Legislature(2023 - 2024)BUTROVICH 205

03/17/2023 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
03:30:58 PM Start
03:31:20 PM SB72
04:05:44 PM Presentation(s): Heavy Oil Recovery
04:54:42 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Randy Bates, Director, Division of Water, (DEC)
Presentation: Heavy Oil Recovery by
Abhijit Dandekar, Ph.D, Professor and Chair,
Department of Petroleum Engineering, UAF
College of Engineering and Mines
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
          SB  72-NATL. RES. WATER NOMINATION/DESIGNATION                                                                    
3:31:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR BISHOP  announced the consideration  of SENATE  BILL NO.                                                               
72 "An Act relating to  designation of state water as outstanding                                                               
national resource water; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
3:31:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CATHY  GIESSEL, District E,  sponsor of SB  72, explained                                                               
that  the   bill  proposes  a  formal   process  for  designating                                                               
waterbodies  as  Outstanding  National  Resource  Waters  (ONRW).                                                               
These are  commonly known as Tier  III waters, which are  part of                                                               
 the Clean Water Act  that was enacted  in 1972. This federal  law                                                              
 mandated that states implement  water quality standards by  1983.                                                              
 These standards had  to include  designated use  classifications,                                                              
 numerical or  narrative  water  quality criteria,  and  an  anti-                                                              
 degradation policy.  At a  minimum, the  anti-degradation  policy                                                              
 had to establish  minimums for management of  water quality in  a                                                              
 tier system.                                                                                                                   
 3:32:51 PM                                                                                                                   
 SENATOR CLAMAN joined the committee.                                                                                           
 3:33:43 PM                                                                                                                   
 SENATOR GIESSEL spoke to the document in the bill  packet titled,                                                              
 "Water Quality Tier  3 Water Nomination  and Designation  Process                                                              
 in Alaska." Page  4 describes the three  tiers of water  quality.                                                              
 Tier I refers to  the existing quality  of the water, also  known                                                              
 as "the floor."  Tier I  waters do not  meet one or  more of  the                                                              
 water quality standards  due to  things like docks,  agricultural                                                              
 runoff, and boat traffic. Tier  II waters are high quality.  They                                                              
 comprise the  majority  of waters  in  Alaska  and are  safe  for                                                              
 fishing and swimming.  Tier III  waters are Outstanding  National                                                              
 Resource Waters (ONRW);  they deserve  special protections.  They                                                              
 receive the highest protection under the anti-degradation  policy                                                              
 of the Clean Water Act.                                                                                                        
 3:35:46 PM                                                                                                                   
 SENATOR   GIESSEL   read   40   Code   of   Federal   Regulations                                                              
      "WHERE HIGH  QUALITY WATERS  CONSTITUTE AN  OUTSTANDING                                                                   
      NATIONAL RESOURCE, SUCH AS  WATERS OF THE NATIONAL  AND                                                                   
      STATE  PARKS  AND  WILDLIFE   REFUGES  AND  WATERS   OF                                                                   
      EXCEPTIONAL RECREATIONAL  OR  ECOLOGICAL  SIGNIFICANCE,                                                                   
      THAT WATER QUALITY SHALL BE MAINTAINED AND PROTECTED."                                                                    
 She said  Tier III  waters  have no  development along  side,  no                                                              
 pollution, and no degradation is allowed.                                                                                      
 3:36:38 PM                                                                                                                   
 SENATOR  GIESSEL  spoke  to   the  Department  of   Environmental                                                              
 Conservation (DEC)  policy and procedure  document that  provides                                                              
 guidance relating to the  nomination and designation of Tier  III                                                              
 waters. Nominations are  submitted to DEC  and the policy  states                                                              
 that the  nominations will  go to  the legislature.  Implementing                                                              
 this policy is at the  discretion of the DEC commissioner,  which                                                              
 means the policy could change.  The bill addresses this issue  by                                                              
codifying  that the  designation of  Tier  III waters  is in  the                                                               
hands of the legislature.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  GIESSEL  displayed  a  state  map  that  identifies  the                                                               
locations of  five waterbodies that  have been nominated  as Tier                                                               
III  and submitted  to DEC.  She noted  that copies  of the  five                                                               
letters  requesting  Tier  III   designation  were  in  the  bill                                                               
packets.  She   restated  that  the  bill   proposes  that  these                                                               
nominating letters be submitted to  the legislature to review and                                                               
determine whether the designation is appropriate.                                                                               
3:39:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  cited the  Constitution of  the State  of Alaska                                                               
that clarifies that appropriation of  resources, as assets of the                                                               
