Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/17/2004 01:07 PM House RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 17, 2004                                                                                         
                           1:07 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom, Co-Chair                                                                                        
Representative Beverly Masek, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Cheryll Heinze, Vice Chair                                                                                       
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Nick Stepovich                                                                                                   
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 522                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to discharges from small commercial passenger                                                                  
vessels; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
     - MOVED HB 522 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 305                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to state ownership of submerged land underlying                                                                
water that was navigable at the time Alaska achieved statehood."                                                                
     - MOVED SB 305 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 295                                                                                                             
"An Act extending the termination date of the Navigable Waters                                                                  
Commission for Alaska; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
     - MOVED SB 295 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 522                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SMALL CRUISE SHIP DISCHARGES                                                                                       
SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
02/26/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/26/04       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
03/03/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/03/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/04       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/17/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
BILL: SB 305                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ASSERTING STATE TITLE TO SUBMERGED LAND                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) THERRIAULT                                                                                               
02/06/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/04       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/18/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/18/04       (S)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/18/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/19/04       (S)       RES RPT 4DP 2NR                                                                                        
02/19/04       (S)       DP: OGAN, SEEKINS, WAGONER, DYSON                                                                      
02/19/04       (S)       NR: STEVENS B, ELTON                                                                                   
03/01/04       (S)       FIN RPT  3DP 3NR                                                                                       
03/01/04       (S)       DP: GREEN, DYSON, BUNDE; NR: HOFFMAN                                                                   
03/01/04       (S)       OLSON, STEVENS B                                                                                       
03/01/04       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/01/04       (S)       Moved SB 305 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/01/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/04/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/04/04       (S)       VERSION: SB 305                                                                                        
03/08/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/08/04       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/17/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
BILL: SB 295                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXTEND NAVIGABLE WATERS COMMISSION                                                                                 
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) THERRIAULT                                                                                               
02/06/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/04       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/18/04       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/18/04       (S)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/18/04       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/19/04       (S)       RES RPT 4DP 1NR                                                                                        
02/19/04       (S)       DP: OGAN, SEEKINS, STEVENS B, WAGONER                                                                  
02/19/04       (S)       NR: ELTON                                                                                              
03/01/04       (S)       FIN RPT 4DP 2NR                                                                                        
03/01/04       (S)       DP: GREEN, DYSON, BUNDE, STEVENS B                                                                     
03/01/04       (S)       NR: HOFFMAN, OLSON                                                                                     
03/01/04       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/01/04       (S)       Moved SB 295 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/01/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/04/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/04/04       (S)       VERSION: SB 295                                                                                        
03/08/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/08/04       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/17/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE BRUCE WEYHRAUCH                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    As  chair  of  the  House  State  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee,  sponsor of  HB 522,  explained the  bill and                                                               
answered questions.                                                                                                             
JOHN WATERHOUSE, P.E., President                                                                                                
Elliott Bay Design Group, Ltds.                                                                                                 
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  hearing  on   HB  522,  provided                                                               
information, and  answered questions regarding  stability testing                                                               
DAN EASTON, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Facility Construction and Operation                                                                                 
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  hearing  on   HB  522,  provided                                                               
information and answered questions.                                                                                             
JOE BALASH, Staff                                                                                                               
to Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  SB  305  on behalf  of  Senator                                                               
Therriault, sponsor.                                                                                                            
DICK MYLIUS, Deputy Director                                                                                                    
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  on SB 305;  provided information                                                               
and answered questions.                                                                                                         
JOANNE GRACE, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                                 
Opinions, Appeals                                                                                                               
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  hearing  on   SB  305,  provided                                                               
information and answered questions.                                                                                             
MYRL THOMPSON                                                                                                                   
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 305.                                                                                       
ZACK WARWICK, Staff                                                                                                             
to Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  SB  295  on behalf  of  Senator                                                               
Therriault, sponsor of the bill.                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 04-15, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  NANCY DAHLSTROM  called  the  House Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   1:07  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Dahlstrom, Masek,  Gatto, Heinze, Lynn, Stepovich,  and Wolf were                                                               
present at  the call to  order.  Representative  Kerttula arrived                                                               
as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                 
HB 522-SMALL CRUISE SHIP DISCHARGES                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM announced  that the  first order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 522,  "An Act relating to discharges from                                                               
small  commercial   passenger  vessels;  and  providing   for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
Number 0056                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   BRUCE  WEYHRAUCH,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
speaking as chair of the  House State Affairs Standing Committee,                                                               
sponsor of  HB 522, directed  attention to a letter  contained in                                                               
the  bill  packet  entitled,   "Limitations  on  Modifying  Small                                                               
Commercial  Passenger  Vessels."     He  noted  that  the  letter                                                               
addressed  concerns  the  committee   had  expressed  during  the                                                               
previous  bill  hearing  with  regard  to  the  stability  issue.                                                               
