labels                                                               
from a  standard and  widely available  [neonicotinoid pesticide]                                                               
product made by  Bayer and sold in retail stores  for garden use.                                                               
The  bill's  purpose,  she  advised,  is  to  keep  neonicotinoid                                                               
pesticides from being used in  seed treatment or being applied to                                                               
crops   outside  a   greenhouse,  in   other  words   large-scale                                                               
commercial  agriculture.    The  bill is  not  meant  to  prevent                                                               
individuals   from  buying   and  applying   these  products   to                                                               
ornamental  plants on  their properties.   Personally,  she said,                                                               
she will  no longer  use these  products on  her own  property as                                                               
they are unnecessary and are used mostly for convenience.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  drew attention  to the labels  and noted                                                               
it  is almost  impossible to  read the  fine print  detailing the                                                               
dangers of neonicotinoid pesticides.   The world is watching what                                                               
Alaska does, she said, because  this is an issue of international                                                               
importance.   She brought attention to  the letter from a  man in                                                               
England  which states  that one  teaspoon of  these chemicals  is                                                               
enough  to give  a lethal  dose  to 1.25  billion honeybees,  yet                                                               
thousands of pounds of these  pesticides are routinely applied to                                                               
farmland and  gardens across the  U.S.   Neonicotinoid pesticides                                                               
account  for  17  percent of  worldwide  insecticide  sales,  she                                                               
noted.  The  advantage of these chemicals is  that their toxicity                                                               
for mammals,  birds, and fish  is relatively low,  although there                                                               
is  growing concern  about their  effects on  cerebellar neurons,                                                               
the brain  and spinal neurons in  mammals.  Nearly 75  percent of                                                               
all flowering  plants rely on pollinators  for fertilization, she                                                               
said.   People using neonicotinoids  on their garden  flowers are                                                               
damaging the bees coming to pollinate those flowers.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND pointed out that  Alaska is unable to ban                                                               
the use of these retail  products because it would interfere with                                                               
interstate  commerce.   Until the  EPA  steps in  and bans  these                                                               
products,  she explained,  all Alaska  can do  is try  to control                                                               
them any way it  can.  The way to do that  is through the state's                                                               
commercial  agriculture and  the pesticide  applicators that  are                                                               
called  in for  various  kinds  of pests  on  a  larger scale  by                                                               
consumers who do not want  to use these products personally given                                                               
how nasty these products are.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:37:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  addressed  a   link  he  sent  to  members                                                               
regarding the  other side  to this.   He related  that government                                                               
regulators did not see a connection.   He asked what the downside                                                               
would be of banning or not using this pesticide product.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND replied  she  does not  know that  there                                                               
would be a  downside because it is possible to  do agriculture on                                                               
both  a large  scale  and in  a  garden  in such  a  way that  it                                                               
discourages [pests].  She read  from a letter by Michelle Wilber,                                                               
Organic Gardening Coordinator, Alaska  Community Action on Toxics                                                               
(ACAT), which states:  "I  have firsthand proof that growing food                                                               
plants  does  not necessitate  the  use  of pesticides,  and  can                                                               
instead   be  helped   by   bee-friendly   organic  methods   and                                                               
techniques.  I  run a  backyard  gardening  program in  Anchorage                                                               
called  Yarducopia.   We  grow  a  wide   variety  of  vegetables                                                               
organically on  over 2000  sf [square  feet] of  land a  year. We                                                               
rely on interplanting to confuse  and repel harmful insects while                                                               
attracting beneficial  ones, observation and  early intervention,                                                               
providing sufficient  nutrients and water for  strong plants, and                                                               
other organic methods to successfully deter pests."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  recalled the spruce bark  beetle kill of                                                               
millions of  spruce trees across  Alaska several years ago.   She                                                               
said she  prevented beetle kill  of her spruce trees  by watering                                                               
them,  which  is  one  example   of  how  organic  farmers  work.                                                               
Interplanting,  such as  planting basil  with tomatoes,  confuses                                                               
and repels harmful  insects, she continued, so there  are ways to                                                               
not  need to  use these  pesticide products.   Commercial  large-                                                               
scale agriculture  relies heavily  on chemicals.   She reiterated                                                               
she doesn't think there is a downside to banning these products.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:40:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER drew  attention to page 1,  lines 8-9, of                                                               
the proposed  CS, which state:   "This subsection does  not apply                                                               
to a  pesticide applicator licensed  under AS 46.03.320(b)."   He                                                               
surmised this  means the  bill would  not cut  out those  who are                                                               
