Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

05/10/2019 01:00 PM House RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:02:38 PM Start
01:03:27 PM SB91
01:28:24 PM HB116
02:03:02 PM Presentation(s): Understanding the Effects of Pfas (per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) Contamination in Alaskan Municipalities
03:16:40 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 91(FIN) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Presentations: TELECONFERENCED
Understanding the Effects of PFAS (Per-and
polyfluoroalkyl substances) Contamination in
Alaskan Municipalities by
- Bryce Ward, Mayor, Fairbanks North Star Borough
- Calvin Casipit, Mayor, City of Gustavus
-Tom Williams, City Administrator, City of
Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Response to PFAS Contaminated Sites by Dept. of
Environmental Conservation
Moved SSHB 116 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                          May 10, 2019                                                                                          
                           1:02 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative John Lincoln, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 91(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An  Act  relating   to  the  development  and   operation  of  a                                                               
hydroelectric site at the Nuyakuk  River Falls; providing for the                                                               
amendment  of  the management  plan  for  the Wood-Tikchik  State                                                               
Park; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
     - MOVED CSSB 91(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 116                                                                                       
"An Act relating  to the renewal or extension of  site leases for                                                               
aquatic  farming   and  aquatic  plant  and   shellfish  hatchery                                                               
     - MOVED SSHB 116 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                          
PRESENTATION(S):   UNDERSTANDING  THE EFFECTS  OF PFAS  (PER- AND                                                               
POLYFLUOROALKYL    SUBSTANCES)     CONTAMINATION    IN    ALASKAN                                                               
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB  91                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: NUYAKUK RIVER: HYDROELECTRIC SITE                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HOFFMAN                                                                                                  
03/15/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/15/19       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/05/19       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/05/19       (S)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
04/15/19       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/15/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/15/19       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/22/19       (S)       RES RPT 3DP 2NR                                                                                        
04/22/19       (S)       DP: BIRCH, KIEHL, COGHILL                                                                              
04/22/19       (S)       NR: REINBOLD, KAWASAKI                                                                                 
04/22/19       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/22/19       (S)       Moved SB 91 Out of Committee                                                                           
04/22/19       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/30/19       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/30/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/30/19       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
05/06/19       (S)       FIN RPT CS  3DP 4NR SAME TITLE                                                                         
05/06/19       (S)       DP: STEDMAN, HOFFMAN, BISHOP                                                                           
05/06/19       (S)       NR: VON IMHOF, MICCICHE, SHOWER, WILSON                                                                
05/06/19       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
05/06/19       (S)       Moved CSSB 91(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                    
05/06/19       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
05/07/19       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
05/07/19       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 91(FIN)                                                                                  
05/08/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/19       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
05/08/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
05/08/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/08/19       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
05/10/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
BILL: HB 116                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AQUATIC FARM/HATCHERY SITE LEASES                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) STORY                                                                                             
03/27/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/27/19       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
04/12/19       (H)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                          
04/12/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/12/19       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
04/16/19       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
04/16/19       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/23/19       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
04/23/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/23/19       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
04/25/19       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
04/25/19       (H)       Moved SSHB 116 Out of Committee                                                                        
04/25/19       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
04/26/19       (H)       FSH RPT 7DP                                                                                            
04/26/19       (H)       DP: TARR, VANCE, KOPP, EDGMON, NEUMAN,                                                                 
                         KREISS-TOMKINS, STUTES                                                                                 
05/03/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
05/03/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/03/19       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
05/06/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
05/06/19       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
05/10/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
ROBERT HIMSCHOOT, CEO/General Manager                                                                                           
Nushagak Cooperative                                                                                                            
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a PowerPoint presentation titled                                                                
"Nuyakuk Hydroelectric, Hydropower for Bristol Bay," and                                                                        
testified in support of CSSB 91(FIN).                                                                                           
CORY WARNOCK, Senior Licensing and Regulatory Consultant                                                                        
McMillen Jacobs Associates                                                                                                      
Ferndale, Washington                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Representing Nushagak Cooperative, provided                                                              
information regarding the federal regulatory process during the                                                                 
hearing on CSSB 91(FIN).                                                                                                        
CHRISTINE O'CONNOR, Executive Director                                                                                          
Alaska Telecom Association (ATA)                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of CSSB 91(FIN).                                                                    
RICKY GEASE, Director                                                                                                           
Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation                                                                                          
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to CSSB 91(FIN).                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE ANDI STORY                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Speaking as the sponsor of SSHB 116,                                                                     
reviewed aspects of the bill.                                                                                                   
GREG SMITH, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Representative Story, sponsor                                                             
of SSHB 116, answered questions regarding the bill.                                                                           
CHRISTY COLLES, Operations Manager                                                                                              
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to SSHB 116.                                                                  
META MESDAG, Owner                                                                                                              
Salty Lady Seafood Company                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SSHB 116.                                                                        
MARGO REVEIL, President                                                                                                         
Alaska Shellfish Growers Association                                                                                            
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SSHB 116.                                                                        
NANCY HILLSTRAND                                                                                                                
Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries Inc.                                                                                                  
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed her concerns with SSHB 116 and                                                                 
suggested the inclusion of certain definitions.                                                                                 
VICKI JO KENNEDY                                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in regard to SSHB 116.                                                                         
HERMAN MORGAN                                                                                                                   
Aniak, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the hearing of SSHB 116, testified                                                                
on salmon hatcheries, a topic not included in the bill.                                                                         
ALPHEUS BULLARD, Attorney                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal Services                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to SSHB 116.                                                                  
JASON BRUNE, Commissioner                                                                                                       
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided  a PowerPoint  presentation titled                                                             
"State Response to PFAS," dated 5/10/19, and answered questions.                                                                
DENISE KOCH, Director                                                                                                           
Division of Spill Prevention and Response (SPAR)                                                                                
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  during the  PowerPoint                                                             
presentation titled "State Response to PFAS," dated 5/10/19.                                                                    
BRYCE WARD, Mayor                                                                                                               
Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB)                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided  a PowerPoint  presentation titled                                                             
"PFCs in the FNSB," dated 5/10/19, and answered questions.                                                                      
CALVIN CASIPIT, Mayor                                                                                                           
City of Gustavus                                                                                                                
Gustavus, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the presentation  on per-                                                             
and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.                                                                            
TOM WILLIAMS, City Administrator                                                                                                
City of Gustavus                                                                                                                
Gustavus, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the presentation  on per-                                                             
and polyfluoroalkyl substances  (PFAS) contamination and answered                                                               
a question.                                                                                                                     
KELLY MCLAUGHLIN, Chair                                                                                                         
Gustavus PFAS Action Coalition (GPAC)                                                                                           
Gustavus, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the presentation  on per-                                                             
and polyfluoroalkyl substances  (PFAS) contamination and answered                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:02:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  GERAN   TARR  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:02 p.m.   Representatives Tuck,                                                               
Hannan,  Talerico,  Spohnholz,  Rauscher, Hopkins,  Lincoln,  and                                                               
Tarr were present at the call to order.                                                                                         
            SB 91-NUYAKUK RIVER: HYDROELECTRIC SITE                                                                         
1:03:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  CS FOR  SENATE  BILL NO.  91(FIN), "An  Act  relating to  the                                                               
development and operation of a  hydroelectric site at the Nuyakuk                                                               
River Falls; providing  for the amendment of  the management plan                                                               
for the Wood-Tikchik  State Park; and providing  for an effective                                                               
CO-CHAIR TARR opened invited testimony on CSSB 91(FIN).                                                                         
1:04:03 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  HIMSCHOOT,  CEO/General  Manager,  Nushagak  Cooperative,                                                               
provided    a    PowerPoint    presentation    titled    "Nuyakuk                                                               
Hydroelectric, Hydropower for Bristol Bay."   Turning to slide 2,                                                               
he said  the [proposed] location  offers some  natural advantages                                                               
for hydroelectric production.  He  noted that the glacial moraine                                                               
that  creates the  lake systems  of the  Tikchik drains  all five                                                               
lakes across  that glacial moraine.   He explained that  the lake                                                               
is a natural  sediment sink, that there is about  40 feet of head                                                               
across 2500 feet  of river for a diversion project,  and that the                                                               
2500 feet  of river  is in an  oxbow configuration,  which allows                                                               
for running a 1500-foot penstock.                                                                                               
MR. HIMSCHOOT  moved to slide  3 and  stated that since  1953 the                                                               
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has  had a flow-monitoring gauge on                                                               
the river just  above the proposed hydro site.   He reported that                                                               
evaluation  of  these  60  years  of flow  data  shows  that  4.5                                                               
megawatts  of power  could still  be  made during  the low  three                                                               
months of the low three years,  using less than 25 percent of the                                                               
flow;  and  during  the  summer   considerably  greater  than  10                                                               
megawatts  could be  made.   He further  reported that  the power                                                               
curve from  this projected production  matches the  load dynamics                                                               
in Bristol Bay very well.   Loads considerably peak in the summer                                                               
with  salmon production,  he explained,  so being  able to  use a                                                               
consistent  amount of  the  flow using  the  same dynamics  would                                                               
produce  power when  it is  needed the  most as  well as  produce                                                               
enough power  in the winter.   He  said the projection  from this                                                               
curve  is that  the diesels  can be  turned off  24/7/365 in  the                                                               
communities  of   Dillingham,  Aleknagik,   Koliganek,  Stuyahok,                                                               
Ekwok, and  Levelock.  Other  than during maintenance  periods or                                                               
outages, he  added, diesel power  production would  be completely                                                               
replaced  by hydropower.   He  further  pointed out  that if  the                                                               
actual  study  confirms the  current  projections,  there is  the                                                               
potential to also include Naknek,  South Naknek, and King Salmon.                                                               
He  specified that  the diesel  displacement  projection for  the                                                               
first subset of communities is 1.5  million gallons a year and if                                                               
the second subset  is able to be included it  will be 2.9 million                                                               
gallons a year.                                                                                                                 
MR.  HIMSCHOOT displayed  slide  4 and  described  how the  power                                                               
plant facility  would look on the  river.  He said  1,500 feet of                                                               
penstock would divert a portion of  the flow across 2,500 feet of                                                               
river, so  only 2,500  feet would  be affected.   He  offered the                                                               
cooperative's  belief that  this project  can be  done with  very                                                               
minimal impact to  the viewshed and stated the  studies will show                                                               
how much  impact there would be  to the natural environment.   He                                                               
stated that while there is  a considerable amount of data, modern                                                               
geographical  information system  (GIS) data  would help  quite a                                                               
bit  in evaluation.   The  process requires  that a  considerable                                                               
amount  of studying  be  done  to be  able  to  get an  operating                                                               
license,  he  explained, and  that  is  the  point at  which  the                                                               
cooperative is  right now.  He  said the cooperative has  gone as                                                               
far as  it can without  getting in  there and doing  the physical                                                               
studies  that  will  actually  define   whether  the  project  is                                                               
1:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK observed the  statement on slide 4, "Affected                                                               
water flow  3000 feet from the  top of the falls  to the bottom".                                                               
He inquired whether  this is referring to a  vertical or diagonal                                                               
drop of 3,000 feet.                                                                                                             
MR. HIMSCHOOT replied that until  there is the actual design [the                                                               
estimate  is]  3,000 feet  or  2,500  feet of  longitudinal,  not                                                               
vertical.  That  is the actual river flow, he  clarified, and the                                                               
penstock, the  pipeline that is put  in there, is expected  to be                                                               
closer to 1,500 feet.                                                                                                           
1:10:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS asked how  many miles of transmission line                                                               
would need to be built to get power to the different villages.                                                                  
MR. HIMSCHOOT  responded it would  be 130-150  [miles], depending                                                               
on  whether Naknek,  South Naknek,  and King  Salmon are  able to                                                               
benefit from the project as well.                                                                                               
1:10:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked how  many people  would be  covered by                                                               
the project.                                                                                                                    
MR.  HIMSCHOOT  answered it  would  be  between 3,500  and  4,500                                                               
people, depending on the scope of the project.                                                                                  
1:11:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  noted the  bill just gives  the Department                                                               
of Natural Resources (DNR) and  the Alaska Department of Fish and                                                               
Game  (ADF&G) the  authority  to amend  the  management plan  for                                                               
Wood-Tikchik State  Park so that  the appropriate  permitting can                                                               
go forward.  She asked how much  the project is going to cost and                                                               
how long it will take to construct.                                                                                             
MR.  HIMSCHOOT   replied  that  the  Federal   Energy  Regulatory                                                               
