Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 17

03/30/2010 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION


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01:05:02 PM Start
01:05:06 PM HB333
02:03:19 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 313 MAINTENANCE OF RAILROAD CROSSINGS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 4/01/10>
*+ HB 333 NATURALLY OCCURRING ASBESTOS IN GRAVEL TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 333(TRA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 333-NATURALLY OCCURRING ASBESTOS IN GRAVEL                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:05:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  announced that the only order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  333,  "An Act  directing  the Department  of                                                               
Transportation  and Public  Facilities to  develop and  implement                                                               
standards and  operating procedures allowing  for the use  in the                                                               
construction  and  maintenance  of  transportation  projects  and                                                               
public facilities and  in the construction of  projects by public                                                               
and  private  entities  of gravel  or  aggregate  materials  that                                                               
contain naturally  occurring asbestos, and authorizing  use on an                                                               
interim  basis  of  those materials  for  certain  transportation                                                               
projects and  public facilities;  and relating to  certain claims                                                               
arising  out of  or  in  connection with  the  use  of gravel  or                                                               
aggregate materials."  [Before the committee was Version E.]                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:06:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON moved  to adopt the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 333,  labeled  26-LS1248\S,  Chenoweth,                                                               
3/16/10, as the work draft.   There being no objection, Version S                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE,  Alaska State Legislature, explained                                                               
that  HB  333  would  authorize and  regulate  use  of  naturally                                                               
occurring asbestos  (NOA), which  is due  to minerals  present in                                                               
the soil and rocks.  This  has become problematic in Ambler since                                                               
there are  many projects  that need  aggregate material,  such as                                                               
the airport  or sewage  lagoon.   He offered  that he  is working                                                               
towards resolution of the issue.   He introduced his staff, Dewey                                                               
Hoffman, who  is working on  the issue of  NOA, and asked  him to                                                               
provide more details on HB 333.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DEWEY HOFFMAN,  Staff, Representative Reggie Joule,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of  the  sponsor, Representative  Reggie                                                               
Joule provided  an overview on the  bill.  He stated  that HB 333                                                               
would  put  policies  in  place   to  mitigate  the  difficulties                                                               
associated  with   construction  in  areas  of   the  state  with                                                               
naturally occurring  asbestos (NOA).   He stated that  NOA occurs                                                               
in mineral  deposits throughout  Alaska and  our state  has large                                                               
known deposits of  ultramafic and serpentine mineral  ore.  These                                                               
deposits often contain  NOA, which is similar to  the asbestos we                                                               
are  familiar  with  and  that  is known  to  cause  fibrosis  or                                                               
malignancies of  the lungs and  other major organs.   Asbestos is                                                               
defined in the  bill as gravel, rock, sand  and similar materials                                                               
that are  determined to have a  content of at least  0.25 percent                                                               
asbestos by mass, setting the threshold for NOA at 0.25 percent.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOFFMAN  said  the Department  of  Transportation  &  Public                                                               
Facilities  (DOT&PF) hired  Nortech,  Inc. and  the Institute  of                                                               
Northern  Engineering,   University  of  Alaska,   Fairbanks,  to                                                               
research the  issues and recommend  solutions.  He referred  to a                                                               
series   of  maps   in  members'   packets  which   show  mineral                                                               
occurrences in Alaska that likely  contain NOA.  He also referred                                                               
to pages  29-32 of  the full  report titled,  Naturally Occurring                                                               
Asbestos in  Alaska and  Experiences and  Policy of  Other States                                                               
Regarding its  Use.  This report  concludes that NOA can  be used                                                               
in most  circumstances without  harmful side  effects so  long as                                                               
proper procedures are implemented and followed, he stated.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOFFMAN explained  that there  are documented  cases of  NOA                                                               
being found  in several areas of  the state, including at  a rock                                                               
quarry in Juneau, along the  Dalton Highway at material site 105,                                                               
and  in local  gravel pits  in Ambler.   The  NOA was  discovered                                                               
during  routine soil  testing and  has delayed  or halted,  as in                                                               
Ambler's  case,   construction  projects  for  years.     Current                                                               
projects in Ambler  that are affected include  the Ambler Airport                                                               
Runway Extension Project, construction of  a new sewer lagoon and                                                               
