Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/08/2018 10:00 AM House FISHERIES

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10:03:18 AM Start
10:04:17 AM Presentation: Permitting Process by Adf&g, Dec, and Dot&pf.
11:49:55 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation on the Permitting Process by: TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
                        February 8, 2018                                                                                        
                           10:03 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Louise Stutes, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                     
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION:  PERMITTING PROCESS BY ADF&G, DEC, AND DOTPF.                                                                     
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JOSEPH KLEIN, Aquatic Resources Unit Supervisor                                                                                 
Division of Sport Fish                                                                                                          
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a PowerPoint presentation during                                                                
on the permitting process by the ADF&G.                                                                                         
WADE STRICKLAND, Environ. Program Manager III                                                                                   
Water Quality Programs                                                                                                          
Division of Water (DOW)                                                                                                         
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a PowerPoint presentation on the                                                                
Permitting Process by DEC.                                                                                                      
RON BENKERT, Habitat Biologist                                                                                                  
  Division of Habitat                                                                                                           
  Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                                                      
  Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the presentation.                                                           
  JOHN BARNETT, Environmental Manager                                                                                           
  Southcoast Region                                                                                                             
  Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)                                                                     
  Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided  a PowerPoint  presentation of  the                                                          
  DOT &PF permitting process.                                                                                                   
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                            
  10:03:18 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR  LOUISE  STUTES  called  the  House   Special  Committee  on                                                          
  Fisheries  meeting  to  order  at  10:03   a.m.    Representatives                                                            
  Stutes,  Kreiss-Tomkins, Chenault,  and  Eastman  were present  at                                                            
  the call  to order.   Representative Tarr  arrived as the  meeting                                                            
  was in progress.                                                                                                              
  ^Presentation:  Permitting Process by ADF&G, DEC, and DOT&PF.                                                                 
  Presentation:  Permitting Process by ADF&G, DEC, and DOT&PF.                                                              
  10:04:17 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR STUTES  announced that the only  order of business  would be                                                            
  a Presentation:  Permitting Process by ADF&G, DEC, and DOT&PF.                                                                
  10:06:16 AM                                                                                                                 
  JOSEPH  KLEIN,  Aquatic Resources  Unit  Supervisor,  Division  of                                                            
  Sport Fish, Alaska  Department of Fish & Game  (ADF&G), introduced                                                            
  himself.   He  directed  attention  to  slide 2,  titled  "Federal                                                            
  Energy Regulatory  Commission (FERC,  Commission)," which  read as                                                            
  follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
        FERC is an independent agency that regulates non-                                                                       
      federal hydroelectric projects by authorizing their                                                                       
       construction and operation.                                                                                              
            The Commission is composed of up to five                                                                            
      commissioners who are appointed by the President of                                                                       
       the United States and confirmed by the Senate.                                                                           
        The Federal Power Act (FPA) was enacted in 1935                                                                         
        and grants the Commission jurisdiction over non-                                                                        
       federal hydropower projects throughout the United                                                                        
10:08:14 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.   KLEIN  turned   to   slide   3,  titled   "FERC   Hydropower                                                              
Jurisdiction,"  which   read  as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                              
         FERC authorization is required for non-federal                                                                         
     hydropower projects:                                                                                                       
          Located on navigable waters; or                                                                                       
          Located on federal lands; or                                                                                          
          Using surplus water from a federal dam; or                                                                            
         Located on a body of water over which Congress                                                                         
          has    Commerce   Clause   jurisdiction,    project                                                                   
          construction  occurred   on  or  after  August  26,                                                                   
          1935,  and the  project  affects  the interests  of                                                                   
          interstate or foreign commerce.                                                                                       
MR. KLEIN  said the most common  hydroelectric projects  in Alaska                                                              
are impoundment  or reservoir storage  projects; for  example, the                                                              
hydroelectric projects  at Blue Lake near Sitka  and Bradley River                                                              
near Homer  [slide 4].   Two  other types  of power projects  were                                                              
run-of-the-river and hydrokinetic, he said [slide 5].                                                                           
CHAIR  STUTES asked  whether  any  hydrokinetic projects  were  in                                                              
MR.  KLEIN answered  that currently  no  licensed projects  exist;                                                              
however,  a few  were in  the pilot  project phase.   The  Kvichak                                                              
River has  the only  active hydrokinetic project,  but it  has not                                                              
yet generated any electricity.                                                                                                  
10:11:00 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. KLEIN  turned to a diagram  on slide 6, titled  "Federal Power                                                              
Act" and noted three license processes:                                                                                         
     1.   Integrated Licensing Process (default)                                                                                
     2.   Alternative Licensing Process                                                                                         
     3.   Traditional Licensing Process                                                                                         
MR.  KLEIN  said  the  licensing  process  has  been  designed  to                                                              
document    the   environmental,    engineering,   and    economic                                                              
characteristics of  an applicant's process.  The  process involves                                                              
studies  in consultation  with  resource  agencies, which  provide                                                              
  the basis  for  the FERC  decision making.    All three  processes                                                            
  consist  of  two  main  phases.    Pre-filing  which  consists  of                                                            
  scoping,  conducting  environmental  studies,   consultation  with                                                            
  resource  agencies and  members of  the  public and  results in  a                                                            
  license application.   Once the application has been  submitted to                                                            
  FERC,   the   second   or  post-filing   phase   begins   and   an                                                            
  environmental  NEPA [National  Environmental Policy  Act of  1969]                                                            
  process would be  produced, which ultimately results  in an agency                                                            
  decision, he said.                                                                                                            
  10:12:51 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR. KLEIN turned to  slide 7, titled "Major Sections  of the FPA,"                                                            
  which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                        
       • Preliminary permit                                                                                                   
        Allow permittee to study a project for a 3-year                                                                         
       period with an option to extend to 5 years. Gives                                                                        
          the permittee priority over other potential                                                                           
     Section 4(e)                                                                                                         
          Equal consideration to developmental and                                                                              
       environmental values. Any license issued within a                                                                        
        federal reservation is also subject to mandatory                                                                        
          terms and conditions issued by the federal land                                                                       
          management agency                                                                                                     
       • Section 10(j)                                                                                                        
          Any license issued must include conditions to                                                                         
          protect, mitigate damages to, and enhance, fish and                                                                   
          wildlife habitat. Conditions are based on                                                                             
        recommendations from federal and state fish and                                                                         
          wildlife agencies.                                                                                                    
       • Section 18                                                                                                           
          Fishway prescriptions by the Secretaries of Interior                                                                  
       or Commerce are mandatory and must be included in                                                                        
          the license.                                                                                                          
     License Order                                                                                                        
          Order approves the license applications with                                                                          
          specific terms and conditions for 30-50 years.                                                                        
        Licensee may file for amendments during license                                                                         
10:14:53 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES  asked the length of  time it takes from  the initial                                                              
application to issuance of the permit.                                                                                          
MR. KLEIN  answered that it  varies.  One  of the  largest factors                                                              
was  the ability  to  access and  conduct studies,  he  said.   He                                                              
elaborated that  the FERC website  states that the  agency strives                                                              
to  issue a  license  within five  years;  however,  in Alaska  it                                                              
often takes  longer due  to the extra  time necessary  to complete                                                              
studies, engineering and geotechnical evaluations.                                                                              
10:15:45 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  referred to page  7 to the major  sections of                                                              
the  FPA  and   asked  whether  these  sections   were  listed  in                                                              
sequential   order   or   if   the    sections   were   considered                                                              
MR.  KLEIN responded  that  they were  sequential,  but the  three                                                              
sections have significant detail within them.                                                                                   