state, is the purview of the legislature. She read:                                                                             
     "THE  LEGISLATURE SHALL  PROVIDE  FOR THE  UTILIZATION,                                                                    
     DEVELOPMENT, AND CONSERVATION  OF ALL-NATURAL RESOURCES                                                                    
     BELONGING TO THE STATE, INCLUDING  LAND AND WATERS, FOR                                                                    
     THE MAXIMUM BENEFIT OF ITS PEOPLE."                                                                                        
     ALASKA CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE 8, SECTION 2                                                                                  
     "ALL  SURFACE AND  SUBSURFACE  WATERS  RESERVED TO  THE                                                                    
     PEOPLE  FOR COMMON  USE, EXCEPT  MINERAL AND  MEDICINAL                                                                    
     WATERS,  ARE  SUBJECT  TO  APPROPRIATION.  PRIORITY  OF                                                                    
     APPROPRIATION  SHALL  GIVE   PRIOR  RIGHT.  EXCEPT  FOR                                                                    
     PUBLIC WATER  SUPPLY, AN  APPROPRIATION OF  WATER SHALL                                                                    
     BE   LIMITED  TO   STATED  PURPOSES   AND  SUBJECT   TO                                                                    
     PREFERENCES  AMONG   BENEFICIAL  USES,   CONCURRENT  OR                                                                    
     OTHERWISE,  AS PRESCRIBED  BY LAW,  AND TO  THE GENERAL                                                                    
     RESERVATION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE."                                                                                         
     ALASKA CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE 8, SECTION 13                                                                                 
SENATOR GIESSEL stated that the  Alaska Supreme Court underscored                                                               
this authority in  Mallott v. Stand for Salmon.  The question was                                                               
whether an  initiative could be  used to designate a  state water                                                               
as Tier  III. The  court ruled that  an initiative  designating a                                                               
Tier III  water would  override the  legislature's power  to make                                                               
decisions about  the allocation of  state assets. The  court went                                                               
on to say  that the legislature has  the ultimate decision-making                                                               
authority to use specific public assets for specific purposes.                                                                  
3:40:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI joined the committee.                                                                                      
 3:41:25 PM                                                                                                                   
 SENATOR GIESSEL spoke to the following summary of what SB 72                                                                   
 seeks to do:                                                                                                                   
       CODIFIES    ALASKA    DEPARTMENT    OF    ENVIRONMENTAL                                                                  
      CONSERVATION'S CURRENT TIER III POLICY.                                                                                   
      COULD EXPEDITE THE CURRENTLY NOMINATED WATERBODIES.                                                                       
 3:42:20 PM                                                                                                                   
 JULIA O'CONNOR, Staff, Senator Cathy Giessel, Alaska State                                                                     
 Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, presented the sectional analysis                                                                  
 for SB 72 on behalf of the sponsor:                                                                                            
         Section 1: Amends AS 46.03 by adding a new section                                                                     
        that: Establishes  AS 46.03.085(a). Through  statute,                                                                   
        the legislature  may designate water of the state  as                                                                   
        an outstanding  national resource water.  Establishes                                                                   
        AS 46.03.085(b).  Unless the body  of water has  been                                                                   
        designated as an outstanding national  resource water                                                                   
        can it be managed like so.                                                                                              
      Section 2: Applies for an immediate effective date.                                                                       
 3:43:26 PM                                                                                                                   
 RANDY  BATES,   Director,  Division  of   Water,  Department   of                                                              
 Environmental Conservation,  Juneau, Alaska,  stated support  for                                                              
 SB 72  on behalf of  the department.  He spoke  to the  following                                                              
 [Original punctuation provided.]                                                                                               
        Outstanding Natural Resource Waters, ONRWs or Tier 3                                                                    
        waters,  are defined  as  waters of  "of  exceptional                                                                   
        recreational or ecological significance"  which shall                                                                   
        be  "maintained and  protected" from  degradation  in                                                                   
           A Tier 3 designation of a waterbody bestows the                                                                      
        highest level  of water quality protection under  the                                                                   
        federal Clean  Water Act and  restricts a wide  range                                                                   
        of activities on these waters as well  as on adjacent                                                                   
     Since 1983, the Clean Water Act has required that each                                                                     
        state  establish  an  ONRW  or  Tier  3  designation                                                                    
     Alaska has a process in place, formalized in November                                                                      
        2018  in  the  form  of  a   Department  Policy  and                                                                    
        Procedure that  essentially reads  the  same as  the                                                                    