licensed to apply.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  confirmed the proposed CS  would not cut                                                               
out those  who are licensed  to apply.   She drew attention  to a                                                               
question-and-answer  paper in  the  committee packet  by Mr.  Bob                                                               
Blankenburg,  PE, Solid  Wastes and  Pesticides Program  Manager,                                                               
Department of Environmental  Conservation (DEC), entitled, "HB019                                                               
Supporting  Document    Response  to Committee  Questions by  DEC                                                               
3.24.17".  She read from the  answer to Question 3, which states:                                                               
 DEC   does  not   license  applicators,   rather,  we   issue  a                                                               
certification.   I would  say that  the certification  process is                                                               
fairly  rigorous     new  applicators  are  required  to  pass  a                                                               
comprehensive  examination,  which  includes  specific  questions                                                               
depending on which category or  categories that the applicator is                                                               
certified  under.   Applicators  are also  subject to  continuing                                                               
education requirements."  Representative  Drummond then read from                                                               
the  answer  to Question  2  in  Mr. Blankenburg's  paper,  which                                                               
states:  "We  use an Enforcement Response Policy  in dealing with                                                               
pesticide  violations,   with  ramifications  depending   on  the                                                               
gravity   of  the   violation  ?   Among  the   most  significant                                                               
administrative actions  we could  take is  revoking certification                                                               
from an  applicator for significant non-compliance."   Therefore,                                                               
she concluded, DEC "is on it."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:42:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER referred  to the answer to  Question 1 in                                                               
Mr. Blankenburg's aforementioned paper,  which states in part, "?                                                               
in  the case  of soybeans,  A Minnesota  document indicates  that                                                               
neonicotinoid  concentrations  in  plants  that  germinated  from                                                               
neonicotinoid  treated  seeds  decrease   rapidly  as  the  plant                                                               
grows".  He inquired what this means.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:42:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER reiterated his question.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  read aloud Question 1,  which asks:  "What  is the                                                               
lifespan of contaminated seeds and  soil? So, once the plant/seed                                                               
has been  treated, does it stay  in the plant for  its lifespan?"                                                               
She asked Mr. Carter of  the Division of Agriculture to interpret                                                               
the  meaning   of  the  answer  referred   to  by  Representative                                                               
Rauscher.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT CARTER,  Agronomist, Plant  Materials Center,  Division of                                                               
Agriculture,  replied that  soybeans in  canola oil  are not  the                                                               
only  plants  treated  with  these types  of  insecticides.    In                                                               
Alaska, other such plants are potatoes, barley, wheat, and rye.                                                                 
When  a seed  is  treated  either in-furrow  or  in the  planting                                                               
equipment itself, he said, that  systemic insecticide degrades as                                                               
the  seed  germinates  and  grows throughout  that  season.    In                                                               
potatoes,  for   example,  it's  about  65-80   days  before  the                                                               
insecticide within that plant systemically is almost unviable.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:46:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER inquired as to  the particular stage in a                                                               
plant's life that this insecticide would generally be applied.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  responded that  that is  a very  open-ended question.                                                               
He explained  that each chemical  has a very specific  label that                                                               
is the  law that states when  the chemical is best  applied based                                                               
on the  specific target pest.   In the majority of  the cases the                                                               
chemical  is either  put in  the soil  at planting,  the seed  is                                                               
treated before planting, or the  chemical is applied in-season to                                                               
the mature plant.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:47:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  recalled  Mr. Carter  stating  that  the                                                               
plants used in  Alaska include potatoes, wheat,  barley, and rye.                                                               
She  asked how  much [neonicotinoid  pesticide] is  already being                                                               
used on Alaska grown products.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  confirmed the aforementioned  plants are a  few known                                                               
to  have this  type of  pesticide sprayed  on them.   He  said he                                                               
cannot speak  to any  direct numbers of  how much  one individual                                                               
farmer  sprays or  applies over  another  because [the  division]                                                               
does  not manage  any  business  to that  level.   However,  when                                                               
people inquire about recommendations  for in-season management of                                                               
insects,  [the division]  takes  that approach  as an  integrator                                                               
approach.  Pesticides  are not always the first  answer, he said,                                                               
there are other options in the  farmer's toolbox.  Outside of the                                                               
aforementioned food  crops there is  use on ornamentals  that are                                                               
for sale.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:49:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  inquired  whether other  pesticides  are                                                               
available that would get the same result but be less harmful.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER replied that a  multitude of insecticides, pesticides,                                                               