10:16:31 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  further asked for clarification,  noting that                                                              
the general  process [listed  on slide  6] divided the  pre-filing                                                              
and post-filing  phases.  She wondered  how the major  sections of                                                              
the  FPA [slide  7]  meshed with  the pre-filing  and  post-filing                                                              
phases of the review.                                                                                                           
MR. KLEIN  responded that the major  sections of the FPA  on slide                                                              
7  related  to  the  end  of  the   process  in  the  post-filing.                                                              
Specifically, prior  to the NEPA  document.  They  represented the                                                              
period when the  FERC will ask agencies to submit  recommended and                                                              
mandatory  terms  and  conditions.    That  information  would  be                                                              
evaluated within  the NEPA  document and  the agency would  decide                                                              
whether  to accept  the terms  and  which it  would be  considered                                                              
mandatory conditions.   He recapped that generally  the process is                                                              
sequential; however,  this presentation provides a  brief overview                                                              
of  the process;  for  example,  Section  4(e) consists  of  other                                                              
topics that relate to the overall licensing process.                                                                            
10:17:59 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  KLEIN, in  further response  to  Representative Tarr,  agreed                                                              
that the process  builds toward a NEPA document,  which includes a                                                              
recommendation  by  the FERC  staff  to  the commissioners.    The                                                              
  commissioners   may   decide   to   deviate    from   FERC   staff                                                            
  recommendations; however,  that would rarely happen, he  said.  He                                                            
  reiterated  that FERC  commissioners make  the  final decision  on                                                            
  whether to issue  the license and  any terms and conditions  to be                                                            
  10:19:07 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR.  KLEIN  turned to  slice  8,  titled  "National  Environmental                                                            
  Policy Act  (NEPA),"  which read,  in part,  as follows  [original                                                            
  punctuation provided]:                                                                                                        
       The Federal  Power Act  requires preparation  of a  NEPA                                                                 
       document  (EA   or  EIS)  that  analyzes   developmental                                                                 
       issues   (energy,    flood   control,   water    supply,                                                                 
       irrigation, etc.)                                                                                                        
  MR.  KLEIN  explained  it  would  also  provide  FERC  staff  with                                                            
  recommendations  on each  aspect of  the application  in the  NEPA                                                            
  10:19:47 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR. KLEIN  turned to  slide 9, titled  "Exemptions &  Hydrokinetic                                                            
  Projects,"   which   read   as   follows   [original   punctuation                                                            
       2 Types of Exemptions                                                                                                  
       1.   Small  hydropower projects  (=  10 megawatts)  that                                                               
       will  be built  at an  existing dam  or  that utilize  a                                                                 
       natural  water feature  for head  or  an existing  small                                                                 
       project that proposes to increase capacity.                                                                              
       2.   Conduit  exemption  for  projects  on  an  existing                                                               
       conduit (e.g. water  supply, irrigation canal)  that was                                                                 
       constructed  primarily  for purposes  other  than  power                                                                 
       Exempted projects are subject to mandatory terms and                                                                     
     conditions set by state and federal fish and wildlife                                                                      
       Hydrokinetic Projects (marine, wave & in-river)                                                                        
          • Special licensing process due to experimental                                                                       
        • Pilot projects are small, short-term, & removable                                                                     
          to allow developers to test technologies and                                                                          
          environmental effects.                                                                                                
MR. KLEIN noted  that these exemptions have not been  used much in                                                              
Alaska.   He recalled  one small  hydropower exemption  at Tazlina                                                              
[Copper  River]   and  perhaps  a  few  other   conduit  exemption                                                              
projects;  for example,  a conduit  exemption was  issued for  the                                                              
Hidden  Falls hatchery,  which has  an existing  pipeline for  the                                                              
hatchery.  The hatchery  wanted to put a power  turbine within the                                                              
pipeline, he said.                                                                                                              
MR. KLEIN explained  that the hydrokinetic projects  use a special                                                              
licensing process  to help  initiate the experimental  technology.                                                              
Nationwide  a few  hydrokinetic  projects exist,  but the  process                                                              
has  proven  more  difficult  than envisioned.    He  offered  his                                                              
belief that  these hydrokinetic  projects  have lots of  potential                                                              
but getting  the projects  to work  in real-time environments  has                                                              
proven difficult and challenging.                                                                                               
10:22:25 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. KLEIN  turned to slide  10, titled "Summary,"  which contained                                                              
a  triangle whose  sides were  labeled  "License Administration  &                                                              
Compliance," "Dam  Safety," and  "Licensing." Within  the triangle                                                              
was a  list consisting  of licensees,  resource agencies,  tribes,                                                              
NGOs, and local stakeholders.                                                                                                   
10:22:50 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  asked  whether  he  could give  a  sense  of                                                              
whether there are enough projects under consideration.                                                                          
MR. KLEIN  replied that currently  32 projects have  been licensed                                                              
under FERC,  with a handful  still in the  licensing process.   He                                                              
stated  that  his   division  has  a  staff  member   who  tracks,                                                              
monitors, and  participates in  this process.   He explained  that                                                              
once a  project has  obtained a  license, sometime amendments  are                                                              
requested within  the 30  to 50-year license  span.   The licensee                                                              
might  request adding  another turbine,  wish to  divert a  stream                                                              
into the reservoir,  or request engaging in other  activities that                                                              
would  require an  amendment, which  may  also require  associated                                                              
studies.   The licensing itself  can be quite time-consuming;  for                                                              
example,  the  Susitna-Watana  Hydroelectric  Project,  a  project                                                              
that members may  be most familiar with.  In  addition, his office                                                              
monitors  compliance, he  said.   Sometimes his  office must  work                                                              
with  an applicant  on  various  terms  and conditions  to  ensure                                                              
  these  will be  implemented  in  an efficient  and  cost-effective                                                            
  manner. It  may take  time to obtain  the best  design for a  fish                                                            
  exclusion from a tailrace, for example.                                                                                       
  10:26:19 AM                                                                                                                 
  The committee took an at-ease from 10:26 a.m. to 10:27 a.m.                                                                   
  10:27:56 AM                                                                                                                 
  WADE  STRICKLAND,  Environ.  Program Manager  III,  Water  Quality                                                            
  Programs,  Division of  Water (DOW),  Department of  Environmental                                                            
  Conservation  (DEC), stated  that he  would  begin his  PowerPoint                                                            
  presentation  on   the  Alaska  Pollutant  Discharge   Elimination                                                            
  System (APDES) and Anadromous Waters.                                                                                         
  10:28:36 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR. STRICKLAND  directed attention  to slide  2, titled  "Division                                                            
  of Water  Mission," which  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                            
       Improve and Protect Water Quality:                                                                                     
       ? Establishes standards for water cleanliness                                                                            
         ? Regulates discharges to waters, wetlands and                                                                       
         ? Provides financial assistance for water and                                                                          
    wastewater   facility    construction   and    waterbody                                                                    
       assessment and remediation                                                                                               
      Trains, certifies, and assists water and wastewater                                                                       
       system operators                                                                                                         
       ? Monitors and reports on water quality                                                                                  
  MR. STRICKLAND stated  that his focus would be on  regulations for                                                            
  discharges  to waters,  wetlands and  subsurface, particularly  to                                                            
  10:28:57 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR.  STRICKLAND turned  to  slide  3, titled  "National  Pollutant                                                            
  Discharge  Elimination System  (NPDES) Framework,"  which read  as                                                            
  follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
          • Clean Water Act & Amendments                                                                                        
        • Established the NPDES Program (Section 402)                                                                           
        • Point  sources    of    wastewater    discharging                                                                     
          pollutants into waters of the United States                                                                           
          require a NPDES permit                                                                                                
        • Authorization of State Programs                                                                                       
MR.  STRICKLAND explained  that  the NPDES  legal framework  comes                                                              
from the  Clean Water  Act and  its amendments.   The  Clean Water                                                              
Act  has an  authorization  process.   Section  402  of the  Clean                                                              
Water Act  provides that any discharge  into waters of  the United                                                              
States, which  is most surface  waters, requires an  NPDES permit.                                                              
The Clean  Water Act envisioned  that states would  administer the                                                              
program upon application  to the federal Environmental  Protection                                                              
Agency  (EPA).   He  related  that  Alaska  is  one of  46  states                                                              
delegated to administer  the program.  He offered  his belief that                                                              
in  July   Idaho  would  be  the   47th  state  to  do   so,  with                                                              
Massachusetts,  New  Hampshire, and  New  Mexico  the only  states                                                              
