Legislature(2013 - 2014)BUTROVICH 205

04/12/2013 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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03:30:19 PM Start
03:30:43 PM HJR16
03:53:30 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHJR 16(RES) am Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HJR 16-NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY                                                                              
3:30:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL  announced HJR  16  to  be up  for  consideration.                                                               
[CSHJR 16(RES) AM was before the committee]                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAN SADDLER,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska,  sponsor  of  HJR  16,  said  the  resolution  urges  the                                                               
National Ocean Council  (NOC) to exempt the State  of Alaska from                                                               
an imminent and far reaching  new federal policy that manages and                                                               
zones activities in  marine and coastal areas.  He explained that                                                               
President Obama  created the National  Ocean Council in  2010 and                                                               
gave  the  council  broad  authority to  create  a  new  national                                                               
policy.   NOC   would   ensure   the   protection,   maintenance,                                                               
restoration,  and  health  of the  oceans,  coasts,  Great  Lakes                                                               
ecosystems and  resources. He noted  that NOC would  also respond                                                               
to climate change and ocean acidification.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  said the  key  element  of the  new  NOC                                                               
policy is  to develop coastal  and marine spatial plans.  The new                                                               
NOC policy  would actually determine  what could or could  not be                                                               
done in oceans and coasts.  NOC would also affect upstream inland                                                               
areas  that are  many miles  from the  marine coastal  areas. The                                                               
prospective activities  affected by NOC would  include: oil, gas,                                                               
renewable  energy development,  fishing, subsistence  activities,                                                               
mining,  timber, transportation,  and tourism.  He asserted  that                                                               
the  higher population  density  in  the Lower  48  and the  well                                                               
documented  conflicts  between  user groups  might  receive  some                                                               
benefit from NOC.  He said Alaska did not  need additional layers                                                               
of  comprehensive  federal  planning   and  management.  He  said                                                               
increased  bureaucratic burden  from  federally imposed  policies                                                               
had not been  documented to work. He noted that  it was not clear                                                               
that   the   resources   were   available   through   appropriate                                                               
appropriations  channels for  NOC  to be  executed.  He said  NOC                                                               
released  its  National  Ocean   Policy  Implementation  Plan  in                                                               
January  2012 with  the intent  to release  a final  plan by  the                                                               
spring of  2012. NOC's final  implementation plan is over  a year                                                               
overdue and is expected to be released any day.                                                                                 
He set  forth that now was  the time for the  legislature to urge                                                               
an Alaska  exemption to  a national ocean  policy and  to coastal                                                               
and  marine  spatial  planning,  or  at  a  minimum  to  ask  for                                                               
voluntary state-by-state NOC participation.  He observed that HJR
16 follows  the pattern  of the fair  number of  resolutions that                                                               
the  current   legislature  has   passed  that   protest  federal                                                               
overreach.  He asserted  that legislative  actions including  the                                                               
resolution  before  the committee  were  a  necessary and  direct                                                               
response  to  what  he  feared  was  unprecedented  expansion  of                                                               
federal authority  over the  last several  years. He  stated that                                                               
the worst could  be yet to come unless  the legislature expressed                                                               
its  opposition clearly  and firmly.  He urged  the committee  to                                                               
ensure  that Alaska  maintained  control over  activities in  its                                                               
ocean, coasts,  and waterways and  to minimize  federal overreach                                                               
by supporting HJR 16.                                                                                                           
CHAIR GIESSEL asked how far inland it would extend.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  answered that one of  the principals that                                                               
the National Ocean  Policy intended to operate  by was ecosystem-                                                               
wide management. He noted that  NOC oversight would depend on how                                                               
far the  federal management  authorities determined  an ecosystem                                                               
extended.  He remarked  that all  streams  run to  the ocean,  so                                                               
philosophically and  theoretically an  ocean policy  could extend                                                               
up into the mountains.                                                                                                          
3:34:35 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  ROGERS, Executive  Director,  Resource Development  Council                                                               
(RDC), Anchorage, Alaska,  said RDC had been involved  in the NOC                                                               
issue since  the president's 2010  executive order.  He explained                                                               
that  he had  testified on  a federal  subcommittee on  the issue                                                               