        bill   "The  current process  for nominating  Tier 3                                                                    
        waters  involves   proposing  the   introduction  of                                                                    
        legislation  to  make  the   designation.  Any  such                                                                    
        request may  go to  a legislative  representative or                                                                    
        committee for  consideration for  introduction as  a                                                                    
        legislative  bill.  Typically,   a  request   to  an                                                                    
        individual legislator would go to a legislator whose                                                                    
        district contains the proposed Tier 3 water."                                                                           
     Because the designation of a Tier 3 water carries with                                                                     
        it the requirement to maintain and protect the water                                                                    
        quality from degradation, the  designation restricts                                                                    
        a  wide  range  of  activities  on  the  waters  and                                                                    
        adjacent areas, to include                                                                                              
        • road and building construction                                                                                        
        • recreational activities                                                                                               
        • seafood processing                                                                                                    
        • municipal wastewater discharge and septic systems                                                                     
        • storm water discharge                                                                                                 
        • landfills                                                                                                             
        • gravel quarries                                                                                                       
        • large-scale resource development projects                                                                             
        • and or  any other  activity that might  affect the                                                                    
          designated water                                                                                                      
     Designation as a Tier 3 waterbody requires that the                                                                        
        water quality on  the designated body  be maintained                                                                    
        and protected for the reasons designated and for the                                                                    
        water quality at the time of designation.                                                                               
     What that practically means is that no new or                                                                              
        increased discharges to the river or its tributaries                                                                    
        would be permitted if the discharges would result in                                                                    
        lowering or degrading the water quality.                                                                                
     That has potential long-term if not permanent adjacent                                                                     
        and  upstream   land-use  consequences      no   new                                                                    
        discharge contributions that lower  or degrade water                                                                    
        quality,  whether  those new  discharges  meet  water                                                                   
        quality standards or not.                                                                                               
        That would potentially eliminate road improvements in                                                                   
        the  area,  increased  or  changed   discharges  from                                                                   
        municipal wastewater treatment  facilities, increased                                                                   
        recreational  opportunities, seafood  processing,  or                                                                   
         anything else that might affect the water quality.                                                                     
          Such widespread impacts effectively make a Tier 3                                                                     
        designation a  de facto land and water use  decision,                                                                   
        one  that may be  based on  designation criteria  and                                                                   
        use   restriction  well   outside  the   Department's                                                                   
        expertise and authority.                                                                                                
           The Department is supportive of this bill that                                                                       
        formalizes that  the designation of Tier 3 waters  by                                                                   
        the  legislature  through  statute  for   three  very                                                                   
        important reasons:                                                                                                      
        1. The  legislative  process  provides  a  full   and                                                                   
           public process  engaging  all the  interested  and                                                                   
           affected  parties,  including  those  communities,                                                                   
           residents,      users,       developers,       and                                                                   
           conservationists, and  also  those  agencies  with                                                                   
           oversight responsibilities for the area lands  and                                                                   
        2. The  legislative   process  allows   for  a   full                                                                   
           discussion on the  consequences, restrictions,  or                                                                   
           impact   to   other   activities   and   potential                                                                   
           activities by  the designation,  including  future                                                                   
           and foreseeable activities; and                                                                                      
        3. This legislative  body and process  is the  proper                                                                   