remaining without authorizations.                                                                                               
10:30:06 AM                                                                                                                   
MR  STRICKLAND directed  attention  to  slide 4  titled,  "Primacy                                                              
Transfer  and APDES Framework,"  which read  as follows  [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
      • The State's program is called the APDES Program,                                                                        
          which started on October 2008                                                                                         
     • Statutory authority is provided in Alaska Statute                                                                        
        • Implementing regulations are provided in 18 AAC                                                                       
MR. STRICKLAND  stated that any  industry may have a  point source                                                              
discharge  to  waters in  the  United  States.   In  Alaska,  that                                                              
usually  includes   oil  and  gas,  mining,   seafood  processors,                                                              
municipal  wastewater treatment  plants,  and other  miscellaneous                                                              
industrial discharges.                                                                                                          
10:31:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  STRICKLAND   turned   to  slide  5,   titled  "APDES   Permit                                                              
Development   Process,"   which    read   as   follows   [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
        • Receive complete application for permit                                                                               
          • Evaluate proposed   wastewater    discharge   and                                                                   
            receiving waterbody characteristics                                                                                 
               o Is the wastewater potentially toxic and will                                                                   
                 it require advanced treatment?                                                                                 
               o Are there sensitive species in the waterbody                                                                   
                 that require protection?                                                                                       
               o For freshwater discharges, review Fish and                                                                     
                 Game's (ADF&G) Anadromous Waters Catalog to                                                                    
                 determine if the waterbody is listed                                                                           
                    square4 Consult with ADF&G and applicant on                                                                 
                      spawning determination if discharge is                                                                    
                      to an anadromous waterbody                                                                                
  MR. STRICKLAND explained  that the department issues  two types of                                                            
  permits:   a  general permit  that covers  a  category of  similar                                                            
  discharges,  such  as  seafood  processing  or  vessels;  and  for                                                            
  larger  or unique  facilities,  the department  issues  individual                                                            
  permits  that follow  the  process described  on  slide 5.   If  a                                                            
  waterbody  has been  identified  as  an anadromous  waterbody  the                                                            
  division  will consult  with ADF&G  to determine  if the  waterway                                                            
  has any spawning activity occurring.                                                                                          
  10:33:12 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR STUTES asked whether mixing zones would be allowed in                                                                   
  anadromous waters if a determination was made that it was                                                                     
  not a spawning segment.                                                                                                       
  MR. STRICKLAND answered that was correct.                                                                                     
  10:35:08 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR.  STRICKLAND   turned  to  slide   6,  titled  "Fish   Spawning                                                            
  Determination  -  Impacts,"  which  read,   in  part,  as  follows                                                            
  [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                              
      • Discharge is not eligible for a mixing zone per                                                                         
          Alaska water quality standards                                                                                        
            o Mixing zone is a limited area in the waterbody                                                                    
               where wastewater is allowed to mix with the                                                                      
               ambient water before meeting water quality                                                                       
     • State water quality criteria must be met at end of                                                                       
  MR.  STRICKLAND  explained   that  if  ADF&G  determined   that  a                                                            
  waterbody   listed  as   anadromous   does  have   spawning,   the                                                            
division's  water  quality  standards  do  not  allow  for  mixing                                                              
zones;  therefore,  the  discharger  would  not  be  eligible  for                                                              
mixing zones per  the department's standards.   He paraphrased the                                                              
mixing zone definition  as "a limited area in  the waterbody where                                                              
wastewater  is  allowed  to  mix with  the  ambient  water  before                                                              
meeting water  quality criteria."   He  directed attention  to the                                                              
graphic on  the slide that  shows wastewater discharge  going into                                                              
a  lake,  which  shows  a gray  area  where  state  water  quality                                                              
criteria  could be  exceeded; however,  at the  boundary where  it                                                              
mixes with the  waterbody, all state water quality  standards must                                                              
be met.  In  instances in which mixing zones are  not allowed, the                                                              
state water quality  criteria must be met at the  end of the pipe,                                                              
he said.   This  generally means  that numeric  permit limits  are                                                              
much lower than if a mixing zone was permitted.                                                                                 
10:35:23 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR asked  whether  he could  further discuss  it                                                              
since  this has been  a controversial  issue.   She recalled  that                                                              
the  water quality  standard  had  been weakened  in  2013 when  a                                                              
cruise ship initiative had increased water quality standards.                                                                   
MR. STRICKLAND  answered that he  does not manage the  cruise ship                                                              
program; however,  he was aware of  the issue.  He  explained that                                                              
the division's water  quality standards did not change  due to the                                                              
initiative,  but that  cruise ships  would not  be allowed  mixing                                                              
zone  permits.    Instead,  cruise  ships  would  be  required  to                                                              
install  advanced  wastewater  treatment   systems  (AWTSs).    He                                                              
related that at  the time, a science panel was  formed to evaluate                                                              
the installation  of the systems and evaluate  performance.  Based                                                              
on the  review of  the performance  data, it  was determined  that                                                              
many of  the systems  met state  water quality  criteria,  but not                                                              
for  some ships.    He related  his  understanding  that this  had                                                              
resulted  in  the  legislation   that  allowed  mixing  zones  for                                                              
smaller  cruise ships  with 50-249  lower  berths; however,  water                                                              
quality criteria  had not changed  as a result of  [the initiative                                                              
and the legislation].                                                                                                           
10:37:31 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  requested the  division provide an  update on                                                              
that and offered  that there may have been some  changes to mixing                                                              
zone permits from stationary sources.                                                                                           
MR. STRICKLAND  offered  to do so  but elaborated  that a  general                                                              
permit  was administered  through  the Division  of Water  [ADEC],                                                              
that authorized the  mixing zones for vessels underway  as well as                                                              
  for  stationary  vessels.     He  offered  his  belief   that  the                                                            
  permitting  process  authorized  mixing  zones.    He  offered  to                                                            
  provide information to the committee.                                                                                         
  10:38:43 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR.  STRICKLAND directed  attention  to  slide 7,  titled  "Permit                                                            
  Document Reviews,"  which  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                            
     • Preliminary draft permit documents are shared with                                                                       
          the permittee and state and federal agencies for a                                                                    
          10- day review period.                                                                                                
      • Draft permit documents are public noticed for a                                                                         
          minimum of 30-days. Major permits are public noticed                                                                  
          in a newspaper of local circulation.                                                                                  
       • Public meetings and hearings by request.                                                                               
    • Proposed final permit documents are shared with the                                                                       
          permittee and state and federal agencies for a 5-day                                                                  
          review period prior to issuance.                                                                                      
  MR.  STRICKLAND briefly  described  the preliminary  draft  permit                                                            
  document  called the  applicant  review.   Links  to the  document                                                            
  would  be  sent  to  all  state  resource  agencies,  and  to  the                                                            
  Environmental Protection  Agency [EPA], National  Marine Fisheries                                                            
  Service [NMFS], and  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife  Service [USF&WS].                                                            
  After  making  changes,  the draft  permit  documents  are  public                                                            
  noticed for  a minimum of  30 days.  The  comment period  could be                                                            
  extended in  instances with  significant public  interest.   After                                                            
  the public  comment period,  the division  prepares a response  to                                                            
  comments  document for  all  substantial comments  that  documents                                                            
  the rationale for making  changes to the permit or  not making any                                                            
  changes.    The  final  permit  documents   are  shared  with  the                                                            
  permittee and  state and  federal agencies  for a five-day  review                                                            
  period, followed  by issuance.   Throughout  the process,  special                                                            
  notifications are  sent to potentially  affected tribes  and local                                                            
  governments in the area.                                                                                                      
  10:41:57 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR. STRICKLAND turned  to slide 8, titled, "Summary  of Permitting                                                            
  Process," which consisted  of a flowchart.  He explained  that the                                                            
  flowchart summarizes  the permitting  process and how  individuals                                                            
  could  get involved  in the  process.   He  reviewed the  process,                                                            
  such that  the division annually  develops a permit  issuance plan                                                            
  (PIP).   Recently the  division completed  the 2018-2019  calendar                                                            
  year PIP,  which  identifies the  priorities  for the  department.                                                            