and  fungicides  exist that  are  used  to  stop  a pest.    [The                                                               
division] doesn't like  to call a chemical toxic  or harmful when                                                               
used by  the label, he  said, because  the label is  the research                                                               
that is  provided that is  the least toxic  to the end  user, the                                                               
product, and the  environment.  The term  "replacement" cannot be                                                               
used,  he continued,  because there  was a  reason this  class of                                                               
chemical was built, and that reason  is that it replaced one that                                                               
is extremely harmful to humans, and  while it may be less harmful                                                               
to humans it may  be harmful to other things.  It  is a tool that                                                               
agricultural producers like to have  in their toolbox when damage                                                               
to  a  crop reaches  an  economic  threshold and  producers  must                                                               
choose  between  making a  profit  and  continuing their  farming                                                               
operation or  losing a  crop that could  be detrimental  to their                                                               
farming operation.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  which  pests in  Alaska are  being                                                               
targeted with  the neonicotinoid  pesticides.  She  surmised that                                                               
neonicotinoids are not sprayed for mosquito control.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARTER  responded that  there  is  a multitude  of  insects.                                                               
Neonicotinoids are nonselective, he  explained, and do not choose                                                               
aphids over leafhoppers or spruce  bark beetles.  Any insect that                                                               
consumes this  product from inside  or outside a plant  will die.                                                               
The majority of folks utilize  neonicotinoids in their integrated                                                               
pest management  plan.   For example,  the potato  industry would                                                               
use it  to stop  leafhoppers and  aphids from  being a  vector of                                                               
virus and  disease within a  potato seed  field or a  table stock                                                               
field.  The cut flower industry  may use them to stop thrips from                                                               
causing bud damage so that a  plant's aesthetic value is there to                                                               
keep the market value up.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:53:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  inquired whether neonicotinoids  are used                                                               
for widespread bark beetle problems like Alaska has had.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND clarified that  she brought up the spruce                                                               
bark  beetle  as something  that  could  have been  treated  with                                                               
massive amounts of  water, but a whole forest  cannot be watered,                                                               
and Alaska  suffered through many  dry seasons.  The  spruce bark                                                               
beetle is  not on the Bayer  label as being an  insect that would                                                               
be impacted by this pesticide.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER added  that there are numerous  quantities of chemical                                                               
brand names,  but only a  few active ingredients fall  within the                                                               
neonicotinoid class of  pesticides.  Each label  is very specific                                                               
for the pest,  the type, the crop, and the  application site.  He                                                               
said he doesn't  have any current information on maps  for use of                                                               
neonicotinoids  to control  the  bark beetle.    He presumed  the                                                               
question is  looking to when there  is another large impact  to a                                                               
native  plant  in  Alaska  and whether  this  chemical  would  be                                                               
necessary to stop that to  protect the natural resource.  Drawing                                                               
attention to  the ending line of  the proposed CS, he  noted that                                                               
the language does not remove the product  from use as a tool by a                                                               
certified pesticide applicator, which he appreciates.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:55:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked Mr. Carter  whether he has any sense                                                               
that disallowing the use of  [neonicotinoid pesticides] in Alaska                                                               
would cause an economic impact to any type of industry.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  answered he cannot  speak to the direct  revenue loss                                                               
or gain to the  use of this type of pesticide.   There should not                                                               
be any loss of revenue generated  on a farm, he said, because any                                                               
agricultural  producing  area  that  is utilizing  one  of  these                                                               
chemicals could go through the DEC  process to get trained and to                                                               
retain an applicator's license within  the state and then be able                                                               
to responsibly utilize these products.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:56:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON inquired  whether the aforementioned would                                                               
be hard to do.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER replied he personally  has been certified in the state                                                               
since he  was 18  years old,  so he has  taken the  test multiple                                                               
times and participated in the  many continuing education units to                                                               
maintain his license.  A  multitude of training opportunities are                                                               
provided through the University  of Alaska Fairbanks [Cooperative                                                               
Extension Service  (CES)] and  through the DEC,  he said.   Given                                                               
the training materials out there,  the opportunity for the common                                                               
individual who  may not be familiar  with agricultural industries                                                               
has  a very  good  chance  of passing  and  becoming a  certified                                                               