           forum   to   establish   land   and   water    use                                                                   
           designations, and  we are pleased  to return  that                                                                   
           power to this body in this instance.                                                                                 
         Providing for the designation of a Tier 3 water as                                                                     
         structured in the bill  will bring certainty to  the                                                                   
         process and  would codify  in  statute a  consistent                                                                   
         practice for how lands  and waters across the  state                                                                   
         would be designated for conservation  by legislative                                                                   
         approval rather  than  by division,  department,  or                                                                   
         judicial discretion.                                                                                                   
3:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DUNBAR  asked whether any  other states use  a regulatory                                                               
MR.  BATES said  yes; it's  done  by regulation,  by statute,  by                                                               
commission,  or by  a commissioner.  He  noted that  Idaho has  a                                                               
legislative process that's similar to what SB 72 proposes.                                                                      
SENATOR DUNBAR referred to the  slide that shows the locations of                                                               
the five waters that have been  nominated as Tier III waters. One                                                               
of the  nominations is  the Chilkat River  near Haines.  He asked                                                               
whether the  legislature could  act on its  own to  designate the                                                               
Chilkat River as a Tier III water.                                                                                              
MR. BATES  said yes; DEC's  current policy directs  proponents to                                                               
the   legislature.  If   the  legislature   were  to   make  that                                                               
designation, DEC would manage that waterbody accordingly.                                                                       
SENATOR DUNBAR clarified  the question. He asked, if  DEC did not                                                               
have the  current policy in  regulation, would  the Environmental                                                               
Protection  Agency  (EPA)  recognize the  legislature's  inherent                                                               
power to designate a waterbody as Tier III.                                                                                     
MR.  BATES  said  he  would  follow  up  in  writing  after  he'd                                                               
conferred with  the Department  of Law, but  his belief  was that                                                               
the answer is yes.                                                                                                              
SENATOR DUNBAR  articulated his  conclusion that  SB 72  does not                                                               
give the legislature new power  to designate Tier III waters; the                                                               
bill restricts  the department  in the  future from  changing the                                                               
regulations and eliminating the  legislature from the process. He                                                               
opined that  this probably  would reduce  the likelihood  of Tier                                                               
III designations in the future.                                                                                                 
MR. BATES  said it would only  reduce the likelihood of  Tier III                                                               
designations  in  the   future  if  it  were  the   will  of  the                                                               
legislature to do so.                                                                                                           
SENATOR   DUNBAR  clarified   that   SB  72   ensures  that   the                                                               
designations would be solely up to the legislature.                                                                             
MR. BATES agreed.                                                                                                               
3:52:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR BISHOP asked whether the  onus to prove that a waterbody                                                               
should be designated as Tier III  was on the individual or entity                                                               
 that submitted the nomination to DEC. But if SB 72 were  to pass,                                                              
 the onus of proof would reside with the legislature.                                                                           
 MR. BATES  replied  that  the onus  of  proof is  always  on  the                                                              
 proponent.  His expectation  is  that  anybody  who  nominates  a                                                              
 waterbody as Tier III would be asked to provide proof.                                                                         
 3:53:41 PM                                                                                                                   
 SENATOR  CLAMAN   offered  his   understanding  that   the   five                                                              
 waterbodies  depicted on  the  map  the  sponsor  presented  were                                                              
 nominations that were submitted to DEC.                                                                                        
 MR. BATES  agreed. He explained  that when  each application  was                                                              
 submitted,  the  department  reached  out  to  the  proponent  to                                                              
 articulate the process going forward.                                                                                          
 SENATOR CLAMAN noted that  one of the applications was  submitted                                                              
 in 2009.  He  asked  whether  any of  the  nominations  had  been                                                              
 MR. BATES answered no,  but each proponent received  instructions                                                              
 on  the  process  to  pursue  the  designation  of  a   Tier  III                                                              
 waterbody.  The instructions  were  based  on  DEC's  policy  and                                                              
 procedure document relating to the nomination and  designation of                                                              