Representative Weyhrauch  asked Co-Chair  Dahlstrom if  she would                                                               
like him to read the letter to the committee.                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM suggested  it  wasn't necessary  to read  the                                                               
letter into the record.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH   explained  that  the  bill   was  not                                                               
introduced until  the House State Affairs  Standing Committee had                                                               
something on the record that  indicated some basis for having the                                                               
state  affairs committee  introduce it  in the  first place.   He                                                               
indicated that  the committee was  interested in the  position of                                                               
the state,  the Department  of Environmental  Conservation (DEC),                                                               
the  cruise ship  industry, and  also whether  the it  made sense                                                               
from a public policy view and  if there was some consensus on the                                                               
desirability for this piece of legislation.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   WEYHRAUCH  suggested   the  small   cruise  ship                                                               
compliance program  is misunderstood by  some of the public.   He                                                               
noted that  a poll done  by the  Juneau Empire indicated  that 77                                                             
percent of the people polled were  opposed to this kind of thing.                                                               
Representative Weyhrauch  said based on  the way the  question is                                                               
posed  in  the   poll,  he  wondered  what   people  were  really                                                               
responding  to.   He  said  the  bill  does not  affect  anything                                                               
related to large cruise ships,  exempt them from any [compliance]                                                               
programs, or  affect the taxation  issues.  Furthermore,  he said                                                               
the bill does not allow small  cruise ships to pollute and is not                                                               
being  done  [at  the  industry's  request].   He  said  this  is                                                               
something that has been considered  by state regulators and small                                                               
cruise  ship operators  in order  to provide  a policy  framework                                                               
that  allow [small  cruise ships]  to operate,  and he  suggested                                                               
small   cruise  ship   operators   have  shown   that  they   are                                                               
responsible.   He  said  small cruise  ship  operators have  also                                                               
shown that  they need  some relief from  the standards  that were                                                               
imposed by  earlier legislation in  order to keep operating  in a                                                               
way  that is  still monitored  by DEC  and meets  best management                                                               
practices (BMPs).   Representative  Weyhrauch said those  are the                                                               
reasons the bill was introduced                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH noted  there  would continue  to be  an                                                               
education effort.   He said  this legislation was  recommended by                                                               
DEC  and  it   keeps  small  cruise  vessels   in  the  passenger                                                               
compliance program, which is what it's  all about.  He noted that                                                               
the  aforementioned  letter  was   addressed  in  part  to  allay                                                               
Representative Heinze's specific concerns about stability.                                                                      
Number 0538                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  MASEK said  it seems  the issues  brought forward  have                                                               
been  dealt  with,  and  she   suggested  the  legislation  seems                                                               
compatible  with [DEC's  policies].   She  indicated she  thought                                                               
protection is provided  by the BMPs outlined in the  bill and the                                                               
requirement for DEC  to approve the plan for  a three-year period                                                               
in order for small vessels to operate in Alaska's waters.                                                                       
Number 0623                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  MASEK moved  to report  HB  522 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes,                                                               
and asked for unanimous consent.                                                                                                
Number 0635                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO objected  for  purpose of  discussion.   He                                                               
directed attention to page 3, lines 20-24, which read in part:                                                                  
     The department may adopt  regulations to implement this                                                                    
     subsection but may not require  an owner or operator to                                                                    
     retrofit  a  vessel solely  for  the  purpose of  waste                                                                    
     treatment  if  the   retrofitting  requires  additional                                                                    
     stability testing  or relicensing by the  United States                                                                    
     Coast Guard.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO noted  that  this  language was  previously                                                               
referred   to  as   the   "poison  pill"   clause.     He   asked                                                               
Representative Weyhrauch if he had  heard that term used for this                                                               
CO-CHAIR MASEK turned attention to  a memorandum dated March 5 to                                                               
members   of  the   House  Resources   Standing  Committee   from                                                               
Representative  Weyhrauch.   She said  the memorandum  deals with                                                               
the issue of the poison of the bill.                                                                                            
Number 0773                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA said  the question  from the  public was                                                               
about  this  same  issue  and  the  language  in  question  seems                                                               
somewhat confusing.   Representative Kerttula asked  if stability                                                               
testing  is only  required  when  the weight  of  the vessel  has                                                               
Number 0909                                                                                                                     
JOHN  WATERHOUSE,  P.E.,  President, Elliott  Bay  Design  Group,                                                               
Ltds.,  testified.    Mr.  Waterhouse  explained  that  stability                                                               
testing is not  like water quality testing, it  requires that the                                                               
ship come out  of service for a day and  involves setting up test                                                               
equipment,  moving  weight on  the  ship,  and then  taking  very                                                               
careful measurements  to determine, from those  weight movements,                                                               
what the center  of gravity of the  ship is.  He  said testing is                                                               
not  something that  operators  will  do as  a  matter of  course                                                               
because it is  so disruptive to operations.   Mr. Waterhouse said                                                               
he thought  the concern is that  if a ship is  modified, the U.S.                                                               
Coast Guard  is likely  to ask  for a stability  test to  be done                                                               
because these  are small vessels  which have applied by  name and                                                               
are typically under fairly stringent  stability requirements.  He                                                               
explained  that  there  just  isn't  a lot  of  margin  in  those                                                               
requirements to  accept new equipment  or changes in  the vessel,                                                               
which he believes is the concern of the operators.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  said if something  is changed on  a ship                                                               
that  would require  the  ship to  have  stability testing,  it's                                                               
because something  is being  done that  affects the  stability of                                                               
the ship, which is the reason the  testing is done.  She asked if                                                               
stability  testing   is  done  because  a   problem  has  already                                                               
MR. WATERHOUSE replied correct.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  said that  was the concern  from members                                                               
of the public, and it certainly resolves her issue.                                                                             
