Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

02/24/2022 01:30 PM Senate HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
01:31:41 PM Start
01:32:05 PM SB169
02:09:52 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Sola Olamikan, State Medical Board
-- Public Testimony --
<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 169(HSS) Out of Committee
         SB 169-SMOKE/FIRE DAMPERS & SMOKE CTRL SYSTEMS                                                                     
1:32:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced  the consideration of SENATE  BILL NO. 169                                                               
"An Act relating  to the inspection and testing  of fire dampers,                                                               
smoke  dampers, combination  fire  and smoke  dampers, and  smoke                                                               
control systems; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
1:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MELODIE  WILTERDINK, Staff,  Senator Mia  Costello, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,  stated   smoke  and  fire  damper                                                               
systems are  part of  a three-legged  stool that,  in conjunction                                                               
with fire  alarms and  sprinkler systems,  keep a  building safe.                                                               
Fire  alarm   and  sprinkler   systems  require   highly  trained                                                               
individuals  to perform  the inspections.  SB 169  seeks to  have                                                               
trained individuals  perform smoke, fire, and  combination system                                                               
inspections so  that all  three systems are  in working  order to                                                               
protect life.                                                                                                                   
1:33:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  stated that based  on Mr.  Schurig's presentation                                                               
and  conversations with  workers  in  the construction  industry,                                                               
building owners need to ensure  maintenance workers and equipment                                                               
installers understand  how damper systems work.  Doing this would                                                               
get to the root of the  problem and prevent foolish mistakes. She                                                               
stated  she   is  not   against  raising   the  bar   for  damper                                                               
inspections, nor  does she wish  to delay the bill.  However, the                                                               
public  must  know that  inspections  alone  will not  solve  the                                                               
problem.  A   damper  propped  open   by  an  object   leaves  it                                                               
inoperable. In the event of  fire between inspections, the damper                                                               
would not  close, and  smoke inhalation  could occur.  She opined                                                               
that it  is imperative that  school maintenance  workers properly                                                               
tend to the systems as no  one would want children dying of smoke                                                               
inhalation. Maintenance workers,  installers, and building owners                                                               
should  take   responsibility  for  understanding   fire  systems                                                               
because  system information  does  not always  trickle down  from                                                               
1:36:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON  moved  to  adopt   Amendment  1,  work  order  32-                                                               
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE             BY SENATOR REINBOLD                                                                      
     Page 2, line 19 "following program,":                                                                                      
          Insert "a mechanical engineer registered under AS                                                                     
     08.48, a licensed fire protection engineer,"                                                                               
1:36:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                           
CHAIR  WILSON  stated  that  Amendment   1  allows  a  mechanical                                                               
engineer registered as a licensed  fire protection engineer under                                                               
AS 08.48 to perform smoke  and fire damper inspections. Amendment                                                               
1 was based on public testimony heard in committee.                                                                             
1:37:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILTERDINK  agreed; the committee  heard that  mechanical and                                                               
fire engineers  have the  training and  knowledge to  inspect and                                                               
identify problems. They  should not be excluded from  the list of                                                               
capable  inspectors   because  they   are  trained   to  identify                                                               
problems,  unlike others  that are  currently allowed  to perform                                                               
inspections but lack training. Smoke  and fire damper inspections                                                               
occur every four  years, except in hospitals which  are every six                                                               
years.  A   trained  professional   will  find  a   problem  upon                                                               
inspection, whereas  an untrained  individual may not  identify a                                                               
problem for  many years,  if ever.  The purpose of  SB 169  is to                                                               
ensure  inspectors  are  qualified  and  capable  of  identifying                                                               
1:38:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD   asked  if   anyone  could   obtain  inspector                                                               
1:38:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILTERDINK  answered  yes;   accreditation  is  through  the                                                               
American  National Standards  Institute (ANSI);  any organization                                                               
that  becomes accredited  can offer  the training.  An accredited                                                               
school could provide training to  students. An organization could                                                               
also  hire   an  accredited  individual  to   offer  training  to                                                               
SENATOR  REINBOLD asked  if an  estimate for  training costs  was                                                               
1:39:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILTERDINK answered that training  costs vary. For example, a                                                               