Commission (FERC)  is the permitting authority  for anything over                                                               
five megawatts  on an  operating license.   He stated  this would                                                               
just allow  the cooperative to get  in there and follow  the FERC                                                               
procedures  and do  the studies  that will  be necessary  to that                                                               
process.   The  estimate right  now, he  continued, is  $120-$150                                                               
million to construct the project.   He said much of that would be                                                               
defined by  the studies and  if the studies  show it is  a viable                                                               
project,  then  the  design  that  follows  the  studies  if  the                                                               
cooperative can acquire an operating permit.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  inquired how  long  the  FERC process  is                                                               
anticipated to take to get to a project that can be permitted.                                                                  
MR. HIMSCHOOT responded that the  studies themselves are expected                                                               
to take  three years.  He  said the FERC process  allows a three-                                                               
year window,  which the cooperative  is one year into  right now.                                                               
As  long  as progress  is  being  made,  he continued,  the  FERC                                                               
process also  allows a two-year  extension.  He related  that the                                                               
cooperative  expects  it  will   need  that  extension  and  that                                                               
sometime between  now and four years  from now the study  will be                                                               
completed.  Once  the studies are completed, he  stated, there is                                                               
roughly one year for engineering  and design and then hopefully a                                                               
two-year build  process to  bring this into  production.   So, he                                                               
added, if everything goes according to plan it is about a six-                                                                  
year process from here.                                                                                                         
1:13:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HIMSCHOOT related that the  Nushagak Cooperative started this                                                               
process  in late  2017 and  since then  the cooperative  has done                                                               
more  than 70  meetings  and presentations  to  build the  social                                                               
license and  support for the  project that the  cooperative knows                                                               
it will need in the region.   Even though Nushagak Cooperative is                                                               
the entity  that will  be doing  the studies  here, he  said, the                                                               
cooperative understands fully that this  is a regional impact and                                                               
regional benefit  and is doing  everything it can to  involve the                                                               
region.  He pointed out that  the substitute language seen in the                                                               
bill was  part of that  process.  He  explained that as  the bill                                                               
entered  the  legislative  process, the  cooperative  found  some                                                               
local opposition  to language  in the bill.   But,  he continued,                                                               
the cooperative  was able to  bring everybody together  through a                                                               
series of meetings  and to come up with  some additional language                                                               
that continues  to build that  needed local support and  does not                                                               
materially  affect the  cooperative's ability  to do  the studies                                                               
that are needed.                                                                                                                
MR. HIMSCHOOT  addressed the  [$20,000] fiscal  note accompanying                                                               
the bill.  He stated the  cooperative has agreed to reimburse DNR                                                               
for  its actual  costs, estimated  to be  $20,000, to  update the                                                               
management plan should the bill  pass.  That has several benefits                                                               
for the project as  well as the bill, he added,  which is why the                                                               
cooperative engaged in that process.                                                                                            
1:15:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  pointed out  that  before  the committee  is  the                                                               
Senate-passed version,  CSSB 91(FIN).   She noted that  the House                                                               
companion  bill, HB  99, has  the same  original language  as the                                                               
original Senate  bill.  She  explained the original  bill version                                                               
only added  the Nuyakuk River  Falls into existing statute  as an                                                               
area  where  this activity  could  take  place.   She  said  more                                                               
specific restrictions would be added  into statute by the amended                                                               
version, [CSSB 91 (FIN), page 1, lines 6-12], which read:                                                                       
          (e)   The   development   and   operation   of   a                                                                    
       hydroelectric site at the Nuyakuk River Falls is a                                                                       
     compatible use if the development and operation                                                                            
               (1) does not include a dam that full spans a                                                                     
               (2) maintains at least 70 percent of the                                                                         
      daily upstream water flow of an affected river along                                                                      
     the natural course of the river; and                                                                                       
               (3) after July 1, 2024, is licensed by the                                                                       
     Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.                                                                                      
1:17:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR opened public testimony on CSSB 91(FIN).                                                                          
1:17:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CORY  WARNOCK,   Senior  Licensing  and   Regulatory  Consultant,                                                               
McMillen  Jacobs Associates,  testified  he  is representing  the                                                               
Nushagak  Cooperative regarding  the regulatory  side of  things.                                                               
He related  that in the past  concern has been raised  about this                                                               
bill somehow expediting the  overall licensing process associated                                                               
with  this project.   Responding  to Co-Chair  Tarr, he  provided                                                               
more details related to the FERC  regulatory process.  He said it                                                               
isn't a unique  issue for park plans to be  inconsistent with, or                                                               
incompatible with, the  use of a hydroelectric project.   What is                                                               
unique,  he continued,  is  some  of the  concern  that has  been                                                               
raised.  But, he stated, the  reality is that the FERC regulatory                                                               
process is going to drive this  overall licensing.  All this bill                                                               
will  allow,  he advised,  is  for  the Nushagak  Cooperative  to                                                               
actually conduct  the requisite natural resource  and engineering                                                               
studies required  to determine whether  this project  is actually                                                               
feasible  to construct  and operate.   The  federal process  will                                                               
trump anything else,  he added, and if in four  or five years the                                                               
natural resource  and engineering studies show  that this project                                                               
can't  be built  because of  fish  impacts, or  flow impacts,  or                                                               
other issues,  Nushagak Cooperative  has no intention  of pushing                                                               
it through,  nor could  it.   Things are at  the infancy  of this                                                               
overall  federal process,  he  explained, and  this  is just  the                                                               
light switch to allow that process to continue.                                                                                 
1:19:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE   O'CONNOR,   Executive    Director,   Alaska   Telecom                                                               
Association (ATA),  stated her personal support  for CSSB 91(FIN)                                                               
and noted she is a former  board member and a current customer of                                                               
Nushagak Cooperative.   Speaking  as a long-time  former resident                                                               
of the region, she said the  high cost of energy is a significant                                                               
economic drag  on quality of  life and therefore this  project is                                                               
very exciting.                                                                                                                  
MS. O'CONNOR testified that ATA  supports the bill because it has                                                               
a broadband  component.  She  explained that, should  the studies                                                               
prove it  feasible to go  forward, the infrastructure  that would                                                               
eventually accompany  the project would allow  broadband fiber to                                                               
be deployed, which would also be a benefit to the region.                                                                       
1:20:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  closed public  testimony  on  CSSB 91(FIN)  after                                                               
ascertaining that no one else wished to testify.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR requested  Mr. Gease  of the  Division of  Parks &                                                               
Outdoor Recreation to confirm that  DNR anticipates entering into                                                               
a funding  agreement with the  project proponent under  which DNR                                                               
would  collect   approximately  $20,000  in  receipts   from  the                                                               
proponent to cover  costs incurred to revise  the park management                                                               
plan  and department  regulations using  the division's  existing                                                               
receipt authority.                                                                                                              
1:21:29 PM                                                                                                                    
RICKY GEASE,  Director, Division  of Parks &  Outdoor Recreation,                                                               
Department of Natural Resources  (DNR), confirmed Co-Chair Tarr's                                                               
statement is  correct and accurate.   He said the  division would                                                               
follow that process moving forward.                                                                                             
1:21:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN noted  that  the original  version of  the                                                               
bill  listed  two lakes,  but  now  [the  bill as  amended]  only                                                               
considers a  project that  would be on  the Nuyakuk  River Falls.                                                               
She inquired whether  Lake Elva and Grant Lake are  both in Wood-                                                               
Tikchik State Park.                                                                                                             
MR.  GEASE offered  his belief  that hydro  studies were  done on                                                               
those lakes in the past, but  that they proved to be not feasible                                                               
"and  so  this  would  be  including   this  area  to  be  a  not                                                               
incompatible use with park purposes."                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  TARR stated,  "They  had previously  tried  and so  the                                                               
original bill  was just  going to  add the  new location  so that                                                               
they were  all in that  same section, but  then I guess  from the                                                               
community input, have further revised that."                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN explained  she is  looking to  see whether                                                               
those lakes were removed because  of engineering infeasibility or                                                               
because of  community response that  a project was not  wanted in                                                               
those lakes.                                                                                                                    
1:22:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HIMSCHOOT responded  that Nushagak  Cooperative was  granted                                                               
funding  in 2009  to  study  Lake Elva  and  Grant  Lake and  the                                                               
studies were  completed in 2012.   There was potential  for hydro                                                               
production, he  said, but the  amount that could be  produced for                                                               
the cost of the project didn't  allow the project to move forward                                                               
as  it wasn't  responsible financially  to move  it forward.   At                                                               
that point,  he continued, Nushagak Cooperative  declared the two                                                               
projects  not  feasible,  returned  the remainder  of  the  grant                                                               
funding to  Alaska Energy  Authority (AEA),  and even  though the                                                               
lakes remain in  the statutory language the study  results are in                                                               
the park management plan as far as feasibility is concerned.                                                                    
1:24:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN  moved to report  CSSB 91(FIN) out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There  being no objection, CSSB 91(FIN)  was reported out                                                               
of the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                      
1:24:45 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 1:24 p.m. to 1:28 p.m.                                                                       
            HB 116-AQUATIC FARM/HATCHERY SITE LEASES                                                                        
1:28:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR HOUSE BILL  NO. 116, "An Act  relating to                                                               
the renewal or  extension of site leases for  aquatic farming and                                                               
aquatic plant and shellfish hatchery operations."                                                                               
1:28:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ANDI  STORY, Alaska State Legislature,  sponsor of                                                               
SSHB 116, stated  that the bill seeks to  simplify the Department                                                               
of  Natural Resources  (DNR) lease  renewal  process for  aquatic                                                               
farms.  Enactment of the  bill, she said, would help Alaska-based                                                               
aquaculture businesses succeed by  expediting the renewal process                                                               
and reducing  risk for businesses  that make  significant capital                                                               
investments.  She  further stated that the bill  would reduce the                                                               
workload on  an overstretched state agency,  while still allowing                                                               
appropriate regulatory oversight,  public engagement, and appeals                                                               
of DNR's decision.                                                                                                              
1:29:51 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG  SMITH,  Staff,  Representative  Andi  Story,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  directed attention  to a  DNR document  included in                                                               
the committee packet that answers  the committee's questions from                                                               
the bill's  previous hearing.   Regarding the question  about how                                                               
many aquatic farm  lease renewals are approved by  DNR each year,                                                               
he said the  document states zero in 2014, seven  in 2015, ten in                                                               
2016,  one in  2017, and  zero in  2018 with  twelve applications                                                               
submitted.  He  offered his understanding that a  number of lease                                                               
renewal applications  were submitted  in 2017  that have  not yet                                                               
been  approved  due  to  the  amount of  work  in  the  division.                                                               
Regarding the question  about the range in sizes  of aquatic farm                                                               
leases,  Mr. Smith  said the  document states  the range  is from                                                               
less than  one acre on  up to 127  acres of state-owned  tide and                                                               
submerged lands.  Regarding the  question of whether the director                                                               
would have the authority to deny  a lease renewal given that that                                                               
authority appears  to be  removed in  Section 3  of the  bill, he                                                               
said the  document states  that a director  "may" renew  or "may                                                                
not  renew  a  lease  under   AS  38.05.070(e).    Regarding  the                                                               
questions on salmon  hatcheries that have DNR  general leases, he                                                               
said  the document  states yes,  there are  some.   Regarding the                                                               
length of  salmon hatchery  leases, he  said the  document states                                                               
that there is a 25-year lease and a 30-year lease.                                                                              
MR.  SMITH continued  speaking from  the DNR  document and  noted                                                               
there was a question about the  length of aquatic farm leases and                                                               
said that under  regulation those are 10-year  leases.  Regarding                                                               
questions about what DNR is able  to do during the lease term, at                                                               
renewal, and if there are violations  of the lease terms, he said                                                               
it appears  from the document that  DNR is able to  deny, revoke,                                                               
or rescind  a lease during  the lease  term; change terms  of the                                                               
lease  at renewal,  both under  the current  renewal process  and                                                               
under   the  optional   expedited   renewal   process  under   AS                                                               
38.05.070(e); and DNR is able to  take action on a lease if there                                                               
is a violation  of the lease's terms.  Regarding  the question on                                                               
the types of changes that  would trigger a new lease application,                                                               
Mr. Smith  said the document  states that changes to  the lease's                                                               
footprint or size,  or changes to the lease's  use, would trigger                                                               
a new lease application.                                                                                                        
1:33:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN drew  attention to  the number  of aquatic                                                               
farm lease renewals  each year.  She surmised  that the sponsor's                                                               
interest  in the  issue stems  from there  being 12  applications                                                               
submitted in 2018  with none of them renewed.   She asked whether                                                               
the sponsor  has heard from  the applicants  and if that  is what                                                               
motivated the  bill.  She  further asked whether an  aquatic farm                                                               
must abandon work on the site if  DNR does not renew the lease in                                                               
a timely manner.                                                                                                                
1:34:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY deferred to DNR to answer the question.                                                                    
1:34:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTY COLLES,  Operations Manager, Central Office,  Division of                                                               
