Legislature(2015 - 2016)ANCH LIO AUDITORIUM

10/02/2015 01:00 PM ECON. DEV., TOURISM, & ARCTIC POLICY

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Audio Topic
01:05:37 PM Start
01:09:33 PM Aapc Implementation Plan
01:11:47 PM Department of Environmental Conservation Recommendation 3a
01:45:46 PM Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Recommendations 3b, 3c, and 3d
02:15:43 PM Alaska Department of Fish and Game Recommendations 3e and 3f
02:43:36 PM Department of Law Recommendation 3g
03:03:59 PM Department of Labor and Workforce Development Recommendation 3h
04:04:55 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Joint with Senate Special Committee on the Arctic
Meeting time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
+ AAPC Implementation Plan - Line of Effort #3, TELECONFERENCED
Recommendations 3A-3H
Presentations by:
- Dept. of Environmental Conservation (Rec 3A)
- Dept. Commerce, Community & Economic
Development (Recs 3B, 3C, & 3D)
- Dept. of Fish & Game (Recs 3E & 3F)
- Dept. of Law (Rec 3G)
- Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development (Rec 3H)
-- Public Testimony -- on AAPC (Recs 3A-3H)
** For more info please see complete list at
www.akarctic.com **
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
             SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE ARCTIC                                                                           
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM &                                                                 
                         ARCTIC POLICY                                                                                        
                        October 2, 2015                                                                                         
                           1:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE ARCTIC                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
 Senator Cathy Giessel, Co-Chair                                                                                                
 Senator Lesil McGuire, Co-Chair                                                                                                
 Senator John Coghill                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM &                                                                      
ARCTIC POLICY                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Bob Herron, Chair                                                                                               
 Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                   
 Representative Charisse Millett, via teleconference                                                                            
 Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                    
 Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE ARCTIC                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
 Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                          
 Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                           
 Senator Donald Olson                                                                                                           
 Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                           
 Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM &                                                                      
ARCTIC POLICY                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                   
 Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon - via teleconference                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION:    ALASKA   ARCTIC    POLICY   COMMISSION    (AAPC)                                                               
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION RECOMMENDATION 3A                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                                                                      
RECOMMENDATIONS 3B, 3C, AND 3D                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME RECOMMENDATIONS 3E AND 3F                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEPARTMENT OF LAW RECOMMENDATION 3G                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT RECOMMENDATION 3H                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL GRIFFITH, Facility Programs Manager                                                                                        
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information related to DEC's role                                                               
in Arctic communities.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS HLADICK, Commissioner                                                                                                     
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained DCCED Recommendations 3B, 3C, and                                                               
3D.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JOEL NIEMEYER, Federal Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Denali Commission                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:   Reported   on   the   implementation   of                                                             
Recommendation 3D.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GLENN HAIGHT, Executive Director                                                                                                
Alaska Board of Fisheries                                                                                                       
Boards Support Section                                                                                                          
Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented Recommendations 3E and 3F.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE DALE, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Wildlife Conservation                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)                                                                                      
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to food security                                                               
of the Arctic people.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BRAD MEYEN, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                                   
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:   Explained   legal   positions   regarding                                                             
Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MIKE ANDREWS, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Employment and Training Services                                                                                    
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD)                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Addressed Alaska Arctic Policy Commission                                                                 
Recommendation 3H.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MARK BRZEZINSKI, Executive Director                                                                                             
Arctic Executive Steering Committee                                                                                             
Washington, D.C.                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified about the federal government's                                                                  
perspective of the future of the Arctic.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
BETH KERTTULA, Director                                                                                                         
National Ocean Council                                                                                                          
Washington, D.C.                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified during the presentation of the                                                                  
Alaska Arctic Policy Commission's Implementation Plan.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
VIVIAN KORTHUIS, Vice President of Community Services                                                                           
Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP)                                                                                
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on ways to help support healthy                                                                 
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE BLAIR, Committee and Projects Coordinator                                                                                  
Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Shared AOGA's role in Arctic policy.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:05:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HERRON called  the  joint meeting  of  the Senate  Special                                                             
Committee  on  the Arctic  and  the  House Special  Committee  on                                                               
Economic Development,  Tourism & Arctic  Policy to order  at 9:05                                                               
a.m. Present at  the call to order were Senators  Coghill and Co-                                                               
Chair Giessel  and Co-Chair McGuire, and  Representatives Tilton,                                                               
Ortiz, Johnson and Chair Herron.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
   Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC) Implementation Plan                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE commented that  the topic of Healthy Communities                                                               
is one  area where  the people  of the  Arctic can  be positively                                                               
impacted. The  purpose of today's  hearing is to learn  about the                                                               
administration's perspective  of this topic through  state agency                                                               
involvement.  She stressed  that  this is  the  beginning of  the                                                               
conversation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^AAPC Implementation Plan                                                                                                       
1:09:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL commented  that she is a  nurse practitioner and                                                               