building owner might arrange for  training and certification. The                                                               
owner  could   bear  the  cost  or   request  that  participating                                                               
employees  pay a  fee. Some  unions have  received accreditation,                                                               
and membership  dues pay for training  and certification. Schools                                                               
might also be  accredited, and students' training  costs could be                                                               
part of their tuition.                                                                                                          
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  why SB 169 has a finance  referral but no                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  replied that  a bill  with an  indeterminate fiscal                                                               
note goes to finance.                                                                                                           
1:40:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH stated  that the last line of the  fiscal note for                                                               
SB 169 reads,  "Therefore, an indeterminate fiscal  note is being                                                               
submitted."  This  statement  recognizes   that  SB  169  has  an                                                               
associated cost, so  the fiscal note is submitted  to the finance                                                               
committee. In  other words, the  fiscal note is not  a definitive                                                               
SENATOR REINBOLD commented that she  understands why SB 169 would                                                               
go to the finance committee if it  is a cost to the state but not                                                               
if it is a  cost to the private sector. Finance  is backed up, so                                                               
it would help if SB 169 could skip the finance referral.                                                                        
1:41:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  replied that  there would  be a  cost to  the state                                                               
because, through the Department of  Public Safety (DPS), the note                                                               
allows  the Fire  Marshal's office  to  establish a  fee for  the                                                               
service. The fee  amount is unknown, so the fiscal  note could be                                                               
negative or positive.                                                                                                           
1:42:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH stated  a request  could  be made  to the  Senate                                                               
President to  waive SB 169  from the finance committee  since the                                                               
amount would be  minuscule in terms of fiscal impact.  He said he                                                               
was  willing  to  make  the   request  and  suggested  others  do                                                               
SENATOR REINBOLD said  she would let Chair  Wilson decide whether                                                               
to request  a referral waiver.  She asked whether it  was correct                                                               
that the State Fire Marshal had no issues with SB 169.                                                                          
CHAIR WILSON replied  that is correct. He stated he  did not feel                                                               
comfortable removing  the fiscal note from  the Finance Committee                                                               
without speaking with the sponsor.  He suggested the sponsor talk                                                               
with  the Senate  President  about its  referral  to the  Finance                                                               
1:43:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD removed her objection.                                                                                         
1:43:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON found  no further  objection [and  Amendment 1  was                                                               
adopted]. He solicited the will of the committee.                                                                               
SENATOR HUGHES stated she has  learned that smoke and fire damper                                                               
inspections  are already  required  by regulation.  SB 169  would                                                               
make inspections statutory. From the  previous meeting on SB 169,                                                               
she  had understood  there were  no inspection  requirements. She                                                               
opined that  having provisions  in regulation  and statute  was a                                                               
bit  redundant. She  stated that  large  municipalities, such  as                                                               
Anchorage and  Fairbanks, do not  fall under the  jurisdiction of                                                               
the  State Fire  Marshal. She  asked  if large  cities have  fire                                                               
marshals  and whether  the  sponsor  of SB  169  would support  a                                                               
conceptual amendment to page 2,  lines 23-25, stating findings of                                                               
noncompliance  would  be  given  to  municipal  jurisdictions  in                                                               
addition to building owners and the State Fire Marshal.                                                                         
1:45:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILTERDINK replied  that Anchorage  has a  fire marshal  and                                                               
would fall under SB 169, page  2, line 18, "a municipality with a                                                               
fire  and life  safety inspection  program." She  said the  State                                                               
Fire Marshal  does not review  every jurisdiction's  reports. The                                                               
purpose is to keep records in a central location.                                                                               
1:45:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  agreed  that  it  is  good  to  have  a  central                                                               
repository. However,  she opined that the  Anchorage Fire Marshal                                                               
should be aware  of buildings that are not  compliant. She stated                                                               
her  belief  that the  State  Fire  Marshal and  the  appropriate                                                               
person  in  a jurisdiction  should  receive  copies of  the  non-                                                               
compliance report.                                                                                                              
CHAIR WILSON commented  that he would not want  to decide without                                                               