Mining, Land  and Water, Department  of Natural  Resources (DNR),                                                               
responded that the  division is working through them,  so they do                                                               
not have  an authorization, but  the division also knows  that it                                                               
is due to  the workload and is  no fault of the  applicants.  She                                                               
said  it  is  a  situation  that neither  the  division  nor  the                                                               
applicant likes,  but the  division must  go through  the process                                                               
before it can say whether  the applicant can continue to operate.                                                               
The applications are being worked  on, she continued, but are not                                                               
completed yet.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked what staffing levels  are needed for                                                               
this  work to  be completed  in a  timely fashion.   She  further                                                               
asked  whether  DNR's  operating   budget  for  2020  meets  that                                                               
operational need.                                                                                                               
MS.  COLLES answered  she doesn't  feel comfortable  giving those                                                               
numbers.    She  said  she  doesn't know  exactly  what  type  of                                                               
staffing would  be needed  and she hasn't  seen the  numbers that                                                               
have been given for the operational budget in 2020.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  what the  staffing capacity  was in                                                               
2016 as compared to 2018.                                                                                                       
MS. COLLES replied [the division]  supports the governor's budget                                                               
at this point.   She said the 2018 staffing level  is the same as                                                               
it was in 2016.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN interpreted  Ms. Colles'  answer as  being                                                               
that in  2016 the staffing  level that could complete  12 renewal                                                               
applications is the  same staffing level that in  2018 was unable                                                               
to complete any applications.                                                                                                   
MS. COLLES  responded yes, but  explained that the reason  it has                                                               
changed is because the division  has more new applications coming                                                               
in.  In 2016, she continued,  the division did not have the level                                                               
of interest in the  industry as there is now, and  that is why it                                                               
is  more   difficult  for  staff  to   adjudicate  these  renewal                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked  how   many  applications  for  new                                                               
mariculture and shellfish permits were received in 2018.                                                                        
MS.  COLLES  offered  her  belief   that  there  was  14-16  [new                                                               
applications] in 2018.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  inquired whether most of  the applications                                                               
were completed that year.                                                                                                       
MS. COLLES answered that the  division was unable to complete all                                                               
of  the applications  and get  them to  issuance.   She said  she                                                               
could not recall the exact number of how many were issued.                                                                      
1:38:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked what the fate  of the applications                                                               
is now.                                                                                                                         
MS. COLLES  replied the  division is  continuing to  work through                                                               
them; they  are not  put aside.   She said  the division  has one                                                               
dedicated  staff  member  and   approximately  five  other  staff                                                               
members,  who also  work on  general leases,  that are  assisting                                                               
with the  applications that  are coming  in for  aquatic farming.                                                               
She stated  that there are  competing interests and  projects for                                                               
time and  while she won't say  that they are not  a priority, the                                                               
division is balancing those priorities.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  inquired   whether  processing  of  the                                                               
applications  will continue  until  they are  finished, and  that                                                               
time will not kill them.                                                                                                        
MS. COLLES responded correct.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  related his understanding  from speaking                                                               
with a former commissioner that  sometimes the problem isn't lack                                                               
of funding,  but rather  the problem  of filling  [the position].                                                               
He allowed,  however, that  this has nothing  to do  with today's                                                               
1:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LINCOLN asked  whether  the  businesses that  are                                                               
waiting  for their  leases to  be  renewed are  able to  continue                                                               
operating until the department addresses their renewal request.                                                                 
MS. COLLES  answered yes, [the  applicants] are able  to continue                                                               
their business.                                                                                                                 
1:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR opened invited testimony on SSHB 116.                                                                             
1:41:13 PM                                                                                                                    
META  MESDAG, Owner,  Salty Lady  Seafood  Company, testified  in                                                               
support of  SSHB 116.   She stated she is  a board member  of the                                                               
Alaska Shellfish  Growers Association and  that both she  and the                                                               
association support  the bill.  She  related that a year  ago she                                                               
submitted  documents for  a lease  transfer  for a  farm site  in                                                               
Juneau,  and it  was just  recently  completed.   She stated  she                                                               
currently has  oysters at her farm  and is getting ready  to seed                                                               
geoduck.   Oysters take  three years to  become ready  for market                                                               
and geoducks  take up to seven,  she specified.  She  pointed out                                                               
that her  lease has  five years left  on it and  she is  not even                                                               
through all of the process  for getting her site fully permitted.                                                               
During the next four years,  she continued, [her renewal] will be                                                               
up for  public comment three  times and  no revenue will  be seen                                                               
from the geoduck before she has  to start the leasing process all                                                               
over again.                                                                                                                     
MS. MESDAG said SSHB 116 would allow  DNR to sign off one time on                                                               
the renewal  of leases  that are  in good  standing.   She stated                                                               
this would  improve efficiencies in the  agencies regulating this                                                               
industry  and would  provide assurances  for  farmers wanting  to                                                               
enter the  industry.   This easy  solution, she  continued, would                                                               
grant the director the authority to  renew leases that are in the                                                               
state's best interest.                                                                                                          
MS. MESDAG  pointed out  that making changes  to her  lease takes                                                               
years.   She explained she  has a parcel  that is supposed  to be                                                               
for a  hardening beach,  but that  it needs  to be  moved because                                                               
it's not the right substrate.   However, she continued, that move                                                               
is going  to take years, which  means she is paying  for property                                                               
that she cannot  actually utilize and the only  reason is because                                                               
the state is  so backlogged that it cannot process  new leases or                                                               
transfers  in a  timely manner  and  in a  way that  makes it  an                                                               
industry thas easy for people to invest in.                                                                                     
1:43:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR opened public testimony on SSHB 116.                                                                              
1:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MARGO  REVEIL, President,  Alaska Shellfish  Growers Association,                                                               
testified in support of  SSHB 116.  She said she  owns a farm and                                                               
that both  her farm and  the association  support the bill.   She                                                               
stated  the  association  successfully   worked  to  develop  the                                                               
industry, with  sales doubling in the  last five years.   But the                                                               
industry  is still  in its  nascent stages,  she continued,  with                                                               
only  $1.53  million   in  aquatic  farm  sales   with  41  farms                                                               
reporting.   Mariculture  has tremendous  potential to  diversify                                                               
Alaska's  economy and  build resiliency  in  the state's  coastal                                                               
communities, she opined.   She said SSHB 116  could alleviate the                                                               
permitting  bottlenecks that  are  hampering  growth and  causing                                                               
lost  revenue  to the  state.    She  stated that  DNR  currently                                                               
processes  lease   renewals  every   10  years  using   the  same                                                               
requirements as  a new  lease.   She pointed  out that  this full                                                               
process  is required  even if  the  farm has  been a  responsible                                                               
steward  of state  water resources,  has  successfully met  DNR's                                                               
commercial use  requirements, and is not  proposing major changes                                                               
to the lease.                                                                                                                   
MS. REVEIL stated  that shellfish farming is  a heavily regulated                                                               
industry  with ample  opportunity  for agency  and public  input.                                                               
She  said regulation  of her  own  24-acre farm  in Kachemak  Bay                                                               
includes the following:  a DNR  lease renewal every 10 years with                                                               
periodic  inspections; an  ADF&G  10-year  operation permit  with                                                               
periodic inspections and  a development plan report  that must be                                                               
filed  annually; an  ADF&G special  area habitat  permit that  is                                                               
renewed annually; a  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  permit that is                                                               
renewed every  five years and  includes a review by  the National                                                               
Oceanic  and  Atmospheric  Administration (NOAA);  Department  of                                                               
Environmental  Conservation (DEC)  quarterly  inspections at  the                                                               
farm's processing plant;  annual inspection by the  Food and Drug                                                               
Administration   (FDA)  for   Vibrio  vulnificus   compliance  [a                                                               
bacteria that  can contaminate raw oysters];  and compliance with                                                               
all U.S. Coast  Guard requirements.  Ms. Reveil  pointed out that                                                               
each of  these agencies has  its own mechanism for  responding to                                                               
and  processing  public   input.    She  further   noted  that  a                                                               
significant part of  her time is spent  managing agency relations                                                               
for her small business.                                                                                                         
MS.  REVEIL stated  that SSHB  116 is  a modest  bill that  would                                                               
accomplish  several positive  changes:   reduce workload  for DNR                                                               
staff, make on-water leases more  similar to land leases in terms                                                               
of  process,  prioritize  DNR  staff   time  in  new  farm  lease                                                               
applications and managing DNR's  program, and give more certainty                                                               
for  existing farmers  who have  invested in  site infrastructure                                                               
during  the  first  10-year lease;  and  slightly  reduce  [lease                                                               
renewal]  application times.    She  acknowledged opposition  has                                                               
been brought  up regarding  farm size and  lack of  public input,                                                               
but said  new farm  applications and  second renewals  retain the                                                               
extensive  public input  component where  farm size  and resource                                                               
sharing  issues are  addressed.   She added  that the  bill would                                                               
just  give DNR  the ability  to  process a  single lease  renewal                                                               
faster if the lease is in good standing.                                                                                        
1:47:28 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  HILLSTRAND,  Pioneer  Alaskan Fisheries  Inc.,  noted  her                                                               
company  has been  in business  since 1964.   She  said her  main                                                               
concern is  the sponsor statement's  [first line],  which states:                                                               
"helping  small, Alaska-based  businesses."    She asked  whether                                                               
there is  any way  to define  the meanings  of "small"  and "good                                                               
standing."   She  said  her business  helped  the oyster  growers                                                               
begin in  Kachemak Bay in the  early 1990s, but now  problems are                                                               
being seen  as some of the  oyster growers want to  expand and as                                                               
new  oyster farmers  come into  the  area because  of the  area's                                                               
residents  and navigable  waters.   She recalled  statements that                                                               
these leases  should be aligned and  standardized, but maintained                                                               
that there  is a  difference because  these are  navigable waters                                                               
belonging to  the people  of Alaska who  are boating  and fishing                                                               
the near-shore waters.                                                                                                          
MS. HILLSTRAND stated that not  all the scientific information is                                                               
on the  table.  For  example, she  said, there isn't  a magnitude                                                               
included  for  salmon hatcheries,  nor  an  on-off switch.    She                                                               
maintained  that the  suspension  and  revocation statute  hasn't                                                               
been utilized  properly so some  of the hatcheries  continue even                                                               
though they  aren't in  compliance with  their permits,  which is                                                               
what makes her  concerned about what "good standing"  means.  She                                                               
cautioned about  the possibility of over  capitalization and then                                                               
having to buy  out the businesses.   She said she is  by no means                                                               
opposed to  small farms being  allowed to continue  business, but                                                               
is concerned that  as big industry starts to enter  the people of                                                               
Alaska be  allowed a good voice  after 10 years for  getting down                                                               
to any problems and finding solutions.                                                                                          
1:50:42 PM                                                                                                                    
VICKI JO  KENNEDY told the story  of her friends in  Sterling who                                                               
invested $250,000  in a fisheries  business that  included smoked                                                               
salmon,  processed  fish, and  shellfish.    She said  they  were                                                               
controlled  by  four  separate state  entities  and  one  federal                                                               
entity.  She related that one agency  would say it was okay to do                                                               
something and  then the next one  would say it wasn't,  and after                                                               
almost three years her friends threw  in the towel because it was                                                               
such a nightmare.   She urged the committee to  grow the state by                                                               
working with  the people trying to  have a business, to  let them                                                               
get through their  permitting in a timely manner, and  to not let                                                               
so many entities be in charge  such that people cannot figure out                                                               
what to do next.                                                                                                                
1:52:38 PM                                                                                                                    
HERMAN MORGAN expressed  his concern with salmon  hatcheries.  He                                                               
said the commercial  fishermen in his area used to  have a market                                                               
for their  chum and  red salmon,  but the  market was  taken away                                                               
when the  hatcheries came online  and started overproducing.   He                                                               
maintained the hatcheries  are putting out too many  fish and are                                                               
stressing the  carrying capacity  of the  ocean.   The hatcheries                                                               
are making it  hard for people in  his area to make  a living, he                                                               
continued.  He urged that salmon hatcheries be regulated.                                                                       
CO-CHAIR  TARR  pointed  out  that  SSHB  116  affects  shellfish                                                               
hatcheries, not  salmon hatcheries.   She thanked Mr.  Morgan for                                                               
his comments.                                                                                                                   
1:54:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN requested  the legal  definition of  "good                                                               
standing" in the context of SSHB 116.                                                                                           
1:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
ALPHEUS   BULLARD,    Attorney,   Legislative    Legal   Counsel,                                                               
Legislative Legal Services,  responded that when it  applies to a                                                               
lease it means that there are  no issues with the department, and                                                               
it would  be up to the  department to define what  those could be                                                               
in this case.                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked whether,  because this is about lease                                                               
renewals, it  could be presumed  to mean that the  applicant must                                                               
be in compliance  with all the terms of the  original lease to be                                                               
considered in good standing for this expedited lease renewal.                                                                   