access  road, and  housing construction.    Some experts  believe                                                               
that over time  more NOA will be documented,  particularly in the                                                               
very areas that are rich in  minerals and likely to be developed.                                                               
Some  localities do  not have  gravel materials  nearby that  are                                                               
free of NOA,  yet several large projects will require  the use of                                                               
large amounts  of gravel.  How  to handle NOA should  be resolved                                                               
before it becomes  an issue during the  actual preconstruction or                                                               
construction  process of  one  of these  projects.   He  referred                                                               
members to page 27 of the  Nortech, Inc. report for more detailed                                                               
information.   He stated  that the  use of  NOA is  not currently                                                               
regulated by the  federal government and only a  few states, such                                                               
as Virginia and California have addressed it.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOFFMAN  reported that  Virginia  and  California have  been                                                               
regulating NOA  for many  years and several  other states  are in                                                               
the  process  of  addressing  the   issue.    California  uses  a                                                               
threshold for  asbestos concentration,  below which  the material                                                               
is not  considered NOA.   Regulation controls are put  into place                                                               
for  safety reasons  if  the material  is  above the  established                                                               
threshold.    This bill  has  adopted  a  similar approach.    He                                                               
summarized  that  the  purpose  of  the bill  is  to  define  the                                                               
measures  that must  be  developed and  established  in order  to                                                               
safely use gravel or materials  containing NOA.  After procedures                                                               
and standards  are adopted and  a site-specific plan  is approved                                                               
for a  construction project, HB  333 would protect  the suppliers                                                               
and users  from liability  so long as  the plan  is appropriately                                                               
followed.  The bill would remove  the doubt and fear of liability                                                               
associated with use  of NOA, which would  encourage suppliers and                                                               
landowners  to offer  gravel for  sale.   This would  ensure that                                                               
work could safely  proceed in Alaska while using  gravel that has                                                               
some NOA.  This would also  help keep construction costs down, he                                                               
stated.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:13:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON related her  understanding that  health problems                                                               
are  caused by  direct contact  with  asbestos.   She asked  what                                                               
causes the concern if the NOA is contained within the rock.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:14:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE HESS, Staff, Representative  Reggie Joule, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, explained  that the biggest concern  comes from all-                                                               
terrain  vehicles (ATVs)  use,  which  substantially raises  dust                                                               
levels  during  the  summer  months.    She  explained  that  the                                                               
Department   of   Environmental   Conservation  (DEC)   and   the                                                               
Department of  Health and Social  Services (DHSS)  have conducted                                                               
tests in Ambler to identify health  issues.  The DHSS chest X-ray                                                               
monitoring only found several people  with an indication in their                                                               
lungs,  but the  health  problems could  be  attributed to  other                                                               
factors such  as smoking.   The  departments are  discussing dust                                                               
control measures to mitigate health risks.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:16:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LANCE   MILLER,   Vice-President,    Resources,   NANA   Regional                                                               
Corporation  testified in  support of  HB  333.   He stated  that                                                               
currently there  is and will continue  to be a critical  need for                                                               
gravel  for  projects  throughout  Alaska  and  some  gravel  may                                                               
contain  asbestos.    He recalled  that  Mr.  Hoffman  previously                                                               
mentioned the issues that arose in  the 70s on the Dalton Highway                                                               
project and in  2005 with a Juneau gravel project.   He mentioned                                                               
a chronology  of projects  exist, but  without some  protocols in                                                               
place for gravel  containing trace amounts of  NOA, many projects                                                               
will come  to a standstill  with all the notoriety  that asbestos                                                               
has received nationwide.  Asbestos  comes from magnesium silicate                                                               
minerals associated with ultramafic  rocks.  Interestingly, a lot                                                               
of  the  mineral  deposits  that have  formed  are  located  near                                                               
geologically dynamic  area, where the ultramafic  rocks have been                                                               
brought  up along  the  sea floor.    Thus, it  is  not a  random                                                               
coincidence  that mineral  deposits contain  magnesium-rick rocks                                                               
that contain  NOA minerals.   In  fact, many  parts of  the state                                                               
