Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/16/1993 03:00 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE                                   
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                        February 16, 1993                                      
                            3:00 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Rep. Bill Hudson, Chairman                                                   
  Rep. Joe Green, Vice Chairman                                                
  Rep. Brian Porter                                                            
  Rep. Eldon Mulder                                                            
  Rep. Bill Williams                                                           
  Rep. Joe Sitton                                                              
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Rep. Jerry Mackie                                                            
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  *HB 62:   "An Act prohibiting employers from discriminating                  
            against individuals who use legal products in a                    
            legal manner outside of work."                                     
            MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                             
  *HB 39:   "An Act relating to prevention, abatement, and                     
            control of air pollution; and providing for an                     
            effective date."                                                   
            HEARD AND HELD                                                     
  * First public hearing.                                                      
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  MIKE McMULLEN, Manager                                                       
  System Services                                                              
  Department of Administration                                                 
  P.O. Box 110201                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska  99811-0201                                                   
  Position Statement:  Testified against HB 62                                 
  DAN AUSTIN, Aide                                                             
  Rep. Kay Brown                                                               
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Rm. 517                                                       
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                   
  Position Statement:  Presented sponsor statement on HB 39                    
  JANICE ADAIR, Assistant Commissioner                                         
  Department of Environmental Conservation                                     
  410 Willoughby Ave., Suite 105                                               
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-1795                                                   
  Position Statement:  Supported HB 39                                         
  TOM CHAPPLE, Environmental Engineer                                          
  Division of Environmental Quality                                            
  Department of Environmental Conservation                                     
  410 Willoughby Ave., Suite 105                                               
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-1795                                                   
  Position Statement:  Supported HB 39                                         
  STEVEN TAYLOR, Manager                                                       
  Environmental & Regulatory Affairs                                           
  British Petroleum Exploration                                                
  Alaska Oil and Gas Association                                               
  10970 Lake Drive                                                             
  Anchorage, Alaska 99516                                                      
  Position Statement:  Opposed HB 39                                           
  CARL HARMON, Manager                                                         
  Environmental Engineering                                                    
  Chugach Electric Association                                                 
  11811 Hilltop Drive                                                          
  Anchorage, Alaska  99515                                                     
  Position Statement:  Supported HB 39                                         
  RUSSELL HEATH                                                                
  Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                   
  419 6th St.                                                                  
  Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                        
  Position Statement:  Supported HB 39                                         
                      (did not get a chance to testify because                 
                       of time constraints)                                    
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HB  62                                                                
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GRUSSENDORF                                    
  TITLE: "An Act prohibiting employers from discriminating                     
  against individuals who use legal products in a legal manner                 
  outside of work."                                                            
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/15/93        74    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/15/93        74    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE,JUDICIARY                       
  02/16/93              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  BILL:  HB  39                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: CLEAN AIR ACT AMENDMENTS                                        
  BILL VERSION: SSHB 39                                                        
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BROWN,B.Davis,Finkelstein                      
  TITLE: "An Act relating to prevention, abatement, and                        
  control of air pollution and providing for an effective                      
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/11/93        34    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/93        34    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, RESOURCES,                     
  01/13/93        54    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): FINKELSTEIN                        
  01/20/93              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                      
  02/03/93       213    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE                               
                              INTRODUCED-NEW TITLE                             
  02/03/93       213    (H)   REFERRED TO L&C, RESOURCES,                      
  02/16/93              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-12, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON called the House Labor and Commerce                          
  committee to order at 3:07 p.m. on February 16, 1993.                        
  Members present were Reps. Hudson, Green, Porter, Williams,                  
  Mulder and Sitton.  Rep. Mackie was absent.                                  
  HB 62:  EMPLOYEES RIGHT TO USE LAWFUL PRODUCTS                               
  REP. BEN GRUSSENDORF, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 62, stated that                    
  the legislation basically dealt with employees' rights                       
  outside the workplace.  Rep. Grussendorf believed that under                 
  the present scenario individuals have had restrictions                       
  placed on them that extend beyond the workplace.                             
  REP. GRUSSENDORF further explained that individuals should                   
  be able to use lawful products, such as tobacco or alcohol,                  
  on their own time while not associated with the company they                 
  work for without being threatened.                                           
  REP. GRUSSENDORF noted that there was a provision in the                     
  bill that allowed a company to recoup the extra health                       
  insurance costs associated with hiring an individual because                 
  of the use of a lawful product was placed in a higher                        
  insurance category.                                                          
  REP. GRUSSENDORF pointed out that the bill would also exempt                 
  religious organizations.                                                     
  Number 103                                                                   
  RREP. JOE GREEN asked if HB 62 would cover the situation of a                
  person taking prescribed drugs which affects their job                       
  REP. GRUSSENDORF responded that the bill would not cover                     
  this situation as the drugs affect the job performance of                    
  the individual.                                                              
  Number 141                                                                   
  REP. BRIAN PORTER clarified the portion of the bill dealing                  
  with the employer's rights to pass on the increased health                   
  costs associated with a person using lawful products.                        