MR. BULLARD replied, "That seems a reasonable interpretation."                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN noted  the term  "small" doesn't  actually                                                               
appear in  SSHB 116.   She  inquired about  the current  sizes of                                                               
shellfish farms and  whether the agencies define  all those sizes                                                               
as being "small" leases.                                                                                                        
1:56:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. COLLES answered that for  authorized leases the range is from                                                               
less than  one acre on  up to 127  acres.   She said most  of the                                                               
farms are less than  30 acres and only one is above  30 acres - a                                                               
new farm  that is  127 acres.   She stated  that the  division is                                                               
seeing some larger farms come online in applications.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN inquired  whether the  127-acre farm  is a                                                               
corporate type  structure, rather  than a  mom-and-pop structure,                                                               
for shellfish operation.                                                                                                        
MS. COLLES replied it  is hard to tell.  She said  a lot of these                                                               
companies come in  with business licenses and  sometimes they are                                                               
getting funding from an outside  source, but the division doesn't                                                               
always know all the different  factors of where their sourcing is                                                               
coming from.   Therefore, she continued, she cannot  say for sure                                                               
whether they are a mom-and-pop.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked whether there  is a difference in the                                                               
division's  application  oversight  based  on  the  size  of  the                                                               
acreage  that  is being  sought  for  a  lease; in  other  words,                                                               
whether  a 30-acre  application  is treated  differently than  an                                                               
application for 127 acres.                                                                                                      
MS.  COLLES  responded  that   some  regulations  give  different                                                               
consideration for larger  farms taking up more  than one-third of                                                               
a bay or  cove.  It isn't  always the size being  so much larger,                                                               
she explained, it  is the size taking up a  large area that makes                                                               
the division  look closer  at the application  to consider  a few                                                               
criteria  that are  listed in  regulation.   But, she  added, she                                                               
wouldn't say  the division treats  them differently.  A  lot more                                                               
comments are received when the farms  are larger, she noted.  For                                                               
example, she related,  recently a farm wanted to  expand a couple                                                               
acres in Kachemak Bay, and  since that requires public notice the                                                               
division got a lot of comments  because it is in a well-populated                                                               
area  and [the  public]  was concerned  about navigation  issues.                                                               
So, she continued, it really depends on the location.                                                                           
2:00:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO addressed Section 3  of the bill, page 2,                                                               
lines 7-9, which  state:  "The commissioner, for  good cause, may                                                               
deny an application  an application for issuance  [OR RENEWAL] of                                                               
a lease under  this section but shall provide  the applicant with                                                               
written findings  that explain the  reasons for the denial."   He                                                               
said this  language seems to  mean that  the only person  who has                                                               
access to the written denial is  the applicant.  He asked whether                                                               
this would create an issue.                                                                                                     
MR. BULLARD  answered that this  language would impose a  duty on                                                               
the  commissioner  to  provide  an  applicant  with  the  written                                                               
findings that explain the reasons for  the denial.  He said there                                                               
isn't anything [in the language]  that would limit who else might                                                               
see such a denial or that would make it confidential in any way.                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  noted  this particular  reference  is  under  the                                                               
responsibilities  of  the  commissioner.    She  interpreted  Mr.                                                               
Bullard to be saying it  doesn't otherwise limit the commissioner                                                               
to providing this information to people in a nearby community.                                                                  
MR. BULLARD replied that that  "is a reasonable interpretation of                                                               
that  phrase."   He  pointed  out that  the  word "only"  doesn't                                                               
appear on line  8 or line 9  or page 2, "it's  just requiring the                                                               
commissioner to provide the applicant with those reasons."                                                                      
2:02:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN  moved to report SSHB  116, Version 31-LS0696\U,                                                               
out  of   committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                               
accompanying fiscal  notes.  There  being no objection,  SSHB 116                                                               
was reported out of the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                     
^PRESENTATION(S):  UNDERSTANDING THE  EFFECTS OF  PFAS (PER-  AND                                                               
POLYFLUOROALKYL    SUBSTANCES)     CONTAMINATION    IN    ALASKAN                                                               
  PRESENTATION(S): UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF PFAS (PER- AND                                                              
      POLYFLUOROALKYL SUBSTANCES) CONTAMINATION IN ALASKAN                                                                  
2:03:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be presentations  on per-  and polyfluoroalkyl  substances (PFAS)                                                               
2:03:12 PM                                                                                                                    
JASON   BRUNE,   Commissioner,    Department   of   Environmental                                                               
Conservation  (DEC), provided  a  PowerPoint presentation  titled                                                               
"State  Response  to  PFAS,"  dated  5/10/19.    He  thanked  the                                                               
committee for  its interest  in the important  issue of  per- and                                                               
polyfluoroalkyl substances  (PFAS) and the impact,  and potential                                                               
impact, of  these substances on Alaskans.   He turned to  slide 2                                                               
and explained that  these manmade compounds were  developed by 3M                                                               
in 1949 and  that their molecular structures  make them extremely                                                               
effective  in the  products they  are used  in, as  well as  very                                                               
problematic  for the  environment and  human health.   He  stated                                                               
that  PFAS,  [a class  of  5,000  manmade chemicals],  are  water                                                               
soluble,  toxic,  and  extremely persistent  in  the  environment                                                               
because they do not break  down and therefore bioaccumulate.  The                                                               
two most studied, he noted,  are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)                                                               
and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).                                                                                              
COMMISSIONER BRUNE moved to slide 3  and stated PFAS are found in                                                               
a wide  range of consumer,  industrial, and  commercial products,                                                               
including:    Scotchguard, a  product  applied  to furniture  and                                                               
[carpets];  non-stick  coatings,   such  as  Teflon;  containers,                                                               
clothing, and boots.  He said  PFAS provide stain, oil, and water                                                               
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  displayed slide 4  and pointed out  that PFAS                                                               
are globally  distributed.   He explained  PFAS are  contained in                                                               
products that people use on a  day-to-day basis and that they are                                                               
atmospherically  transported on  airborne  particulates.   Higher                                                               
PFAS levels  are found in urban  areas, he noted, and  nearly all                                                               
U.S.  residents have  detectable PFAS  in their  blood.   He said                                                               
PFAS has been found in polar  bear blood samples, which means the                                                               
bears were  exposed by eating seals  that ate fish that  had been                                                               
exposed to PFAS.                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  turned to slide  5 and addressed  the sources                                                               
of PFAS.   He said the most significant impact  in Alaska is from                                                               
aqueous  film-forming foam  (AFFF), a  product required  at every                                                               
state  certified airport.   He  stated  PFAS have  been found  in                                                               
water  treatment plants,  biosolids, and  landfill leachate.   He                                                               
added that  PFAS have been found  in all 50 states  and that much                                                               
effort is going toward this emerging issue.                                                                                     
2:07:42 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  related that  meetings have been  held within                                                               
DEC,  as well  as  between  DEC and  the  governor's office,  the                                                               
Department of Transportation and  Public Facilities (DOT&PF), the                                                               
Alaska Department  of Fish  and Game  (ADF&G), the  Department of                                                               
Administration  (DOA), and  the Department  of Health  and Social                                                               
Services (DHSS).   He said there has  been significant discussion                                                               
of this issue because of its potential impacts on the state.                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE moved  to slide  6 and  said the  most common                                                               
exposure to PFAS is through  consumption of contaminated food and                                                               
water,  although  household products  can  also  contribute to  a                                                               
person's  PFAS exposure.    He explained  that  exposure to  PFAS                                                               
through food can  occur in a variety of ways:   eating foods that                                                               
were  wrapped in  PFAS packaging,  preparing  foods in  non-stick                                                               
pans,  eating  fish  that  were   in  PFAS  contaminated  waters,                                                               
consuming crops  grown in industrially contaminated  soil or soil                                                               
mixed with biosolids or soils  irrigated with contaminated water.                                                               
A recent  example, he continued, is  a dairy in New  Mexico whose                                                               
cows were producing  milk that had PFAS; those 4,000  cows had to                                                               
be  destroyed.   Regarding water  contamination in  Alaska coming                                                               
from the use of AFFF, he  explained that once discharged into the                                                               
environment,  the PFAS  compounds contained  in the  AFFF quickly                                                               
enter nearby  surface and groundwater supplies.   For communities                                                               
near  airports required  to use  AFFF, he  said, the  exposure to                                                               
groundwater has a significant potential impact.                                                                                 
2:10:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS requested  Commissioner  Brune to  detail                                                               
the  decision making  process that  he and  the commissioners  of                                                               
DOT&PF  and DHSS  went  through to  arrive at  the  new and  less                                                               
stringent standards that are now being applied.                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  replied that DEC had  extensive conversations                                                               
with all the  departments that were impacted.  He  said DEC has a                                                               
process in place from the  previous administration, which had put                                                               
out  draft regulations  but then  decided not  to finalize  those                                                               
regulations.   A significant  amount of  comments came  from both                                                               
sides of the  different parties for and against  passage of those                                                               
regulations, he related.  He stated  DEC wants to ensure that the                                                               
resources  and  science  necessary   for  making  such  important                                                               
decisions  are being  used  on  this emerging  issue,  so it  was                                                               
decided  to  follow  the lead  of  the  Environmental  Protection                                                               
Agency  (EPA).   He  said  DEC, with  the  regulations that  were                                                               
passed  in 2016,  is doing  more than  are 34  other states.   He                                                               
related that DEC has a level  of 400 parts per trillion (ppt) for                                                               
groundwater cleanup and has spent  significant effort in ensuring                                                               
that  Alaska's airports  are being  tested.   He maintained  that                                                               
focusing on PFOS and PFOA, the  two contaminants that the most is                                                               
known  about and  the ones  that EPA  is choosing  to lead  their                                                               
efforts on,  is the  best way  to ensure that  DEC is  making the                                                               
right approach  going forward.   He said DEC holds  a significant                                                               
number of meetings  on a daily basis and is  monitoring this, and                                                               
in the  future, if deemed  appropriate, DEC will come  forth with                                                               
more stringent requirements based on the emerging science.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS asked what new  studies have come out that                                                               
show there is less concern and less risk in these chemicals.                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  responded, "I  think where we  are at  is the                                                               
studies  that have  been done,  the predominant  studies, are  on                                                               
PFOS  and PFOA.   There  are not  what we  felt is  a significant                                                               
number of  studies that  have been completed  yet that  show that                                                               
the others are as big of a risk as PFOS and PFOA.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   HOPKINS  inquired   whether   those  are   still                                                               
considered a risk.                                                                                                              
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  answered, "Definitely we're  monitoring them,                                                               
we definitely  think that  there is concern  about them,  but the                                                               
ones  that we're  putting our  emphasis on  and that  the EPA  is                                                               
putting its emphasis on are PFOS and PFOA."                                                                                     
2:13:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  offered  her understanding  that  DHSS                                                               
released  a report  recommending much  lower levels.   She  asked                                                               
whether  the distinction  is that  Commissioner Brune  is talking                                                               
about just  PFAS and  not PFOS.   She noted  that many  folks are                                                               
using those interchangeably.                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  agreed there  is much confusion  between PFAS                                                               
and PFOS.  He explained PFAS  is the general category of 5,000 or                                                               
so polyfluoroalkyl substances.   He said the State  of Alaska and                                                               
the EPA have  chosen to put their emphasis on  PFOS and PFOA [and                                                               
have established a level of] 70 parts per trillion (ppt).                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  offered her understanding that  all the                                                               
chemicals across  the board are associated  with increased health                                                               
risks  that are  significant  and long  lasting.   She  therefore                                                               
asked  why  a more  cautious  approach  isn't being  taken  while                                                               
waiting for the  science to emerge, rather than  an approach that                                                               
just  risks it  and hopes  it  is going  to be  okay for  babies,                                                               
children, and seniors and then brings  it back after the EPA gets                                                               
its very slow regulatory act together.                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  replied DEC  has had  extensive conversations                                                               
and there  are different opinions  on the  issue.  He  said there                                                               
are  two principles:   The  precautionary  principle, which  says                                                               
don't  use anything  until  it  is proven  to  be  okay; and  the                                                               
keyhole principle  which says  to keep  on using  it until  it is                                                               
known to be  bad.  He opined that somewhere  in between those two                                                               
is when  policy comes  into play.   He said  34 other  states are                                                               
currently  doing nothing,  while DEC  is being  proactive and  is                                                               
staying on  top of the  issue.   He reiterated that  EPA's action                                                               
plan is focused  on PFOS and PFOA and the  other [chemicals] have                                                               
not risen  to that  level in the  EPA's plan.   He added  that he                                                               
understands  the concern  and said  he has  staff with  a similar                                                               
concern as well as staff that  are of the opinion that DEC should                                                               
be going with what the EPA is  doing.  As the science emerges, he                                                               
continued,  DEC will  definitely make  additional recommendations                                                               
if it is appropriate.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  commented that  the DHSS  public health                                                               
team still seems  to think that this  is an issue.   She said she                                                               
feels there  is an incongruity  between what the two  branches of                                                               
government are doing and saying with regard to public health.                                                                   
2:16:44 PM                                                                                                                    
DENISE KOCH, Director, Division  of Spill Prevention and Response                                                               
(SPAR), Department  of Environmental Conservation  (DEC), pointed                                                               
out that the Lifetime Health Advisory,  and the value that DEC is                                                               
using, were developed by EPA  with sensitive populations in mind.                                                               