she led  the team that  worked on the resource  development piece                                                               
of AAPC.  She opined that "a  good paying job is  the best social                                                               
program." She read a quote  about resource development and how it                                                               
relates to positive community  and economic development, cultural                                                               
preservation,  a  modern  standard  of  living,  and  health  and                                                               
safety.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON  noted that Representative Edgmon  was listening via                                                               
teleconference. He also  said the presentation could  be found on                                                               
BASIS.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
^Department of Environmental Conservation Recommendation 3A                                                                     
   Department of Environmental Conservation Recommendation 3A                                                               
                                                                                                                              
1:11:47 PM                                                                                                                    
BILL   GRIFFITH,  Facility   Programs   Manager,  Department   of                                                               
Environmental Conservation  (DEC), presented  information related                                                               
to  DEC's role  in  Arctic communities.  He  said the  department                                                               
works with  communities all  over the state,  but today  he would                                                               
focus on  the plan's delivery  of reliable in-home  water, sewer,                                                               
and sanitation services in rural Arctic communities.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFITH began  by relating  the department's  focus on  the                                                               
process  of getting  rid of  the  honey bucket.  Today, about  85                                                               
percent   of  rural   homes  have   indoor  plumbing.   This  was                                                               
accomplished with a centralized  approach of treating 100 percent                                                               
of  the  water  to  full  regulatory  compliance,  storing  large                                                               
quantities  of water,  and distributing  the  treated water.  The                                                               
household sewage is transported to  a lagoon. About 60 percent of                                                               
Arctic  communities  have  pipe  systems,  some  have  individual                                                               
wells,  and a  handful have  truck delivery,  but 31  communities                                                               
don't  have individual  services.  The total  number of  unserved                                                               
homes is about 3,500.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:15:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE asked where the 31 communities are located.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH replied that they  are in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta,                                                               
the Interior,  and in the  Northwest Territory. He referred  to a                                                               
map on the DEC website which depicts those communities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He turned to a chart showing  water and sewer funding needs, both                                                               
for  the current  system and  for the  unserved communities.  The                                                               
amount  has increased  from $4  million  in 2006  to almost  $700                                                               
million in 2014.  The funding gap continues to  widen and appears                                                               
to be an untenable situation as it is currently set up.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL noticed that in  2010 funding increased and then                                                               
decreased. She asked if federal funding played a role.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFITH  replied  that  the  funding  line  represents  all                                                               
sources,  including state  and federal  funds.  The increase  was                                                               
caused by stimulus funds.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORITZ  asked him to  summarize the reason  for the                                                               
rapid upward  movement related to the  Red Mine in the  last five                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFITH   explained  that  it  is   related  to  increasing                                                               
construction  costs and  aging facilities.  Also, the  regulatory                                                               
environment for drinking water and  waste water disposal involves                                                               
new costs in order to meet compliance standards.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE  requested charts  of numbers of  households and                                                               
funding needs, as well as  delineating between new households and                                                               
those doing upgrades.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH agreed to provide the charts to the committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:20:38 PM                                                                                                                    
He noted that  the cost of operating a water  and sewer system in                                                               
rural  communities is  much greater  than anywhere  else. In  the                                                               
Lower 48  and in large Alaska  communities it takes 1  percent of                                                               
the  average income  to fund  a sewer  and water  system, but  in                                                               
rural communities it takes 5 percent.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He  concluded that  innovative approaches  are needed  to address                                                               
health problems associated with water and sewer deficiencies.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH spoke of the  Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge which                                                               
began in 2013. Some key components  are that it is private sector                                                               
driven and ownership of all  intellectual property is retained by                                                               
project teams.  Multi-disciplinary teams  looked at  the problems                                                               
of  rural  sewer  and  water  with  a  decentralized  approach  -                                                               
household level  systems. Three teams are  putting together pilot                                                               
systems which will be evaluated  by DEC. Focus group members from                                                               
throughout rural Alaska are working with the teams.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:24:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON  asked   if   the   project  teams   are                                                               
contractors.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH  explained that two  of the three teams  are private                                                               
sector  driven and  the third  is  led by  University of  Alaska-                                                               
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON   asked  why  private   companies  retain                                                               
intellectual properties  when the funding is  coming from federal                                                               
or state sources.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFITH clarified  that DEC  felt that  the teams  would be                                                               
motivated to invest in the projects.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:25:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  noted that  some  teams  have invested  in  the                                                               
projects. He asked if a company from Fairbanks was involved.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH  didn't know. He  noted that  DEC is looking  at the                                                               
containerized approach for smaller communities such as Akiak.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL suggested using  a consistent design and allowing                                                               
competition.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE   thought  it  could  be   an  opportunity  for                                                               
entrepreneurial efforts.  She said  projects are  more marketable                                                               
when the cost of energy is lowered.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:28:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.   GRIFFITH  noted   that  the   United  States   has  assumed                                                               
chairmanship of the Arctic Council.  He said DEC has been working                                                               