Number 1091                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH offered his  understanding that the term                                                               
"poison pill"  came up  because a  member of  the public  who was                                                               
testifying used  that phrase.  He  said it was alleged  or stated                                                               
that  [the bill]  would have  "short circuited"  the department's                                                               
ability to require small passenger  vessels to use new wastewater                                                               
treatment technology.  He asked  Mr. Waterhouse if he understands                                                               
the issue  in terms of the  question that one of  the members had                                                               
raised about this section being called a poison pill.                                                                           
MR. WATERHOUSE  said he  believes he understands  the issue.   He                                                               
said from his standpoint as  an engineer, his customers are going                                                               
to be  looking at wastewater  treatment because it is  an ongoing                                                               
changing  technology.     Some  of  the   technologies  that  are                                                               
currently  in  the  laboratories  being  developed  may  lead  to                                                               
smaller systems  that can be  retrofitted into a ship  that won't                                                               
impact the stability  of the ship.  He said  knowing his customer                                                               
base,  if  that  technology  is available,  they  would  be  very                                                               
interested  in applying  it their  ships.   Furthermore, he  said                                                               
their concern has  to do with existing technology  that could not                                                               
be used without major modifications.                                                                                            
MR. WATERHOUSE  remarked, "They're concerned as  operators, but I                                                               
would  see how  people on  the  other side  may say  that it's  a                                                               
poison pill  that they're just  trying to avoid  doing anything."                                                               
He said  he thought  what is  being dealt  with is  technology in                                                               
progress.  Mr. Waterhouse said that  over the past five years the                                                               
cruise industry has put about  $50 million into investigating and                                                               
experimenting with new water treatment  technology, so it is very                                                               
much a work in progress.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  said what is being  discussed is wastewater                                                               
treatment.   He said  [the language  in question  specifies] that                                                               
the department  may adopt regulations to  implement this section,                                                               
but it  exempts those that would  be required to do  any testing.                                                               
He said  he thought this  was sort  of contradictory to  what the                                                               
intent of  the bill was  and that  it allowed an  "escape clause"                                                               
that was pretty wide open.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  said he  thought DEC should  comment on                                                               
whether it believes  that it is an escape clause  that's going to                                                               
allow  that to  [happen].   He  said he  is curious  too, and  it                                                               
should be on the record.                                                                                                        
Number 1275                                                                                                                     
DAN  EASTON,  Director,  Division of  Facility  Construction  and                                                               
Operation,  Department   of  Environmental   Conservation  (DEC),                                                               
testified.    He  said  his understanding  of  the  [language  in                                                               
question]  is that  DEC can't  require  an owner  or operator  to                                                               
retrofit a  vessel solely for  the purpose of waste  treatment if                                                               
it requires  additional stability testing.   Mr. Easton  said the                                                               
types of  things that require additional  stability testing would                                                               
primarily be for adding tankage  or making substantial changes to                                                               
the  vessel.   He said  DEC was  going to  try to  avoid that  in                                                               
working with  the small cruise  ship companies, and  DEC believes                                                               
it can  develop a set  of regulations that protect  water quality                                                               
and  comply with  water quality  standards without  requiring the                                                               
addition of major tankage that  ultimately would require that the                                                               
vessels be stability tested.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  said he thought  it was  good to get  it on                                                               
the  record,  but  it  still  seems contradictory  to  him.    He                                                               
commented  that it  "tickles" some  of  his neurons  and it  says                                                               
there's something  "goofy" here.   He remarked, "In  other words,                                                               
as long as you have an obligation  that says you now have to have                                                               
a test, why you're excused."                                                                                                    
Number 1432                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH  asked Mr.  Waterhouse  if  there is  a                                                               
correlation between testing and  the U.S. Coast Guard certificate                                                               
of inspection licensing process.                                                                                                
MR. WATERHOUSE  said he thought  this may  partly go back  to the                                                               
misunderstanding of  the testing.   If it can be  demonstrated to                                                               
the U.S.  Coast Guard by  calculations of weights on  and weights                                                               
off of stability then the vessel  does not need to be tested, and                                                               
the U.S. Coast  Guard will accept that.  He  said if a wastewater                                                               
system is  being changed  out by  another wastewater  system that                                                               
weighs  the   same  amount   and  it   can  be   demonstrated  by                                                               
calculations, the U.S.  Coast Guard will not  require a stability                                                               
test.  The concern comes in when  a system is being replaced by a                                                               
system that  will require additional  tankage and cause  the U.S.                                                               
Coast Guard to mandate a stability  test.  Part of the problem is                                                               
that as  a result of  that stability  test, if the  vessel fails,                                                               
the work has already been done to  the vessel.  If it is suddenly                                                               
discovered that  it no longer meets  stability requirements, then                                                               
the situation is that the money  has been spent on equipment, the                                                               
U.S. Coast Guard  is saying the boat cannot be  sailed because of                                                               
the equipment has been installed.                                                                                               
MR. WATERHOUSE  said it is not  testing for knowledge or  for the                                                               
ability to do  it, it is a  reflection of the fact  that as boats                                                               
grow older  they tend to  gain weight.   He explained  that every                                                               
little bit of weight on these  kinds of vessels has to be watched                                                               
carefully  because  there  are  stringent  safety  and  stability                                                               
requirements, and the  U.S. Coast Guard is  pretty rigorous about                                                               
enforcing those.                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MASEK  said the  bill  specifies  that best  management                                                               
practices will  include such things  as onboard treatment  of all                                                               
wastewater to  U.S. Coast Guard  standards and  whenever possible                                                               
require  that all  vessel discharge  be  made at  least one  mile                                                               
offshore traveling  at six knots.   She  said the bill  also says                                                               
the DEC assessment  report concluded when small  and large vessel                                                               
discharge  underway  they  are  able to  meet  all  Alaska  water                                                               
quality  standards.   She  turned  attention to  page  53 of  the                                                               