that was  held in Anchorage.  He noted that  he was also  a board                                                               
member of the  National Ocean Policy Coalition,  a national group                                                               
of users concerned about NOC's policy.                                                                                          
MR. ROGERS  said RDC  was engaged  in the  NOC issue  because RDC                                                               
thought  it  would  have  a  disproportionate  impact  in  Alaska                                                               
because of the  state's vast coastline. He noted  that Alaska had                                                               
more coastline  than all the  other states combined.  He asserted                                                               
that  NOC would  add  uncertainty to  an  already cumbersome  and                                                               
complex  regime of  state and  federal permitting.  He said  that                                                               
added oversight  would not  provide real  benefits to  the marine                                                               
environments   and  NOC   would  be   another  top-down   federal                                                               
management approach.                                                                                                            
3:36:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON joined the committee.                                                                                             
MR.  ROGERS  referenced  Representative  Saddler's  statement  on                                                               
ecosystem-wide management. He  said ecosystem-wide management had                                                               
a good  sound on  its face  and was probably  a worthy  goal, but                                                               
RDC's concern  pertained to never having  enough information when                                                               
dealing  with  ecosystems. He  asserted  that  RDC's concern  was                                                               
getting  into a  situation without  complete information  and the                                                               
necessary decisions  to move Alaska's  economy forward  would not                                                               
be made.                                                                                                                        
He  addressed Representative  Saddler's  statement pertaining  to                                                               
upland reach and concurred that  NOC's policy could extend to the                                                               
mountain sides.  He noted RDC's  concern for NOC's  policy called                                                               
Coastal and  Marine Spatial Planning  (CMSP) and stated  that the                                                               
plan   could  be   like  the   Alaska  National   Interest  Lands                                                               
Conservation  Act (ANILCA)  of the  sea. He  explained that  CMSP                                                               
would  come  up  with  broad   areas  that  were  off  limits  to                                                               
fisheries, oil and gas exploration,  or marine transportation. He                                                               
noted  that one  of the  justifications  for NOC  was to  resolve                                                               
conflicts and  RDC members  including mining,  tourism, forestry,                                                               
oil  and gas,  and fisheries  were all  aligned in  their concern                                                               
about the issue.                                                                                                                
3:38:15 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG VINCENT-LANG,  Director, Division of  Wildlife Conservation,                                                               
Alaska  Department  of Fish  and  Game  (ADF&G), Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
noted that he  previously served as the  Ocean Policy Coordinator                                                               
for the State of Alaska. He  said Alaska has a strong interest in                                                               
assuring the continued health and  productivity of its marine and                                                               
coastal resources. Alaska relies on  its marine and coastal areas                                                               
for   commercial   and   sports  fisheries,   subsistence   uses,                                                               
recreation, transportation,  shipping, and  a multitude  of other                                                               
uses.  Marine  and  coastal  resources   are  vital  to  Alaska's                                                               
economy;  they support  a vibrant  fishing industry,  the state's                                                               
largest  private  sector   employer.  Alaska's  fishing  industry                                                               
produces  almost  $6  billion in  annual  economic  activity  and                                                               
accounts  for  60 percent  of  the  nation's seafood  production.                                                               
Coastal  and  marine  areas  also  provide  abundant  development                                                               
opportunities  in   offshore  oil  and  gas,   renewable  energy,                                                               
shipping,  and tourism  sectors. He  noted that  Alaska has  over                                                               
44,000 miles of  shoreline and more mileage than  the other eight                                                               
proposed  planning  areas  combined. In  an  expansive  Exclusive                                                               
Economic Zone (EEZ), Alaska's interest  in managing its ocean and                                                               
coastal resources could not be overstated.                                                                                      
MR.  VINCENT-LANG  said  implementation of  the  president's  NOC                                                               
policy  instituted  a new  federal  framework  to govern  marine,                                                               
coastal,  and  possibly  uplands   areas.  NOC  would  federalize                                                               
decision processes  regarding marine  and coastal  activities and                                                               
imbed authority  in the regional  governance boards  dominated by                                                               
federal agencies and federal  decision processes. Alaska's marine                                                               
and  coastal  resources  and  their  uses  were  already  tightly                                                               
regulated  by  a   vast  array  of  federal,   state,  and  local                                                               
authorities.  The existing  oversight had  a proven  track record                                                               