applicator  in  the  state  of Alaska.    Responding  further  to                                                               
Representative  Johnson,  he  said  that   to  the  best  of  his                                                               
knowledge multiple  training opportunities are  put on by  DEC in                                                               
conjunction with the  University of Alaska Fairbanks  CES.  There                                                               
is  a  3-day  training  class   prior  to  taking  the  exam,  he                                                               
explained, but he believes DEC is  willing to do self-study.  The                                                               
test is extensive,  taking about four hours between  the core and                                                               
the category, so it can be done in a day.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:59:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON stated  that she is trying to  get a sense                                                               
of how  widespread the use  of this  is commercially.   She asked                                                               
whether the dahlia and ornamental  plant industries in general do                                                               
very much with their crops.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER responded  that without a specific site  or a specific                                                               
pest problem it  would be hard to say that  one industry utilizes                                                               
these more  than the  others.  Knowing  that the  opportunity for                                                               
someone who  is certified or  someone who could  become certified                                                               
to still make an application  when absolutely necessary of one of                                                               
these  classes of  pesticides, he  said he  doesn't see  that one                                                               
group is under-utilized over the other.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:00:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON inquired how  the bee population in Alaska                                                               
is doing.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER answered  that, to the best of his  knowledge, at this                                                               
time Alaska's  bee population is  quite healthy, both  the native                                                               
bees as  well as the  bees that  are imported or  overwintered by                                                               
the beekeepers  around the  state.   He said  he cannot  speak to                                                               
whether the populations are healthy  because of Alaska's distance                                                               
to isolation and  the lack of the use of  these chemicals, but it                                                               
very well  could be  looked at  either way.   Is  it the  lack of                                                               
widespread use  because of  Alaska's isolation  distances between                                                               
large  agricultural  lands?   Is  it  the  lack  of use  of  this                                                               
insecticide  class  in  general?    But,  he  continued,  to  his                                                               
knowledge from  the folks that he  works with who deal  with bees                                                               
the hives are quite healthy in the state.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND noted that  her legislative aide for this                                                               
issue communicated  with every commercial grower  who had contact                                                               
information  and  none of  them  were  using products  containing                                                               
neonicotinoids.   The aide also  made visits during  every Alaska                                                               
Farm Bureau meeting.  While  this is not scientific, she allowed,                                                               
the  point is  to  not wait  until  there is  damage  to the  bee                                                               
populations.  These  products have been already  banned in Europe                                                               
by  the European  Union,  which grows  amazing  amounts of  food.                                                               
California's crops are  suffering because of the  collapse of bee                                                               
colonies, she said.   The bee industry is huge in  the Lower 48                                                                 
billions  and billions  of bee  populations  are transported  all                                                               
across  the  country  to  be  there just  in  time  to  pollinate                                                               
flowering plants.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  further said  it  is  rumored that  the                                                               
Chinese are  having people take  paintbrushes and climb  into the                                                               
trees  to  pollinate the  plants.    That  is  an absurd  way  of                                                               
pollinating  something after  destroying the  natural pollinators                                                               
that do this just in the course  of their work, she opined.  Bees                                                               
don't know  that they are  pollinating this is how  they operate.                                                               
Bees are an amazing social  construct that happens to pollinate a                                                               
large percentage of food that goes  into the mouths of humans and                                                               
sustains  human lives.   Since  [neonicotinoids] are  not already                                                               
widely  used  in  Alaska,  except  at a  small  level  in  local,                                                               
personal gardens, she said she wants  to stop the injury that may                                                               
occur to  bees and natural  pollinators, of which there  are many                                                               
in Alaska and for which there are no statistics.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:04:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR displayed DEC   web  site that provides information                                                               
on its Pesticide Control Program  and certified applicators.  She                                                               
observed that the web site states  who must be licensed, and this                                                               
includes people  using pesticides  for commercial  purposes other                                                               
than  on their  own property,  providing consulting  information,                                                               
applying pesticides on  any school or public  place, and applying                                                               
a restricted-use  pesticide.  She offered  her understanding that                                                               
the change  [in who needs to  be certified] would be  for farmers                                                               
themselves  because  they  would   be  using  it  for  commercial                                                               
purposes on their own properties,  whereas the current regulation                                                               
