Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106
05/03/2005 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 189-COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS 8:58:56 AM CHAIR SEATON announced that the next order of business was HOUSE BILL NO. 189, "An Act relating to an extension for review and approval of revisions to the Alaska coastal management program; providing for an effective date by amending the effective date of sec. 45, ch. 24, SLA 2003; and providing for an effective date." 8:59:10 AM CHAIR SEATON explained that HB 189 is sponsored by the House State Affairs Standing Committee and was heard first by the House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee, during which time "there was some frustration" which resulted in, basically, a "one-line bill." Chair Seaton assured the committee members that the House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee fully anticipates that the House State Affairs Standing Committee will make significant changes to the bill. He said, "This isn't a fight between two committees." 9:00:18 AM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO moved to adopt the committee substitute (CS) for HB 189, Version 24-LS0703\G, as a work draft. There being no objection, Version G was before the committee. 9:00:49 AM CHAIR SEATON reviewed that the committee had conducted a lengthy meeting on the coastal zone management program, during which there was discussion surrounding the sunsetting of House Bill 191 and districts that didn't get plans in by July 1. There were problems in revising the state standards necessary in order for "them to build their new plans around." He said there was dissention between the federal approving agencies and the state regarding "what those plans could be - whether it could be a minor modification or would have to be a major amendment." He said, "Those things are still working through the system." To date, there is still no federal final approval of regulations, and coastal districts are in limbo as to how to rewrite their plans in a way that will be consistent. CHAIR SEATON pointed out that some districts along Western Alaska are widespread with a lot of communities to cover. Part of the process for having a coastal management program is to get local input and knowledge in the plans; so, "the timeframe of constructing a plan is very difficult if you're going to get meaningful public input." CHAIR SEATON said [Version Y] has been constructed to change the date at which the state plan has to be recognized by the federal government, so that the action of House Bill 191 does not take effect and kill the program on July 1. He said it would also have the effect of sunsetting the program in 2011, so that the legislature will have to review the program to extend it. Also included in Version Y would be an extension of six months after approval by federal office of the state's regulation, so that the local districts know in entirety what they have to build their plans on. He said, "After those state regulations are finalized, ... adopted, and noticed, then there is a six-month date in which they have to revise their plans and get them back into the state. And the state then must finish ... [its] review of those plans and certify those district plans by January 1, 2007." He said the state plan has to have the federal approval by March 1, . 9:05:32 AM CHAIR SEATON, in response to a question from Representative Gardner, reviewed that the two firm dates are March 1, 2006, and January 1, 2007. 9:07:29 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked if there is any possibility that what's needed by March 1 may not be available. She explained that she doesn't want to set a firm date "if we don't have control of all the steps that lead up to that." She asked what would happen if the federal approval was not obtained by March 1. 9:07:46 AM CHAIR SEATON responded that currently the program ends on July 1 - when the legislature is not in session. The proposal is to extend that to January 1, but that, he explained, means that the legislature would have no ability "to influence and control that decision." The March 1 date would give the legislature 45 days in which to act "if nothing has happened." 9:08:26 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER clarified that she is just concerned about having something in legislation that "all hinges on a piece that we don't have any control over." CHAIR SEATON said he agrees with Representative Gardner. He pointed out that House Bill 191 had some dates in it and "every one of them turned out to be unrealistic." REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER replied, "Exactly, and I don't want to repeat that." CHAIR SEATON said dates have "slipped" before, and if they do so again, at least the legislature would be in session and "if both houses and the administration want to, if something did go really crazy, we could extend." 9:09:15 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said she is willing to not offer an amendment she had thought to offer, in order that the bill will move more quickly. In return, she asked for Chair Seaton's commitment "to help with extending it if we need to because the other pieces that we don't control haven't dropped into place next session." 9:09:40 AM CHAIR SEATON gave her his commitment to do that. 9:09:55 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG remarked that there is only a week to go in the session and asked if it will be possible to "get this thing through." 9:10:51 AM CHAIR SEATON noted that there is a bill on the Senate side that is similar. He said he has been in communication with the chair of the Senate State Affairs Standing Committee in an attempt to "go on a common path." 9:11:17 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if it wouldn't allow more breathing room to change March 1 to April 1, for example. 9:11:46 AM CHAIR SEATON responded that the March 1 date gives the legislature 45 days, which he said is adequate. He said, "There have been a number of negotiations around that date, and that's about 30 days longer than ... [we] were offered previously." He noted that the Senate version of HB 189 is on the Senate calendar today to be heard on the Senate floor. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said, "So, what we're doing is passing this out so that that can be then put into the [House Resources Standing Committee] directly." CHAIR SEATON answered that's correct. The committee took an at-ease from 9:13:14 AM to 9:13:26 AM. 9:13:36 AM CHAIR SEATON said the bill on the Senate side doesn't have the six-month approval time after federal approval, which he indicated he thinks is important. In response to a question from Representative Gruenberg, he said that language appears on page 11, in Section 15. The committee took an at-ease from 9:14:19 AM to 9:14:56 AM. CHAIR SEATON stated another consideration is whether to put July 1, 2001, in the title of the bill. 9:15:34 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved Amendment 1 to add "on July 1, 2001", after the title sentence. 9:15:59 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected. He explained, "Because if the vehicle is the Senate vehicle, they have to add that over there [and] we're going to need a concurrent resolution. So, you ought to be sure that they do a floor amendment to put that in on the other bill." The committee took an at-ease from 9:16:20 AM to 9:16:50 AM. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER [withdrew Amendment 1]. 9:18:04 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to report 24-LS0307\Y out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. 9:18:36 AM CHAIR SEATON announced that the motion to move the bill out of committee must be withdrawn in order to open public testimony. 9:18:48 AM MORRIS NASSUK, Director, Bering Strait Coastal Management Program, testified in support of "the extension for the OCRM approval program changes" and in opposition to "the 2011 sunset clause." He urged the committee to support the extensions from six months to a year. 9:20:08 AM CHAIR SEATON asked Mr. Nassuk how important it is for [those managing the Bering Strait Coastal Management Program] to know what the final regulations are before they are required to finalize their plans. 9:20:23 AM MR. NASSUK responded that it's extremely important. He explained that it's confusing to be told to follow certain guidelines that haven't yet met with federal approval. Currently, the program is in limbo because of unclear guidelines. 9:20:58 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked if six months would be adequate for his program to prepare his plan and submit it once he knows the state and federal plans. 9:21:14 AM MR. NASSUK said [six months] would be an improvement over the present deadline of July 1. 9:21:45 AM MARV SMITH, Community Development Coordinator, Lake & Peninsula Borough, testified in support of the six-month extension of time, adding that more time would probably be needed. He said he has put out plans for public review that took three years to develop, and he has received feedback from many agencies. He said, "I've got a lot of work to get done." He explained that he found out there are a lot of problems that need to be worked out with his contractor and it's questionable whether everything can be done by July 1. He said, "I think the Coastal Management Program is something that the people of Alaska have something to do with." He stated his opposition to the sunset clause, scheduled for 2011, because, depending on the administration in office at the time, [the program] could possibly be eliminated. 9:23:18 AM CHAIR SEATON said he thinks developers would hate to see [the program] ended, because that would mean that they would have to go to the boroughs for the land use planning, to the state for state standards, and go separately to the federal government, because there would be no consistency review. He asked the same question of Mr. Smith as he did of Mr. Nassuk, regarding how important it is to have the six-month extension begin after the final federal approval of the state regulations. 9:24:18 AM MR. SMITH responded that he cannot emphasize enough how important it is. 9:25:18 AM JOHN OSCAR, Program Director, Cenaliulriit Lake Coastal Resource Service Area District (CRSA), said the district includes the largest area of remote villages in the Yukon/Kuskokwim Delta region of Alaska, with Yupik Eskimo spoken as the primary language at public meetings. He said ACMP has been a successful part of the communities in Alaska regarding the permitting process. He said a one-year extension would be practical for his program. He thanked the committee for its patience regarding the extension of deadlines, which, he indicated, assists everyone - the legislature, the state, and the majority of districts - to comply with well-planned revisions "with fair support from our constituency in Alaska." He stated that although the sunset of date of July 1, 2011, is discomforting for fear of "losing to the federal government agencies," he stated his belief that it will "offer some compromise to revisit the ... success of any program at that time." 9:26:56 AM CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony. 9:27:17 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG [moved Amendment 2] as follows: Page 12, line 10: Between "July 1," and "." Delete "2011" Insert "2015" REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he is offering the amendment in response to the public testimony. 9:28:41 AM CHAIR SEATON objected to Amendment 2. He noted that the original bill did not have a sunset date, but after intense negotiations between various entities involved in the program, a sunset date of 2011 was chosen. 9:29:34 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew Amendment 2. He added, "I appreciate your efforts to get this extended." 9:29:50 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to report CSHB 189, Version 24- LS0703\Y, Bullock, 5/2/05, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection CSHB 189(STA) was reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.