 Tier III waters.                                                                                                               
 SENATOR CLAMAN  asked  whether  the policy  became  effective  in                                                              
 MR. BATES confirmed the effective date was November 21, 2018.                                                                  
 SENATOR CLAMAN summarized that the applications are  submitted to                                                              
 DEC but the  department's policy and procedure  is to notify  the                                                              
 applicant that they must go  to the legislature to designate  the                                                              
 MR.  BATES  confirmed  that  the  department  would   direct  the                                                              
 proponent to  the legislature  and suggest  they  seek help  from                                                              
 their legislator in the House and Senate.                                                                                      
 3:55:15 PM                                                                                                                   
 SENATOR CLAMAN observed that DEC's  policy is to serve as a  pass                                                              
 MR.  BATES  confirmed  that  the  department  would   direct  the                                                              
 proponent to the legislature to evaluate the nomination.                                                                       
CO-CHAIR BISHOP observed  that the hurdle for  proponents was the                                                               
cost  to do  the science  necessary to  prove to  the legislature                                                               
that the nomination was valid.                                                                                                  
MR.  BATES  said  he  would  provide a  copy  of  the  letter  he                                                               
submitted to the legislature last  year about the cost to propose                                                               
a waterbody  be designated  as Tier  III. He  said the  notion is                                                               
that  the   proponent  should  identify  the   reasons  that  the                                                               
department should be managing that waterbody  as a Tier III so it                                                               
can ensure there is no degradation to the water quality.                                                                        
The  point  is  if  there  is  a  special  waterbody  that  needs                                                               
increased coverage,  there should  be effort  put in  to identify                                                               
what the  existing water quality  criteria are so that  the state                                                               
agency  vested  with  the  protection of  human  health  and  the                                                               
environment  and the  implementation of  water quality  standards                                                               
knows exactly how  and why it is managing that  waterbody as Tier                                                               
3:57:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI  offered   his   understanding  that   the                                                               
legislature  delegated  to DEC  the  authority  to develop  clean                                                               
water  quality standards,  and that  anti-degradation is  part of                                                               
that authority.                                                                                                                 
MR. BATES agreed;  as part of the delegated  authority of primacy                                                               
under  the  Clean  Water Act,  DEC  identified  designated  uses,                                                               
established   water   quality   standards,  and   developed   and                                                               
implemented  an  anti-degradation policy.  That  anti-degradation                                                               
policy includes a process for Tier  I waters, Tier II waters, and                                                               
Tier III waters.                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI observed that  the philosophical question is                                                               
whether  waterbody  designations should  be  based  on an  agency                                                               
review  of the  science and  what  it shows  to be  best for  the                                                               
waterbody or a  political decision. He further  observed that the                                                               
department  seems to  be  advocating  for waterbody  designations                                                               
that rely on political decisions.                                                                                               
MR.   BATES  posited   that  science   would  prevail   when  the                                                               
legislature is presented with the facts.                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR BISHOP turned to invited testimony.                                                                                    
3:59:58 PM                                                                                                                    
 LEILA KIMBRELL, Executive Director, Resource Development Council                                                               
 for Alaska, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, provided invited testimony                                                                
 on SB 72, paraphrasing the following prepared testimony:                                                                       
 [Original punctuation provided.]                                                                                               
      Briefly, for 47 years, RDC has advocated for  a strong,                                                                   
      diversified private sector in Alaska and to  expand the                                                                   
      state's   economic   base   through   the   responsible                                                                   
      development  of  our  natural   resources.  We  are   a                                                                   
      statewide trade  association comprised  of  individuals                                                                   
      and   companies   from   Alaska's   fishing,   tourism,                                                                   
      forestry, mining,  and oil  and gas  industries.   This                                                                   
      includes  private   companies,   labor   organizations,                                                                   
      Alaska  Native   corporations,   as   well   as   local                                                                   
      governments  and  non-profit   organizations.       RDC                                                                   
      collaborates with  our partners  and policy  makers  to                                                                   