The department sends  the PIP to all local governments  and tribes                                                              
and posts it to  its website.  The division then  assigns a permit                                                              
writer and identifies  any potentially affected communities.   The                                                              
department  prepares  a  preliminary  draft, the  draft,  and  the                                                              
proposed  final  draft,  and  goes   through  the  public  comment                                                              
period.  The division issues the permit online.                                                                                 
10:43:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. STRICKLAND  turned to  slide 9,  titled, "Permit Issuance  and                                                              
Administrative   Appeal,"   which   read  as   follows   [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     • Permit issued for a term not to exceed five years.                                                                       
         • Upon issuance, there is a 20-day informal                                                                            
        administrative   appeal    period   and   a    30-day                                                                   
        administrative appeal period.                                                                                           
    • After 30 days, any appeal must be lodged in Superior                                                                      
10:44:18 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR asked  for  further clarification  on who  is                                                              
considered  to  have  standing   to  appeal  the  decision.    For                                                              
example,  could an  Alaska resident  have  standing and  challenge                                                              
something based  on potential impacts to anadromous  fish habitat,                                                              
she asked.                                                                                                                      
MR.  STRICKLAND suggested  that was  probably a  question for  the                                                              
Department  of Law.   He offered  that the division's  regulations                                                              
explain how  to establish standing  through a permitting  process.                                                              
He  recalled  that  one  way  to do  so  was  to  be  meaningfully                                                              
involved throughout  the permitting process.   In other  words, he                                                              
said  a  person  who  did  not  make  public  comments  but  later                                                              
appealed the decision  would not be considered  to have "standing"                                                              
since he/she was  not actively involved in  the permit-development                                                              
process. In  further response to  Representative Tarr,  he offered                                                              
to provide regulations to the committee.                                                                                        
10:46:06 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  STRICKLAND  turned  to slide  10,  titled,  "Compliance  with                                                              
Permits," which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     • During the permit term, DEC inspectors will visit                                                                        
        the sites to complete inspections                                                                                       
     • Permittees are also required to notify DEC within                                                                        
          24- hours of a non-compliance event that potentially                                                                  
          threatens public health or the environment                                                                            
  10:47:00 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT asked  for a  synopsis of  what would  be                                                            
  required for a permittee  to continue holding a permit  five years                                                            
  after initial permit was issued.                                                                                              
  MR STRICKLAND  answered that the  requirement depends on  the type                                                            
  of discharge.   He explained  that at the  four and one-half  year                                                            
  mark, individual  permittees must apply  for a permit  reissuance.                                                            
  For example,  a municipal  wastewater treatment  plant or a  large                                                            
  mine would  have different  federal and  state requirements.   The                                                            
  division   would  review   the  application   for   administrative                                                            
  completeness.    The   division  would  issue   an  administrative                                                            
  extension  letter  to confirm  it  was  working on  reissuing  the                                                            
  permit.    The  old permit  continues  to  be  in  effect  if  the                                                            
  division has  not completed  the reissuance  process prior to  the                                                            
  end  date of  the  permit.   He  further  added that  for  general                                                            
  permits, the  applicant must apply  for reissuance within  90 days                                                            
  of  the permit  expiration  date, and  again, the  agency  process                                                            
  would  be  the   same;  that  it  would  send   an  administrative                                                            
  extension letter and  the general permit would be in  effect until                                                            
  the agency completed the general permit reissue.                                                                              
  10:48:54 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT asked  whether  the process  would be  as                                                            
  extensive as the original permit process.                                                                                     
  MR STRICKLAND  answered  that during  the  reissuance process  the                                                            
  division  would  take   into  consideration  all   activities  and                                                            
  occurrences during the previous five years.                                                                                   
  10:49:38 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR STUTES  said  she thought  the question  related to  whether                                                            
  there would be additional cost.                                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT   disagreed.    He  clarified   that  his                                                            
  question  related to  if  nothing had  changed  in the  permitting                                                            
  process, he  wondered how intensive  the reissuance process  would                                                            
  be compared to the original permitting process.                                                                               
MR  STRICKLAND answered  that  there  is some  routine  monitoring                                                              
that occurs  throughout the  life of the  facility to  ensure that                                                              
the  quality of  the wastewater  does not  change over  time.   He                                                              
elaborated that if  there were some initial requirements  that had                                                              
been satisfied,  that the division  would not need to  carry those                                                              
requirements   forward.     He   reiterated   that  some   ongoing                                                              
evaluation  occurs  to  evaluate  the effects  of  the  wastewater                                                              
10:51:15 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR   acknowledged   that  the   statutory   and                                                              
regulatory  references were  found  on slide  4 so  she would  not                                                              
need follow-up from the department on the framework.                                                                            
10:51:40 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES asked  whether a public process was part  of the FERC                                                              
permitting process.                                                                                                             
MR KLEIN  answered yes.   He stated that  the FERC process  was an                                                              
open and  public process, noting  that documents are  available on                                                              
the  FERC  website; that  all  meetings  are  open to  the  public                                                              
through the  post-filing phase.  He  said the NEPA document  was a                                                              
public document.                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked whether any public notices are given.                                                                        
MR KLEIN  answered yes;  that FERC  also maintains a  distribution                                                              
CHAIR  STUTES  asked  whether  there a  charge  for  fish  habitat                                                              
MR KLEIN said  he did not know  but he offered to research  it and                                                              
report to the committee.                                                                                                        
10:53:42 AM                                                                                                                   
RON  BENKERT,  Habitat  Biologist,  Division  of  Habitat,  Alaska                                                              
Department  of Fish  & Game (ADF&G),  responded  that there  is no                                                              
charge for a  fish habitat permit; however, the  division would be                                                              
compensated  for   the  work   through  a  reimbursable   services                                                              
agreement (RSA).                                                                                                                
10:54:51 AM                                                                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT  asked  Mr.   Klein  if  there  were  any                                                            
  federal hydroelectric projects in the state.                                                                                  
  MR KLEIN answered that  one would be the Eklutna power  plant, but                                                            
  he was not aware of others.                                                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT  asked who has authorization  over federal                                                            
  hydroelectric  projects if  Federal Energy  Regulatory  Commission                                                            
  (FERC) is not the agency.                                                                                                     
  MR  KLEIN  answered   that  the  federal  hydroelectric   projects                                                            
  typically  are ones  built in  the western  United  States by  the                                                            
  United States  Bureau  of Reclamation  or the  United States  Army                                                            
  Corps  of Engineers,  such  as the  Glen  Canyon or  Grand  Coulee                                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT responded that he was just curious.                                                                   
  10:56:32 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR. KLEIN, in  response to Representative  Tarr, said that  he did                                                            
  not have any dealings  with gas pipelines, but the  main divisions                                                            
  for hydropower are whether the projects are federal or not.                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE TARR  remarked on  the paradigm difference  between                                                            
  pipelines and hydropower projects.                                                                                            
  10:57:25 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR STUTES asked  for an estimate of  the cost to the  ADF&G per                                                            
  application  to  apply  to the  Department  of  Natural  Resources                                                            
  (DNR) for a water reservation to protect salmon.                                                                              
  MR  BENKERT answered  that  the department  did  not  have a  fish                                                            
  habitat permit associated  with a water reservation,  but it would                                                            
  be something negotiated.                                                                                                      
  10:58:20 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR STUTES  restated her question, for  an estimate of  the cost                                                            
  to  the ADF&G  per  application  to  apply to  the  Department  of                                                            
  Natural  Resources  (DNR)  for  a  water  reservation  to  protect                                                            
  MR  KLEIN responded  that  he had  not calculated  the  cost.   He                                                            
  offered his  belief that it  would vary.   One of the  limitations                                                            
  for obtaining  water reservations or  reservations of  water would                                                            
be  that  the  DNR  requires five  years  of  hydrologic  data  to                                                              
adjudicate  the application.   He stated  that sometimes  the data                                                              
is  available through  the United  States geological  survey.   In                                                              
that instance  it would be  the staff time  needed to  prepare the                                                              
application.  Once  it was eligible for adjudication,  it would be                                                              