She said these  more sensitive members of  the population include                                                               
expectant mothers, breastfeeding, and the elderly.                                                                              
2:17:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS, in  regard to  lowering these  standards                                                               
and assuming it's going to be  okay, asked what guarantees can be                                                               
provided  by DEC  that  these  previous levels  are  no longer  a                                                               
health concern for the Alaskans in the affected areas.                                                                          
MS. KOCH responded that part of  the challenge is that all states                                                               
are wandering in an era  of regulatory uncertainty and are trying                                                               
to find the best  science.  She said the frank  answer is that no                                                               
one has  a perfect guarantee on  PFAS, it is being  learned about                                                               
every  single day.   Because  it is  so complex  and the  body of                                                               
science so  large, she  continued, most  states have  either used                                                               
the  EPA  Lifetime  Health  Advisory  or  don't  have  their  own                                                               
standards and  some states  haven't even tested  for PFAS  in the                                                               
2:19:01 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  assured the committee  that DEC is on  top of                                                               
this issue and said he  understands the committee's concern about                                                               
DEC lowering  the standards.  He  said DEC has proven  it's ahead                                                               
of  the game  when it  comes  to 34  other states,  given DEC  is                                                               
testing and monitoring  for this and he is  regularly speaking to                                                               
different organizations.   He  further assured  committee members                                                               
that  DEC absolutely  will change  its approach  if a  sufficient                                                               
amount of additional studies are  seen with respect to other PFAS                                                               
related chemicals.   Given the  existing data for PFOS  and PFOA,                                                               
he continued, DEC  felt the best approach was to  follow the lead                                                               
of the  EPA, the agency  that has  the resources.   He reiterated                                                               
that  the previous  administration received  comments across  the                                                               
spectrum  on the  [proposed] regulations  and ultimately  decided                                                               
not  to  finalize those  regulations.    This  shows it  isn't  a                                                               
political issue, he opined, it is  an issue that is emerging, and                                                               
new science is evolving every day  and he is committed to staying                                                               
on top of it.                                                                                                                   
2:20:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  acknowledged the  commissioner's reference                                                               
to  34 other  states that  aren't  engaged in  this process,  but                                                               
pointed out  that a number  of states  have joined together  in a                                                               
class action lawsuit against 3M.   She asked whether DEC has been                                                               
engaged in dialogues with  the administration about participating                                                               
in that  class action  lawsuit against  3M, given  concerns about                                                               
the cost to states for the impact of this toxin on communities.                                                                 
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE answered  that there  have been  discussions,                                                               
but no decision has yet been made.   He said he has talked to the                                                               
governor and the attorney general about  this issue.  He said the                                                               
community of Fairbanks has joined  a class action lawsuit against                                                               
3M  and the  State  of  Minnesota settled  with  3M  for what  he                                                               
believes was $800 million.                                                                                                      
2:21:17 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  resumed   his  PowerPoint  presentation  and                                                               
credited  DHSS  for  providing  the  next  several  slides.    He                                                               
displayed slide 8 and reported that  according to the EPA and the                                                               
Agency for  Toxic Substances and  Disease Registry,  studies show                                                               
probable links between  exposure to long-chain PFAS  and the list                                                               
of  health concerns  outlined on  the slide  [ulcerative colitis,                                                               
liver damage,  abnormal fat metabolism, high  cholesterol, kidney                                                               
cancer, chronic  kidney disease,  pregnancy-induced hypertension,                                                               
decreased  response  to  vaccines, testicular  cancer,  decreased                                                               
fertility, thyroid disease, reduced  birth weight].  He explained                                                               
that  these are  population  level  epidemiological studies,  not                                                               
individual  studies, and  therefore  it cannot  be  said at  this                                                               
point  that an  individual has  gotten  sick or  died from  PFAS.                                                               
However,  he continued,  there  are  definitely associations  and                                                               
correlations with  exposure.  He  advised that a number  of these                                                               
studies are  exposures in communities  that have  had significant                                                               
manufacturing using  PFAS chemicals.   He said DEC  is monitoring                                                               
these studies  because they may  have been done in  certain areas                                                               
and may not be population-wide studies.                                                                                         
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  moved to slide  9 and pointed out  that while                                                               
many studies have been done on  lab rats and other small mammals,                                                               
most of the  studies on human health have been  on PFOS and PFOA.                                                               
He read the quote on slide  9, which states:  "The science around                                                               
these  compounds  is  emerging  rapidly; and  so,  almost  as  we                                                               
establish a  benchmark ... in a  matter of months, it  may be out                                                               
of  date based  on  the  new science".    So,  DEC is  constantly                                                               
evaluating the new science, he said.                                                                                            
2:23:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  inquired  whether any  of  the  evolving                                                               
monthly studies have  shown that previous studies  were wrong and                                                               
the previous information too aggressive in regard to the levels.                                                                
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  replied he is  unable to answer  the question                                                               
because the  slide was put together  by DHSS.  He  offered to get                                                               
back to the  committee with an answer.  He  assured the committee                                                               
that  the PFOA  and PFOS  studies have  shown more  exposure, but                                                               
said  he is  unable  to  speak to  the  other 5,000  PFAS-related                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  remarked that  if more and  more evidence                                                               
is seen by the month  that these are substantially more impactful                                                               
at  lower  levels  than  had been  previously  thought,  he  must                                                               
question the  logic for  deciding to change  the standards  to be                                                               
less stringent now.                                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  responded  that he  answered  this  question                                                               
before when  he said he  understood the committee's  concerns and                                                               
that DEC  is staying on  top of it and  is following the  lead of                                                               
the EPA, the  national organization that has the  resources to be                                                               
able to  study this.   He stated  DEC doesn't have  the resources                                                               
that are  had by  the EPA  and large  states like  California and                                                               
Washington that are leaders on this  issue.  As new data emerges,                                                               
he continued, DEC will make a change if it is needed.                                                                           
2:25:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ, regarding  the  state  not having  the                                                               
resources, asked  whether DEC has considered  partnering with the                                                               
University of  Alaska where  there is  a lot  of expertise.   She                                                               
pointed out that  the University of Alaska Anchorage  (UAA) has a                                                               
lab that  does chemistry  and testing  and particularly  looks at                                                               
toxics.   The lab is  expert in this, she  noted, and would  be a                                                               
useful guide to the state as it considers decisions.                                                                            
COMMISSIONER BRUNE answered that in  a meeting this week, DEC and                                                               
DHSS  had  that  exact  question while  talking  about  potential                                                               
impacts from  biosolid application and  whether a study  could be                                                               
done that  would show the  potential impact of  PFAS contaminated                                                               
biosolids on growing vegetables or fruits.   He said he thinks it                                                               
is  a great  idea to  try  to get  local  science as  well as  to                                                               
collaborate with  other states  and the  science they  are doing.                                                               
He said DEC  is not there yet,  but the idea was  a brainchild of                                                               
DHSS a few days ago.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  pushed  back on  Commissioner  Brune's                                                               
comments around  science.   She said  science, research,  and the                                                               
scientific  process is  actually  an  incredibly slow,  rigorous,                                                               
deliberative process that does not  move at breakneck speed.  She                                                               
pointed out that the research coming  out over the last couple of                                                               
years on PFAS in general, and  on various [specific] PFAS, is the                                                               
result of years and years of  work.  She further pointed out that                                                               
those  years  of work  were  precipitated  by people  identifying                                                               
unnatural  levels  of certain  kinds  of  health consequences  in                                                               
communities.  She  urged caution in suggesting  that something is                                                               
happening very  quickly with science.   The body of  knowledge is                                                               
growing,  she stated,  and waiting  for definitive  evidence will                                                               
result in  waiting far too  long and a lot  of lives may  be very                                                               
significantly impacted.   She said  she thinks some of  DEC's own                                                               
scientists  have serious  concerns about  reducing the  number of                                                               
chemicals that are allowed to count against that 70 ppt level.                                                                  
COMMISSIONER BRUNE replied he doesn't  disagree.  These chemicals                                                               
are ubiquitous  in the environment,  he stated, and  the exposure                                                               
pathways  are  through  the  air,  through  AFFF,  and  microwave                                                               
popcorn bags, and rushing to  judgment goes back to his statement                                                               
about the precautionary principle and  the keyhole principle.  He                                                               
said he understands leaning  towards the precautionary principle,                                                               
which is  what many of  DEC's scientists have recommended.   But,                                                               
he continued, there  are others who feel otherwise,  which is why                                                               
it is  important that DEC pays  attention to the issue  and makes                                                               
those  decisions  as  new  science   on  the  other  PFAS-related                                                               
chemicals comes forward.                                                                                                        
2:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  expressed  her extreme  disappointment  with  DEC                                                               
taking  this position.   She  noted  that the  1996 Food  Quality                                                               
Protection Act said to go back  and re-test all the chemicals and                                                               
use children as  the benchmark for safety.  Tens  of thousands of                                                               
chemicals currently  in use  in the U.S.  have never  been tested                                                               
for human safety or impacts  to the environment, she pointed out.                                                               
Now, in  2019, she said, just  a small fraction of  that work has                                                               
been done from a bill that passed in 1996.  She continued:                                                                      
     So we  have every reason to  know that the EPA  will be                                                                    
     slow to  take action.   We know  that it's  been highly                                                                    
     politicized  under  this  current administration.    We                                                                    
     know  that there  are intense  lobbying efforts  on the                                                                    
     part of  the chemical  industry that spend  hundreds of                                                                    
     millions   of  dollars   on  lobbyists.     It's   just                                                                    
     completely unacceptable in my  mind that you would know                                                                    
     all  of that,  and you  must in  your position,  and as                                                                    
     many  years as  you've worked  around these  industries                                                                    
     and then  just say it's  acceptable for us to  defer to                                                                    
     the EPA  when we  know we  have communities  on bottled                                                                    
     water   right   now    because   of   the   groundwater                                                                    
     contamination. ... It's not okay.   We could be waiting                                                                    
     years and years and years  before the EPA takes action,                                                                    
     particularly  under  this federal  administration  that                                                                    
     won't  even acknowledge  that climate  change is  real.                                                                    
     So, nobody at the federal  government right now in that                                                                    
     president's  office is  listening  to  science, and  to                                                                    
     suggest  that the  EPA is  going to  come out  with the                                                                    
     kind of standards we need  to protect....  Why wouldn't                                                                    
     Alaska want to be the  leader on this issue? ... That's                                                                    
     the part  I can't understand.   We could  move forward.                                                                    
     We could  say ...  "In Alaska we're  not going  to wait                                                                    
     around, the health of our  people is so important we're                                                                    
     going to be leaders on  this issue, we're going to find                                                                    
     the  resources that  it takes,  we're going  to do  the                                                                    
     studies  that   we  need,  and  we're   going  to  move                                                                    
     forward."    And  instead we're  just  taking  a  total                                                                    
     backseat and pretending like  the federal government is                                                                    
     going to do the work and we know that's not true.                                                                          
2:31:19 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE maintained  that Alaska is a leader.   He said                                                               
Alaska was the first state that  set soil level cleanup levels at                                                               
400 ppt.   Through  working with  DOT&PF, he  stated, potentially                                                               
affected communities  were identified  throughout the  state that                                                               
may  have been  impacted by  the  application of  AFFF at  DOT&PF                                                               
airports.  He continued:                                                                                                        
     We have been leaders in making  sure that if we did see                                                                    
     this impact  to the groundwaters that  we are providing                                                                    
     alternative  sources of  drinking  water,  that we  are                                                                    
     holding companies and DOT to  a high standard to ensure                                                                    
     that that  water isn't  being consumed  right now.   We                                                                    
     have been leading the nation  in this effort.  We don't                                                                    
     have  our head  in the  sand and  are saying,  "Just go                                                                    
     ahead and  drink it."   We  are the  ones that  are out                                                                    
     there  actively testing,  we  are  actively engaged  in                                                                    
     this process  to ensure that  our people  are remaining                                                                    
     safe  and that  the drinking  water that  they have  is                                                                    
     protected. ... The EPA levels  that we are following at                                                                    
     70 ppt right now, ... we're  one I believe of only [16]                                                                    
     states  that have  that. ...  You're absolutely  right,                                                                    
     there  are  other  states   that  are  absolutely  more                                                                    
     restrictive than we  are, but there are  34 states that                                                                    
     are  way behind  us.   And as  we're seeing  this issue                                                                    
     emerge, as we're watching this,  we're not ignoring it,                                                                    
     we're  not ignoring  the science,  and we're  not doing                                                                    
     nothing about  this.  We're  ... one of the  leaders in                                                                    
     the nation  in doing this.   And yes, we have  made the                                                                    
     decision  to step  back and  only test  for those  two,                                                                    
     PFOS and PFOA.  As we  learn more information ... if we                                                                    
     need to, we will do more.                                                                                                  
2:33:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR asked whether current testing tests for all six.                                                                  
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  responded that right  now DEC is  testing for                                                               
two, PFOS and PFOA.                                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR TARR offered her understanding  that the commissioner is                                                               