is  that certification  is  needed  if it  is  on someone  else's                                                               
property.  Showing  another page on the web site,  she noted that                                                               
participating  in the  certified applicator  training and  paying                                                               
the  $25 fee  would not  be onerous.   Representative  Tarr asked                                                               
whether  Mr. Carter's  understanding is  also that  that category                                                               
would be added to the people who would need to be certified.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER offered  his belief the aforementioned  is correct and                                                               
said those are  definitely DEC regulations.  From  his many years                                                               
working in  the industry  as a certified  applicator, he  can say                                                               
that  many of  Alaska's agricultural  producers are  certified at                                                               
this time.   They  self-police and want  to understand  the laws,                                                               
regulations,  and guidelines  to make  sure they  are being  safe                                                               
when they have to access one of these tools.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:06:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR said  the aforementioned  is her  understanding as                                                               
well.  She posited that the  concern and need for restricting use                                                               
of  [neonicotinoids]  to  certified applicators  is  because  the                                                               
general population tends to treat  in the wrong conditions and to                                                               
over-apply  the  amount of  pesticide  necessary  to achieve  the                                                               
desired intervention; whereas folks  who are certified follow the                                                               
label closely, wear the protective  gear, look at the conditions,                                                               
and do proper  application.  She asked whether  Mr. Carter agrees                                                               
with how she sees the concern.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER offered his agreement  by giving the analogy that when                                                               
people need  a plumber or  electrician for their homes  they look                                                               
for a certified  individual who has the  knowledge, content base,                                                               
and experience to do their trade  correctly and legally.  He said                                                               
he  stands behind  Co-Chair Tarr  100  percent when  it comes  to                                                               
pesticides  in  general because  the  end  user that's  certified                                                               
knows and understands that the  application rates, the sites, and                                                               
the  pests identified  on  that  label are  the  federal law,  as                                                               
opposed to homeowners  or unfamiliar users who think  that if one                                                               
ounce is  good they  might as well  use two.   He said  he agrees                                                               
that a certified applicator with  anything relating to pesticides                                                               
tends to be the safest applicator.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER inquired  as to how far  away the federal                                                               
government is on the heels of this legislation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:09:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHANNA SCHULTZ,  Staff, Representative Harriet  Drummond, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, responded  that the  Environmental Protection                                                               
Agency  (EPA) updated  its pollinator  health  policy in  January                                                               
2017.  Called the Policy to  Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees From                                                               
Pesticide  Products,  this  updated policy  describes  additional                                                               
pesticide label  restrictions to protect bees  under contract for                                                               
crop pollination  services and  prohibits applications  of highly                                                               
toxic  pesticides under  certain  conditions when  bees are  more                                                               
likely to  be present, such as  bloom.  Also, she  continued, the                                                               
update  provides  exceptions  for   those  pesticides  that  have                                                               
residue that becomes less toxic  to pollinators in a short amount                                                               
of time, for  crops that have longer bloom  periods, and allowing                                                               
pesticide use during  hours when bees are less active.   She said                                                               
it is her  understanding that the EPA is acting  on this and that                                                               
the five  pesticides listed  in the  proposed CS  are up  for re-                                                               
review in 2018.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  noted that  state  action  sometimes prompts  the                                                               
federal government to  take more action.   The federal government                                                               
may in  some cases  be waiting  to see what  is happening  at the                                                               
state  level,  she  said,  because  how it  gets  worked  out  in                                                               
different  state-level  policies  gives  a sense  for  a  federal                                                               
policy, particularly  on an agricultural  item where  the growing                                                               
conditions are very  different from state to state and  it can be                                                               
very hard to do a  one-size-fits-all approach.  Sometimes the EPA                                                               
process  takes years  to  work its  way  through, she  explained,                                                               
because it is a risk management  model and the EPA must re-review                                                               
the science  and take  public comment.   Alaska getting  a little                                                               
ahead on this would not necessarily be a bad thing.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:11:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  stated she  supports this  legislation in                                                               
general.  She  has had bees and understands that  at one point it                                                               
was thought  that [the  problem] was  viral.   While this  is not                                                               
currently a concern in Alaska, it  might be in the future, so she                                                               
applauds bringing  the bill forward.   She said it  doesn't sound                                                               