hearing the impact  it could have on  municipal fire departments.                                                               
He  said the  committee  does not  know  whether the  requirement                                                               
exists within municipal fire departments.                                                                                       
1:47:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.   WILTERDINK  stated   she  does   not  know   the  reporting                                                               
requirements   of  individual   jurisdictions.   The  intent   of                                                               
reporting to  the State Fire  Marshal is to have  one repository.                                                               
She  does not  know  if  the sponsor  would  oppose reporting  to                                                               
presiding jurisdictions.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  BEGICH referred  to  page  2, line  17,  and stated  his                                                               
belief that  if a  municipality has fire  inspectors, it  will be                                                               
doing the  inspection. In  effect, if a  municipality has  a fire                                                               
inspector doing  the inspections, statute requires  the report to                                                               
be sent to the State Fire Marshal.                                                                                              
1:49:19 PM                                                                                                                    
JENS   SCHURIG,  Organizer,   Sheet  Metal   Workers  Local   23,                                                               
Anchorage,   Alaska,   stated   it  is   the   building   owner's                                                               
responsibility to keep  the inspection findings report  in case a                                                               
municipality asks  to see it.  A municipality could also  get the                                                               
inspection  report  from  the  State   Fire  Marshal,  so  it  is                                                               
redundant for the city to hold it.                                                                                              
1:49:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  responded that she disagrees  because not sending                                                               
the information  to the local  fire marshal puts an  extra burden                                                               
on the  fire department  as it  would have  to ask  each building                                                               
owner  for a  findings  report. The  suggestion  that local  fire                                                               
marshals  receive reports  of  non-compliance  is essential.  The                                                               
reports   pertain   to  the   area   they   service  for   fires.                                                               
Municipalities   that  may   require   the  report   are  of   no                                                               
consequence. Those that do not  require it should receive it. The                                                               
inspection  report is  already being  supplied  to two  entities.                                                               
Suppling  it to  local  fire  marshals is  easier  than the  fire                                                               
marshals   collecting  it.   She  asked   whether  municipalities                                                               
contract  out smoke  and fire  damper inspections  to independent                                                               
inspectors. If so, it cannot  be assumed that local fire marshals                                                               
would get the report.                                                                                                           
1:51:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SCHURIG  stated  that  a   fire  marshal  visits  businesses                                                               
unannounced  and  checks  fire  safety  equipment  such  as  fire                                                               
extinguishers,   cooking  hoods,   fire  alarms,   and  sprinkler                                                               
systems. They also ask for the  smoke and fire damper report that                                                               
the building owner  is required to retain. Fire  marshals or fire                                                               
department inspectors show  up on the premises  because they must                                                               
do  a visual  inspection to  sign off  the report.  He stated  he                                                               
would not sign off a report that had been emailed.                                                                              
SENATOR  HUGHES said  she is  not expecting  the fire  marshal to                                                               
sign anything  and stated her  belief that the  inspection report                                                               
is  life and  safety  information that  each jurisdiction  should                                                               
have.  She  commented  that  there   is  no  harm  in  having  an                                                               
inspection report  sent to  a fire marshal  if the  inspection is                                                               
done by an "other person," as stated  in SB 169, page 2, line 23.                                                               
It does  not create more  work for the  fire marshal. It  is just                                                               
1:53:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  suggested the  issue could  be addressed  as an                                                               
individual  recommendation when  it moves  out of  committee. She                                                               
said  architects  and  engineers   visited  her,  and  there  was                                                               
confusion concerning  SB 169.  A House  member informed  her that                                                               
the issues  were resolved.  She asked  for confirmation  that the                                                               
information she received was accurate.                                                                                          
CHAIR WILSON stated  he would let sponsors  staff  respond but is                                                               
hopeful Amendment 1 addressed the confusion.                                                                                    
1:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILTERDINK  stated  the sponsor  met  with  the  Architects,                                                               
Engineers,  and  Land  Surveyors  Board members  and  the  Alaska                                                               
Professional Design  Council. Both entities were  concerned about                                                               
mechanical  and fire  protection  engineers not  being listed  as                                                               
qualified  inspectors   in  SB  169.  Amendment   1  added  these                                                               
professions   to  SB   169  as   qualified  inspectors.   SB  169                                                               