and in  ADF&G's opinion  was fully capable  of ensuring  the long                                                               
term  health   and  viability  of  Alaska's   marine  and  costal                                                               
resources. ADF&G  did not  believe additional  federal regulatory                                                               
oversight  was  needed and  opposed  the  creation of  additional                                                               
federal  bureaucracy  and  regulation.  ADF&G viewed  NOC  as  an                                                               
unnecessary threat  to Alaska's  sovereignty and did  not support                                                               
NOC's  process  for  zoning  or  regulated  marine  use  planning                                                               
purposes. ADF&G would support achieving  efficiency by relying on                                                               
the proven processes  and authorities that are  already in place.                                                               
Establishing  further authority  should be  through congressional                                                               
action  due to  Congress' keen  awareness of  the current  multi-                                                               
jurisdictional structure and respect  for the traditional role of                                                               
states   in  managing   their  marine   and  coastal   resources.                                                               
Jurisdiction  and   management  decisions  are   clearly  divided                                                               
between the  states and the  federal government  regarding marine                                                               
waters,   submerged  lands,   marine   activities,  and   coastal                                                               
ecosystems.  Alaska's  jurisdiction includes  uplands,  wetlands,                                                               
tide and submerged lands that  extend out three nautical miles to                                                               
the territorial limit.  Alaska manages and leases  lands with the                                                               
addition  of federal  and  local agency  permitting  in order  to                                                               
restrict  activities that  could impact  the environment.  Alaska                                                               
and  the   federal  government  each  had   respective  sovereign                                                               
responsibilities and authorities  to maintain healthy, resilient,                                                               
and  sustainable  marine  and   coastal  resources.  Any  adopted                                                               
program  must recognize  and  respect  Alaska's jurisdiction  and                                                               
sovereign  authorities.  Coastal  states must  be  recognized  as                                                               
equal partners with sovereign  jurisdictions and authorities, not                                                               
relegated  to stakeholder  status  in marine  and coastal  policy                                                               
development and  implementation. Rather than the  development and                                                               
implantation of  a new regulatory  program, a better  focus would                                                               
be   an   investment   in  arctic   research,   monitoring,   and                                                               
infrastructure.  He asserted  that Alaska  needs more  resources,                                                               
not   more  rules   to  ensure   coastal   and  marine   resource                                                               
conservation. He  said it  is unfortunate  that the  new planning                                                               
effort is  draining agency resources  at a time when  core agency                                                               
functions  are struggling  for funding  due to  declining federal                                                               
budgets. He specified that ensuring  an effective outcome for any                                                               
planning  effort  would  require  clearly  defined  and  expected                                                               
outcomes with appropriate timelines.  He said the planning effort                                                               
should provide the state both  a marine and coastal resource with                                                               
primary  authority  to develop  ocean  and  coastal policies.  He                                                               
explained that despite numerous requests,  the state has not been                                                               
given planning  specifics. The health and  management of Alaska's                                                               
marine and coastal resources is  simply too critical to engage in                                                               
a process  that does not provide  meaningful dialog opportunities                                                               
to address stated concerns, he emphasized.                                                                                      
MR. VINCENT-LANG  declared that the  state does not feel  the NOC                                                               
policy is  ready for  implementation and  cannot support  the NOC                                                               
effort until the requested details  are provided, especially with                                                               
respect  to  governance and  regulated  use.  He summarized  that                                                               
ADF&G appreciated HJR 16 and the concern it expresses.                                                                          
3:42:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL asked if he sits on the National Ocean Council.                                                                   
MR. VINCENT-LANG answered  no; he holds a position  in ADF&G that                                                               
coordinates ocean policy comments for the administration.                                                                       
CHAIR  GIESSEL referenced  information in  the packets  regarding                                                               
the  National  Ocean  Council membership,  and  noted  that  Mark                                                               
Robbins represents the governor's office.                                                                                       
MR. VINCENT-LANG  clarified that  an advisory group  advises NOC,                                                               
but does not have decision authority.  He explained that NOC is a                                                               
federal  body, so  Alaska has  an advisory,  but non-decisionary,                                                               
seat at the table.                                                                                                              
3:43:50 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIANNE CURRY,  Executive Director,  United Fishermen  of Alaska                                                               