with  the  State  Department  on  a  recommendation  to  hold  an                                                               
International  Conference on  Water  and Sewer  Service in  Rural                                                               
Arctic Communities in Anchorage in  the fall of 2016. However, it                                                               
has  no  funding  at  this  point.  The  conference  would  bring                                                               
together  engineers, scientists,  researchers, and  policy makers                                                               
from all  over the Artic  to address  some of the  challenges and                                                               
innovative  ideas related  to water  and sewer  service. At  that                                                               
conference  DEC  would  demonstrate   the  pilot  systems  it  is                                                               
developing with the Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON asked  for information about how  the two committees                                                               
could endorse the conference.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH agreed to provide the information.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:30:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE noted that Representative Millett was on line.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFITH  shared  information  about a  statewide  study  to                                                               
assess  the feasibility  of piped  water and  sewer in  remaining                                                               
unserved villages and partially served villages.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:32:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE asked  what  is  needed in  order  to have  the                                                               
conference take place.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH replied the State  Department supports the idea of a                                                               
conference,  but  does  not  supply  funding  for  the  projects.                                                               
Federal agency support would be needed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE asked  what the  conference  budget would  look                                                               
like.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH estimated $200,000.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He turned to  the topic of the connection  between increased home                                                               
water use,  water quantity  and improved  health. Studies  show a                                                               
direct link  in decreased severe skin  infections and respiratory                                                               
diseases.  There  is  need  for   further  studies  and  improved                                                               
education  and   public  outreach  regarding  better   water  use                                                               
practices in homes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE suggested  setting  a goal  of  reducing by  50                                                               
percent  the numbers  of households  that do  not have  access to                                                               
water and  sewer. Canada set  a goal of eradicating  this problem                                                               
and has actually attained it.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFITH  mentioned  the  importance  of  technical  service                                                               
providers  for  water and  sewer  systems  who provide  essential                                                               
training  and  services throughout  the  state.  They are  funded                                                               
primarily through federal assistance grants specific to Alaska.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:36:57 PM                                                                                                                    
He  spoke  of  long  term   initiatives  for  future  legislative                                                               
consideration.   Local   contributions   for  water   and   sewer                                                               
improvements are  currently prohibited by the  Village Safe Water                                                               
Act   (VSWA).  Micro   loan  programs   for  small   projects  in                                                               
communities might be  a solution. He reviewed the  history of the                                                               
VSWA  and why  it did  not include  appropriations for  water and                                                               
sewer.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ORITZ  asked   how   much   funding  the   state                                                               
contributed this year toward water and sewer programs.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH  answered that the  state has provided  the required                                                               
match in order to receive federal funding.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:39:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE expressed  support  for the  idea of  community                                                               
micro loans.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  thanked Mr. Griffith  for his work.  He inquired                                                               
if there are any new ideas for replacing obsolete systems.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITH answered  that DEC is always  looking for innovative                                                               
ideas. Currently,  there is discussion about  upgrading old water                                                               
treatment  plants  for   less  cost.  He  added   that  they  are                                                               
installing remote monitoring features.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL asked  if there  are possibilities  of financing                                                               
packages with housing entities like HUD.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFITH replied  there  is not  much  money available  from                                                               
housing programs for  water and sewer improvements,  but there is                                                               
for in-home plumbing.  He noted that DEC is  working closely with                                                               
the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He pointed  out a future need  for subsidies for water  and sewer                                                               
improvements to extend the life of  the systems and save a lot of                                                               
money in the long run.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
^Department  of  Commerce,  Community  and  Economic  Development                                                               
Recommendations 3B, 3C, and 3D                                                                                                  
   Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development                                                               
                 Recommendations 3B, 3C, and 3D                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
1:45:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE introduced Commissioner Hladick.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  HLADICK, Commissioner,  Department of  Commerce, Community                                                               
and    Economic    Development     (DCCED),    explained    DCCED                                                               
Recommendations  3B, 3C,  and  3D. He  shared  his experience  of                                                               
living in the Arctic for 25 years.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He began  with Recommendation  3B, which is  to reduce  power and                                                               
heating costs  in rural Alaskan Arctic  communities. He addressed                                                               
the collaboration between the Alaska  Energy Authority (AEA), the                                                               
Alaska Center  for Energy  Power (ACEP),  and the  Alaska Village                                                               
Electric   Cooperative  (AVEC),   which  has   been  successfully                                                               
integrating  renewables. They  are  responsible for  researching,                                                               
developing,  and constructing  energy  infrastructure. He  shared                                                               
their new technology goals.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HLADICK discussed  Administrative Order  272, which                                                               
is   to   facilitate   collaboration   and   coordination   among                                                               
governmental and  other entities  involved with  consumer energy.                                                               
He described the working group  that was tasked with lowering the                                                               
cost of energy and increasing efficiency.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The  Alaska Affordable  Energy Strategy  (SB 138)  was set  up to                                                               
provide  a source  of funding  for  those who  won't have  direct                                                               
access to a  North Slope natural gas pipeline.  The working group                                                               
is considering  ways to reduce energy  costs, long-term planning,                                                               