the  time spent  working  with  DNR  to adjudicate  it,  including                                                              
costs for public notice.                                                                                                        
11:01:04 AM                                                                                                                   
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
11:02:05 AM                                                                                                                   
JOHN   BARNETT,   Environmental    Manager,   Southcoast   Region,                                                              
Department  of   Transportation  &  Public   Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                              
stated that  his presentation  would focus  on activities  in fish                                                              
streams.    He  directed  attention to  slide  2,  titled  "DOT&PF                                                              
Activities  in Fish  Streams,"  which  read as  follows  [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     ? Culverts (New)                                                                                                           
     ? Culverts (Improvements)                                                                                                  
     ? Culverts (Maintenance)                                                                                                   
     ? Bridges (New)                                                                                                            
     ? Bridges (Replacements)                                                                                                   
     ? Bridges (Maintenance)                                                                                                    
     ? Roadway Embankment Protection (Riprap Armoring)                                                                          
     ? Stream Realignments (Airports, Roadways)                                                                                 
     ? Mitigation, Restoration, Enhancement                                                                                     
MR.  BARNETT  elaborated  that  some  culverts  were  installed  a                                                              
number  years ago  and  some may  need to  be  "upsized" to  allow                                                              
adequate  passage  for fish  fry  or  routine maintenance  may  be                                                              
necessary  due to corrosion  or  pipe length.   The Department  of                                                              
Transportation  & Public  Facilities (DOT&PF)  currently has  been                                                              
going  through  its  entire  bridge   inventory  to  identify  and                                                              
replace  bridges  that  need  replacement.    Routine  maintenance                                                              
might mean replacement  of riprap armoring around  abutments below                                                              
the ordinary  high water of a  fish stream or  piling replacement.                                                              
He noted  a common activity within  fish streams would  be roadway                                                              
embankment protection,  consisting of  adding large rocks  along a                                                              
roadway to  protect the infrastructure  from erosion due  to flood                                                              
events or normal  storm activity.  Stream realignment  might occur                                                              
if a runway  needed to be extended  and a stream might  have to be                                                              
shifted around the  runway extension.  He related  that the DOT&PF                                                              
has   performed  considerable   mitigation   and  enhancement   to                                                              
  streams.   For example,  the department  has performed  watershed-                                                            
  based  permittee-responsible mitigation  for  impacts to  wetlands                                                            
  by improving  fish habitat  in drainages  in major watersheds,  he                                                            
  11:05:12 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE   TARR   asked   for   further   clarification   on                                                            
  watershed-based permittee-responsible mitigation.                                                                             
  MR. BARNETT  responded that watershed-based  permittee-responsible                                                            
  mitigation  was an  allowable form  of mitigation  for impacts  to                                                            
  wetlands  and  other  waters of  the  United  States  through  the                                                            
  {Section] 404  [Permit Program] process  administered by  the U.S.                                                            
  Army Corps  of  Engineers (USACE).   He  described  a scenario  in                                                            
  which a  road may need  to be widened,  encroaching the  wetlands;                                                            
  however, there would  not be any process to restore  the fill area                                                            
  in the  wetlands.   One  option would  be  to buy  credits into  a                                                            
  mitigation bank.   A second option would  be to pay in  lieu fees,                                                            
  or  funds  used  to  acquire  high  value  wetlands  that  can  be                                                            
  protected over  time.  Third, the  department could use  the funds                                                            
  to  improve  habitat.    The  department   has  repaired  riparian                                                            
  habitat in areas decimated  by logging thirty or forty  years ago.                                                            
  He pointed  out a project  in Hyder, where  impacts to the  Salmon                                                            
  River occurred when  placing the roadway embankment  in the river.                                                            
  In  that instance,  the  department's  watershed-based  mitigation                                                            
  response was to  fund a joint effort  with the United  States Fish                                                            
  & Wildlife Service  (USF&WS), the U.S. Forest Service,  and Alaska                                                            
  Department of Fish  & Game (ADF&G) to construct rearing  ponds and                                                            
  spawning channels  on the Marks Creek  tributary to Fish  Creek, a                                                            
  large tributary to Salmon River, he said.                                                                                     
  11:07:05 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked  whether the state currently  sponsors a                                                            
  mitigation bank or  if the department has a relationship  with the                                                            
  federal government to pay funds into a mitigation bank.                                                                       
  MR. BARNETT answered  no.  He said  the department did not  have a                                                            
  mitigation  bank;  however,  the  Sealaska   Corporation  and  the                                                            
  Southeast Alaska Conservation  Fund are mitigation banks,  and the                                                            
  Southeast Alaska  Land Trust was also  in-lieu fee land  trust for                                                            
  preservation  funds.   Mitigation  banks  must  be  not-for-profit                                                            
  entities; thus, the  state does not qualify as a  mitigation bank,                                                            
  he said.   He stated that  he researched  the process to  become a                                                            
  mitigation  bank and  it would  be challenging  for  the state  to                                                            
  become its own mitigation bank.                                                                                               
11:07:56 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES asked  how  often  mitigation occurs  onsite  versus                                                              
MR. BARNETT  said the department  was not capable of  doing onsite                                                              
mitigation  on most of  its projects.   Typically, the  department                                                              
would  have  to go  upstream  or  downstream  from the  site;  for                                                              
example,  when  placing a  culvert  in  a roadway  that  destroyed                                                              
riparian habitat.   The DOT&PF would move as close  to as possible                                                              
to the site but  not directly on the site.  He  related a scenario                                                              
during  the runway  extension project  at the  Hoonah Airport,  in                                                              
which  the  runway  sat  on  the   area  impacted.    Thus  DOT&PF                                                              
realigned about a  quarter mile of Coho Creek  by adding sinuosity                                                              
and  large, woody  debris to  create  riparian habitat  and a  new                                                              
stream reach as its mitigation for the project.                                                                                 
11:09:11 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  STUTES asked  how  often  maintenance occurs  on  culverts.                                                              
She said she  often hears that replacing culverts  would allow for                                                              
greater  fish passage  since many  culverts  are too  small.   She                                                              
further asked whether the DOT&PF has a replacement program.                                                                     
MR BARNETT  answered yes,  the department does  have a  program to                                                              
replace  culverts that  impede  fish passage.    In addition,  the                                                              
DOT&PF has a Memorandum  of Agreement (MOA) with ADF&G  on all its                                                              
road projects to  improve fish passage that has  become blocked or                                                              
was not  adequately performing.   Numerous roads  were constructed                                                              
decades  ago  creating such  issues,  although  many of  the  main                                                              
corridors have been upgraded, he said.                                                                                          
CHAIR STUTES responded that she was glad to hear of the program.                                                                
11:10:56 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  whether the  DOT&PF had  any                                                              
research  or data  that spoke  to the  biological productivity  of                                                              
created habitat versus natural-occurring habitat.                                                                               
MR BARNETT  answered that considerable  volumes of  published data                                                              
exists.   In addition,  the DOT&PF has  a monitoring  program that                                                              
measures the success  of artificial habitat for five  to ten years                                                              
after a project  has been completed to identify  any deficiencies.                                                              
Further, the  monitoring program  has an adaptive  management plan                                                              
to ensure  if the habitat  was not  working effectively,  that the                                                              
  DOT&PF could go back  and fix it.  He indicated that  the adaptive                                                            
  management plans typically  would be part of the  USACE permitting                                                            
  process  along with  installing  site protection  instruments  and                                                            
  conducting monitoring.                                                                                                        
  11:12:30 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  expressed  interest on whether  the                                                            
  department had any  baseline data prior to the project  that could                                                            
  be compared  with  post-project data.   He  further asked  whether                                                            
  Mr.  Barnett  could   summarize  the  vast  volumes   of  data  to                                                            
  determine  the  scientific  consensus  when  comparing  artificial                                                            
  habitat with naturally-occurring habitat.                                                                                     
  MR  BARNETT  responded that  highway  departments  throughout  the                                                            
  country  have  impacted  habitat  over   many  years  and  various                                                            
  agencies  have  established  some  basic   parameters  of  how  to                                                            
  restore  habitat.   He  described  some  ways the  DOT&PF  creates                                                            
  artificial  habitat,  including  anchoring  large,  woody  debris,                                                            
  replanting banks, and  avoiding hydraulic jumps that  might impede                                                            
  migration of  fry.   He asked  for clarification  on the  original                                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS restated  his  question, which  was                                                            
  whether there  was scientific  consensus that compares  artificial                                                            
  habitat with  original, natural habitat  to ensure the  artificial                                                            
  habitat was equally as productive.                                                                                            
  MR BARNETT answered  yes; that often  new habitat was found  to be                                                            
  better  since impediments  were  removed.    With respect  to  the                                                            