  REP. HUDSON pointed out page 1, line 13, to the committee in                 
  answer to the issue of increased health care costs for                       
  persons using legal substances that are determined to be                     
  Number 222                                                                   
  ADMINISTRATION, testified in opposition to HB 62.  Mr.                       
  McMullen noted that there are some jobs where a person is so                 
  identified with their job that they really don't have a                      
  private life.  Mr. McMullen observed, for example, that                      
  there are some jobs that place a person's off-duty behavior                  
  in direct odds with their stated job goals.  For example,                    
  the lone police officer in a small village who gets publicly                 
  MR. McMULLEN offered the following amendment:                                
  Add a new paragraph after line 11 on page 2 to read:                         
     (3) discharge an individual or otherwise disadvantage an                  
  individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions,                  
  or privileges of employment if the individual fails to                       
  comply with an employer's reasonable standards of conduct,                   
  even during nonworking hours, where the employer can                         
  demonstrate a close relationship between the standards and                   
  the employer's business.                                                     
  Number 294                                                                   
  REP. GRUSSENDORF replied that the amendment offered by the                   
  Department of Administration was exactly the type of thing                   
  the bill hoped to eliminate.                                                 
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON expressed concern that the amendment offered                 
  was too nebulous.                                                            
  Number 356                                                                   
  Discussion ensued regarding the standards of conduct an                      
  employer can reasonable expect from an employee during                       
  nonworking hours.                                                            
  Number 452                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON summarized HB 65 by saying that what a                       
  employee does on the job was completely separate from his                    
  nonworking behavior.  Chairman Hudson noted that the bill                    
  seemed to be protecting the employee as well as the                          
  employer's rights.                                                           
  Number 452                                                                   
  REP. ELDON MULDER moved HB 62 with individual                                
  recommendations and two fiscal notes.  There were no                         
  objections and it was so moved.                                              
  HB 39:  CLEAN AIR ACT AMENDMENTS                                             
  Number 466                                                                   
  SPONSOR OF HB 39, read the sponsor summary.                                  
  Number 500                                                                   
  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION (DEC), testified that the Federal                 
  Clean Air Act passed in 1990 required changes in law and                     
  regulations in all 50 states.  These changes have to be                      
  accomplished in order for Alaska to continue to issue                        
  permits to industry and to protect the federal highway                       
  funds.  She noted that a similar bill was introduced last                    
  session, but because of some confusion with what the                         
  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations were and                   
  were going to be, the bill did not pass.                                     
  MS. ADAIR stated that the DEC essentially asked for                          
  representatives from those involved in the issue to form the                 
  working group who eventually drafted HB 39.                                  
  Number 572                                                                   
  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, gave a broad overview of the                     
  Clean Air Act (the Act), with emphasis on the permit                         
  MR. CHAPPLE noted that the overhaul of the Clean Air Act was                 
  the first major one since 1970.  The major goal of the                       
  overhaul was to reach and maintain a certain level of air                    
  quality.  Mr. Chapple explained that this goal was                           
  accomplished by two means:                                                   
  1) a permit program that issues licenses to installations                    
  that generate air pollution; and                                             
  2) controlling mobile sources of air pollution; i.e.,                        
  MR. CHAPPLE noted that HB 39 would not deal with mobile                      
  sources of air pollution, which was a large part of the                      
  agency's work.                                                               
  MR. CHAPPLE explained that the state of Alaska has had a                     
  permit program since 1971, but to come in compliance with                    
  the Act, the program required substantial updating.                          
  MR. CHAPPLE informed the committee that Congress saw that                    
  this permit structure was complex and has mandated that                      
  every state create a small business assistance program to                    
  help guide businesses through the permit maze.                               
  Another major initiative of the Act is the reduction of acid                 
  rain, according to Mr. Chapple.  He noted that Alaska was                    
  exempt from this portion.  The Act requires enforcement of                   
  the Act.  Congress also added 180 new pollutants to the list                 
  of items that lower air quality.                                             
  MR. CHAPPLE explained some of the differences between the                    
  permit process as it is now and how it will be if the bill                   
  is passed.                                                                   
  TAPE 93-12, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 234                                                                   
  REP. BILL WILLIAMS asked about the EPA and public review                     
  process mentioned in the handout (on file in the committee                   
  MR. CHAPPLE explained that the Act calls for a mandatory                     
  public and EPA review of the draft permits.                                  