and investment strategies.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  said  DCCED  concurs  that long-term  strategic  planning  is                                                               
needed  to address  complex  issues of  change  in remote  Arctic                                                               
communities. He  discussed objectives  of a  coordinated planning                                                               
strategy.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:52:24 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER HLADICK turned to  current efforts of implementation                                                               
of Recommendation  3C. He described the  Alaska Community Coastal                                                               
Protection  Project blueprint  for how  to implement  3C for  the                                                               
communities   of  Shishmaref,   Shaktoolik   and  Kivalina.   The                                                               
objective is to increase  community sustainability, resilience to                                                               
the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON asked him to share efforts made in Kivalina.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HLADICK said the plans  necessary to receive funding                                                               
are in  place and  a funding  source is  being sought.  A working                                                               
group is seeking answers if funding is not found.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:55:38 PM                                                                                                                    
He reported  that currently funding  and technical support  for a                                                               
full-time  community coordinator  is being  provided for  each of                                                               
the  three communities.  Also,  interagency  working groups  have                                                               
been  organized   to  assist  with   the  planning   effort.  The                                                               
communities and  the inter-agency working  group is working  on a                                                               
long-term  strategic  management  plan.  He  noted  the  plan  is                                                               
community   driven   and    the   Department   of   Environmental                                                               
Conservation (DEC)  is intimately  involved with  it. So  far, no                                                               
additional  funding has  been identified.  He suggested  that the                                                               
legislature could act to fund  future Department of Community and                                                               
Regional  Affairs (CRA)  planning efforts  and federal  and other                                                               
funding opportunities should be pursued.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:57:32 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  HLADICK addressed  Recommendation 3D,  which is  to                                                               
anticipate, evaluate,  and respond  to risks from  climate change                                                               
related   to  land   erosion  and   deterioration  of   community                                                               
infrastructure  and services,  and support  community efforts  to                                                               
adapt and relocate  when necessary. He explained  the Alaska Risk                                                               
Mapping, Assessment,  and Planning  (Risk MAP) program,  which is                                                               
funded by FEMA  and implemented by the Division  of Community and                                                               
Regional Affairs. It provides  communities with tools, resources,                                                               
and technical  assistance they need  to achieve  greater disaster                                                               
resilience.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He discussed the Alaska Climate  Change Impact Mitigation Program                                                               
established by  the legislature to provide  funding and technical                                                               
assistance for communities with  imminent risk of climate-related                                                               
natural hazards.  It has two  funding sources, the  Hazard Impact                                                               
Assessment Grants  and the Community Adaptation  Planning Grants.                                                               
The Denali Commission  has been named as  the single coordinating                                                               
agency for the program.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He  addressed future  considerations  for  Recommendation 3D  and                                                               
concluded that  a lot of planning  had gone into this  effort and                                                               
continued efforts  to find federal  and alternative  funding must                                                               
be undertaken.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:02:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ORITZ    requested   more    information   about                                                               
controlling high  energy costs.  He referred specifically  to two                                                               
weatherization  programs currently  in effect  and asked  if they                                                               
have had any impact in the Artic.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HLADICK  answered yes.  He  listed  ways that  high                                                               
energy costs  might be  controlled. One of  the problems  is that                                                               
standards  are often  not met  when completing  projects. Schools                                                               
need  incentives   to  improve   their  energy   consumption.  He                                                               
suggested  that  a new  home  might  be  financed based  on  fuel                                                               
savings.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE noted that in 2009  the state put in $24 million                                                               
matched by federal  government to AHFC for  school district loans                                                               
using the  same concept. She  asked about  Commissioner Hladick's                                                               
role on the Arctic Council.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HLADICK answered that he  is one of five people, and                                                               
the  only  Alaskan,  named  to  a task  force  on  Arctic  Marine                                                               
Cooperation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE  agreed  that   getting  Alaskans  involved  in                                                               
working groups is important.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HLADICK  said there is  a request for an  Alaskan to                                                               
get involved  in a Sustainable  Development Working Group  and he                                                               
volunteered to do so. He said he  also has been named to a Marine                                                               
Protection Working Group.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL thanked  him for his involvement  and agreed that                                                               
having  a local  voice  is  very important.  He  asked how  local                                                               
communities manage federal funding.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HLADICK  responded that the mapping  establishes the                                                               
100-year flood  plain and  the insurance  program works  based on                                                               
house location.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:12:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HERRON  commented that many urban  dwellers benefitted from                                                               
the weatherization program.  He gave an example of  the savings a                                                               
weatherized home in Bethel might receive.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He requested a report on the Denali Commission.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:13:03 PM                                                                                                                    
JOEL NIEMEYER,  Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission,  reported on                                                               
the  implementation of  Recommendation  3D. He  related that  the                                                               
President   Obama   appointed   an  Arctic   Executive   Steering                                                               
Committee, which  is a high-level  group that can  effect funding                                                               
for programs in  the Arctic. He noted the  Denali Commission will                                                               
never have the funds needed  for adaptation strategies of village                                                               
relocation  or "protect  and  place"  and will  need  to rely  on                                                               
local, state,  and federal funding.  The Denali Commission  has a                                                               
coordinating role that is still  being worked on. It will provide                                                               