report that  DEC came out with  on the assessment of  cruise ship                                                               
and  ferry wastewater  assessment impacts  in Alaska.   She  said                                                               
schedules  are  going  to  be  adjusted  to  minimize  stationary                                                               
discharges; ships will avoid doing  laundry while stationary, and                                                               
will work  with manufacturers to  develop new  technology capable                                                               
of  treating stationary  discharges to  higher levels  on smaller                                                               
CO-CHAIR MASEK  noted that  ships will  utilize holding  tanks to                                                               
the maximum  extent to avoid  stationary discharges,  continue to                                                               
pay  coastal  protection  fees  to DEC,  and  continue  to  test,                                                               
monitor,  and  report wastewater  discharges  to  DEC.   Co-Chair                                                               
Masek said she thought [DEC] had  come a long way in working with                                                               
this and  is on board  with [the bill].   She remarked,  "I think                                                               
we've done all  we can."  She noted  that Representative Kerttula                                                               
had worked  hard with another issue  that this came out  of.  She                                                               
said she thought it was a  very good compromise and is encouraged                                                               
to see the committee making some headway.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  commented  that if  the  requirements  are                                                               
already satisfied, then  no action is needed.  He  asked if it is                                                               
satisfactory to simply discharge at a  given rate of speed a mile                                                               
offshore, should  the bill  go beyond  that since  that satisfies                                                               
the requirements.  The issue  of removing equipment and replacing                                                               
it  with equipment  of the  same  weight may  satisfy the  weight                                                               
requirement, but  probably not the balance  requirement unless it                                                               
is placed in  the same location, he added.   Representative Gatto                                                               
told the members that  the bill is not as clean  as he would like                                                               
it to be.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO emphasized  that he would like  to see small                                                               
ships  prosper  and is  a  strong  supporter.   When  legislation                                                               
affects the smaller  ships, he said he would like  it to be clear                                                               
that the  bill makes it  easy for  them to adopt  the regulations                                                               
without causing some  objections from the community  and the U.S.                                                               
Coast  Guard at  some later  date.   Representative Gatto  stated                                                               
that he does not believe that  would occur with this bill, but in                                                               
reading the bill he thought it could use more work.                                                                             
MR. EASTON  said he can't address  the question about why  a bill                                                               
is needed  if the vessels  are complying  underway.  He  said the                                                               
problem arises when the vessels are not underway.                                                                               
Number 1841                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO withdrew his objection.                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM   asked  if  there  was   further  objection.                                                               
Hearing  none, HB  522 was  reported out  of the  House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
SB 305-ASSERTING STATE TITLE TO SUBMERGED LAND                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM announced  that  the next  order of  business                                                               
would  be  SENATE  BILL  NO.  305,  "An  Act  relating  to  state                                                               
ownership of  submerged land underlying water  that was navigable                                                               
at the time Alaska achieved statehood."                                                                                         
Number 1891                                                                                                                     
JOE  BALASH,  Staff  to Senator  Gene  Therriault,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  SB 305 on  behalf of  Senator Therriault,                                                               
sponsor.   Mr. Balash characterized SB  305 as a bill  that deals                                                               
with  the state's  ownership of  submerged lands  under navigable                                                               
waters throughout the state, and  he paraphrased from the sponsor                                                               
statement, which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     With  the  exception  of withdrawn  federal  lands,  at                                                                    
     statehood  in  1959  Alaska received  title  under  the                                                                    
     equal  footing doctrine  to all  submerged lands  under                                                                    
     state navigable  waters and marine waters  out to three                                                                    
     miles.  Unfortunately, the  federal government has been                                                                    
     slow  to   concede  any   navigability  determinations.                                                                    
     Since  Alaska entered  the  Union,  the federal  courts                                                                    
     have  determined   fewer  than  20   rivers  navigable.                                                                    
     Unless  the  state  is   pro-active  in  asserting  its                                                                    
     claims, it  stands to  lose up to  60 million  acres of                                                                    
     its statehood entitlement.                                                                                                 
MR.  BALASH noted  that  this  bill lays  out  some criteria  for                                                               
making the  navigability determinations,  and provides a  list to                                                               
the public as well as interested parties.  He continued:                                                                        
     In some  cases, the  federal government has  used every                                                                    
     possible  legal tactic  under the  Federal Quiet  Title                                                                    
     Act to impede the state's  assertion of ownership.  The                                                                    
     Black, Kandig,  and Nation  Rivers in  northeast Alaska                                                                    
     are  examples.   These  three Rivers  clearly meet  the                                                                    
     criteria   established  by   the  federal   courts  for                                                                    
     determining navigability  in Alaska.   Although  no one                                                                    
     contested the state's claim that  these streams met the                                                                    
     federal  criteria,  this  case   took  nine  years  and                                                                    
     millions  of state  and  federal  dollars to  litigate.                                                                    
     Eventually the state  won two of the three  cases.  The                                                                    
     third was  resolved by a Federal  Recordable Disclaimer                                                                    
     of Interest in 2003.                                                                                                       
     In  addition,  prior  to 1989  the  federal  government                                                                    
     applied incorrect  standards to  determine navigability                                                                    
     and may  have mistakenly  conveyed state-owned  land to                                                                    
     Native corporations, clouding the  title to hundreds of                                                                    
     thousands,  if  not millions,  of  acres.   This  is  a                                                                    
     critical  topic as  Congress considers  a deadline  for                                                                    
     completing   the   land    selection   and   conveyance                                                                    
MR. BALASH said the timeframe being discussed recently is 2009;                                                                 
the hope is to have completed everything by then.  He continued:                                                                
     Contributing  to   the  problem   is  the  lack   of  a                                                                    
     reasonable and  efficient way for  the state  to secure                                                                    
     title  to its  submerged  lands.   SB  305 takes  three                                                                    
     steps  to  begin  the   process  of  identifying  state                                                                    
     First, SB 305  provides notice to all  parties that the                                                                    