  DOT&PF  Hoonah Airport  project,  he  stated that  monitoring  has                                                            
  shown habitat  has improved, that  the biomass increased,  and the                                                            
  volume of fish has  also increased.  He summarized  that often the                                                            
artificial habitat improved fish habitat or it stayed the same.                                                                 
  11:15:48 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE  TARR asked  whether  list  of culvert  sites  that                                                            
  identify those  that need the most  attention.  She  imagined that                                                            
  the  upgrades  would  occur as  funding  became  available.    She                                                            
  reiterated  her interest  in  a list  of culverts  the  department                                                            
  felt needed the most attention.                                                                                               
  MR  BARNETT responded  that  the department  maintains  a list  of                                                            
  specific  structures,  which is  prioritized  by ADF&G  and  other                                                            
  agencies.  He described  it as a collaborative effort  between the                                                            
  DOT&PF,  ADF&G,  and   federal  agencies.  He  acknowledged   that                                                            
Representative  Tarr  had "hit  the  nail on  the  head" with  her                                                              
suggestion  that  it depended  on  funding  as  the DOT&PF  has  a                                                              
limited amount of  funds; however, culvert replacement  was one of                                                              
the  things  the  region  considers first  when  a  project  moves                                                              
forward  in  the  Statewide  Transportation   Improvement  Program                                                              
11:17:17 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BARNETT reviewed  slice 3, titled "Agency  Involvement," which                                                              
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     ? Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                                                                       
     ? Alaska Department of Natural Resources                                                                                   
       Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                          
      (Impaired Waters)                                                                                                         
       ? Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                        
     ? Environmental Protection Agency (Large Projects)                                                                         
     ? U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service                                                                                           
       NOAA Fisheries (NMFS)  Protected Resources Division                                                                      
     ? NOAA Fisheries (NMFS)          Habitat Conservation                                                                      
     ? U.S Army Corps of Engineers                                                                                              
     ? FEMA Flood Map Service                                                                                                   
     ? State Land Managers (DNR, OHA)                                                                                           
     ? Federal Land Managers (USFS, USFWS, BLM, NPS)                                                                            
11:18:57 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  BARNETT   referred  to  slide   4,  titled   "Existing  Laws,                                                              
Regulations,   Agreements,"  which   read  as  follows   [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
      ? Clean Water Act, Section 401                                                                                            
      ? Clean Water Act, Section 404                                                                                            
      ? Clean Water Act, NPDES/APDES (Stormwater)                                                                               
      ? Coastal Zone Management Act (Federal)                                                                                   
      ? Endangered Species Act (Terrestrial and Freshwater                                                                      
      ? Fish & Wildlife Coordination Act                                                                                        
      ? Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management                                                                      
        Act (Essential Fish Habitat)                                                                                            
      ? Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management                                                                            
      ? Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands                                                                           
      ? Executive Order 13112, Invasive Species                                                                                 
  11:19:16 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR.  BARNETT   referred  to  slide   5,  titled  "Existing   Laws,                                                            
  Regulations,   Agreements   page...Agreements,"  which   read   as                                                            
  follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
       Agreements Specific to Fish Streams:                                                                                   
         ? DOT&PF/ADF&G MOA for Design, Permitting, and                                                                         
          Construction of Culverts for Fish Passage                                                                             
      ? DOT&PF/ADF&G MOA for Implementing Safe Passage of                                                                       
          Anadromous and Resident Fish While Maintaining and                                                                    
          Improving State Transportation Infrastructure                                                                         
     ? MOU between DNR, ADF&G Regarding Reviews of Land and                                                                     
         Water Use Activities                                                                                                   
          Projects that impact fish streams in marine,                                                                        
       intertidal, and estuaries must also                                                                                    
       comply with:                                                                                                           
       ? Endangered Species Act (Marine)                                                                                        
       ? Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)                                                                                    
      ? Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act,                                                                       
          Section 102/103                                                                                                       
       ? Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act                                                                        
          (ANILCA) - Alaska Maritime Refuge                                                                                     
  MR. BARNETT  briefly reviewed the  three Memorandums of  Agreement                                                            
  the department has  with ADF&G.  He specifically noted  the detail                                                            
  in  the  MOA for  implementing  safe  passage  of  anadromous  and                                                            
  resident   fish    while   maintaining    and   improving    state                                                            
  transportation  infrastructure  since   this  agreement  sets  the                                                            
  standards  for  the fish  pipes  that  the DOT&PF  installs.    He                                                            
  reported that the  Alaska Maritime Refuge basically  surrounds all                                                            
  communities on  projects in the  Aleutians.   He stated that  if a                                                            
  bridge crosses  a stream and under  the jurisdiction of  the ADF&G                                                            
  and the  NMFS, the DOT&PF  may also need  to obtain an  incidental                                                            
  harassment  authorization  from  the  NMFS.    That  authorization                                                            
  could take  from  six to  eighteen months  to obtain  and it  also                                                            
  required public noticing in the Federal Register.                                                                             
  11:20:59 AM                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  said  he  was curious  about  that                                                              
last point -  the DEC working with NMFS on  incidental harassment.                                                              
He  asked  Mr. Barnett  to  specifically  identify  projects  that                                                              
required incidental  harassment authorization  from the NMFS.   He                                                              
wondered  if  those  projects  were  ones  like  ferry  terminals,                                                              
ports, and harbor projects.                                                                                                     
MR. BARNETT responded  yes, the DOT&PF administers  the Southcoast                                                              
Region, which  maintains and constructs  all the  ferry facilities                                                              
in Alaska.   He further  related that  permits for these  projects                                                              
all had  to pass through  NMFS, MMPA,  and the Endangered  Species                                                              
Act.  He  reported that the last  permit he recalled was  for Sand                                                              
Point on  the Alaska  Peninsula, which took  18 months  to secure.                                                              
The DOT&PF  currently  has nine  of those permits  in process,  he                                                              
CHAIR STUTES  recalled one  of those  permits had been  overlooked                                                              
in Kodiak, which delayed the project for over a year.                                                                           
MR.  BARNETT acknowledged  that  was  correct.   He  said in  that                                                              
instance,  the department  had had an  informal consultation  with                                                              
NMFS but  due to  the discovery  of additional  marine mammals  in                                                              
the  area, the  department had  to  re-initiate consultation  with                                                              
the NMFS and request a formal consultation.                                                                                     
11:22:33 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked  whether he  could  identify                                                              
the nine  projects currently  in the permit  process.   He further                                                              
asked whether  the DOT&PF was working  with NMFS in Alaska  on the                                                              
permits or  if the division was  working with the  Washington D.C.                                                              
office.   He wondered  whether it mattered  if the marine  mammals                                                              
were on the Endangered Species Act.                                                                                             
MR.  BARNETT  responded  that  there   are  six  projects  in  the                                                              
permitting process  in the Tongass  Narrows in Ketchikan,  four of                                                              
which were spinoffs  from the Gravina Access  Environmental Impact                                                              
Study  [EIS].     Other  projects  included  the   Gustavus  ferry                                                              
terminal and  the Haines  ferry terminal  project, which  had just                                                              
been completed.   He did  not recall the  other two projects.   He                                                              
related that  the DOT&PF has worked  with the Alaska  NMFS Habitat                                                              
Conservation   office  on  endangered   species  and   the  Silver                                                              
Springs,  Maryland NMFS Protected  Resources  Division.   At times                                                              
the  two NMFS  offices  do not  agree;  however,  the DOT&PF  must                                                              
develop its biological  assessments and the  agencies subsequently                                                              
develop their  opinions.  He reported  that one of  the endangered                                                              
species  in   question  was   the  "Mexican  distinct   population                                                              
  segment"  of humpback  whales that  migrates  into Alaska  waters,                                                            
  noting  the  Marine Mammals  Protection  Act  covered  all  marine                                                            
  11:24:46 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR   STUTES   observed   that   DOT&PF   had   memorandums   of                                                            
  understanding  (MOUs), and  she asked  whether the  MOUs have  any                                                            
  MR. BARNETT  answered  yes; that  if the  DOT&PF  does not  comply                                                            
  with the MOAs  or MOUs in effect,  the department will  not obtain                                                            
  or retain any permits.                                                                                                        
  CHAIR STUTES  commented that she  was glad to  hear that  the MOUs                                                            
  are effective.                                                                                                                
  11:25:50 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  related his understanding that  the DOT&PF                                                            
  maintains the  MOAs.  He  asked for any  recent projects  that may                                                            