an opportunity for Alaskans to "get to the policy makers."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^Alaska Department of Fish and Game Recommendations 3E and 3F                                                                   
  Alaska Department of Fish and Game Recommendations 3E and 3F                                                              
                                                                                                                              
2:15:43 PM                                                                                                                    
GLENN  HAIGHT, Executive  Director,  Alaska  Board of  Fisheries,                                                               
Boards  Support  Section, Alaska  Department  of  Fish and  Game,                                                               
presented  Recommendations  3E  and   3F.  He  related  that  the                                                               
department is  impressed with AAPC's strategies,  which correlate                                                               
with some  of the department's  programs regarding  education and                                                               
outreach, food security, and the endangered species listings.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  began with  a discussion  of the  department's education  and                                                               
outreach  program  with a  goal  to  involve communities  in  the                                                               
management of  fish and wildlife resources.  Education toward the                                                               
goal of connecting people with  their natural environment involve                                                               
hunter  education, teacher  resources and  workshops, events  and                                                               
programs. Working with the Department  of Education and Workforce                                                               
Development,  ADF&G   provides  an  Alaska  Natural   Resource  &                                                               
Environmental Literacy Plan.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He highlighted examples of ADF&G's  outreach to communities about                                                               
critical issues  in the Arctic,  for example, the  Western Arctic                                                               
caribou, moose in the Upper  Koyukuk, Sheefish, Dolly Varden, and                                                               
marine mammal programs.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He  said that  AAPC has  enhanced the  advisory committee  system                                                               
within  the   Boards  program  to   include  more   outreach  and                                                               
education.  He explained  that the  Board  of Game  and Board  of                                                               
Fisheries are  not set up  by geographic locations and  there are                                                               
two members from  Arctic areas on the Board of  Fisheries and one                                                               
on the Board of Game.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:21:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HAIGHT continued to say  that there are 84 different advisory                                                               
committees  and  28 are  in  the  Arctic.  They  are made  up  of                                                               
volunteers   whose    functions   are   to   review    and   make                                                               
recommendations  on  regulatory  proposals. They  also  serve  as                                                               
local forums on issues related  to ADF&G. They are often involved                                                               
in complex management issues.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  advised members to attend  an advisory committee                                                               
meeting. He said they can be very intense.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  noted that Anchorage  advisory committees                                                               
don't feel  like they are  listened to  very much. She  asked how                                                               
much  consideration the  department gives  to advisory  committee                                                               
recommendations.  She said  three members  resigned because  they                                                               
felt like they were being blocked.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAIGHT  replied  that  the  department  was  aware  of  this                                                               
situation so he reviewed Anchorage's  suggestions and it appeared                                                               
that 80 percent  of them were taken into  consideration. He added                                                               
that Fairbanks has  also had a hard time working  with the boards                                                               
and he  would continue to  work with them.  This issue is  on the                                                               
Board of Fisheries' agenda.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAIGHT commented  that  ADF&G has  started  two programs:  a                                                               
recognition program to highlight  work the advisory committees do                                                               
and a  training program so  they can  be more effective  at board                                                               
meetings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAIGHT turned  to Recommendation  3F -  to enforce  measures                                                               
that protect and  help further understanding of  food security of                                                               
Arctic peoples  and communities. It encompasses  many topic, such                                                               
as   economic  independence,   emergency  preparedness,   health,                                                               
nutrition,  and  sustainable   food  production.  The  Commission                                                               
requested that  ADF&G focus  on cultural  dependence on  a living                                                               
resource of a region (subsistence).                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:27:18 PM                                                                                                                    
He  related that  subsistence foods  are researched  and measured                                                               
and managed  for sustainability. They  are the first  priority in                                                               
consumptive uses. He  pointed out that over 90  percent of Arctic                                                               
households use fish and game resources.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  Division of  Subsistence has  done  extensive research.  The                                                               
issue  of  food   security  has  been  targeted   since  2004  by                                                               
communities  and  a  level  of   concern  is  being  raised.  The                                                               
Department  of  Commerce,   Community  and  Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED)  is  also  involved  in   subsistence  research  on  food                                                               
contaminants. He  emphasized that  subsistence is a  priority and                                                               
is   measured  and   managed  by   the   Divisions  of   Wildlife                                                               
Conservation, Sport Fish, and Commercial Fisheries.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAIGHT  addressed climate change.  He said in 2007  the state                                                               
created a subcabinet  led by DEC on climate  change. He continued                                                               
that ADF&G's  part was  to develop a  climate change  strategy in                                                               
order to  focus on the  likely effects  on fish and  wildlife and                                                               
their uses and  to develop adaptations and  strategies to address                                                               
these effects.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:33:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HERRON requested  the  status of  that  information as  it                                                               
originally appeared and as it is currently.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE DALE,  Director, Division of Wildlife  Conservation, Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish and Game (ADF&G),  answered questions related                                                               
to food  security of the  Arctic people.  He said he  didn't have                                                               
that information and offered to provide it later.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAIGHT  addressed Recommendation 3G, to  identify and promote                                                               
industry,   community   and    state   practices   that   promote                                                               
sustainability of subsistence  resources while protecting against                                                               
undue  Endangered  Species  Act (ESA)  listings  and  broad-brush                                                               
critical  habitat designations.  He stated  there has  been close                                                               
collaboration  between ADF&G  and the  Department of  Law on  the                                                               