from Juneau  to the  Arctic region  contain mineral  deposits and                                                               
asbestos, but not necessarily at a  level to cause any alarm.  He                                                               
referred  specifically to  the mountains  behind Ambler,  to Jade                                                               
Mountain, which  is comprised  of serpentine.   He  remarked that                                                               
the state  gem is  jade, which also  comes from  ultramafic rock.                                                               
California's   geology  has   similar   problems   to  the   ones                                                               
encountered in  Alaska's geology.   The state rock  of California                                                               
is  serpentine,   which  is  the  main   asbestos  bearing  rock.                                                               
California adopted regulations to  address NOA, which are similar                                                               
to  the  process  reflected  in   HB  333.    He  commented  that                                                               
California has  a record  of being protective  of health  and the                                                               
environment.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:20:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MILLER  related that  within  the  Ambler region  about  $10                                                               
million  in projects  are  currently  on hold.    He offered  his                                                               
belief  that  not  moving  forward with  projects,  such  as  the                                                               
planned sewer lagoon and water  projects, would affect the health                                                               
and  safety of  the residents  of Ambler.   Using  the California                                                               
standards,  some sites  in  the Ambler  area  are asbestos  free.                                                               
Adopting  the  standards  in  HB 333,  which  are  basically  the                                                               
California standards,  would allow  projects to move  forward and                                                               
would  provide  protection  so long  as  the  standard  operating                                                               
procedures are adhered to by landowners and contractors.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:21:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ asked  for  examples of  how California  is                                                               
mitigating their asbestos issues.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER offered his understanding  that much of the mitigation                                                               
has occurred  by adopting methods  of handling material,  such as                                                               
wearing  respirators  when crushing  rock  that  contains NOA  or                                                               
wetting down the  material.  The mineral is fibrous  and when dry                                                               
will float  in the  air, but  NOA has  water-absorbing properties                                                               
will not  float in the  air when  wet.  California  has addressed                                                               
NOA by developing specific procedures  quarries or gravel pits to                                                               
protect workers.  In Alaska, such  as at Stabler Point in Juneau,                                                               
the material  is contained within  rock so crushing the  rock can                                                               
liberate the  NOA.  In  other locations,  such as in  Ambler, the                                                               
natural forces  have crushed the  rock and released the  NOA into                                                               
streams.  Thus, the NOA is contained in gravel.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:22:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN referred  to HB  333 and  asked for  the                                                               
reference to any language that  mandates masks be used to protect                                                               
workers who may be exposed to NOA.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MILLER  explained the  process  for  handling NOA  would  be                                                               
developed  as part  of the  standard  operating procedures  (SOP)                                                               
that would be developed under the bill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  suggested  that  the procedures  would                                                               
likely be developed in regulation.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:23:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ asked whether "fear  of asbestos in the air"                                                               
would generally  cause agencies to  "shut down" a project  and if                                                               
such action  would be undertaken by  the Environmental Protection                                                               
Agency (EPA).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER  responded that usually  a project would be  shut down                                                               
by  the  landowner since  SOPs  are  not  currently in  place  to                                                               
protect the landowner from risk.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  related her understanding that  if the SOPs                                                               
were  in  place  the  landowner  would  be  afforded  some  legal                                                               
protection.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER agreed that the SOPs would provide some immunity.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:24:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  SIROKY, Legislative  Liaison, Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   &  Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                               
explained that  three agencies have  been working to  resolve the                                                               
issues surrounding NOA  in Ambler.  The agencies  have arrived at                                                               
some  short-term solutions.   Thus,  HB  333 will  not be  needed                                                               
since  the three  agencies have  agreed  to develop  the SOP  for                                                               
operations on state land.   The three agencies, the Department of                                                               
Transportation  &  Public   Facilities  (DOT&PF),  Department  of                                                               
Health   and  Social   Services   (DH&SS),   and  Department   of                                                               