  have destroyed of salmon habitat.                                                                                             
  MR. BARNETT  acknowledged  that the  department  has had  projects                                                            
  that are less  successful; for example,  two years ago  the DOT&PF                                                            
  added  a  multi-use  path  just  past   Auke  Lake.    The  DOT&PF                                                            
  constructed  a habitat  bench  that did  not perform  as  expected                                                            
  with about 30 percent  considered as not functioning.   The DOT&PF                                                            
  hired a team  of consultants to  develop a new program  to restore                                                            
  the bench,  which should  happen this  summer.   The DOT&PF  has a                                                            
  mitigation  requirement  in any  USACE  permits, which  means  the                                                            
  department must  undertake certain levels  of mitigation.   In the                                                            
  event the DOT&PF did  not remedy the problem, the  DOT&PF would be                                                            
  out of  compliance with  its permit  and risk  the USACE  revoking                                                            
  the permit.                                                                                                                   
  11:28:35 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR.  BARNETT  reviewed  slide  6, titled  "RSA's"  which  read  as                                                            
  follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
     DOT&PF / ADF&G Reimbursable Services Agreements (RSA)                                                                    
     ? RSA 2583602 Juneau Area Fish Habitat Permit Review &                                                                     
     ? RSA 2583603 Kodiak, Bristol Bay, Aleutian Area Fish                                                                      
        Habitat Permit Review & Services                                                                                        
      ? RSA2583601 Craig Area Fish Habitat Permit Review &                                                                      
     ? RSA 2533061 Hoonah Airport Monitoring PJ 683003                                                                          
     ? RSA 2582040 Fairbanks DOT&PF Project Review                                                                              
     ? RSA2582041 Anchorage DOT&PF Project Review                                                                               
       ? RSA 2581605 Soldotna (Kenai Peninsula) Area Fish                                                                       
        Habitat Review Services                                                                                                 
     ? RSA 2581604 Palmer (Mat-Su) Area Fish Habitat Review                                                                     
         RSA 2581603 Anchorage Area Fish Habitat Review                                                                         
11:29:42 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BARNETT referred to slide 7, titled "Permits in Fish                                                                        
Streams," which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     Title 16 Permit  Required for activities below                                                                           
     Ordinary High Water of an anadromous or resident fish                                                                      
     stream. DOT&PF is required to obtain a Title 16 Fish                                                                       
     Habitat Permit to construct a hydraulic project, use,                                                                      
     divert, obstruct, pollute,  or change the natural flow                                                                     
     or bed of a specified river,  lake, or stream, or use                                                                      
     wheeled, tracked, or excavating  equipment in the bed                                                                      
     of a specified river, lake, or stream.                                                                                     
     Clean Water Act 404 Permit - DOT&PF is required to                                                                       
     obtain a permit from the USACE for any structure in                                                                        
     any waters of the U.S. (such as embankment armoring,                                                                       
     culverts, bridge piers or abutments).                                                                                      
     Essential Fish Habitat Assessment Concurrence  DOT&PF                                                                    
     must obtain concurrence from NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) per                                                                     
     the Magnuson-Stevens Act for activities or structures                                                                      
     in anadromous waters.                                                                                                      
MR. BARNETT explained that under the Clean Water Act 404 Permit,                                                                
the DOT&PF must maintain its facilities.                                                                                        
  11:30:47 AM                                                                                                                 
  CHAIR  STUTES asked  whether there  is  a public  process for  the                                                            
  permits [listed on slide 7].                                                                                                  
  MR. BARNETT  answered yes.   He referenced  slide 8 titled,  "NEPA                                                            
  and Fish  Streams," which  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                            
       National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires                                                                        
      federal agencies to assess the environmental effects                                                                      
       of their proposed actions prior to making decisions,                                                                     
          • making decisions on permit applications,                                                                            
       • adopting federal land management actions, and                                                                          
          • constructing highways and other publicly-owned                                                                      
       Using the NEPA process, agencies evaluate the                                                                            
       environmental and related social  and economic effects                                                                   
       of their proposed actions. Agencies  must also provide                                                                   
       opportunities for public review and  comment on those                                                                    
       Public Involvement is an integral component of the                                                                       
       NEPA Process                                                                                                             
  MR. BARNETT stated  that the National Environmental  Policy Act of                                                            
  1969 governs almost all  the DOT&PF projects.  The  DOT&PF, in its                                                            
  federal highway  capacity acts on  behalf of the Federal  Aviation                                                            
  Administration (FAA).   Most of the DOT&PF's projects  are federal                                                            
  projects  and must  comply with  NEPA,  which has  a major  public                                                            
  process requirement.                                                                                                          
  11:31:33 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR. BARNETT  turned to the  slide 9, titled  "NEPA" which  read as                                                            
  follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
       ? NEPA is not a permit                                                                                                   
       ? NEPA is an "Umbrella" Law                                                                                              
       ? NEPA is a Procedural Law                                                                                               
       ? NEPA applies to all Federal Projects, including                                                                        
         FHWA, FAA, & FTA PROJECTS                                                                                              
       ? NEPA applies to all State Projects if a Federal                                                                        
        Permit, Concurrence, or other Federal Action is                                                                         
MR. BARNETT  stated that the DOT&PF  must comply with all  laws or                                                              
be  subject  to lose  funding.    Typically, the  DOT&PF  provides                                                              
information to  the USACE  on state projects  if a federal  action                                                              
or  permit  is required  so  that  agency  can complete  its  NEPA                                                              
process, he said.                                                                                                               
11:32:14 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BARNETT turned to slide 10, titled "DOT&PF Current Process                                                                  
for Fish Streams," which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                  
     ? Design Engineering staff provide general project                                                                         
        concept to DOT&PF Environmental                                                                                         
     ? Environmental staff conduct desktop analysis of                                                                          
      project site using in-house and published resources                                                                       
     ? Environmental staff determine NEPA Class of Action                                                                       
        (CE, EA, EIS)                                                                                                           
     ? DOT&PF conducts site visit and develops Project                                                                          
        Management Plan (design parameters, ROW concerns,                                                                       
        environmental issues, etc.)                                                                                             
     ? Engineering staff develop preliminary design                                                                             
     ? Environmental staff begin public and agency scoping                                                                      
       process and issue public notices                                                                                         
       Environmental staff initiate consultation with                                                                           
        ADF&G, USFWS, NMFS                                                                                                      
     ? Engineering and Environmental staff conduct                                                                              
      additional site visits to refine design and conduct                                                                       
        field studies                                                                                                           
     ? Environmental staff and hydraulic engineering staff                                                                      
      collaborate with ADF&G and other agencies to insure                                                                       
        fish passage in design                                                                                                  
       ? Environmental  staff complete  Essential Fish  Habitat                                                                 
          Assessment for agency review (ADF&G, NMFS, USFWS)                                                                     
          and NMFS concurrence                                                                                                  
       ? Design finalized, Permit applications submitted                                                                        
  11:33:13 AM                                                                                                                 
     MR. BARNETT turned to slide 11, titled "Environmental/                                                                     
Engineering   Process,"   which   read    as   follows   [original                                                              
  punctuation provided]:                                                                                                        
       ?   DOT&PF   Environmental   identifies   locations   of                                                                 
       catalogued fish streams in project footprint                                                                             
       ? DOT&PF Environmental  and Engineering staff  conduct a                                                                 
       field visit / site investigation                                                                                         
     ? DOT&PF Environmental may identify additional streams                                                                     
      with suitable habitat that may require further study                                                                      
       ? DOT&PF  requests  ADF&G staff  determine which  stream                                                                 
       crossings will need to accommodate fish passage                                                                          
       ?  DOT&PF  conducts additional  studies  (such  as  fish                                                                 
       trapping) if ADF&G staff are unavailable                                                                                 
       ? DOT&PF (or  its contractors) conduct a hydrologic  and                                                                 
       hydraulic study  of the proposed  crossings in order  to                                                                 
       develop a preliminary design.                                                                                            
       ? DOT&PF Environmental  prepares Essential Fish  Habitat                                                                 
       Assessment   (EFHA)   with   adverse   or   no   adverse                                                                 
       ? ADF&G,  USFWS and NMFS provide  comments and input  to                                                                 