science and the law related to this issue.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:34:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  GIESSEL  asked  if  ADF&G is  collecting  data  on  the                                                               
Alexander Archipelago wolf.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAIGHT replied  they have  been conducting  research on  the                                                               
Prince  of Wales  wolf since  the late  80s and  have substantial                                                               
data from a  variety of methods. He estimated that  the figure of                                                               
24 wolves  per thousand square  kilometers has dropped to  12. It                                                               
is  still the  highest wolf  density in  Alaska. Prince  of Wales                                                               
deer  do  not  need  to  be  listed  and  can  support  the  wolf                                                               
population.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GIESSEL  understood  that   those  wolves  need  to  be                                                               
identified as a unique subspecies.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAIGHT answered  that  the U.S.  Fish  and Wildlife  Service                                                               
(FWS) concluded  they could  be listed  as a  distinct population                                                               
segment and  listed them as  such. The state considers  them just                                                               
another Southeast wolf.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ORITZ said  he  is from  Ketchikan  and asked  if                                                               
ADF&G is  not going  to recommend listing  them as  an endangered                                                               
species, but FWS is.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAIGHT clarified  the petition  to list  them as  endangered                                                               
came from non-governmental organizations (NGOs).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORITZ  asked if there  is cooperation  between FWS                                                               
and ADF&G.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAIGHT answered  at times.  He stressed  that it  is a  very                                                               
hotly  contested  issue.  There  is  a  lot  of  uncertainty  and                                                               
controversy.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^Department of Law Recommendation 3G                                                                                            
              Department of Law Recommendation 3G                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
2:43:36 PM                                                                                                                    
BRAD MEYEN, Senior Assistant  Attorney General, Natural Resources                                                               
Section,  Department  of  Law (DOL),  explained  legal  positions                                                               
regarding Endangered Species Act  (ESA) listings. He related that                                                               
DOL  works  closely  with  ADF&G to  protect  food  security  and                                                               
subsistence  resources as  they relate  to ESA  rulings. He  gave                                                               
several examples of restrictions and exceptions of ESA rulings.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He shared the process of  ESA reviews and described how petitions                                                               
go through to a final  decision and critical habitat designation.                                                               
He stressed that it is a process consisting of many stages.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GIESSEL asked  how  long  he has  been  working on  ESA                                                               
listings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MEYEN said since December of 2007.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HERRON asked  if  he is  the  only one  who  works on  ESA                                                               
issues.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MEYEN replied that he is  the only designated attorney in DOL                                                               
who  works on  ESA issues,  but outside  counsel also  assists in                                                               
litigation, as do other assistant attorney generals, as needed.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON said  it looks like Alaska has  been successful most                                                               
of  the time.  He  asked if  there  is a  pending  "hot list"  of                                                               
federal listings.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:47:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HAIGHT reported that the  Northern Bog Lemming and Phalaropes                                                               
(Wadepipers) in the North Slope are on the radar.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked  how other  Arctic  countries  deal  with                                                               
endangered species  protection and whether  ESA is unique  to the                                                               
United States.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.   MEYEN  replied   that  endangered   species  listings   are                                                               
worldwide, but  Alaska is  the only  state where  certain species                                                               
exist  and  is  the  only  area where  critical  habitat  can  be                                                               
designated for  those species under  ESA. He used the  polar bear                                                               
as an example.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked for  a  comparison  of America  to  other                                                               
Arctic nation's regulations.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MEYEN  didn't  know  how other  countries  deal  with  their                                                               
endangered species.  He opined  that the  U.S. Fish  and Wildlife                                                               
Service  and  the  National  Marine  Fisheries  Service  computer                                                               
models contain pretty extreme projections out one hundred years.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  suggested that Alaska think  internationally, as                                                               
well,  when  discussing  endangered  species  issues  with  other                                                               
Arctic nations.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAIGHT said that Canada appears  to have a program similar to                                                               
the United State  program. He noted that marine  mammals are also                                                               
managed  under   a  global  treaty   called  the   Marine  Mammal                                                               
Protection  Act. The  management of  the Chukchi  Sea polar  bear                                                               
quota is an example.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. MEYEN added an example regarding the ringed seals.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He explained the  role between the state and  federal agencies in                                                               
terms of ESA management. He  focused on Section 4(i), a provision                                                               
that  states  that the  Secretary  must  submit  to the  state  a                                                               
written   justification   for   the  failure   to   adopt   state                                                               
regulations. He gave several examples where the state prevailed.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:57:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MEYEN reported  on three  state-challenged critical  habitat                                                               
case appeals. He  predicted that by the end of  2015 all of these                                                               
cases would be resolved.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked if  the  9th  Circuit  Court is  under  a                                                               
timeline.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MEYEN answered no.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE asked if the  state would appeal the 9th Circuit                                                               
Court decisions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MEYEN  answered that  it  would  depend  on the  reason  for                                                               
denial.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:00:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MEYEN  addressed  the collaboration  on  endangered  species                                                               
litigation  between   the  Association   of  Fish   and  Wildlife                                                               
Agencies,  a coalition  of  the 50  state  agencies, the  Western                                                               
Association,  which  includes  22 western  agencies  and  several                                                               
Canadian   provinces,   as   well  as   the   Western   Governors                                                               
Association,   Native  organizations,   and  local   governments,                                                               
especially  the   North  Slope  Borough.  There   also  has  been                                                               