saying that when  DOT&PF is doing soil testing it  is not testing                                                               
for six.                                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER BRUNE answered that when  DEC met with DHSS, DOT&PF,                                                               
DOA,  ADF&G,  and  the  governor's deputy  chief  of  staff,  the                                                               
decision was made  by the State of Alaska that  it would test for                                                               
PFOS and PFOA.                                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  TARR offered  her belief  that  there is  contradictory                                                               
information that suggests  [DEC] is testing for all  six but only                                                               
keeping the information  for two.  She  offered her understanding                                                               
that  the   commissioner  is  saying  [DEC]   is  not  collecting                                                               
information for all six and only keeping two.                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  replied the EPA testing  panel actually tests                                                               
for 14.  He stated that when  [DEC] was testing for the six [DEC]                                                               
was getting the  data for six, not  for 14.  The  panel gives the                                                               
opportunity  to have  all 14,  he explained,  but [DEC]  chose at                                                               
that time to get  six.  Now at this time,  he continued, [DEC] is                                                               
choosing to  get two  and that  decision to  test PFOS  and PFOA,                                                               
consistent with what the EPA is  doing, was made with everyone in                                                               
the room having that discussion.                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR asked  where the  data  is from  the testing  that                                                               
includes  the other  four.   She  surmised that  [DEC] was  never                                                               
doing the full panel.                                                                                                           
COMMISSIONER BRUNE responded that the  full panel has always been                                                               
done, that  is the EPA methodology  that is done.   Before he was                                                               
commissioner, he  stated, the decision  was made to only  get the                                                               
data for six,  and then as of the  technical memorandum published                                                               
on April 9,  [2019], the decision has been to  test only for PFOS                                                               
and PFOA going forward.                                                                                                         
2:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KOCH confirmed the aforementioned  is correct.  She said more                                                               
information  was collected  in the  past, but  [testing for  only                                                               
PFOS and PFOA] is from the date of April 9, 2019, forward.                                                                      
2:36:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN  inquired about  the marginal cost  of including                                                               
some of  the other  chemicals while going  through the  effort of                                                               
collecting  samples  and  applying   the  testing  methods.    He                                                               
surmised that  the cost of  adding a couple more  chemicals would                                                               
be much  less than going  out and testing for  them specifically.                                                               
He suggested that even if the  data isn't being used for anything                                                               
actionable,  it  would be  helpful  in  the future,  when  better                                                               
information comes  out, to  have some  longitudinal understanding                                                               
of how  long those  chemicals have been  there and  whether there                                                               
has been any change over time.   He requested the commissioner to                                                               
explain the  logic of not  including other chemicals if  the cost                                                               
of adding them is marginal.                                                                                                     
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  answered  he   thinks  the  cost  difference                                                               
between testing  for two  or for  all 14 is  small, but  that the                                                               
staff  time   of  interpreting   all  14  definitely   would  add                                                               
significant cost.   So,  he continued, the  decision was  made to                                                               
focus  on  the two  chemicals  that  the  EPA  has put  the  most                                                               
emphasis on.  He deferred to Ms. Koch to answer further.                                                                        
MS. KOCH confirmed  there is some difference in cost  and that it                                                               
is relatively nominal.                                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER BRUNE added that significant  staff time is involved                                                               
to interpret where each chemical  potentially originated from and                                                               
the responsible party.  He  reiterated that DEC made the decision                                                               
through significant  consultation with  DHSS, DOT&PF,  ADF&G, and                                                               
the  governor's office  to  focus  on the  two  that  the EPA  is                                                               
focusing on.                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN  clarified he  is not asking  to go  through the                                                               
expense and the time to analyze  the data; the data could just be                                                               
sitting there  in a database  without someone taking the  time to                                                               
evaluate it.   He concluded he  is hearing that DEC  is currently                                                               
not  even collecting,  recording, or  keeping the  data on  those                                                               
other chemicals  even though  it could  be potentially  useful in                                                               
the future.                                                                                                                     
COMMISSIONER BRUNE replied the co-chair  is correct.  He said DEC                                                               
is choosing to  not collect the data for the  other 12, just like                                                               
the previous  administration chose  to not  collect the  data for                                                               
the other  eight, even though they  are on the panel.   He stated                                                               
he  doesn't know  if a  different test  is done  for getting  the                                                               
additional 12,  but generally the  panel is all  14.  He  said he                                                               
thinks that  just the two being  asked for are reported  to [DEC]                                                               
and  those  are the  two  that  the EPA  has  set  as its  health                                                               
advisory levels.                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN asked  if anyone else in the  room knows whether                                                               
it is the same test [that  is done for getting the additional 12]                                                               
and it is just access that is needed for the information.                                                                       
MS. KOCH  explained that  it is  one EPA method  - the  sample is                                                               
collected and brought to the  lab, the same method is essentially                                                               
run, and it  is chosen whether to do the  analysis on that method                                                               
to report out a particular compound or  not.  It is the same sort                                                               
of core  test, she continued,  and then  an analysis can  be done                                                               
for a particular compound based on the core test.                                                                               
2:40:11 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE concluded his  presentation by noting that DEC                                                               
and DOT&PF have  collaborated their work and  are continuing risk                                                               
assessments  of airports  around  the state  and the  potentially                                                               
impacted  communities,  with  Aniak   and  Iliamna  up  next  for                                                               
testing.   All of  the airports that  may have  had contamination                                                               
from  AFFF  are  being  evaluated,  he added.    He  said  he  is                                                               
continuing to make regular public  presentations about this issue                                                               
and staff is continuing to meet on the issue.                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER BRUNE turned  to slides 25 and related  that this is                                                               
a nationwide concern.  Some  states have adopted the EPA Lifetime                                                               
Health  Advisory  and several  states  have  much more  stringent                                                               
requirements,  he said,  but most  states  have yet  to take  any                                                               
action.  He continued:                                                                                                          
     We are monitoring  the legislation as well.   The state                                                                    
     environmental health  directors just came  forward with                                                                    
     a  list a  few days  ago ...  of bills  that have  been                                                                    
     proposed.   There  have been  58 bills  introduced this                                                                    
     session by other states related  to PFAS, five of those                                                                    
     have  been   enacted,  approximately  20   states  have                                                                    
     proposed legislation.                                                                                                      
COMMISSIONER BRUNE displayed slide 26 and continued:                                                                            
     We are  actually farther along on  this important issue                                                                    
     than  most states  are.   We will  continue to  monitor                                                                    
     this  very closely;  my team  is absolutely  engaged on                                                                    
     this  issue.   We're working  collaboratively with  the                                                                    
     other  departments  across the  state,  and  I will  be                                                                    
     happy to provide updates on  a regular basis to this or                                                                    
     other committees in the future.                                                                                            
2:42:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR invited  Mayor Ward to provide  his presentation on                                                               
behalf of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.                                                                                     
2:42:36 PM                                                                                                                    
BRYCE  WARD,  Mayor, Fairbanks  North  Star  Borough, provided  a                                                               
PowerPoint  presentation   titled  "PFCs  in  the   FNSB,"  dated                                                               
5/10/19.    He  displayed  slide 1  and  noted  his  presentation                                                               
includes the  impacts to the  borough as well  as to the  City of                                                               
North Pole  and the  City of  Fairbanks.   He further  noted that                                                               
much of the  information included in his  presentation comes from                                                               
the   State  of   Alaska's  contaminated   sites  web   page  and                                                               
publication [https://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp/pfas].                                                                             
MAYOR WARD  moved to  slide 2  and explained  that perfluorinated                                                               
chemicals (PFCs)  are manmade compounds  used in  the manufacture                                                               
of stain-, oil-, and water-resistant  consumer products.  He said                                                               
they  are  also found  in  products  such as  firefighting  foam,                                                               
cleaners, cosmetics,  paints, adhesives, and insecticides.   They                                                               
are  persistent  in  the  environment,  he  stated,  because  the                                                               
natural processes  do not rapidly  degrade them.  He  pointed out                                                               
that in Alaska,  spills or releases of PFCs  into the environment                                                               
are primarily  associated with aqueous film-forming  foams (AFFF)                                                               
used  during  firefighting  and fire  training  activities.    He                                                               
specified that  PFC compounds of  concern include PFOA  and PFOS,                                                               
the  two  most studied,  but  that  a  growing body  of  research                                                               
indicates additional  PFAS compounds may have  similar health and                                                               
environmental effects and may be co-contaminants.                                                                               
MAYOR WARD turned  to slide 3 and stated that  in 2016 the Alaska                                                               
DEC  published cleanup  levels  for  PFOS and  PFOA  and the  EPA                                                               
issued  Lifetime  Health  Advisory   (LHA)  levels  for  PFCs  in                                                               
drinking water.  In 2018, he  said, DEC set action levels for six                                                               
PFAS compounds, including  PFOS and PFOA, which  were higher than                                                               
the EPA standard.  On April  9, 2019, he continued, DEC published                                                               
a revised  technical memorandum  on action  levels for  PFCs that                                                               
superseded  the  2018 action  levels  memorandum  and raised  the                                                               
action levels to  EPA's Lifetime Health Advisory  levels.  Action                                                               
levels, he explained,  serve as a threshold  for determining when                                                               
responsible   parties  need   to  provide   water  treatment   or                                                               
alternative water sources for impacted water supplies.                                                                          
2:44:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MAYOR WARD addressed slides 4-5.   He stated that in spring 2015,                                                               
sampling  of drinking  water supply  wells at  Eielson Air  Force                                                               
Base revealed the  presence of PFOA and PFOS  at levels exceeding                                                               
the  EPA's then-termed  Provisional Health  Advisory Levels,  now                                                               
known as the EPA's Lifetime  Health Advisory levels, for PFOS and                                                               
PFOA.  He  said contamination from PFCs  originated from historic                                                               
AFFF use  at Eielson Air  Force Base from 1970-2000.   Mitigation                                                               
efforts  to  date,  he  continued,  include  installing  granular                                                               
activated  carbon (GAC)  filtration  for Eielson  Air Force  Base                                                               
drinking  water  wells and  on  many  homes  in the  Moose  Creek                                                               
community.   He  noted that  homes in  Moose Creek  not on  a GAC                                                               
system  receive an  alternative  water supply  of either  bottled                                                               
water or water delivery through a holding tank.                                                                                 
MAYOR  WARD  displayed  slide  6 regarding  the  U.S.  Air  Force                                                               
Interim  Feasibility  Study for  the  Community  of Moose  Creek,                                                               
Alaska,  Long-Term Drinking  Water Supply,  dated November  2017.                                                               
He said  the Record of  Decision was  issued for an  extension of                                                               
the North  Pole water  system, which will  provide a  piped water                                                               
system to  the community of Moose  Creek.  Moving to  slide 7, he                                                               
explained  that extending  the North  Pole water  system requires                                                               
that a water  pipeline be installed along  the Richardson Highway                                                               
to serve the Moose Creek water distribution system.                                                                             
MAYOR WARD  turned to  slides 8-9 and  related that  in September                                                               
2015, Shannon  & Wilson,  Inc. completed  a soil  and groundwater                                                               
investigation  on the  City of  Fairbanks Regional  Fire Training                                                               
Center property  and found  PFAS and  petroleum compounds  in the                                                               
groundwater on site.   He said firefighting  foam containing PFAS                                                               
is suspected  to have  leaked through the  lined training  pit or                                                               
from  over-spraying  on the  edges  of  the pit  during  training                                                               
activities.  He  noted that the burn pit was  constructed in 1984                                                               
and was  used for approximately 20  years.  Due to  concern about                                                               
PFAS  in drinking  water,  he continued,  the  City of  Fairbanks                                                               
began searching for water supply  wells, including drinking water                                                               
wells, immediately after the discovery.                                                                                         
2:47:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MAYOR WARD  moved to  slide 10  and related  that the  search was                                                               
expanded between February 2016 and  February 2017 and now extends                                                               
to areas around Peger  Lake, south of 30   Avenue, the Davis Road                                                               
sports  fields,   and  other  properties  between   the  Mitchell                                                               
Expressway  and Egan  Avenue or  Airport Way,  and properties  on                                                               
both  sides of  the  Chena River  between  Loftus and  University                                                               
MAYOR WARD  displayed slide 11  and reported that in  summer 2017                                                               
Fairbanks International Airport sampled  a variety of groundwater                                                               
wells and surface  water on the airport property for  PFCs.  This                                                               
investigation,  he said,  was prompted  by the  investigations at                                                               
other facilities where fire training  and response using AFFF had                                                               
occurred  and  resulted  in PFC  impacts  to  groundwater  having                                                               
affected  private  drinking water  wells.    For many  years,  he                                                               
noted, Fairbanks International Airport  used AFFF in training and                                                               
emergency responses  on airport  property and a  burn pit  at the                                                               
airport was constructed in 1993  and used for training with AFFF.                                                               
Prior to  1993, he  continued, training  with AFFF  was conducted                                                               
outside of  a lined  pit south  of the east  runway and  at other                                                               
locations adjacent to the airport response center.                                                                              
MAYOR WARD  turned to  slide 12 and  stated that  initial samples                                                               
were taken  during investigations  for other contaminants  at the                                                               
Don  Bennett  Shooting  Range  site.    He  said  sample  results                                                               
indicated  the   concentrations  of  PFCs   exceeded  established                                                               
cleanup  levels, so  the  Fairbanks  International Airport  began                                                               
plans  to  sample existing  monitoring  wells  and surface  water                                                               
bodies throughout the  facility.  He reported  that detections of                                                               
PFOS and  PFOA above cleanup  levels prompted  immediate searches                                                               
and sampling  of drinking water  wells in the area  down gradient                                                               