Environmental  Conservation (DEC)  have  committed  to work  with                                                               
Representative Joule  to formulate  an agreed  upon plan  for the                                                               
projects in Ambler by June 1.   The departments have committed to                                                               
work  during  the legislative  interim  to  develop the  standard                                                               
operating procedure (SOP) for other  sites.  She restated that by                                                               
June  1, 2010,  the DOT&PF  will develop  a plan,  in conjunction                                                               
with  DH&SS and  DEC, to  address  the Ambler  project sites  and                                                               
during the  rest of the year  plans to develop the  SOP for other                                                               
state-owned sites.   She  stated that  the departments  will also                                                               
develop recommendations  for third-party  sites.  In  response to                                                               
Chair P. Wilson,  she restated the department's  goals to address                                                               
NOA.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:28:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked for  the DOT&PF to report  to the                                                               
committee next legislature.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY agreed to do so.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:28:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  T. WILSON  asked whether  the departments'  plans                                                               
would also address the issue for private properties.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY  answered that  she was unaware  of any  projects with                                                               
delays due to NOA that are not state projects.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:29:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  asked  for  an indication  of  the  past                                                               
success rate for cooperation between the DOT&PF, DH&SS, and DEC.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY related that most  of the difficulties have surrounded                                                               
procedures for third-party aspects of  NOA.  She related that the                                                               
three departments  have agreed  that solutions  can be  found for                                                               
state-owned properties.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON related he has not observed much inter-                                                                  
agency cooperation  to give him optimism  that June 1, 2010  is a                                                               
realistic date.   He said  he is not certain  that HB 333  is not                                                               
needed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY,  in response to Representative  Johansen, stated that                                                               
the  Ambler issue  has  been "on  the radar  screen  for about  a                                                               
year."  She  recalled the DOT&PF previously worked  on NOA issues                                                               
on the  Dalton Highway in  the 70s.  This  is the first  issue in                                                               
recent history that  she could remember.  In  further response to                                                               
Representative  Johansen,   she  related  that   the  interagency                                                               
agreement between the three departments was reached yesterday.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:31:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  asked to hear  from the sponsor  at some                                                               
point.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY, in response to Chair  P. Wilson, with respect to NOA,                                                               
offered her belief  that the DEC has been involved  for some time                                                               
on the issues of NOA.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:31:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON asked whether  the DOT&PF will  be able                                                               
to solve the issue without the $355,000 shown in the fiscal note                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY answered  that since the departments  have agreed they                                                               
can resolve  the issues  without the bill,  that the  DOT&PF will                                                               
not  need  the funding.    She  explained  that the  fiscal  note                                                               
assumed that  certain accounting and regulation's  projects would                                                               
be needed.   Under the current plan, the DOT&PF  will not develop                                                               
databases and regulations for third-party  ownership.  In further                                                               
response  to Representative  T.  Wilson, she  explained that  the                                                               
state does  not need  to develop  regulations to  address methods                                                               
the state  will follow.   The  process that will  be used  is the                                                               
three  commissioners  will  set  mandates  for  their  respective                                                               
departments to implement.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:33:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE T.  WILSON asked  whether the DOT&PF  will develop                                                               
regulations for private parties.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIROKY  related that  under  the  agreement the  departments                                                               
reached,  the  DOT&PF  will  address  the  state-owned  sites  in                                                               
Ambler.     Secondly,  the  DOT&PF  will   develop  policies  and                                                               
procedures for  other state-owned sites, and  finally, the DOT&PF                                                               
will develop  recommendations for other  parties to proceed.   In                                                               
further  response  to  Representative  T.  Wilson,  she  gave  an                                                               
example of third  parties, such as a tribal  organization who may                                                               
wish to  use naturally occurring  asbestos (NOA) to build  a road                                                               
on  tribal   property.     Additionally,  she   anticipated  some                                                               