cooperation with  the ESA Federal  Task Force. He added  that the                                                               
current chair  of the Western Governors  Association is Wyoming's                                                               
Governor Lee who is focusing on ESA reforms.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:02:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HAIGHT added  that Alaska  is participating  in the  Western                                                               
Governors Association Task Force in November of 2015.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL requested notices of such meetings.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE  agreed.  She  said  three  committees,  Arctic                                                               
Policy, Judiciary, and Resources would be impacted.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
^Department of Labor and Workforce Development Recommendation 3H                                                                
Department of Labor and Workforce Development Recommendation 3H                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:03:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE ANDREWS, Director, Division of Employment and Training                                                                     
Services, Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD),                                                                
addressed Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Recommendation 3H. The                                                                
purpose of 3H is to create workforce development programs to                                                                    
prepare Arctic residents to participate in all aspects and                                                                      
phases of Arctic development. He shared the policies related to                                                                 
the recommendation: promote economic and resource development,                                                                  
address the response capacity gap, support healthy communities,                                                                 
and strengthen state-based science and research agenda.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He listed areas  identified by the Arctic  Council: emergency and                                                               
environmental  response, search  and rescue,  telecommunications,                                                               
maritime,  ports,  road  and  civil  construction,  oil  and  gas                                                               
development,  and facility  operations.  He  named the  workforce                                                               
plans  that the  state already  has in  place, all  of which  are                                                               
aligned with Alaska's Career and Technical Education Plan.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:07:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ANDREWS discussed the current  Arctic labor market, including                                                               
unemployment  and workforce  statistics. He  provided data  about                                                               
jobs provided by the oil  and gas industry, local government, and                                                               
mining. He spoke of workforce  challenges, such as attracting and                                                               
training young people to the Arctic workforce.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He emphasized  Governor Walker's priority  of a renewed  focus on                                                               
Alaska  hire and  that the  department will  expand training  and                                                               
apprenticeships in  the areas of  mining, maritime, oil  and gas,                                                               
and  health  care. The  department  was  awarded  a grant  of  $3                                                               
million   from   the  U.S.   Department   of   Labor  to   expand                                                               
apprenticeships in health care occupations.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HERRON asked  Mr. Andrews  to explain  enforcement against                                                               
worker misclassification  and labor trafficking, as  shown in the                                                               
slide presentation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ANDREWS  explained  that  it   seeks  to  prevent  importing                                                               
employers and workers that are not up to state standards.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:12:11 PM                                                                                                                    
He  highlighted  the  University   of  Alaska's  role  in  Arctic                                                               
workforce development with quality programs and training.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL  said she  has heard that  90 percent  of Alaska                                                               
Marine Highway's Masters and Mates  are not Alaska residents. She                                                               
asked if Mr. Andrews was aware of that.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREWS replied  that he didn't know the answer  to that, but                                                               
he offered  to find out. He  said that the maritime  industry has                                                               
the largest number of jobs in the state at about 70,000.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  pointed out that Greenland,  Finland, and Sweden                                                               
are  probably  trying  to  do  the  same  type  of  training  for                                                               
occupations   in  the   Artic  and   wondered  if   Alaska  could                                                               
collaborate with them.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREWS  answered that he has  not looked into that,  but was                                                               
aware that it was also taking place in other countries.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:17:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   COGHILL  suggested   that  Alaska   might  benefit   by                                                               
participating in regional and international training centers.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREWS  agreed. He  thought it would  be very  beneficial in                                                               
the area of maritime jobs.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He shared  information on regional  training centers, such  as in                                                               
Kotzebue, Nome, Barrow, King Salmon, and Bethel.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ asked if Alaska  is losing oil industry jobs                                                               
due to  lack of training and  if there were any  training centers                                                               
specific to that industry.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREWS answered  that he has seen more new  hires of workers                                                               
who don't  live in Alaska,  especially in Prudhoe Bay.  He stated                                                               
that more has to be done  to create direct access for Alaskans in                                                               
all industries.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  asked if  the trend is  to hire  more local                                                               
residents and the situation is improving.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREWS  noted the fact that  only 2 percent are  local hires                                                               
is problematic. He  stressed that direct access to  the jobs must                                                               
be improved.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL asked him to define "local resident."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ANDREWS  thought  it  meant  "folks  from  the  North  Slope                                                               
Borough."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL asked if he was sure.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREWS answered he would confirm that.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL asked how the data was collected.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ANDREWS  answered  that  the state  collected  it  from  PFD                                                               
applications and employment statistics.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GIESSEL  recalled a  private  organization  that did  a                                                               
study and came  up with a different number for  jobs held by non-                                                               
Alaskans. She requested more data.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ANDREWS  highlighted the  Fairbanks Pipeline  Training Center                                                               
and  Seward's   Alaska  Vocational  Technical   Education  Center                                                               
(AVTEC) which has training programs for maritime workers.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He addressed  key Arctic workforce planning  principles: career &                                                               
technical education  planning for  Arctic economic  and workforce                                                               
development,  directly  involve   industry,  regional  employers,                                                               
educators, and  community representatives, and  training programs                                                               