(UFA), Juneau, Alaska, said UFA  represents 36 member groups that                                                               
fish  in Alaska  and the  offshore federal  waters. She  remarked                                                               
that  UFA appreciates  HJR  16  as a  common  sense and  straight                                                               
forward resolution. She explained  that Alaska produces over half                                                               
of the  nation's seafood  and is known  worldwide as  the poster-                                                               
child  for sustainable  fisheries management.  She asserted  that                                                               
UFA is  vastly opposed to  any action  that tries to  preempt the                                                               
authority of the North Pacific  Fishery Management Council or the                                                               
Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                             
SENATOR BISHOP  asked hypothetically if  she would be  nervous if                                                               
he were the federal government and offered help.                                                                                
MS. CURRY answered yes.                                                                                                         
3:45:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL  closed public testimony  and asked if  the sponsor                                                               
wanted to make closing remarks.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  pointed   out   the  prior   discussion                                                               
pertaining to the one seat that  the state may have at the table.                                                               
He cited NOC's national order that would create the following:                                                                  
   · 10 national policies                                                                                                       
   · 27 member council                                                                                                          
   · 18 member governance coordinating committee                                                                                
   · 9 regional planning bodies                                                                                                 
   · 9 national party objectives                                                                                                
   · 9 strategic action plans                                                                                                   
   · 7 national goals for costal marines spatial planning                                                                       
   · 12 guiding principles for coastal marine spatial planning                                                                  
     to be created                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER explained that  Alaska would have one seat                                                               
on an  advisory council without  being the majority and  could be                                                               
overruled in  case of disagreements.  He reiterated that it  is a                                                               
complex web.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL asked if the  ultimate resolve is "an Alaska region                                                               
exemption or to allow voluntary state participation."                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER replied  yes.  He noted  a press  release                                                               
from  Senator  Lisa Murkowski  that  detailed  hearings on  Ocean                                                               
Policy  with Rebecca  Blank, Acting  United  States Secretary  of                                                               
Commerce. He  said Senator Murkowski indicated  that an exemption                                                               
may be offered to Alaska.                                                                                                       
3:47:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  said NOC is  just coastal zone management  on a                                                               
federal level which Alaska voters  clearly did not support in the                                                               
last election  cycle. He  declared that  the NOC  executive order                                                               
had no statutory authority and noted  that there had never been a                                                               
single bill  in the  federal House or  Senate. He  explained that                                                               
NOC addresses urban and suburban  development impact. He asserted                                                               
that  NOC  looks  like  an  all  controlling  plan  for  absolute                                                               
overreach.  He  said the  term  overreach  is overused,  but  NOC                                                               
scares  him.  He asked  Representative  Saddler  why he  felt  it                                                               
necessary to  include or to  allow voluntary  state participation                                                               
in  both sections,  both the  "be it  resolved" and  the "further                                                               
resolved."  He inquired  why a  stronger statement  was not  used                                                               
that specified a  request for an Alaska region  exemption and the                                                               
state would fail to recognize the final implementation plan.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER replied  that  there may  be some  states                                                               
that do  not have  an effective  or well-tuned  management regime                                                               
where user conflicts and lower  resource levels might justify NOC                                                               
if  the states  in question  want to  do so.  He reiterated  that                                                               
Alaska is  different. It  has good systems  in place,  it doesn't                                                               
have the same  conflicts, and it has more  resources. He asserted                                                               
that an  Alaska exemption  is appropriate.  He commented  that he                                                               
certainly  has his  opinions about  what  the federal  government                                                               
should do nationally, but he said  the intent is to focus on what                                                               
is good for or bad for Alaska.                                                                                                  
SENATOR MICCICHE  commented that  the resolution  almost provides                                                               
an out  to allow voluntary  state participation, and in  his view                                                               
means  Alaska would  lose.  He said  having a  seat  at a  really                                                               