like the bill would cause  commercial growers already using these                                                               
pesticides to  have to  change things  unless it  is just  to get                                                               
permitted.    However,  she  continued,  she  is  concerned  that                                                               
putting a regulation in place  will require adding an enforcement                                                               
position,  particularly as  it relates  to  stores selling  these                                                               
products.  So,  while she is not opposed to  the legislation, she                                                               
said  she  does  have  concerns   with  adding  a  position  when                                                               
legislators are working so hard to not grow the budget.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND agreed  that another  entire enforcement                                                               
position is not  needed because DEC is already  dealing with many                                                               
of these  pesticides.  She said  when the bill gets  to the House                                                               
Finance Standing Committee  the committee would try  to argue the                                                               
department down  into less  than a full  position if  that became                                                               
necessary.   She  noted that  the proposed  CS does  not restrict                                                               
retail  products, because  these  are  controlled federally,  and                                                               
such  a restriction  would  interfere  with interstate  commerce;                                                               
therefore, the state cannot restrict  them.  She urged members to                                                               
read the  labels if they buy  these products.  For  example, [the                                                               
Bayer product] says:   do not apply near  lakes, streams, rivers,                                                               
or ponds;  do not apply  to plants grown  for food; do  not treat                                                               
plants grown in  pots, flower boxes, or other  containers; do not                                                               
apply to  soils that  are waterlogged or  frozen; do  not measure                                                               
this product with measuring utensils,  such as measuring cups and                                                               
measuring   spoons,   used   for    food   or   drinking   water.                                                               
Representative Drummond  further noted that the  label states for                                                               
outdoor  residential  use   only  and  therefore  it   is  not  a                                                               
commercial  grade  product.    The  bill  looks  to  control  the                                                               
commercial  quantities of  this  product that  might  be used  in                                                               
Alaska, she explained.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHULTZ addressed  the topic  of viral  impacts to  bees and                                                               
said   studies  have   shown  that   exposure  to   neonicotinoid                                                               
pesticides  lowers the  immune system  of  pollinators and  bees,                                                               
making them more susceptible to virus and mites.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  said she recognizes that  the collapse of                                                               
beehives is  a huge concern  all over and appreciates  the intent                                                               
of the  legislation.  She  added that  she is trying  to envision                                                               
somewhere between  greenhouses and licensed applicators  and what                                                               
would actually  be regulated by  the bill.   Passing the  bill to                                                               
make a  statement, but not  adding a  [DEC position], would  be a                                                               
great start.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:17:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND agreed with  Representative Johnson.  She                                                               
noted that managed  bees are a huge industry in  the Lower 48 and                                                               
asked Mr. Carter whether any  Alaska farmers or growers move bees                                                               
around for pollinating crops like is done in the Lower 48.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARTER  replied he  doesn't  currently  know of  anyone  who                                                               
actually contracts out  a bee mover to move a  hive from one farm                                                               
to another.   However, he  continued, many individuals  and small                                                               
businesses are  interested in  raising bees  in Alaska  for their                                                               
products.  Lots  of farmers are leasing space on  their farms, at                                                               
a very  low rate,  to individuals  in the  small bee  business to                                                               
have those pollinators closer to their crops.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND surmised  that those  farmers who  lease                                                               
space treat their environment very  carefully in order to attract                                                               
those beekeepers.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER agreed  and said that for most  commercial farmers and                                                               
agricultural  producers  the  land,  soil, and  crops  are  their                                                               
livelihood.   In  general, those  agricultural producers  protect                                                               
that as much as they do a member  of their family and that is why                                                               
those bee groups and small businesses are utilizing that land.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:19:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  related his personal experience  in a pear                                                               
orchard in  China where  he held a  paintbrush and  gently dusted                                                               
one pear  blossom after another  to assure  adequate pollination.                                                               
So, he  continued, it is true  that there are prices  to pay when                                                               
people  are incautious  with the  environment.   Colony  collapse                                                               
disorder is happening  as close as Washington  state and Alaska's                                                               
environment is fundamentally no  different than Washington's with                                                               
respect to  the way that  bees will respond to  potential poisons                                                               
in their environment.  In  the unhappy event that colony collapse                                                               
disorder comes to  Alaska, Alaskans are going  to find themselves                                                               
in the sorry situation of shipping  bees from place to place like                                                               