     state is  laying claim to  all submerged  lands, except                                                                    
     those  withdrawn at  the time  of statehood,  that meet                                                                    
     the   standards  and   criteria   established  in   the                                                                    
     Submerged  Lands  Act  and  in  various  federal  court                                                                    
     Second,  it provides  authority for  state agencies  to                                                                    
     identify,  in accordance  with the  appropriate federal                                                                    
     and state laws, which water  bodies the state claims as                                                                    
     navigable and non-navigable.  This  will help the state                                                                    
     clarify  criteria  for  identifying  navigable  waters,                                                                    
     address  conflicts  involving  clouded  titles  due  to                                                                    
     inaccurate   conveyances  from   the  Bureau   of  Land                                                                    
     Management,  and  more   clearly  delineate  its  title                                                                    
     Third,  the  bill  directs the  Department  of  Natural                                                                    
     Resources  to  give  notice  to  all  private  property                                                                    
     owners,  including  native corporations  created  under                                                                    
     the Alaska Native Claims Settlement  Act, that may have                                                                    
     received  title to  lands that  could have  erroneously                                                                    
     included  state submerged  lands in  their conveyances.                                                                    
     This is  critical to resolve future  problems regarding                                                                    
     mineral  development,  gravel  extraction,  access  and                                                                    
     other related land uses.                                                                                                   
     This  legislation is  only one  step for  the state  to                                                                    
     eventually   resolve  the   title  disputes   over  its                                                                    
     submerged  lands,  and deals  only  with  the issue  of                                                                    
     state title  to submerged lands.   It does  not address                                                                    
     conflicts over federal fish  and wildlife management in                                                                    
       state navigable waters created by federal reserved                                                                       
     water rights claims.                                                                                                       
Number 2158                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  MASEK asked  how much  acreage may  affect regional  or                                                               
village Native corporations under this bill.                                                                                    
MR. BALASH replied  that an accurate count had  not been provided                                                               
by the Department of Natural Resources,  and he is unaware of any                                                               
sort of estimate.                                                                                                               
Number 2204                                                                                                                     
DICK  MYLIUS,  Deputy  Director,  Division of  Mining,  Land  and                                                               
Water,  Department of  Natural Resources  (DNR), testified.   Mr.                                                               
Mylius, in response  Co-Chair Masek's question, said  DNR did not                                                               
have information about  the amount of acreage  relating to Alaska                                                               
Native Claims  Settlement Act  (ANCSA) or  state lands  that were                                                               
conveyed to ANCSA corporations.                                                                                                 
Number 2252                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  asked  if  any of  the  land  erroneously                                                               
included  in  the conveyance  were  [Alaska  Mental Health  Trust                                                               
Authority] lands.                                                                                                               
MR. BALASH  replied that he  is not  certain that any  lands have                                                               
been erroneously  conveyed, but  said there is  that possibility.                                                               
He explained that it would take quite  a bit of effort to go back                                                               
and take a  look at the Bureau of Land  Management (BLM) files on                                                               
navigability  determinations  and  the  land  selected  by  ANCSA                                                               
corporations to see whether that has occurred.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked  if it is not known how  much land is                                                               
in question.                                                                                                                    
MR. BALASH replied correct.                                                                                                     
Number 2309                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE  told  the   members  that  she  remembers                                                               
fighting  10 years  ago  with DNR  to try  to  get the  navigable                                                               
definition down, so this is not  a surprised.  She asked how many                                                               
navigable rivers are affected.                                                                                                  
MR. BALASH said the figures are  quite astounding.  He said there                                                               
are  thousands of  rivers and  potentially tens  of thousands  of                                                               
water bodies [that  could be affected].  There  was a legislative                                                               
audit done a few years ago that  tried to quantify it and it came                                                               
up with some  high figures.  Mr. Balash explained  that the audit                                                               
was  the basis  for  the formation  of  the state's  navigability                                                               
certification team,  a work  group of  agency personnel  from the                                                               
Alaska  Department of  Fish  & Game  (ADF&G),  the Department  of                                                               
Natural Resources (DNR),  and the Department of Law  (DOL).  This                                                               
group has been working fairly  assiduously to try to quantify and                                                               
identify those  areas where the  state's sovereignty needs  to be                                                               
asserted  on  navigable  water   bodies,  so  the  state  retains                                                               
management rights,  as well  as all of  the privileges  that come                                                               
with it.                                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked if the  mapping department at DNR had                                                               
tried to map the 60 million acres.                                                                                              
MR. BALASH  replied that  he didn't think  DNR has  any statewide                                                               
maps, but  he believes he  has seen a  map related to  the Copper                                                               
River that identifies navigability in  certain areas of the river                                                               
and  its tributaries.   He  explained that  the fiscal  note does                                                               
provide  funds for  DNR to  acquire files  to incorporate  into a                                                               
larger digital map,  which would be available to  the public, and                                                               
would help to identify those [areas] statewide.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  said she could  remember that DNR  used to                                                               
do a lot of mapping, and  she was curious about where that's gone                                                               
in 10 years.   She remarked, "We used to sit down  and look at it                                                               
all to try to get the tentative approval for state lands."                                                                      
Number 2433                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA asked  if  the amendment  made to  ANCSA                                                               
Section 901 was  intended to resolve some of these  issues.  What                                                               
has  happened   since  then  to  necessitate   this  legislation,                                                               
especially with  respect to the turn  on the burden of  proof and                                                               
timelines, she asked.  Representative  Kerttula asked for someone                                                               
to provide her with the history  of that amendment and asked what                                                               
this [bill] would do.                                                                                                           
Number 2460                                                                                                                     