      ensure Alaska continues  to have  a strong and  diverse                                                                   
      economy  by  growing  Alaska  through  the  responsible                                                                   
      development of our natural resources.                                                                                     
      Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to  provide  invited                                                                   
      testimony on SB 72, an act relating to  the designation                                                                   
      of state water as outstanding national resource  water,                                                                   
      also commonly  referred to  as "Tier  3"  waters.   RDC                                                                   
      speaks in  support of  SB 72,  which  provides a  clean                                                                   
      solution to complying with  EPA requirements to  codify                                                                   
      State agency policy  related to Tier  3 waters for  the                                                                   
      following reasons.                                                                                                        
      EPA, under our nation's  Clean Water Act, requires  all                                                                   
      states to  have  a policy  against the  degradation  of                                                                   
      waters  and  to  maintain  associated  procedures  that                                                                   
      prohibit the  lowering  of  water quality  under  three                                                                   
      categories of water protection,  the most stringent  of                                                                   
      which is Tier 3.                                                                                                          
      Tier 3  designation  is  for  an  Outstanding  National                                                                   
      Resource  Water,   which   is   described   as   having                                                                   
      exceptional recreational  or  ecological  significance.                                                                   
      Tier 3 waters  are required to  be maintained to  their                                                                   
      baseline conditions,  and effectively  cannot have  any                                                                   
      new or expanded activities  that have the potential  to                                                                   
      change the water quality in any way.  This  would apply                                                                 
      even in situations where  the activity meets the  water                                                                 
      standards and  fully  protects  fish  and  other  water                                                                 
     uses,  especially  the  highly regulated  industries  I                                                                  
     (note/citation: See 18 AAC 70.016(d)).                                                                                     
     To be clear:  the Clean Water Act,  combined with other                                                                    
     federal  and  state  policy extensively  regulates  how                                                                    
     waters are managed and impacted by all user groups.                                                                        
     Stringent  water  quality  standards  are  established,                                                                    
     baseline  study  is  done, extensive  monitoring  takes                                                                    
     place, and  action is taken  to further  protect waters                                                                    
     when  needed.    This   management  already  exists  in                                                                    
     A  Tier  3  designation  goes  much  further  than  our                                                                    
     already  exemplary water  quality protections,  without                                                                    
     any  added benefit  to the  environment but  with added                                                                    
     threats   to    economic   and    community   activity.                                                                    
     Specifically, any  activity that  has the  potential to                                                                    
     degrade a  designated Tier 2 water  and its tributaries                                                                    
     could be  prohibited.  A  designation would  impact the                                                                    
     users   such  as   motorized  vessels   of  any   kind,                                                                    
     residential and  commercial septic  systems, stormwater                                                                    
     permits   associated   with  road   building,   seafood                                                                    
     processors, timber harvesting, and much more.                                                                              
     Tier 3 water designations  have the potential to become                                                                    
     a  tool  for  anti-development interests  to  block  or                                                                    
     delay resource  development projects.  That  is evident                                                                    
     in  the five  nominations before  DEC currently,  which                                                                    
     specify  mining, oil  and gas,  federal land  planning,                                                                    
     and  Alaska  Native  Corporation  lands  selections  as                                                                    
     threats to waterbodies.                                                                                                    
     Further  problematic,   a  Tier  3   water  designation                                                                    
     applies "to  a Tier 3  water or  tributary to a  Tier 3                                                                    
     water."    This  expansive designation  means  that  it                                                                    
     would  prohibit  development  in entire  watersheds  of                                                                    
     Alaska    essentially  comparable  to establishing  de-                                                                    
     facto  Wilderness, akin  to a  national  park or  other                                                                    
     expansive  conservation  area.   For  this  reason,  we                                                                    
     believe  the  authority to  designate  a  Tier 3  water                                                                    
     should  therefore lie  solely  with representatives  of                                                                    