is being done down south.  Moving  bees from hither to yon is one                                                               
way  to introduce  a  lot of  pathogens  in a  hurry  to a  bee's                                                               
environment,  he  opined, and  is  the  way to  promote  pandemic                                                               
instead  of  epidemic amongst  the  populations  and would  be  a                                                               
significant  threat to  Alaska's  local  strains of  non-domestic                                                               
bees.   He said he too  has reservations about adding  a position                                                               
and is  glad there will  be an effort  to control costs  when the                                                               
bill moves into the House Finance Standing Committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:21:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  shared that  he is  related to  a former                                                               
certified applicator and questions would  come up about bodies of                                                               
water.   He offered  his understanding  that DEC  has regulations                                                               
that require certification as an  applicator for work near a body                                                               
of water or  doing bank stabilization.  Any  application from the                                                               
air also  requires applicator certification.   During  talks with                                                               
this relative  it came  up that private  people might  apply more                                                               
than is  necessary, but  when paying  for application  to 400-500                                                               
acres the value of money and  doing it correctly and carefully is                                                               
really important.   He said  he also  shares the concern  about a                                                               
fiscal note on  the bill given an operational  program is already                                                               
in place.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:23:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER said  it is  a good  bill, but  inquired                                                               
whether  there  is  proof  about the  cause  of  colony  collapse                                                               
disorder.   He  urged care  be  taken when  talking about  colony                                                               
collapse  disorder because  [neonicotinoids]  have  not yet  been                                                               
associated with it.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH responded  that it  would be  safe to  say                                                               
there is a  correlative relationship, although it  is much harder                                                               
to establish a causal relationship.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON remarked  that no  matter what  the cause                                                               
might be,  when a hive  is sprayed with  a pesticide the  hive is                                                               
not going  to be there anymore.   She pointed out  that cardboard                                                               
boxes of bees can now be purchased  as easily as a box of coffee,                                                               
and that  the bees  are then  released with  no worry  about them                                                               
coming home.  She said she  supports the bill with amendments for                                                               
enforcement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:25:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND agreed  with Representative  Johnson and                                                               
offered her belief  that the fiscal note related  to the original                                                               
bill has been made simpler by  saying that this does not apply to                                                               
the licensed  pesticide applicators, thereby removing  that group                                                               
of people from  the purview of the  bill.  She said  she would go                                                               
after the  fiscal note once  the bill is  out of committee.   She                                                               
related a personal story about  almond trees in California, which                                                               
are among  the crops to which  billions of bees are  brought from                                                               
different  parts of  the country  at flowering  time every  year.                                                               
Between the  cost of  those bees  and the  bee owners  losing all                                                               
those bees for all these  various reasons, banning neonicotinoids                                                               
in Alaska  is one  of the  smallest things  that can  actually be                                                               
done.    Seeing all  the  almond  trees in  California's  Central                                                               
Valley  devastated by  drought  and  lack of  bees  was an  awful                                                               
sight.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:29:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  stated that  discussion of roving  bands of                                                               
honeybees  makes him  think  about the  potential  of looking  at                                                               
genetically modified honeybees at some point  in time.  This is a                                                               
good bill,  he continued,  because it points  out the  problem of                                                               
unintended consequences from  a pesticide that was  thought to be                                                               
a good thing.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:30:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  moved to  report the proposed  CS for  HB 19,                                                               
Version  30-LS0219\D,  Nauman,  3/8/17,  out  of  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                               
There  being no  objection, CSHB  19(RES) was  reported from  the                                                               
House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB019 Letter of Support - NAU Frank von Hippel 3.23.17.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Letter of Support - CSS Jesse Richardville 3.23.17.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
David Wight 2016_Redacted.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
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
HB134 Sponsor Statement 2.23.17.pdf HRES 3/20/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB0134A.PDF HRES 3/20/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB0134 BoG proposals spreadsheet.xlsx HRES 3/22/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB 134 Supporting Doc - BoG statute.pdf HRES 3/20/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB0134 BoG proposals spreadsheet.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB 134 letters in support.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 134
HB019 Supporting Document - Response To Committee Questions by DEC 3.24.17.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB19 Supporting Document - Responses to Questions by the DEC (2) 3.24.17.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19
HB019 Supporting Document - Examples of Labeling Provided by DEC 3.24.17.pdf HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 19