JOANNE  GRACE,  Senior   Assistant  Attorney  General;  Opinions,                                                               
Appeals and  Ethics; Office of  the Attorney  General; Department                                                               
of  Law,  testified.   Ms.  Grace  explained  that there  was  an                                                               
amendment  made to  Alaska National  Interest Lands  Conservation                                                               
Act  (ANILCA) that  was intended  to resolve  a problem  that was                                                               
created when BLM  was conveying land to ANCSA  corporations.  The                                                               
problem was  that in  conveying land  to ANCSA  corporations, BLM                                                               
had  to  consider  how  much  acreage  it  would  convey  to  the                                                               
corporations.      Therefore,   it   had   to   do   navigability                                                               
determinations  because  to  the   extent  that  there  were  any                                                               
navigable waters  on the lands  that that were being  conveyed it                                                               
could not  charge the Native  corporations for that  land because                                                               
BLM  didn't own  that land,  the state  owned it,  she explained.                                                               
Ms. Grace  told the members that  the navigability determinations                                                               
would become  part of its  conveyance decisions which  would have                                                               
to  be appealed  if  there was  any disagreement  with  it.   The                                                               
problem it  created was that  every time BLM did  a determination                                                               
of nonnavigability and the state  disagreed, the state was forced                                                               
to appeal  it and litigate  it in order  to reserve its  right or                                                               
claim to the title, she summarized.                                                                                             
MS. GRACE said  the result was the  ANCSA corporation conveyances                                                               
got  tied up  in all  this litigation  because the  state had  to                                                               
resolve navigability every time there  was a disagreement.  There                                                               
was  an agreement  made  that was  eventually  codified that  BLM                                                               
would   get   out  of   the   business   of  doing   navigability                                                               
determinations  and   it  would  simply  not   charge  the  ANCSA                                                               
corporations  for   any  waterways  that  were   greater  than  a                                                               
particular size (indisc.  - coughing) and that they  would now go                                                               
about actually  doing any navigability determinations.   She said                                                               
any lake  over 50 acres or  any river wider than  198 feet, [BLM]                                                               
would  meander out  and wouldn't  charge the  Native corporations                                                               
(indisc. - coughing)  with that land, and would  have to litigate                                                               
these issues.                                                                                                                   
MS. GRACE explained  that Section 901 eliminated  that statute of                                                               
limitations as  it applies to the  state, so the state  could not                                                               
be forced  to file  suit every time  BLM did  the nonnavigability                                                               
determinations.  She  said it made the land conveyances  go a lot                                                               
(indisc. - coughing) and a lot  faster, but that was not intended                                                               
to  prevent  the  state  from   ever  asserting  title  over  any                                                               
navigable  waters.   It was  just a  solution to  the problem  of                                                               
having  to   litigate  every  time  BLM   did  a  nonnavigability                                                               
determination, she explained.                                                                                                   
Number 2629                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked for  further clarification,  as it                                                               
appears the problem has now shifted to the ANCSA corporations.                                                                  
MS. GRACE told  the members that the bill does  not really change                                                               
anything in that regard, to the  extent that the state's claim of                                                               
title to its navigable waters  would mean that the state believes                                                               
it owns the  body of water.   The state has an  obligation to the                                                               
public to determine  whether it owns the waters  and puts private                                                               
landowners on  notice.  It  may start the statute  of limitations                                                               
running, she commented.                                                                                                         
Number 2707                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked why the  bill is necessary  if the                                                               
state already has the right to proceed.                                                                                         
MS.  GRACE responded  that  one purpose  of the  bill  is to  put                                                               
people  on notice  that  the  state believes  it  owns the  lands                                                               
underlying that  water.  To  the extent that time  passes between                                                               
statehood, the  present, and as time  goes on, there is  a danger                                                               
in  failing to  assert title.   Private  landowners will  believe                                                               
they own  land, rely on that  belief, and make investments.   Mr.                                                               
Grace  said that  one of  the  main purposes  of the  bill is  to                                                               
ensure that it  is clear to everyone that just  because the state                                                               
does not  have final determinations  on all rivers does  not mean                                                               
the  state  doesn't  own  it.   It  is  good  public  policy  for                                                               
landowners and  the public  to know  about state  submerged lands                                                               
and  waters  so that  the  state  can  fulfill its  public  trust                                                               
obligations, she emphasized.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  commented that originally the  burden of                                                               
proof was  on the state to  prove navigability.  She  said she is                                                               
concerned  that  the   [burden  of  proof]  is   shifting  in  an                                                               
unintended way.  She said she  is also concerned about the notice                                                               
requirement  in Section  3.   Representative Kerttula  asked what                                                               
needs to be  done to prove navigability.  How  would that change,                                                               
she asked.   Representative Kerttula indicated  that she believes                                                               
this  process  is  being  "speeded  up" and  it  may  not  be  as                                                               
thoughtful a process as is currently done.                                                                                      
MS. GRACE  spoke to  Representative Kerttula's  concern regarding                                                               
Section  3  and  advised  the  committee  that  this  section  is                                                               
intended to only  be a general notice to  the ANCSA corporations.                                                               
She  explained  that  with  the   2009  conveyance  deadline  the                                                               
property  conveyances will  be  wrapped up.    This is  important                                                               
because  BLM  might  have  been  using  incorrect  standards  for                                                               
determining  eligibility  and  the ANCSA  corporations  could  be                                                               
charged  for lands  it  actually does  not  own, she  summarized.                                                               
This gives the ANCSA corporations  the opportunity to ensure that                                                               
the correct standards are used.   A generic letter will go out to                                                               
all native corporations within 180 days, she added.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  surmised that  there is  no navigability                                                               
determination that goes along with that notice.                                                                                 
MS. GRACE  replied that is  correct.   She told the  members that                                                               
this  notice will  ensure  that ANCSA  corporations  do not  lose                                                               
their  chance  to address  being  incorrectly  charged for  these                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  commented  that this  notice  does  not                                                               