municipalities  may encounter  similar issues.   She  pointed out                                                               
that  her expertise  is  not in  asbestos and  the  EPA does  not                                                               
currently  regulate NOA.   The  current  federal regulations  for                                                               
asbestos are limited to worker  safety.  Thus, NOA, which becomes                                                               
a fiber  in the  natural environment and  poses a  serious health                                                               
threat  poses  a  different  situation  than  the  normal  issues                                                               
encountered, such as during removal  of asbestos insulation.  She                                                               
explained some  difficulties in  Alaska that  are not  present in                                                               
California.  In California, their  roads connect so paving may be                                                               
a solution to eliminate NOA issues.   The problem is more complex                                                               
in Alaska, with  its remote areas and gravel roads  or runways in                                                               
villages.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:35:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN referred  to  the  fiscal note  analysis                                                               
which estimated it  would take a year and a  half to complete the                                                               
SOP.   He asked how the  departments would be able  to accomplish                                                               
the work by June 1, 2010.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIROKY  answered  that  the   fiscal  note  anticipated  the                                                               
development of  regulations to address  third parties  would take                                                               
time,  as  well  as  time  necessary to  identify  the  scope  of                                                               
institutional controls.  The issue  is very complicated, but when                                                               
the  NOA oversight  is  limited  to state  sites,  the state  can                                                               
better  monitor and  track the  management  of NOA.   In  further                                                               
response  to   Representative  Petersen,  she  agreed   that  the                                                               
departments believe they can find  solutions to the issues at the                                                               
Ambler airport.   In  response to Chair  P. Wilson,  she affirmed                                                               
DOT&PF is not aware of  any sites other than state-owned entities                                                               
in which projects have been halted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  P. WILSON  restated that  the  DOT&PF will  work with  the                                                               
other  agencies to  develop policies  and will  come back  to the                                                               
legislature  with   suggestions  for  procedures  when   the  NOA                                                               
involves third parties.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:37:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  whether the  fiscal note  could be                                                               
zeroed out if the public portion  was removed from HB 333 and the                                                               
bill only applied to the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIROKY  stated that she did  not know for certain.   However,                                                               
she  offered her  belief that  is the  argument she  is currently                                                               
making  on this  issue.   In further  response to  Representative                                                               
Johnson, she  said she thought  that the  fiscal note could  be a                                                               
zero fiscal  note, but would need  to re-read the bill  to see if                                                               
any other  implications were in  the bill that  would necessitate                                                               
additional funding.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:39:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked  for the reason that  the DOT&PF has                                                               
not already addressed this issue if it is so easy to fix.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.   SIROKY  related   that  the   DOT&PF   has  held   "pointed                                                               
conversations"  on  this topic  with  the  other agencies.    The                                                               
departments found that when third  parties were removed that they                                                               
could  reach agreement.   The  departments  experienced the  most                                                               
difficulty  over  determining  the "final  regulator"  for  third                                                               
parties.     The  main  stumbling  block   surrounded  who  would                                                               
ultimately regulate the NOA.  Since  the NOA issues at Ambler are                                                               
limited to  the state, the  departments felt they could  reach an                                                               
agreement for the  standard and the SOP.  She  offered her belief                                                               
that once the  SOP is in place, the departments  can work through                                                               
the issues  to regulate  third parties.   In further  response to                                                               
Representative   Johnson,  she   clarified   that  the   "pointed                                                               
conversations" were held with the "sister agencies."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:41:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIROKY, in  response to  Representative Johnson,  reiterated                                                               
that  the DOT&PF  believes  it can  develop  the methodology  for                                                               
addressing the  issue at  Ambler and can  develop SOPs  for other                                                               
state-owned sites.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MARIT  CARLSON-VAN  DORT,  Legislative  Liaison,  Office  of  the                                                               
Commissioner,  on  behalf  of  the  Department  of  Environmental                                                               
Conservation (DEC), agreed the  department has held conversations                                                               