from the airport.                                                                                                               
2:49:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MAYOR  WARD  moved to  slide  13  and  stated  that in  2018  DEC                                                               
investigated and  discovered PFCs  in groundwater off  the former                                                               
refinery   property  in   North   Pole.     During  an   expanded                                                               
investigation, he said,  PFCs were also identified at  122 ppt in                                                               
Kimberly Lake, located to the  northwest of the former North Pole                                                               
MAYOR WARD  showed slide 14  and related that this  discovery led                                                               
to the  sampling of Kimberly  Lake fish.   He said both  PFOS and                                                               
perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) were measured  at levels of concern                                                               
in  all   the  fish  sampled   from  Kimberly  Lake,   with  PFOS                                                               
concentrations  at  47-68  parts   per  billion  (ppb)  and  PFNA                                                               
concentrations  at 16-22  ppb.   He  pointed out  that the  state                                                               
advises not  consuming surface water  or fish from  Kimberly Lake                                                               
at this time.                                                                                                                   
MAYOR WARD  displayed slide 15  and said  sulfolane contamination                                                               
of  groundwater led  to subsequent  legal actions  and settlement                                                               
with Flint Hills  Resources, the operator of  the refinery during                                                               
the sulfolane discovery.   He specified that the  State of Alaska                                                               
and the City  of North Pole are expanding the  North Pole utility                                                               
water  system to  cover the  areas  contaminated with  sulfolane,                                                               
which  will  reduce the  chance  of  PFC ingestion  through  well                                                               
drinking water.                                                                                                                 
MAYOR  WARD   turned  to  slide  16   and  discussed  groundwater                                                               
contamination concerns.   He pointed  out that while it  is known                                                               
that  spreading of  pollution is  not allowed  under Alaska  law,                                                               
many  may not  be aware  that using  untreated contaminated  well                                                               
water  may cause  the spread  of  pollution.   He explained  that                                                               
bringing impacted well  water to the surface  might expose people                                                               
to  the pollution  and/or allow  pollution to  spread onto  other                                                               
properties, sloughs, or  ponds.  He further  explained that these                                                               
concerns  are most  notable when  using  groundwater to  irrigate                                                               
recreational  fields or  gardens where  food is  being grown  for                                                               
consumption.   Irrigating  recreational  fields  [slide 17]  with                                                               
contaminated  groundwater  creates  concerns for  the  users,  he                                                               
continued, such  as children who  would be exposed by  running or                                                               
walking on  grass watered with  contaminated water.   He informed                                                               
the committee  that PFC  compounds remain in  the human  body for                                                               
years after exposure and in the environment for even longer.                                                                    
MAYOR WARD moved  to slide 18 and explained that  once an aquifer                                                               
is contaminated it  becomes very expansive.   The Fairbanks North                                                               
Star  Borough,  he  continued,   currently  has  four  major  PFC                                                               
contaminated  sites  over  the urbanized  area,  which  stretches                                                               
about 30 miles.                                                                                                                 
MAYOR WARD  concluded his  presentation with slide  19.   He said                                                               
local governments  and communities  need and rely  on DEC  to set                                                               
standards and  give guidance for cleanup  measures, which include                                                               
establishing  human   health  advisory  or  cleanup   levels  for                                                               
groundwater contamination.  Alaska's  communities, he added, rely                                                               
on  DEC to  protect the  state's  resources and  population.   He                                                               
pointed out that financial resources  will be needed for remedies                                                               
such as extending  water systems into the  contaminated areas and                                                               
assisting  in  development,  implementation,  and  management  of                                                               
institutional controls for PFC contaminated areas.                                                                              
2:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  thanked  Mayor  Ward for  his  work  and                                                               
leadership on  this issue.   He noted that the  concentrations in                                                               
[Kimberly Lake] fish are parts  per billion, while DEC's measures                                                               
are  parts per  trillion,  which indicates  a pretty  substantial                                                               
concern  in  that lake.    He  further  noted that  nearly  4,000                                                               
children play  on the  potentially contaminated  [soccer fields].                                                               
He asked whether  testing by Shannon & Wilson has  shown that the                                                               
contamination has continued to expand and spread.                                                                               
MAYOR WARD replied:                                                                                                             
     We are  currently working with  the City  of Fairbanks,                                                                    
     which this  pollutant is coming from  the Regional Fire                                                                    
     Training Center, to work on  remedies to make sure that                                                                    
     we're  not  using  water   that  is  contaminated  with                                                                    
     perfluorinated compounds.   That discussion is ongoing,                                                                    
     but we  have had measures  put in place in  prior years                                                                    
     to mitigate  or to eliminate  that risk, whether  it be                                                                    
     through onsite  storage and  distribution of  the water                                                                    
     or having a very wet summer.   So, we are still working                                                                    
     on remedies  to that  and other alternatives  have been                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR inquired  whether Mayor  Ward feels  the state  is                                                               
taking the appropriate action at this  time or should take a more                                                               
cautionary approach.                                                                                                            
MAYOR  WARD responded  that he  couldn't speak  on behalf  of the                                                               
assembly,  but  his personal  opinion  is  that the  conservative                                                               
approach is probably  the wisest approach.   While he understands                                                               
there  is  guidance from  EPA  that  the  state has  aligned  the                                                               
regulations  with, he  said his  fear is  that this  needs to  be                                                               
continually  monitored  to  ensure  that a  competitive  edge  is                                                               
maintained, and  standards are  provided that  meet the  needs of                                                               
communities.   Ultimately zero would be  an appropriate standard,                                                               
he  continued, although  that  is probably  not  reasonable.   He                                                               
added that it does concern him.                                                                                                 
2:55:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CALVIN CASIPIT, Mayor, City of  Gustavus, stated that the City of                                                               
Gustavus  is  very  concerned  about  its  own  financial  health                                                               
because of AFFF use  in the city.  He said the  city is also very                                                               
concerned  about the  effects [of  contamination] on  its tourism                                                               
industry, the  bread and butter  of the community as  the gateway                                                               
to Glacier  Bay National Park &  Preserve.  He related  that when                                                               
people say  the community's  water is  poison, it  causes issues.                                                               
He said  the city wants to  have water that is  clean and healthy                                                               
for its visitors.  He pointed  out that it is causing many issues                                                               
and  concerns for  the city's  own residents  since many  rely on                                                               
subsistence and on their own  subsistence gardens where they grow                                                               
their own  food and water with  groundwater.  He deferred  to the                                                               
city's administrator to talk further.                                                                                           
2:56:19 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM WILLIAMS,  City Administrator, City of  Gustavus, thanked the                                                               
committee  for  the opportunity  to  testify  on a  subject  with                                                               
potentially  devastating  implications  for Gustavus.    He  said                                                               
Gustavus is a community recognized  as the gateway to Glacier Bay                                                               
National Park  & Preserve, a  pristine area that  exemplifies the                                                               
natural environment of  Alaska.  He explained  that Gustavus uses                                                               
shallow wells  and a  few cisterns for  its drinking  and potable                                                               
water  sources.   So, he  continued, the  PFAS contamination  has                                                               
(indisc.  - technical  difficulties)  because  Gustavus does  not                                                               
have a municipal filtration plant available.                                                                                    
MR. WILLIAMS  stated PFAS  is of concern  because of  the unknown                                                               
impacts to the community's tourism-based  economy and the quality                                                               
of life  of residents.   He related  that PFAS  contamination hit                                                               
Gustavus  in two  ways:   1) by  the use  of AFFF  at the  DOT&PF                                                               
airport,  and 2)  by  the  one-time use  of  AFFF  by the  city's                                                               
volunteer fire department in 2015 from  a fire truck given to the                                                               
city by  DOT&PF long before  PFAS was known to  the city to  be a                                                               
dangerous substance.                                                                                                            
MR. WILLIAMS  pointed out  that added to  the concerns  about the                                                               
health of the community and  the surrounding environment, DEC has                                                               
targeted   the  city   and  threatened   the  viability   of  the                                                               
community's  survival with  cleanup costs  that could  be in  the                                                               
millions  of  dollars  and  untold  costs  to  the  tourism-based                                                               
economy that  provides sustenance  to many  of the  residents and                                                               
businesses that  call Gustavus home.   He explained that  this is                                                               
because the Gustavus  Fire Department used a fire  truck given to                                                               
it by DOT&PF  to fight a fire at a  local residence that resulted                                                               
in the  discharge of  what he  understands to  have been  AFFF to                                                               
save lives  and property.   He said it  can be seen  in documents                                                               
provided  to  the committee  that  an  unreasonable timeline  was                                                               
given  to  the city  to  commence  a  very expensive  process  of                                                               
remediation.   Thanks  to the  governor, he  continued, the  very                                                               
expensive cleanup process threatened by  DEC has been put on hold                                                               
until PFAS issues have been better understood.                                                                                  
MR.  WILLIAMS related  that DEC  continues to  take the  position                                                               
that  the city  is  liable for  the  remediation associated  with                                                               
costs of  a home site that  was the location of  a volunteer fire                                                               
department use  of AFFF.   He said the  methods used by  DEC have                                                               
brought uncertainty  and concerns to the  decisions for budgeting                                                               
and tourism.  Meanwhile, he  reported, DOT&PF continues to refuse                                                               
to  use a  non-PFAS  substance  at the  airport,  such as  sodium                                                               
bicarbonate that  the U.S.  Federal Aviation  Administration said                                                               
in a  2/28/19 letter could  be used  in place of  AFFF substances                                                               
like  Purple  K, the  material  currently  used at  the  Gustavus                                                               
airport.   He recalled a  comment by Commissioner Brune  that the                                                               
AFFF  was  necessary at  the  different  airports.   However,  he                                                               
pointed  out,  the  federal  government   has  said  that  sodium                                                               
bicarbonate could be  used to replace that chemical.   He said he                                                               
has  a  letter  that  states   500  pounds  of  sodium-based  dry                                                               
chemical, halon  1211, or  a clean agent  would be  an acceptable                                                               
substitute for an airport rated as the Gustavus airport is.                                                                     
3:00:57 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY MCLAUGHLIN,  Chair, Gustavus PFAS Action  Coalition (GPAC),                                                               
testified as follows:                                                                                                           
     When I was  asked to speak today, I was  asked to focus                                                                    
     on  the   costs  and  naming  the   cost  of  anything,                                                                    
     especially when  looking forward into  unknown decades,                                                                    
     is likely  an impossible  task.  But  I feel  like I've                                                                    
     taken  on a  lot  of impossible  tasks  recently.   And                                                                    
     there  have  been  achievements made.    The  State  of                                                                    
     Alaska decided not to deploy  AFFF for testing at small                                                                    
     airports in  Alaska.  That  was a  win.  PFOA  was just                                                                    
     banned globally  at the Stockholm Convention  just last                                                                    
     week.  Unfortunately, the United  States is one country                                                                    
     that  does not  abide  by the  decisions  made at  this                                                                    
     Global Summit.   For the rest  of the world it  is good                                                                    
     So it is important to  me to acknowledge the positives,                                                                    
     however  small,   in  this  sea  of   toxic  chemicals,                                                                    
     impossible  tasks,  and  unresponsive government.    So                                                                    
     positives acknowledged, now I'll move on to the costs.                                                                     
     The greatest immediate  cost to me, and  others, in the                                                                    
     Gustavus PFAS  Action Coalition is  our time.   Working                                                                    
     for a  solution to this  problem has cost  me countless                                                                    
     hours upon more countless more  hours.  We're doing the                                                                    
     work that  our state should  be doing:   raising public                                                                    
     awareness,  making  public  the results  of  PFAS  fish                                                                    
     testing   that  the   state   attempted  to   suppress,                                                                    
     advocating for  the toxic AFFF  to be removed  from our                                                                    
     airport  and  all  Index  A  Airports,  organizing  for                                                                    
     medical  monitoring and  blood testing  to take  place.                                                                    
     Wre   living in homes  poisoned by toxic chemicals, and                                                                    
     the Alaskan public largely hasn't even heard of PFAS.                                                                      
     I  own a  small business  in Gustavus,  and I  have two                                                                    
     kids, 11  and 2,  and so  I don't have  a lot  of extra                                                                    
     time.   So I'm  giving time that  I don't  have because                                                                    
     somebody has to.  I'm  taking time away from my family,                                                                    
     my  employees, time  that  should  be spent  gardening,                                                                    
     walking the  beach with my  kids, tending  my business.                                                                    
     It's all  going to PFAS  now, to  do what the  state is                                                                    
     The State of Alaska  has done little, arguably nothing,                                                                    
     to raise public  awareness.  I have  been persistent in                                                                    
     talking  about PFAS  with friends  and neighbors,  non-                                                                    
     profits, and state  agencies.  I have  been diligent in                                                                    
     tracking results of fish testing  at DEC, in creating a                                                                    
     platform  for  sharing  information, but  without  that                                                                    
     effort, I  doubt very much  that many would  have heard                                                                    
     about the contamination in  Gustavus, at Kimberly Lake,                                                                    
     Polaris Lake, or the Ruth  Burnett Sport Fish Hatchery.                                                                    
     Public awareness  is key  in protecting  public safety,                                                                    
     though  through  the  lack of  active  public  notices,                                                                    
     bulletins, etc.,  the state  is costing  Alaskans their                                                                    
     health and safety.                                                                                                         
     The contamination  of our salmon  and other  fish could                                                                    
     cost  fishermen their  livelihoods and  is a  potential                                                                    
     health   cost   to   everyone  who   eats   the   fish.                                                                    
     Contaminated  fish, or  even the  fear of  contaminated                                                                    
     fish, is an economic  cost to tourism-based fishing and                                                                    
     commercial fishing.  There are  costs to Alaska's image                                                                    
     and  reputation  if  the  state  continues  to  try  to                                                                    
     suppress and  downplay the major risk  of contamination                                                                    
     in our  salmon, especially.   At the very  least Alaska                                                                    