trigger  any  kind requirement  that  the  Native corporation  do                                                               
anything  before  the 2009  deadline.    She  asked if  there  is                                                               
anything  new.     Will  the   statute  of   limitations  change,                                                               
Representative Kerttula asked.                                                                                                  
Number 2949                                                                                                                     
MS. GRACE replied that is correct.   The only urgency would be if                                                               
a  Native   corporation  wanted  to   ensure  that  it   was  not                                                               
incorrectly charged  for acreage that will  ultimately be closed,                                                               
she said.   It does  not affect  the statute of  limitations, Ms.                                                               
Grace added.                                                                                                                    
TAPE 04-15, SIDE B                                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR MASEK commented that  Representative Kerttula brought up                                                               
some critical topics.   In 1989 the U.S. Court  of Appeals, Ninth                                                               
Circuit  Court, ruled  that incorrect  standards were  applied by                                                               
BLM in  determining navigable  waters.  She  asked what  else has                                                               
been done since that time.                                                                                                      
MR.  BALASH said  he  believes  that BLM  has  been applying  the                                                               
standard  which was  setout in  the Gulkana  decision [Alaska  v.                                                             
Ahtna,  Inc.] and  then later  refined in  a subsequent  decision                                                             
that was delineated in the Black River decision.                                                                              
Number 2923                                                                                                                     
MYRL THOMPSON  testified on  SB 305.   He  said that  he believes                                                               
this bill will  not only affect Native  corporations, but private                                                               
property owners too.  Mr. Thompson  asked if a river runs through                                                               
a  private landowner's  property, for  example, if  an individual                                                               
owns a 70 or 80 acre tract of  land, does this mean that the land                                                               
under the river  belongs to the state.  He  commented that he has                                                               
been paying  taxes on a part  of a river where  he owns property.                                                               
Mr.  Thompson said  he  would like  to know  how  this bill  will                                                               
affect him.                                                                                                                     
Number 2861                                                                                                                     
MR. BALASH replied that he  does not know the particulars related                                                               
to the land  Mr. Thompson owns, and would not  be able to provide                                                               
him  with any  advice.   He  suggested that  Mr. Thompson's  deed                                                               
would  delineate  where there  are  exceptions  to the  tract  of                                                               
acreage.  For  example, a right-of-way or easement  that might be                                                               
recorded across  his property would  be noted  on the deed.   Mr.                                                               
Balash summarized that the state  does own submerged lands unless                                                               
it was withdrawn by the federal government prior to statehood.                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM  told  Mr. Thompson  that  she  believes  Mr.                                                               
Balash is correct  in stating that it would  be inappropriate for                                                               
him to  advise him in  this setting.   She said she  is confident                                                               
that if Mr.  Thompson called the Department  of Natural Resources                                                               
or his Representatives' offices  they could provide assistance in                                                               
getting answers to his question.                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON  said he  does not  agree.   He added  that Co-Chair                                                               
Masek  is his  representative.   Mr. Thompson  clarified that  he                                                               
would like  an answer  to his  question.   The response  does not                                                               
have  to  be  for  his  specific  circumstances,  he  said.    He                                                               
explained that he  was using his circumstances  as a hypothetical                                                               
example.  Mr.  Thompson posed another hypothetical  example of an                                                               
individual who owns 60 acres and  three of those acres are river.                                                               
If the  river is  the state's  land in  actuality then  why would                                                               
that  individual have  to  pay  property taxes  on  the land,  he                                                               
asked.   Mr. Thompson pointed out  that this bill may  be a drain                                                               
on boroughs that rely on  property taxes for revenue, because all                                                               
these individuals  will be exempt  from paying property  taxes on                                                               
these lands.                                                                                                                    
MR. THOMPSON  stated that  the way  his deed  reads, he  owns the                                                               
land under the river and is being charged taxes for it.                                                                         
Number 2726                                                                                                                     
MR.  BALASH responded  that if  the  federal government  conveyed                                                               
that land to Mr. Thompson  and erroneously conveyed that riverbed                                                               
to  him, then  he may  have  a problem.   However,  if the  state                                                               
conveyed the land and title to  Mr. Thompson [then there is not a                                                               
problem].   The state is capable  of conveying its title  to him,                                                               
but  the  federal  government cannot  convey  title  without  the                                                               
state's permission, he concluded.                                                                                               
MR. THOMPSON replied  that Mr. Balash's comment  is some comfort,                                                               
but it  still does not  answer the question about  tax liability.                                                               
He restated the hypothetical example that  if he owns 57 acres of                                                               
land and  three acres of it  are water, which he  is paying taxes                                                               
on, who  will make  up the  difference in  property taxes  to the                                                               
boroughs [when he no longer pays taxes on those acres].                                                                         
MR.  BALASH told  Mr.  Thompson  that the  question  he has  with                                                               
respect to how  he is being assessed by the  borough for property                                                               
tax purposes  is a question  that needs to  be taken up  with the                                                               
borough.    He said  he  believes  the  property tax  bill  would                                                               
identify that  information.  The borough  accessor's office would                                                               
also have  the information as to  whether he is paying  taxes for                                                               
the value of the riverbed, he added.                                                                                            
Number 2648                                                                                                                     
MR. THOMPSON  replied that he is  indeed paying the taxes  on the                                                               
riverbed and  has since he purchased  the property.  That  is the                                                               
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM encouraged  Mr. Thompson  to talk  with local                                                               
officials or call  her office or his  representative's office for                                                               
further assistance.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  asked  if  Mr.  Mylius  could  describe                                                               
whether there will be any change in navigability determinations.                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS  responded that  DNR  does  not  plan on  making  any                                                               
changes  in the  process of  making navigability  determinations.                                                               
He said that Section 2 of  the legislation directs DNR to compile                                                               
a  list  of  existing   navigability  determinations,  which  are                                                               