imposing table rarely has a very positive outcome.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  if  he would  prefer  a  straight                                                               
denunciation of NOC and decline involvement.                                                                                    
3:49:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  replied  that  Alaska would  always  have  the                                                               
option of  joining later. He  said he likes the  straight request                                                               
for  an Alaska  region exemption  first,  with the  NOC plan  not                                                               
being recognized. He stated that  he would not make an amendment,                                                               
but it was  something to consider as the  resolution goes through                                                               
the process. He  reiterated that he likes the  resolution, but he                                                               
does not  want to provide  an option  where Alaska is  allowed to                                                               
attend NOC meetings and be ignored because of opposition.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER clarified  that his  intention is  not to                                                               
have a  "B" option; rather, that  Alaska would have to  assent to                                                               
its  imposition   in  Alaska.  He  commented   that  perhaps  the                                                               
resolution should have been drafted more closely.                                                                               
SENATOR MICCICHE asked  if the intent was to  pass the resolution                                                               
CHAIR GIESSEL answered yes.                                                                                                     
SENATOR MICCICHE asked Representative  Saddler to clarify that he                                                               
was saying  that Alaska would have  the choice of an  up and down                                                               
vote as to whether or not individual states participate.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER answered that his  desire would be to have                                                               
Alaska not participate if it did not want to.                                                                                   
3:50:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL  noted that the  beginning of the  resolution talks                                                               
about an Alaska region exemption. She  asked if Alaska was not at                                                               
the  table, the  state would  also not  be participating  and the                                                               
Alaska area would be exempt.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER answered correct.                                                                                        
CHAIR  GIESSEL noted  that Alaska  could  choose to  participate,                                                               
because it's voluntary.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER replied that  he had heard some discussion                                                               
that  NOC is  not  a state-by-state  program.  He explained  that                                                               
there is a Northeast Region,  Western Coastal Regions, and Alaska                                                               
is  big enough  to qualify  for its  own region.  He agreed  with                                                               
Chair  Giessel that  the state  could agree  to participate  at a                                                               
later date after  seeing how NOC works as a  pilot program in the                                                               
Lower 48. He noted having  the same discussions with some fishing                                                               
groups, but  clarified that he could  not speak for UFA.  He said                                                               
part of  NOC's problem is due  to the program being  so amorphous                                                               
with all-encompassing language. He  said NOC's interpretation and                                                               
application of  regulations are  so broad  that Alaska  would not                                                               
know what  it was getting into.  He noted his concern  and others                                                               
agreed that  NOC had  not attracted much  notice. He  stated that                                                               
part of the resolution's effort  is to raise public awareness for                                                               
SENATOR  MICCICHE expressed  worry  about NOC  affecting all  404                                                               
jurisdictional waters  with tidal  influence. He  emphasized that                                                               
it was not oceans, but the 12  miles up the Kenai River and other                                                               
similar rivers  throughout Alaska. He  said he was fine  with the                                                               
CHAIR  GIESSEL noted  the NOC  regions as  follows: Great  Lakes,                                                               
Gulf  of Mexico,  Mid-Atlantic,  Northeast,  South Atlantic,  and                                                               
West Coast. She addressed the  Alaska region commenting that it's                                                               
almost as if Alaska is  still a territory with one representative                                                               
each from  Alaska, the  Pacific Islands,  and the  Caribbean. She                                                               
expressed  appreciation  for   Senator  Micciche's  comment  that                                                               
overreach is being overused.                                                                                                    
3:53:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON moved  to report CS for HJR 16  from committee with                                                               
zero fiscal notes and individual recommendations.                                                                               
CHAIR GIESSEL  announced that seeing no  objection, CSHJR 16(RES)                                                               
AM was reported from the Senate Resources Standing Committee.                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 16 vs C (RES).pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Fiscal Note - LAA.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Executive Order 13547.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 National Ocean Council.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 NOPC Comments on Draft Implementation Plan 2013.02.27.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Supp Letter UFA 2013.04.10.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Supp Testimony RDC 2013.04.03.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Supp Testimony RDC 2013.04.08.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Testimony DF&G 2013.04.08.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR 16 Written Testimony RDC 2013.04.12.pdf SRES 4/12/2013 3:30:00 PM
HJR 16