     Alaskans - the Alaska  Legislature, similar to Congress                                                                    
     having the  authority to  designative federal  areas as                                                                    
     national parks or Wilderness.                                                                                              
     Because of  the watershed-wide  land and  water impacts                                                                    
     of a  Tier 3 designation,  it is no different  than the                                                                    
      impacts of  the  12  million  acres  of  legislatively-                                                                   
      designated   State   refuges,   sanctuaries,   critical                                                                   
      habitat  areas,  ranges,   special  management   areas,                                                                   
      forests, parks,  recreation areas,  marine  sanctuaries                                                                   
      etc.    All  of  these  designations are  made  by  the                                                                   
      Legislature.    Just  as  the  Legislature  made  those                                                                   
      designation, so too should the Legislature make  Tier 3                                                                   
      designations and not the EPA.                                                                                             
      To do  so,  the  State  needs a  policy  and  statutory                                                                   
      authority  in   place.    The   Alaska  Department   of                                                                   
      Environmental Conservation existing policy agrees  that                                                                   
      Tier 3 designations should be made by  the Legislature.                                                                   
      Former  DEC   Commissioner   Larry   Hartig,   in   the                                                                   
      Walker/Mallott Administration,  submitted a  letter  to                                                                   
      the Senate in November 2018:                                                                                              
      "DEC recently updated its  internal guidance to  advise                                                                   
      DEC employees  who  might  receive a  nomination  of  a                                                                   
      water for Tier 3 designation  on how to deal with  that                                                                   
      nomination. This  guidance  provides that  the  current                                                                   
      process  for   nominating   Tier  3   waters   involves                                                                   
      proposing the introduction of  legislation to make  the                                                                   
      designation. Any such  requests would need  to go to  a                                                                   
      member  or   committee  of   the   Legislature  to   be                                                                   
      considered for  introduction.  DEC  has  reviewed  this                                                                   
      guidance with EPA and  they confirmed what we have  put                                                                   
      in place  satisfies Clean  Water  Act requirements  for                                                                   
      antidegradation implementation."                                                                                          
      In short, SB 72 is a housekeeping measure  to implement                                                                   
      and codify  existing DEC policy.  Enactment would  meet                                                                   
      EPA's  Tier  3  designation  process  requirement   and                                                                   
      provide process certainty to the public.                                                                                  
      We  believe  that,  given  the  significant,   adverse,                                                                   
      watershed-wide land  and water use  impacts and  socio-                                                                   
      economic impacts of Tier 3 designation, a Tier  3 water                                                                   
      should  be   designated   ONLY  by   a  vote   of   the                                                                   
      Legislature.  This  is   consistent  with  the   Alaska                                                                   
      Constitution, the  existing process  for setting  aside                                                                   
      areas of  State land  and water  from development,  and                                                                   
      existing DEC policy.   For these  reasons, we urge  you                                                                   
      to move  this bill  from committee  and  support it  to                                                                   
     Thank you for the opportunity to testify today in                                                                          
     support of SB 72.                                                                                                          
4:04:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR BISHOP  asked her  to send her  testimony to  his office                                                               
and he would distribute it to the members.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR BISHOP held SB 72 in committee.                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SRES Presentation on Heavy Oil Recovery Research at UAF.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72 Version S.PDF SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Sponsor Statement ver. S 03.16.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Sectional Analysis ver. S 03.16.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Fiscal Note DEC 03.10.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Fiscal Note DNR 03.10.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Doc Tier III Process 03.14.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Doc Designation Process Updates 03.16.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Doc 50 States ONRW Policies and Implementation 03.14.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Doc DEC Tier III Fact Sheet 03.14.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Doc DEC Water Quality Standards 03.14.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Doc Federal Regulations Protection of Environment 03.14.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Doc Final Tier 3 Guidance 03.14.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Support Letters rec'd by 03.16.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 Version B Legal Memo.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 SRES Presentation 3.17.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72
SB 72 DEC Response to Committee Questions 03.21.23.pdf SRES 3/17/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 72