     needs  to  test  its  hatcheries,   all  of  them,  but                                                                    
     especially William Jack  Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery,                                                                    
     which resides  within a  known PFAS  plume.   The state                                                                    
     needs  to use  the systems  already in  place for  fish                                                                    
     sampling, adding  an element  to process  PFAS testing,                                                                    
     and  establish a  database to  determine  the scope  of                                                                    
     contamination.   We  need to  acknowledge  that we  may                                                                    
     have  a major  public  health crisis  on  our hands  if                                                                    
     people  continue to  eat  contaminated  fish.   Further                                                                    
     than that, our state may  have a major financial crisis                                                                    
     on  our   hands  should  Alaska  salmon   prove  to  be                                                                    
     contaminated  to  any  degree, but  especially  if  the                                                                    
     numbers  are as  high as  what we've  seen at  Kimberly                                                                    
     Aqueous  film-forming  foam   (AFFF)  is  the  standard                                                                    
     firefighting  product used  at airports  across Alaska.                                                                    
     However, it is required at  only ... a little over half                                                                    
     of them.  The other  11 have unnecessarily carried AFFF                                                                    
     since at  least 2004,  and possibly  earlier, according                                                                    
     to the  Federal Aviation  Administration (FAA).   Adak,                                                                    
     Kodiak,  King  Salmon,  Bethel,  Dillingham,  Unalaska,                                                                    
     Kenai, Homer, Gustavus, Sand Point,  and Valdez are all                                                                    
     Index A airports, which means  that by FAA regulations,                                                                    
     a  sodium  bicarbonate  dry chem  fire  suppressant  is                                                                    
     sufficient.   Yep, that's baking  soda.  We  could have                                                                    
     avoided  over  15  years  of  contamination  by  simply                                                                    
     following the  rules the  FAA had set  out for  Index A                                                                    
     airports.   When  addressed  with  this question  about                                                                    
     baking  soda  alternative,   DOT  responded  that  they                                                                    
     didn't have  that information.  However,  once provided                                                                    
     with  the  information  from the  FAA,  DOT  has  still                                                                    
     refused to act in  the public interest, within existing                                                                    
     law, to  protect public  safety.   AFFF remains  at our                                                                    
     airport  despite   a  sodium   bicarbonate  replacement                                                                    
     option,  costing us  our future  health and  safety, as                                                                    
     well as  our faith in the  great State of Alaska  to do                                                                    
     the right thing, even when the right thing is easy.                                                                        
3:05:54 PM                                                                                                                    
     PFAS  levels at  the Gustavus  School registered  at 44                                                                    
     parts per trillion (ppt) when  first tested.  Given the                                                                    
     lack of confidence interval  set in testing procedures,                                                                    
     and  given  that  a 30  percent  fluctuation  in  blind                                                                    
     duplicate samples  is considered  a "good  result," and                                                                    
     given the  proximity of the Gustavus  School to results                                                                    
     as   high   as   6,000  ppt,   it   is   scientifically                                                                    
     unconscionable  to declare  the water  at the  Gustavus                                                                    
     School  "safe to  drink."   The  PFAS in  the water  at                                                                    
     Gustavus School has cost  generations of children their                                                                    
     health,   and  the   lack  of   DOT  response   to  the                                                                    
     contamination at  the Gustavus  School cost many  of us                                                                    
     our faith  in the State  of Alaska.  The  National Park                                                                    
     Service owns the  well that serves the  school, and our                                                                    
     amazing  local  park  service employees  took  it  upon                                                                    
     themselves  to create  a  filtration  system that  will                                                                    
     hopefully  protect   future  generations   of  children                                                                    
     attending  the  school,  and  living  in  park  housing                                                                    
     nearby.  DOT did nothing.                                                                                                  
     We  have  pursued DOT,  who  referred  us to  DHSS  for                                                                    
     medical  monitoring, or  at very  least, a  blood test,                                                                    
     and  breast milk  tests to  better understand  the PFAS                                                                    
     pollution  in our  bodies.   We were  denied.   We were                                                                    
     told it does not mitigate risk.   I will tell you, with                                                                    
     certainty,  that  my decision  whether  to  wean or  to                                                                    
     continue to breast  feed my baby was  influenced by the                                                                    
     results of  the PFAS breast  milk test that I  paid for                                                                    
     out  of  pocket.    We  cannot  mitigate  risk  without                                                                    
     information.   GPAC  is again  stepping in  here, doing                                                                    
     what  the state  is not.   We  are working  with Alaska                                                                    
     Community Action  on Toxics to hopefully  offer medical                                                                    
     monitoring to  all residents of Gustavus  who have been                                                                    
     poisoned  by  the release  of  PFAS  into our  pristine                                                                    
     The  50   acres  my  mother's  family   purchased  from                                                                    
     homesteaders  when they  moved here  in the  [1960s] is                                                                    
     the  heart  of  the  plume.   The  plume  saturates  my                                                                    
     history, it stains my childhood  memories, it floods my                                                                    
     mind with doubt about the future.                                                                                          
     We  feel like  we've lost  our homes.   We've  lost our                                                                    
     gardens,  our  medicinal  trees, our  plentiful  spring                                                                    
     harvests  that  grew  naturally  in  abundance  at  our                                                                    
     doorsteps.   No  more  fiddlehead  breakfasts, no  more                                                                    
     fireweed shoots in butter, no  more mushrooms picked in                                                                    
     the woods as I've done for years.                                                                                          
     More  than that,  though,  I feel  like  I've lost  the                                                                    
     thing that's  most precious  to me in  all the  world -                                                                    
     the  health of  my children.    My ability  to give  my                                                                    
     children  a  clean  slate, the  promise  of  a  healthy                                                                    
     future, the  right start, has  been taken from me.   To                                                                    
     me, that's  the ultimate cost.   Every parent  has this                                                                    
     immense and weighty opportunity  to give their children                                                                    
     health and happiness.  As a  mother, I hold the seed of                                                                    
     promise  for a  lifetime  of everything  good that  can                                                                    
     come  to pass  in my  children's lives.   And  that has                                                                    
     been taken from me.   It's been taken from my children.                                                                    
     An unseen  force has crept  into our water,  our blood,                                                                    
     our  lives,  and taken  the  promise  of my  children's                                                                    
     So here's what we're asking:                                                                                               
     The state to address the  chemicals that are showing up                                                                    
     in  the fish  and  drinking water  in  Alaska    that's                                                                    
     PFNA, PFHxS [perfluorohexane  sulfonate], not just PFOA                                                                    
     and PFOS. ... There is  current science pointing to the                                                                    
     toxicity  of  all  PFAS chemicals,  and  the  state  is                                                                    
     actively  putting its  citizens  in harm's  way by  not                                                                    
     recognizing all PFAS contaminants.                                                                                         
     Please collect  PFAS samples from sport  and commercial                                                                    
     catches   in  addition   to  the   currently  collected                                                                    
     information on sex, age, length, etc.                                                                                      
     Replace AFFF  with a safe  alternative in  all airports                                                                    
     Provide blood  and breast milk  testing to  any Alaskan                                                                    
     who believes they may have been exposed to PFAS.                                                                           
     We in  Gustavus would  like to  post some  wild harvest                                                                    
     information around  town to warn people  of the dangers                                                                    
     in consuming  the natural bounty that  is our tradition                                                                    
     to enjoy this time of year.   Please ask DEC to address                                                                    
     contaminated natural  foods, garden grown  foods, fish,                                                                    
     game, and fowl.                                                                                                            
     DEC  should be  aligned with  CDC [Centers  for Disease                                                                    
     Control  and Prevention]  and ATSDR  [Agency for  Toxic                                                                    
     Substances and Disease Registry]  on setting limits for                                                                    
     consumption.   Please use the data  that already exists                                                                    
     to  move  forward,  not  backward,  with  setting  safe                                                                    
     standards for our water and natural resources.                                                                             
3:09:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  recalled the  figure of 6,000  parts per                                                               
trillion.  He  requested Mr. Williams to provide  a definition of                                                               
"shallow  wells," and  offered his  belief  that 60  feet is  the                                                               
required depth for wells in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.                                                                      
MR. WILLIAMS  replied that  [Gustavus] is a  unique area  and its                                                               
wells are  anywhere from 6  to 30 feet as  an average depth.   He                                                               
noted Gustavus  has a  few cisterns  that capture  rainwater, but                                                               
that  the  majority of  the  area's  potable and  drinking  water                                                               
sources  are the  very  shallow  ground wells  and  they are  all                                                               
private wells.                                                                                                                  
3:11:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN noted that these  chemicals are continuing to be                                                               
put into the  environment right now.  He asked  whether any other                                                               
chemicals besides AFFF are still being used.                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN responded that the  source is AFFF, which is still                                                               
housed at  the Gustavus airport  and is  still being used  in the                                                               
case of emergency.  She said  Shannon & Wilson has not determined                                                               
the source, as there are several  likely sources.  It's hidden in                                                               
the  ground  under  the  Gustavus  airport,  she  continued,  and                                                               
Shannon & Wilson will hopefully be  in Gustavus this summer to do                                                               
site characterization to further  understand the source and where                                                               
it may  be spreading from.   At  this point, she  added, Gustavus                                                               
may be seeing higher numbers before it sees lower numbers.                                                                      
3:12:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN said the committee  would stay in touch for more                                                               
information.   He requested  Commissioner Brune  to speak  to the                                                               
state overall.                                                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  answered that PFAS chemicals  are ubiquitous,                                                               
so it's not  just AFFF.  He said it's  coming from landfills that                                                               
have  had biosolids  put into  them, Teflon  pans, dental  floss,                                                               
microwave  popcorn   bags,  and  it  can   be  found  everywhere,                                                               
including the  air.   In many  Alaska communities,  he continued,                                                               
the location  of where  these are is  predominantly AFFF,  but in                                                               
the environment it is coming from many different sources.                                                                       
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN agreed it is  ubiquitous with low-level exposure                                                               
across the board; however, he pointed  out, in some cases such as                                                               
the  application  of   AFFF  there  are  acute   shots  of  these                                                               
chemicals.   He inquired  whether, other than  that, there  is an                                                               
industry  that  is putting  out  an  especially large  amount  of                                                               
chemicals,  or whether  AFFF has  been singled  out as  the major                                                               
outlier in the pattern of this widespread exposure.                                                                             
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE replied  that in  Alaska it  is predominantly                                                               
AFFF.  In other states, he  said, there is a lot of manufacturing                                                               
of these chemicals and in  close proximity to those manufacturing                                                               
bases there is a lot of it out there.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN  asked whether  there is  any plan  currently to                                                               
discontinue AFFF  or whether Alaska  is waiting for  someone else                                                               
to say the state should discontinue AFFF.                                                                                       
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  responded that  that is the  biggest question                                                               
out there  and the reason  AFFF is still  required by the  FAA is                                                               
because it works  so well in protecting human  life and property.                                                               
He said the FAA requires that AFFF  be kept on site and tested on                                                               
an  annual  basis.    He   related,  however,  that  Commissioner                                                               
MacKinnon of DOT&PF has made  the executive decision that AFFF is                                                               
no longer going be tested, but  will be available for use in case                                                               
of an  emergency.   He stated  research is being  done to  try to                                                               
find  alternatives  and there  are  some  alternatives that  have                                                               
shorter chained  PFOS, but  even so  that still  has PFAS  in it.                                                               
Regarding the  previous speaker's statement that  there are other                                                               
alternatives,  he maintained  that  they don't  work  as well  as                                                               
AFFF.  He stated AFFF is  so ubiquitous because it works so well,                                                               
but said it does also lead to contamination.                                                                                    
3:15:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR stated the committee hopes to continue working on                                                                 
this issue that is having such significant impact.                                                                              
3:16:40 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:17 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB116 Sponsor Statement 4.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/16/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 ver U 04.30.19.pdf HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 DNR Fiscal Note 04.30.19.pdf HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 ver U Sectional Analysis 04.30.19.pdf HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 Explanation of Changes ver A to ver U 04.30.19.pdf HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 Aquatic Farm Application Review Flow Chart 04.30.19.pdf HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB 116 - AFDF Letter of Support 2019-04-15.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 ASGA Letter of Support 04.15.19.pdf HFSH 4/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB116 Supporting Document- Mariculture Plan.pdf HFSH 4/16/2019 10:00:00 AM
HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/6/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
HB 116 Letter of Opposition-Hillstrand.pdf HFSH 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM
HRES 5/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
SB91 Sponsor Statement 3.21.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 Version A.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91(FIN) Version S 5.6.19.PDF HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 Fiscal Note DNR-PKS 3.29.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB 91 CS SB 91 (FIN) v. S Explanation.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SFIN 5/6/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 91
SB91 BBNA Resolution 3.21.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 BBNC Letter 3.19.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 City of Dillingham Resolution 3.7.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 City of Aleknagik Resolution 3.19.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 CTC Resolution 3.12.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 NETC Resolution 11.15.17.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 Sectional Analysis 3.21.19.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 Nuyakuk Studies Cost Estimate.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB91 Nuyakuk Hydroelectric Update 2019.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SRES 4/15/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 91
HB99_SB91_Nushagak Cooperative Presentation_Resources.pdf HRES 5/8/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 99
SB 91
City of Gustavus Supporting Documents.pdf HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES PFCs in the FNSB 5.10.19.pdf HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 5
SB91(FIN) Fiscal Note DNR-PKS 5.09.19.pdf HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 91
HRES DEC Presentation PFAS 5.10.19.pdf HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB116 Supporting Document - DNR responses from 5.3.19 H RES meeting 5.10.19.pdf HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 116
City of Gustavus Supporting Documents - Rose Testimony 5.10.19.pdf HRES 5/10/2019 1:00:00 PM