focused  and designed  for sustainability.  He shared  a plan  to                                                               
perform  an Arctic  region economic  and workforce  analysis that                                                               
will be sent to the Arctic Policy Council in the spring of 2016.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:28:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HERRON   recommended  providing   an  update   to  Senator                                                               
Giessel's questions  on employment  data with  the report  to the                                                               
Arctic Policy Council.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:28:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HERRON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARK  BRZEZINSKI, Executive  Director, Arctic  Executive Steering                                                               
Committee, testified  about the federal  government's perspective                                                               
of the  future of the  Arctic. He said  he had been  working with                                                               
Beth Kerttula to spearhead a unity  of purpose on the part of the                                                               
federal government  regarding the  future of  the Arctic,  a core                                                               
mission of the newly formed  Arctic Executive Steering Committee.                                                               
He shared  the genesis, goals,  and priorities of  the committee,                                                               
which  was  created by  President  Obama  by executive  order  in                                                               
January  2015.  Its  mission covers  domestic  and  international                                                               
issues and  its core  goals are to  set and  evaluate priorities,                                                               
especially  those the  President made  after visiting  Alaska, to                                                               
accelerate  and integrate  a full  coordinating  effort with  the                                                               
state,  local, and  tribal entities,  and to  proactively support                                                               
the U.S. chairing the Arctic  Council. He stressed the importance                                                               
of the  President's visit and  the need  to work globally  on the                                                               
challenges  of   the  Arctic.  He  noted   that  three  important                                                               
commitments were made following the President's visit.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:38:14 PM                                                                                                                    
BETH  KERTTULA,  Director,   National  Ocean  Council,  testified                                                               
during the presentation of the  Alaska Arctic Policy Commission's                                                               
Implementation  Plan. She  said she  could see  Mark Brzezinski's                                                               
deep  commitment to  Alaska and  the Arctic.  She listed  several                                                               
projects the federal  government is involved with  in the Arctic,                                                               
such as the mapping project.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON  stated he  was glad to  see the  federal government                                                               
recognizing the importance  of Arctic policy and  wanting to have                                                               
an  earnest  conversation  about  the  Arctic.  He  stressed  the                                                               
importance of the legislature's role in the conversation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL said  he was  looking  forward to  international                                                               
cooperation. He  opined that U.S.  federal regulations  appear to                                                               
be more burdensome than in other  Arctic nations and he wished to                                                               
see them aligned.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON agreed. He stated  that the federal government seems                                                               
to hold Alaska to a different standard than the other 49 states.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRZEZINSKI  said  he   welcomed  learning  about  important,                                                               
specific  Alaskan   concerns.  He  pointed  out   that  regarding                                                               
international cooperation,  the United States is  "in the catbird                                                               
seat"  as the  leader of  the  Arctic Council  and could  advance                                                               
priorities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KERTTULA  noted the  importance  of  agency coordination  on                                                               
Arctic positions and policies.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRZEZINSKI  related how he  followed up on  Senator McGuire's                                                               
concern about communication with the Department of Energy.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE said she is relieved and thanked him.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:49:52 PM                                                                                                                    
VIVIAN   KORTHUIS,   Vice   President  of   Community   Services,                                                               
Association of  Village Council  Presidents (AVCP),  testified on                                                               
ways  to help  support healthy  communities. She  said everything                                                               
the tribe does in their region  "is Arctic" because the Arctic is                                                               
their home. She  spoke of their goal for  healthy communities and                                                               
shared AVCP's recommendations.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   HERRON  noted   the   committee  had   a   copy  of   the                                                               
recommendations. He asked her about the top two.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KORTHUIS said  these are  not the  only things  that can  be                                                               
implemented in  the region.  She highlighted  the recommendations                                                               
of  the  holistic approach  and  the  partnership with  the  Cold                                                               
Climate  Research  Center,  and  the  Emergency  Response  Center                                                               
Project, and others.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON thanked her for her patience in waiting to testify.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:59:22 PM                                                                                                                    
KATE BLAIR,  Committee and Projects  Coordinator, Alaska  Oil and                                                               
Gas Association (AOGA), shared AOGA's  role in Arctic policy. She                                                               
stated AOGA's  mission and thanked  the Arctic  Policy Commission                                                               
for  their  work  on  the  implementation  plan  and  the  follow                                                               
through. She  opined that the  document reflects the  opinions of                                                               
Alaskans and is a meaningful guide.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAIR  spoke  to  Recommendation  3E  saying  AOGA  strongly                                                               
encourages education  efforts that  increase public  awareness of                                                               
living  natural resources  and  their impact  on  the state.  She                                                               
suggested including  all natural resources such  as timber, coal,                                                               
minerals, oil, and gas.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She also suggested that Recommendation  3G include strong support                                                               
by AOGA when challenging federal  government ESA listings used to                                                               
halt  or delay  development.  She encouraged  the legislature  to                                                               
include funding to continue litigation in ESA matters.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE asked  if AOGA had filed an  amicus curiae brief                                                               
in the most recent ESA cases.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAIR said she would have to follow up on that question.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  suggested that the committee  take seriously Ms.                                                               
Blair's comment about including all natural resources.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HERRON concurred. He shared an experience in King Cove.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:04:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  GIESSEL  thanked  everyone   and  adjourned  the  joint                                                               
meeting of  the Senate  Special Committee on  the Arctic  and the                                                               
House  Special  Committee  on  Economic  Development,  Tourism  &                                                               
Arctic Policy at 4:04 p.m.