specifically  addresses  the  issue  of  unqualified  individuals                                                               
performing damper inspections and  passing buildings that are not                                                               
in  compliance.  The  sponsor hopes  to  address  other  concerns                                                               
through  separate  legislation, such  as  smoke  and fire  damper                                                               
education and inspection requirements.                                                                                          
1:55:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  opined  that   Senator  Hughes  is  correct  and                                                               
suggested that SB 169, page 2,  line 25 be amended to resolve the                                                               
issue of municipal fire marshals  not receiving a findings report                                                               
when  performed  by  inspectors outside  of  the  municipal  fire                                                               
1:56:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES commented  that smoke  and fire  damper education                                                               
and  inspection  requirements  could  be  legislated  separately.                                                               
However, reporting  findings to  local jurisdictions  is relevant                                                               
to  the duties  of  qualified inspectors.  She  stated she  would                                                               
support an amendment by Senator Begich.                                                                                         
1:57:57 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
2:04:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
2:05:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH moved [conceptual] Amendment 2.                                                                                  
                    [CONCEPTUAL] AMENDMENT 2                                                                                
                                         BY SENATOR BEGICH                                                                      
     Page 2, line 25 following "compliance"                                                                                   
          Delete and to the state fire marshal"                                                                               
          Insert ", to the state fire marshal, and, where a                                                                   
       municipality has a fire and life safety inspection                                                                     
     program, to that program office"                                                                                         
2:05:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                               
SENATOR BEGICH read the conceptual amendment.                                                                                   
2:05:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON   removed  his  objection;  he   found  no  further                                                               
objection, and [Conceptual] Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                            
2:06:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON moved  to  zero the  fiscal note  for  SB 169,  OMB                                                               
Component 3051.                                                                                                                 
2:06:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                             
2:06:47 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
2:07:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  reconvened the meeting  and restated his  motion to                                                               
zero the fiscal note, OMB Component 3051.                                                                                       
2:07:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                             
CHAIR WILSON  stated SB 169 should  have a zero effect  given the                                                               
Department of Public Safety's ability  to charge a reasonable fee                                                               
for the inspection service.                                                                                                     
2:08:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES removed her objection.                                                                                           
2:08:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  found no further  objection and the motion  to zero                                                               
the fiscal note passed.                                                                                                         
CHAIR WILSON  noted that Senator  Costello joined the  meeting by                                                               
teleconference. He asked if she had any closing comments.                                                                       
SENATOR COSTELLO  thanked everyone  for working together  to keep                                                               
Alaskans safe.                                                                                                                  
2:08:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON solicited a motion to move SB 169 from committee.                                                                  
2:08:35 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
2:08:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  moved to report  SB 169, work  order 32-LS1386\A,                                                               
as amended,  from committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
attached fiscal  note(s) and authorization for  legislative Legal                                                               
Services to  make technical and  conforming changes in  regard to                                                               
the conceptual amendment.                                                                                                       
2:09:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  asked for  clarification on  the status  of the                                                               
fiscal note; the zero status of the fiscal note was affirmed.                                                                   
2:09:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  found no further  objection, and CSSB  169(HSS) was                                                               
reported  from   Senate  Health  and  Social   Services  Standing                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 169 Letter 2.22.22.pdf SHSS 2/24/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 169 A. 1.pdf SHSS 2/24/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 169 PowerPoint Presentation.pdf SHSS 2/22/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/24/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 169 Sectional Analysis version A.pdf SHSS 2/22/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/24/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 169 Sponsor Statement.pdf SHSS 2/22/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/24/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 169 Supporting Document - Trifold Brochure.pdf SHSS 2/22/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/24/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 169 FN DPS.pdf SHSS 2/22/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/24/2022 1:30:00 PM
SB 169