       allow DOT&PF to receive concurrence on EFHA                                                                              
       ? ADF&G,  USFWS,  NMFS are  consulted regarding  design.                                                                 
     Agency field reviews may be conducted when appropriate                                                                     
       ? If  ADF&G and  other agencies have  no further  issues                                                                 
       or concerns,  the  design is  finalized and  a Title  16                                                                 
       permit    application    is    developed    by    DOT&PF                                                                 
       Environmental in  collaboration with Regional  Hydraulic                                                                 
MR.  BARNETT  explained   that  during  the  design   process  the                                                              
regional hydraulic  engineers, the ADF&G, USFWS,  and NMFS develop                                                              
a design  that  in most  cases improves  fish passage.   Once  the                                                              
permits  have been  issued  the division's  hydraulic  engineering                                                              
and environmental  staff monitor  the project during  construction                                                              
to  ensure  compliance   and  to  make  sure  the   pipes  perform                                                              
adequately.   If the ADF&G is  not available to perform  the field                                                              
work, the  DOT&PF would  use its  specialized staff  to do  so and                                                              
report the data to ADF&G.                                                                                                       
MR. BARNETT  added that  the RSAs  are not  only used to  identify                                                              
fish   streams   but  also   are   used  for   monitoring   during                                                              
construction.   The  ADF&G  can  visit projects  at  any time,  he                                                              
11:35:14 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BARNETT  referred to  slide 13,  titled "Public  Involvement."                                                              
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     DOT&PF Process                                                                                                           
       ? Public Notice & Request for Comments at start of                                                                       
        environmental scoping process                                                                                           
     ? Public Workshops for larger projects (dependent upon                                                                     
      ? Public Informational Meetings for larger projects                                                                       
        (dependent upon impacts)                                                                                                
     ? Public Notice Comment Period typically 30 days                                                                           
     ? Public Notice Comment Period can range from 14 days                                                                      
        for routine (maintenance) projects to 45-60 days for                                                                    
        large projects (EA's & EIS's)                                                                                           
     USACE Process                                                                                                            
       ? Public Notice and Request for Comments following                                                                       
        Corps determination that permit application is                                                                          
     ? Public Notice Comment Period typically 14 to 30 days                                                                     
MR. BARNETT  reviewed the DOT&PF public  process on slide  13.  He                                                              
noted  that  for the  Gravina  Access  Project in  Ketchikan,  the                                                              
  department  held  nine  separate  public   meetings.    Interested                                                            
  parties can request  a public hearing through the USACE,  he said.                                                            
  Projects  that fall  in  an  intertidal  area that  would  require                                                            
  piledriving   must    also   have    an   incidental    harassment                                                            
  authorization from  NMFS or a  biological opinion and  concurrence                                                            
  from the  Habitat Conservation  Division  for endangered  species.                                                            
  Those types  of projects  would also be  published in the  Federal                                                            
  Register  for  45  days.    He  characterized  the  DOT&PF  public                                                            
  noticing process as being "fairly robust."                                                                                    
  11:37:49 AM                                                                                                                 
  MR.  BARNETT referred  to  slide  14, titled  "Mitigation,"  which                                                            
  read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                              
          Impacts to anadromous waters routinely require                                                                        
           mitigation to offset temporary or permanent loss of                                                                  
           essential fish habitat (riparian cover, large woody                                                                  
           debris, loss of sinuosity, etc.)                                                                                     
        ? Mitigation typically includes riparian habitat                                                                        
           restoration or enhancement at project site                                                                           
        ? Mitigation efforts are also routinely conducted                                                                       
           away from actual project site:                                                                                       
            square4 Wrangell Airport Mitigation  Falls Creek and                                                                
               Anan Creek Fish Ladders                                                                                          
            square4 Hyder Salmon River Road Mitigation  Marx Creek                                                              
               Rearing Pond & Spawning Channels                                                                                 
            square4 Dyea Road Mitigation  West Creek Tributary                                                                  
               Fish Pipe Improvements                                                                                           
  MR. BARNETT  explained  the mitigation  efforts  for the  Wrangell                                                            
  Airport  Runway  Extension,  noting  that   the  DOT&PF  purchased                                                            
  mitigation credits.   He said that  with the Dyea Road  Mitigation                                                            
  the department  completed  a project  in  the national  park on  a                                                            
  tributary and replaced a culvert.                                                                                             
  11:40:29 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  commented that it was good  to hear                                                            
  about  the  DOT&PF's  productive  engagement  on  preserving  this                                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked  whether the public in an  affected area                                                            
  were notified by mail for upcoming projects.                                                                                  
MR.  BARNETT  responded  that  all the  DOT&PF  projects  have  an                                                              
online public  notice in  the state's online  system.   The DOT&PF                                                              
publishes  in  communities  with  media, such  as  Juneau,  Sitka,                                                              
Anchorage,  Ketchikan,  and  Fairbanks.     The  DOT&PF  sometimes                                                              
publishes  a  map   of  the  area  and  conducts   public  service                                                              
announcements  (PSAs), he said.   For  example, locally,  with the                                                              
Brotherhood Bridge  replacement [2015],  the DOT&PF  went door-to-                                                              
door advising the  neighborhood about noise that  would occur when                                                              
piledriving   45-inch  pilings.      He  acknowledged   that   the                                                              
department also sends  out localized mailouts to  people who would                                                              
be directly  impacted by a  project, as  well as taking  a broader                                                              
approach by using the media.                                                                                                    
11:42:45 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR offered her  belief that  the best  method to                                                              
reach  the public  in her area  seemed  to be by  mail since  many                                                              
people no longer subscribe to newspapers.                                                                                       
MR. BARNETT agreed;  but noted that the department  also creates a                                                              
website for its  larger projects; for example, it  just posted the                                                              
entire  state  environmental  document  online.   He  offered  his                                                              
belief that  the DOT&PF  has tried  to make information  available                                                              
and to be as transparent as possible.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  acknowledged that in  the past few  years she                                                              
has been able to  get a color-coded map in Anchorage  of state and                                                              
local projects.                                                                                                                 
11:44:07 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR wondered  if  other staff  in  DOT&PF was  as                                                              
experienced as he  was since job retention has been  a problem for                                                              
the state and she would hate to lose his expertise.                                                                             
MR.  BARNETT responded  that the  department  has a  comprehensive                                                              
training  process within  DOT&PF for  its environmental  analysts,                                                              
which includes  an environmental procedures manual  that describes                                                              
how  to   monitor  the   DOT&PF  projects.     The   environmental                                                              
procedures  manual was  developed by  the statewide  environmental                                                              
office,  which  is modified  and  updated  annually.   The  DOT&PF                                                              
updated its  training manual and  provides extensive  training, he                                                              
said.  He expressed confidence in his staff.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  commented  that  the  legislature  has  been                                                              
hearing about  recruitment  and retention  issues and she  worried                                                              
about losing the institutional knowledge.                                                                                       
  11:46:51 AM                                                                                                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE  TARR related  her understanding  that  eliminating                                                            
  dams  and  upgrading   culverts  has  been  recognized   as  "best                                                            
  practices."  She wondered  if he could identify other  things that                                                            
  the department has been doing differently.                                                                                    
  MR.  BARNETT   responded  that   the  department  uses   hydraulic                                                            
  engineers who  pay close attention to  the gradients, the  type of                                                            
  pipe,  and the  depth of  burial.   In  addition,  the DOT&PF  has                                                            
  tried to create  natural environments;  for example, it  uses fish                                                            
  rock to recreate a  stream bed within the culvert pipes.   In some                                                            
  instances,   the  department   has  used   bottomless  arches   or                                                            
  structural plate  arches to  maintain the  natural stream bed  and                                                            
  substrate below  the pipe.   He noted that  in Angoon, the  DOT&PF                                                            
  constructed the entire  runway and safety area above an  arch.  He                                                            
  acknowledged that  the DOT&PF  has strived  to make things  better                                                            
  whenever possible.                                                                                                            
  11:49:55 AM                                                                                                                 
  There being  no further business  before the committee,  the House                                                            
  Special  Committee on  Fisheries meeting  was  adjourned at  11:50                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
FERC Presentation to House Fisheries Feb 2018.pdf HFSH 2/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 199
DOT&PF permitting presentation.pdf HFSH 2/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 199
DEC permitting overview.pdf HFSH 2/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 199
House Fisheries Comm hearing 2.8.18 response.pdf HFSH 2/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 199