primarily done by BLM,  but the state may have had  a part in the                                                               
decisions.  He commented  that there is no where to  go to find a                                                               
list of what has already been done,  so DNR is taking on the task                                                               
of putting together a list and map.                                                                                             
MR. MYLIUS  emphasized that  Section 3 of  the bill  provides for                                                               
the   state  to   send  generic   notifications  to   the  Native                                                               
corporations  which  says that  the  corporations  may have  been                                                               
conveyed  navigable waters,  but  there won't  be information  on                                                               
what rivers have been found to be navigable.                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MASEK moved  to report  SB  305 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                   
Number 2495                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO objected.   He told the members  that he has                                                               
a  question on  the  fiscal note.    The numbers  do  not add  up                                                               
correctly, he said.  He said it looks like $186,500.                                                                            
MR. BALASH  asked if Representative  Gatto is adding up  the line                                                               
items and coming up with a different number than $186,[500].                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  responded  that   he  is  looking  at  the                                                               
analysis.  He referred to the  list of positions and salaries and                                                               
said the amount is over $186,[500].                                                                                             
MR.  BALASH pointed  out that  a  number of  these positions  and                                                               
salaries are for  a multiple number of years  which would account                                                               
for the  amount being over $186,[500]  for one fiscal year.   The                                                               
fiscal  note covers  FY05, FY06,  and  FY07.   He commented  that                                                               
compiling this list will be a lengthy process.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR DAHLSTROM  reminded the members that  the next committee                                                               
of referral  is the House  Finance Committee, where  every dollar                                                               
in the fiscal note will be examined.                                                                                            
Number 2391                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO withdrew his objection.                                                                                    
There being  no objection, SB 305  was reported out of  the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
SB 295-EXTEND NAVIGABLE WATERS COMMISSION                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM announced  that the  final order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 295, "An Act relating  to the publishing                                                               
and furnishing  of certain  public notices  regarding regulations                                                               
or rules of  certain state agencies; relating  to distribution of                                                               
the Alaska  Administrative Code, Alaska  Administrative Register,                                                               
and supplements  to the  code or register;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
Number 2380                                                                                                                     
ZACK  WARWICK, Staff  to Senator  Gene  Therriault, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  SB 295 on  behalf of  Senator Therriault,                                                               
sponsor of the  bill.  He told  the committee that a  lot of what                                                               
SB  295 does  piggybacks on  SB 305.   In  2002 the  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature created the Joint Federal  and State Navigable Waters                                                               
Commission  made up  of seven  state  and federal  members.   The                                                               
purpose was  to create a  working group  to come to  consensus on                                                               
three  objectives.   The first  was  to expedite  the process  of                                                               
obtaining title to  the state's submerged lands.   The second was                                                               
to  determine  which bodies  of  waters  are navigable  and  non-                                                               
navigable, which would  piggyback some of the work  that is being                                                               
done  through  SB  305.    The third  objective  was  to  provide                                                               
recommendations to the  state and federal governments  on ways to                                                               
improve  the process  of making  navigability determinations  and                                                               
obtain  title  to the  state's  submerged  lands  in a  fair  and                                                               
expeditious way.                                                                                                                
Number 2304                                                                                                                     
MR.  WARWICK   said  unfortunately,  in  2002   after  the  state                                                               
legislation passed,  the federal  legislation did  not pass.   So                                                               
the  Joint Federal  and State  Navigable Waters  Commission never                                                               
met.   All  this bill  does  is extend  the sunset  date for  two                                                               
years.   It is  hoped that the  Alaska delegation  will introduce                                                               
federal legislation  that will authorize  the federal  portion of                                                               
the commission.   This is an effort to build  consensus on how to                                                               
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM announced  for the  record that  Dick Mylius,                                                               
Deputy Director,  Division of Mining, Land  and Water, Department                                                               
of Natural Resources is on line to answer questions.                                                                            
Number 2278                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF asked if the  commission will in any way slow                                                               
down or compromise the process with the federal government.                                                                     
MR. WARWICK replied he does not believe so.                                                                                     
Number 2252                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR MASEK referred to the  sponsor statement with respect to                                                               
renewing the  sunset, and asked  if Mr. Warwick knows  if federal                                                               
lawmakers look favorably on this kind of legislation.                                                                           
MR.  WARWICK   replied  that  in   2002  there   was  legislation                                                               
introduced, it  received one  committee hearing,  but it  did not                                                               
move.   He  said  he  could not  comment  on  the possibility  of                                                               
federal legislation passing.                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MASEK  asked  if  SB 295  passes  will  the  commission                                                               
proceed without the federal legislation passing.                                                                                
Number 2174                                                                                                                     
MR. WARWICK commented  that when this legislation  passed in 2002                                                               
there was  a zero fiscal  note.   The state membership  was never                                                               
appointed  and no  work  was done,  he explained.    He told  the                                                               
members  that there  was agreement  with DNR  that no  membership                                                               
appointments would be made until the federal legislation passes.                                                                
Number 2165                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  asked if  after 40  years of  dispute does                                                               
Mr. Warwick  believe a two-year  extension is enough.   She asked                                                               
if  the   seven  state  and  federal   representatives  had  been                                                               
appointed and are currently working.                                                                                            
MR. WARWICK replied no.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE again questioned  whether two years is long                                                               
MR. WARWICK  responded that he  does not  know, but given  that a                                                               
lot of  work will be done  through SB 305, he  believes two years                                                               
should be adequate.                                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  MASEK moved  to report  SB  295 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being no  objection,  SB  295 was  reported  out of  House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:13 p.m.                                                                 

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