  REP. WILLIAMS expressed concern that it would be hard to                     
  find persons with enough scientific knowledge to review the                  
  REP. MULDER asked, If it were not for the fact that the                      
  federal government were going to withhold funds from the                     
  state, would we even be considering this Act?  In other                      
  words, do we have a problem?                                                 
  MR. CHAPPLE stated that the permit process the state                         
  presently has needs some improvement, but he did not think                   
  the state has a major public health problem from the sources                 
  it currently regulates.  Mr. Chapple noted that Congress did                 
  add some chemical compounds to the list of hazardous air                     
  pollutants that are used in Alaska.                                          
  REP. MULDER expounded on his previously stated concern that                  
  $4,000,000 would be spent on something that the federal                      
  government has mandated the state to fix that does not sound                 
  like a problem.                                                              
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON clarified that the $4,000,000 comes from the                 
  REP. MULDER added that those costs would most certainly be                   
  passed on to the consumer.                                                   
  REP. GREEN asked if the state of Alaska shouldn't be exempt                  
  from some of the Act given the state's unique situation.                     
  Rep. Green also wondered if the state was giving too much                    
  control to the federal government to micro-manage it's                       
  permit process.                                                              
  MR. CHAPPLE stated that the working group focused on making                  
  the permit process as streamlined as possible so that                        
  businesses would not find it unduly restraining.                             
  REP. WILLIAMS asked for clarification on the fact that                       
  Alaska seems to be exempt from the portion of the Act                        
  dealing with the acid rain problem.                                          
  MR. CHAPPLE explained that it was known-science that acid                    
  rain is an East Coast problem and that Alaska does not                       
  contribute to this particular air quality problem.                           
  REP. WILLIAMS cited that answer as an example of the                         
  attitude the state should take back to the federal                           
  government and explain that Alaska is not part of the                        
  problem and therefore should not be required to regulate as                  
  strictly as some of the other states.                                        
  Number 380                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if the $10,000 a day penalty was                       
  established by the federal government or the state.                          
  MR. CHAPPLE answered that it was the federal government's                    
  minimum penalty.                                                             
  MR. CHAPPLE outlined the sectional analysis of HB 39.                        
  TAPE 93-13, SIDE A                                                           
  REP. JOE SITTON inquired what a "direct" cost was under                      
  Section 5.                                                                   
  MR. CHAPPLE answered that direct costs would be the time the                 
  inspector spent doing the inspection, writing the inspection                 
  up, and reporting back to the Department of Environmental                    
  Conservation, but would not include travel costs.                            
  REP. SITTON expressed concern regarding the image that will                  
  be put forth if the costs referenced are charged directly                    
  back to the permittee.                                                       
  MR. CHAPPLE responded that the act requires that the state                   
  recoup the costs of the permit programs.                                     
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON inquired if the penalty money would go into                  
  the general fund.                                                            
  MR. CHAPPLE answered that the money would go into a special                  
  account called the Clean Air Protection Account and                          
  hopefully will be used solely for clean air projects.                        
  Number 144                                                                   
  REP. PORTER asked for an example of a ton of air                             
  MR. CHAPPLE gave an example of a diesel generator small                      
  enough to fit on the committee table, 550 kw, running 24                     
  hours per day, 365 days per year, which would produce 100                    
  tons of nitrogen dioxide.                                                    
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON  asked Mr. Chapple for the sections of the                   
  bill that exceeded the act.                                                  
  MR. CHAPPLE listed Sections 161, 185, 152 and 154.                           
  Number 250                                                                   
  ALASKA OIL AND GAS ASSOCIATION, testified that the Clean Air                 
  Act of 1990 was a horrible piece of legislation, imposing                    
  numerous requirements on the state of Alaska that were                       
  neither warranted or justified.                                              
  MR. TAYLOR suggested there were only to choices for the                      
  state; (1) craft a bill taking advantage of the flexibility                  
  that exists in the act, or (2) wait and let the EPA impose                   
  it's will on the state's permit process.                                     
  MR. TAYLOR informed the committee that he represented the                    
  oil and gas industry on the working committee and that the                   
  bill was as sound as possible given the limits.  Mr. Taylor                  
  further contended that it wouldn't be good business to have                  
  business deals with the EPA directly.                                        
  Number 321                                                                   
  ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, and also representing rural electrical                 
  utilities, concurred with the previous speaker.  Mr. Harmon                  
  asked that the working group be given a chance to review any                 
  changes the legislators make to HB 39.                                       
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON gave his thanks to the working group with                    
   special thanks to Tom Chapple for his work in bringing such                 
  diverse groups together to work on a project of such                         
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced that he would hold HB 65 for                       
  future hearings.  He ADJOURNED the meeting at 4:55 p.m.                      

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