with the  bill sponsor,  the DOT&PF,  and the  DH&SS.   The three                                                               
departments agreed  to find interim  solutions for the  issues at                                                               
Ambler.   She  further  agreed  that "it  did  get  a little  bit                                                               
stickier" when  the agencies  discussed regulating  third parties                                                               
and  where the  authority would  ultimately lie.   She  explained                                                               
that DEC does not have  authority over asbestos, although it does                                                               
have  authority over  ambient  air  quality.   The  EPA does  not                                                               
regulate ambient  air asbestos,  but regulates asbestos  in Title                                                               
V, which  is the asbestos  related to demolition and  the related                                                               
human  health issues.   Thus,  the problem  surrounded who  would                                                               
develop  the  standards,  whether  the  standards  should  be  in                                                               
statute  or  in  regulation,  and   the  role  of  the  DH&SS  in                                                               
developing health  standards for NOA.   The DOT&PF responsibility                                                               
would determine  the material specifications  and usage.   During                                                               
the legislative interim,  the DEC, in conjunction  with the other                                                               
departments will  review asbestos  product usage, whether  it can                                                               
be used as fill or if a  cap of clean material would be required.                                                               
She  maintained her  belief that  a  solution for  Ambler can  be                                                               
found and  solutions could be  arrived at during  the legislative                                                               
interim,  which  may  also  result  in  suggestions  for  statute                                                               
changes to present to the legislature.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:45:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARLSON-VAN  DORT, in response  to Representative  T. Wilson,                                                               
answered that  the DEC wants  to ensure that Ambler  can complete                                                               
its  current  project.   Any  additional  project  not  currently                                                               
slated will become part of  the discussion during the legislature                                                               
interim  with  respect to  use  of  NOA  materials.   In  further                                                               
response  to   Representative  T.  Wilson,  she   responded  that                                                               
removing  third  parties  from  HB 333  does  not  resolve  other                                                               
issues,  such   as  determining  and  setting   the  standard  in                                                               
regulation.     Additionally,  the  DEC  will   review  the  0.25                                                               
threshold identified in  the bill to determine whether  it is the                                                               
appropriate standard.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:46:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN  asked  whether  the  DEC  believes  the                                                               
standard is  too high or too  low or if  the DEC has had  time to                                                               
consider the standard.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARLSON-VAN  DORT stated  that she  did do  not know  at this                                                               
time.   The standard in HB  333 was modeled after  the California                                                               
standard.  California  caps and paves most of  their roads, which                                                               
removes the  ambient air  and dust issue.   While  communities in                                                               
rural Alaska  also have ambient  NOA air and dust  issues, paving                                                               
is very expensive so other solutions must be found.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:47:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LORI  VERBRUGGE, Toxicologist,  Department of  Health and  Social                                                               
Services,  stated she  has been  involved in  Ambler issue  since                                                               
2004 or  2005.   She offered  that the  DH&SS is  enthusiastic to                                                               
work on these issues with the other departments.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILDA  LAUGHLIN,  Special  Assistant, Department  of  Health  and                                                               
Social  Services  (DH&SS),  offered  her belief  that  the  three                                                               
departments  can  work  together  as Ms.  Siroky  outlined.    In                                                               
response   to  Representative   T.   Wilson,   she  related   her                                                               
understanding that this  has primarily been an  issue between the                                                               
DOT&PF and the DEC.  She stated  that the DH&SS may need to weigh                                                               
in on the  health aspects and is  willing to do so.   She offered                                                               
that  the Division  of Public  Health  is working  to define  the                                                               
DH&SS's role with respect to NOA.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  P. WILSON  recalled  some testing  has  been conducted  in                                                               
Ambler to find  out if residents are  experiencing health issues,                                                               
primarily associated with their lungs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAUGHLIN stated  that Ms. Verbrugge is better  able to assess                                                               
that  question.    In response  to  Representative  Johnson,  she                                                               
related that the commissioners are discussing the NOA issues.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  stated  he   wanted  to  hear  that  the                                                               
commitment is coming from the top level.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAUGHLIN stated she has briefed Commissioner Hogan.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIROKY related  that Deputy  Commissioner Frank  Richards is                                                               
