Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/03/2001 06:56 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 139(RES)                                                                                            
     "An Act  relating to fees for  certain uses of state  water and                                                            
     to the accounting  and appropriation of those fees; relating to                                                            
     authorizations  for the  temporary use  of state water;  making                                                            
     other  amendments to  the Alaska Water  Use Act; and  providing                                                            
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
This was  the second  hearing for  this bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
AT EASE 7:03 PM / 7:04 PM                                                                                                       
Senator Leman  moved to adopt  CS SB 139,  22-GS1087\P as a  working                                                            
The committee substitute was ADOPTED without objection.                                                                         
Amendment  #1: This  amendment makes  the following  changes to  the                                                            
committee substitute.                                                                                                           
     Page 3, lines 23- 27:                                                                                                      
     Delete all material.                                                                                                       
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
       Sec. 4. AS 46.15.020(b) is amended to read:                                                                              
         (b) The commissioner shall                                                                                             
                (1) adopt procedural and substantive regulations to                                                             
     carry  out   the  provisions  of  this  chapter,   taking  into                                                            
     consideration   the  responsibilities  of  the   Department  of                                                            
     Environmental  Conservation under  AS 46.03 and the  Department                                                            
     of Fish and Game under AS 16;                                                                                              
                (2) keep a public record of all applications for                                                                
     permits  and  certificates  and other  documents  filed in  the                                                            
     commissioner's   office;  and  shall  record  all  permits  and                                                            
     certificates  and  amendments  and  orders affecting  them  and                                                            
     shall  index them in  accordance with  the source of the  water                                                            
     and the name of the applicant or appropriator;                                                                             
                (3) cooperate with, assist, advise, and coordinate                                                              
     plans  with the federal, state,  and local agencies,  including                                                            
     local  soil  and  water  conservation   districts,  in  matters                                                            
     relating  to the  appropriation,  use,  conservation,  quality,                                                            
     disposal, or control  of waters and activities related thereto;                                                            
                (4) prescribe fees or service charges for any public                                                            
     service  rendered  consistent with  AS 37.10.050  -  37.10.058,                                                            
     except  that  the  department  may  charge  under  regulations                                                             
     adopted by the department  an annual $50 administrative service                                                            
     fee  to  maintain  the  water  mana2ement  program  (5)  before                                                            
     February  1  of each  year,  prepare  a report  describing  the                                                            
     activities   of  the  commissioner   under  AS  46.15.035   and                                                            
     46.15.037;  the commissioner shall notify the  legislature that                                                            
     the report is available; the report must include                                                                           
                         (A) information on the number of                                                                       
              applications  and  appropriations for  the removal  of                                                            
              water from  one hydrological unit to another that were                                                            
              requested and  that were granted and on the amounts of                                                            
              water involved;                                                                                                   
                         (B) information on the number and location                                                             
              of sales of water conducted by the commissioner and                                                               
              on the volume of water sold;                                                                                      
                         (C) recommendations of the commissioner for                                                            
              changes in state water law; and                                                                                   
                         (D) a description of state revenue and                                                                 
              expenses related to activities under AS 46.15.035 and                                                             
Senator Green  moved for adoption and referenced earlier  discussion                                                            
regarding water  rights and the involved  parties in the  state. She                                                            
shared that in  communities with a large agricultural  presence, the                                                            
local  soil and water  conservation  districts are  involved in  the                                                            
process. The intent  of this amendment, she explained,  is to ensure                                                            
their remaining involvement.                                                                                                    
AT EASE 7:06 PM / 7:07 PM                                                                                                       
Senator  Leman  detailed the  four  changes  made in  the  committee                                                            
substitute. The first,  he said, is a technical change of "relating"                                                            
to "related" in the Section  2 title, "FINDINGS, POLICY, AND PURPOSE                                                            
RELATED  TO AUTHORIZATIONS  FOR  CERTAIN  TERMPORARY  USES OF  STATE                                                            
WATER." on page  2, line 21. He informed that language  deleted from                                                            
page 4, following  line 7, and on line 21, allowed  the commissioner                                                            
to  extend  authorization   for  temporary  use   of  water  for  an                                                            
additional  five  years. He  noted  this  provision was  removed  in                                                            
response to  concerns raised by Senator  Wilken during the  previous                                                            
hearing.  He concluded  with the replacement of "public health" with                                                            
"human  health"  on  line  25.   This,  he  said,  is  to  make  the                                                            
terminology  consistent   with  that  used  by  the  United   States                                                            
Environmental Protection  Agency flood page, as well as the National                                                            
Institute  of Health.  He clarified  that public  health relates  to                                                            
epidemiology  and diseases  whereas human health  is related  to the                                                            
effects  of  human  activities  and is  more  appropriate  for  this                                                            
Senator Green explained  that Amendment #1 replaces certain language                                                            
from  a  previous  committee  substitute,   22-GS1087\J,  which  the                                                            
Committee did  not adopt, and provides  that the commissioner  shall                                                            
adopt  procedural  and  substantive  regulations  to carry  out  the                                                            
provisions in the legislation.                                                                                                  
Senator  Green stated that  additional language  was recommended  by                                                            
the  bill drafter  that  requires the  Department  of Environmental                                                             
Conservation to submit  an annual report to the legislature. She was                                                            
unsure how this relates to the current Version "P".                                                                             
BOB  LOEFFLER,  Director,  Division   of  Mining,  Land  and  Water,                                                            
Department of  Natural Resources, testified via teleconference  from                                                            
Anchorage  to the  amendment.  He stated  the proposed  language  is                                                            
There was no objection and the amendment was ADOPTED.                                                                           
Amendment #2: This amendment  inserts language into Section 1 (c) on                                                            
page 2, line 17 of the  committee substitute. The amended subsection                                                            
reads as follows.                                                                                                               
          (c) It is the policy of the legislature that the                                                                      
     Department of Natural Resources minimize:                                                                                  
                (1) the required costs, including application fees,                                                             
     on individuals and businesses withdrawing less than a                                                                      
     significant amount of water;                                                                                               
                (2) consider providing a partial fee reduction for                                                              
     water rights holders and applicants who have approved                                                                      
     irrigation management plans.                                                                                               
Senator Green moved for adoption.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Kelly objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                          
Senator Green noted this  amendment was also prepared to the Version                                                            
J committee substitute.  She read the inserted language of Section 1                                                            
(c)(2) and explained approval  of irrigation management plans is the                                                            
current practice  in the soil and water conservation  districts, and                                                            
this provision  allows the  districts to obtain  for credit  for the                                                            
work already completed.                                                                                                         
Mr. Loeffler commented  there are a number of industries in addition                                                            
to agricultural  activities  that  conserve  water in  a variety  of                                                            
ways. He did not oppose the amendment.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Kelly  removed his objection and the amendment  was ADOPTED                                                            
without further objection.                                                                                                      
Senator Green  offered a motion to  report the committee  substitute                                                            
as amended from Committee.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Donley moved  to amend the  motion in  order to amend  the                                                            
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
Without objection, Senator Green WITHDREW her motion.                                                                           
Co-Chair Donley  moved to amend the Department of  Natural Resources                                                            
fiscal  note dated April  12, 2001  to delete  the addition  of five                                                            
full-time positions in FY 02.                                                                                                   
There was no objection and the fiscal note was AMENDED.                                                                         
Senator Green  again offered a motion to move from  Committee, CS SB
139, 22-GS1087\P,  as  amended, with  forthcoming  zero fiscal  note                                                            
from the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                       
The bill MOVED from Committee without objection.                                                                                
AT EASE 7:16 PM / 7:17 PM                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects