Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/07/1994 09:05 AM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 The Senate Community & Regional Affairs Committee was called to               
 order by Chairman Randy Phillips at 9:05 a.m.  He brought  HB 446             
 (ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AGREEMENTS) before the committee as the           
 only order of business.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 012                                                                    
 JOHN SANDOR, Commissioner, Department of Environmental                        
 Conservation, testifying in support of HB 446, said the legislation           
 provides communities, regions and organizations with a formal                 
 mechanism to identify and address environmental issues.                       
                                                                               
 In October of 1993, the President of the Unites States issued an              
 Executive Order relating to unfunded mandates and community                   
 partnerships agreements.  DEC and other agencies are working                  
 towards a partnership agreement, and it has been proposed that the            
 Environmental Protection Agency enter into partnerships with local            
 communities and organizations, including the Southeast Conference.            
 Commissioner Sandor said HB 446 will provide an additional nudge to           
 the federal government to come to the table in individual                     
 communities to enter into such agreements.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 072                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked how this legislation would help villages such             
 as Kivalina and  Point Hope with their hazardous waste projects, or           
 an area where the federal government may be doing testing on                  
 Eskimos and military personnel in the iodine formula experiment.              
 COMMISSIONER SANDOR answered that the bill will make it really                
 necessary that DEC, EPA and other federal agencies sit down with              
 the communities to utilize their expertise and knowledge in the               
 evaluation of their problems and to setting objectives.                       
                                                                               
 Number 093                                                                    
                                                                               
 JIM KOHLER, Director, Southeast Conference, said the Southeast                
 Conference has had a partnership agreement with the Department of             
 Environmental Conservation for the last three years.  They have               
 been identifying the needs and priorities of various communities,             
 looking at what the departments, be they state or federal have to             
 address, and putting together a list on how to combine the                    
 resources in getting their needs addressed.  The Southeast                    
 Conference, through this particular structure, has been able to               
 design and put into place a household hazardous waste collection              
 system throughout the entire region.  In its first year this system           
 has netted a savings to communities of approximately $150,000 to              
 $170,000.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 148                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if DEC needs statutory authority in order to             
 do this.  COMMISSIONER SANDOR responded that the problem is that              
 the EPA and some communities believe that current authority is not            
 clear enough.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 178                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS moved that HB 446 be passed out of committee with               
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      

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