supportive  of the  plan,  as  is Roger  Healy,  the Director  of                                                               
Statewide Design  & Engineering  Standards.  In  further response                                                               
to  Representative  Johnson, she  indicated  that  the NOA  issue                                                               
falls under the  responsibility of Mr. Richards.   She offered to                                                               
call Commissioner von Scheben for his approval.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARLSON-VAN  DORT related recent conversations  she held with                                                               
Deputy  Commissioner  Dan  Easton  and  Acting  Director  of  the                                                               
Division of Air Quality Alice  Edwards.  She further reported she                                                               
held  discussions  last week  with  Commissioner  Hartig and  all                                                               
three are supportive of the NOA agreement.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:53:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  asked Ms. Verbrugge to  report on investigations                                                               
and decisions made with respect to NOA in Ambler.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  VERBRUGGE  explained  during   the  2004-2005  period,  some                                                               
reports were  made to  the community.   A  medical epidemiologist                                                               
reviewed charts  and X-Rays to  determine the extent  of asbestos                                                               
diseases, but  the outcome was inconclusive.   The epidemiologist                                                               
did not find  direct cause and effect for  Mesothelioma, which is                                                               
a  type  of  lung  disease  directly linked  to  asbestos.    The                                                               
epidemiologist  found   some  evidence   of  lung   diseases  was                                                               
consistent  with asbestos  lung  disease, but  the final  results                                                               
were not  definitive.   Thus, the  question is  still open  as to                                                               
whether health  effects in Ambler  were due to contact  with NOA.                                                               
In  2005, the  federal Agency  for Toxic  Substances and  Disease                                                               
Registry  (ATSDR)  collected  samples  and  determined  that  the                                                               
exposure by simply  walking across the side of the  road or along                                                               
the  street would  constitute a  health hazard  for residents  of                                                               
Ambler.  The DH&SS has  not eliminated the potential for concerns                                                               
in Ambler, she stated.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON, after first  determining no one else  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 333.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:57:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE stated  that the people in  the community of                                                               
Ambler have pushed for a change.   Mayor Morgan Johnson of Ambler                                                               
has observed the  capital projects languish in  the community and                                                               
has worked  hard to  find solutions  to the  project delays.   In                                                               
addition to the efforts taken by  the DOT&PF, and DEC, the tribal                                                               
health personnel in  NANA, Manilaq, and the  Alaska Native Tribal                                                               
Health Consortium (ANTHC) have all  worked together to attempt to                                                               
move this issue forward.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE   remarked  the  tendency  to   "shoot  the                                                               
messengers,"  but this  issue predates  today's  testifiers.   He                                                               
said  he  thought that  "we  can  get  there."   The  appropriate                                                               
department commitments  have been made  on the record and  to him                                                               
personally.  First  and foremost, this issue is  about the health                                                               
and safety  of the citizens  of Ambler.   Further, this  issue is                                                               
about economic  development in  an area  that would  benefit from                                                               
it.  In 2003, this issue was initiated,  but if a road to Nome is                                                               
ever  undertaken NOA  regulations will  need to  be adopted.   He                                                               
offered  his belief  the agencies  understand  and recognize  the                                                               
issue and if this can be  accomplished it will happen.  He stated                                                               
he would also appreciate it if  the committee could move the bill                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOULE,  in  response to  Representative  Johnson,                                                               
answered that any  liability to the state would  be considered as                                                               
part of the bill and be addressed in the SOP.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  moved  to report  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 333  labeled,  26-LS1248\S,  Chenoweth,                                                               
3/16/10,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the  accompanying  fiscal  notes.    There  being  no  objection,                                                               
CSHB 333(TRA)   was  reported   form  the   House  Transportation                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:03:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 333 Backup Appendix 3.pdf HTRA 3/30/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 333
HB 333 backup INE study.pdf HTRA 3/30/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 333
hb 333 letter 2.pdf HTRA 3/30/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 333
HB 333 Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 3/30/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 333
HB 333 Sectional for Ver S.pdf HTRA 3/30/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 333
HB333 Backup.pdf HTRA 3/30/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 333
CSHB 333 Ver S.pdf HTRA 3/30/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 333