Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

03/08/2021 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:00:52 PM Start
01:01:55 PM Overview(s): Dept. of Environmental Conservation by Commissioner Jason Brune
02:10:00 PM HJR12
02:42:46 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Dept. of Environmental Conservation by TELECONFERENCED
Commissioner Jason Brune
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 8, 2021                                                                                          
                           1:01 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Josiah Patkotak, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Zack Fields (via teleconference)                                                                                 
Representative Calvin Schrage                                                                                                   
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Mike Cronk (via teleconference)                                                                                  
Representative Ronald Gillham                                                                                                   
Representative Tom McKay                                                                                                        
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
OVERVIEW(S): DEPT. OF  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION BY COMMISSIONER                                                               
JASON BRUNE                                                                                                                     
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                                                                   
Urging the  United States Department  of the Interior,  Bureau of                                                               
Land  Management, to  honor the  recent lease  sales and  proceed                                                               
with permitting  in the Arctic  National Wildlife  Refuge; urging                                                               
the President of  the United States to defend the  2020 Record of                                                               
Decision approving the Coastal Plain  Oil and Gas Leasing Program                                                               
in the  Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;  opposing designation of                                                               
the Arctic National  Wildlife Refuge as a  National Monument; and                                                               
urging the Alaska delegation in  Congress to uphold sec. 20001 of                                                               
the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.                                                                                              
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HJR 12                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ENDORSING ANWR LEASING; RELATED ISSUES                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAUSCHER                                                                                          
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       RES, STA                                                                                               
02/19/21       (H)       STA REFERRAL REMOVED                                                                                   
02/19/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
03/01/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/01/21       (H)       -- Testimony <Invitation Only> --                                                                      
03/03/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/03/21       (H)       -- Public Testimony --                                                                                 
03/08/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JASON BRUNE, Commissioner                                                                                                       
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-provided a PowerPoint presentation                                                                    
titled "Department of Environmental Conservation," dated 2/26/21                                                                
[hard copy included in the committee packet].                                                                                   
EMMA POKON, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                 
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-provided a PowerPoint presentation                                                                    
titled "Department of Environmental Conservation," dated 2/26/21                                                                
[hard copy included in the committee packet].                                                                                   
KARA MORIARTY, President and CEO                                                                                                
Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 12.                                                                          
TOM WALSH, Past President (2020)                                                                                                
Alaska Support Industry Alliance                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 12.                                                                          
KATI CAPOZZI, President & CEO                                                                                                   
Alaska Chamber of Commerce                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 12.                                                                          
MARLEANNA HALL, Executive Director                                                                                              
Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC)                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 12.                                                                          
MATTHEW REXFORD, President                                                                                                      
Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation;                                                                                                   
Tribal Administrator,                                                                                                           
Native Village of Kaktovik                                                                                                      
Kaktovik, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 12.                                                                          
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:00:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JOSIAH  PATKOTAK  called   the  House  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:01 p.m.   Representatives McKay,                                                               
Fields   (via   teleconference),  Cronk   (via   teleconference),                                                               
Hopkins, Rauscher,  Hannan, Gillham,  Schrage, and  Patkotak were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
^OVERVIEW(S):    Dept.   of    Environmental   Conservation    by                                                               
Commissioner Jason Brune                                                                                                        
OVERVIEW(S): Dept. of Environmental Conservation by Commissioner                                                            
                          Jason Brune                                                                                       
1:01:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR JOSIAH PATKOTAK announced that  the first order of business                                                               
would  be   an  Overview  of  the   Department  of  Environmental                                                               
Conservation by Commissioner Jason Brune.                                                                                       
1:02:20 PM                                                                                                                    
JASON   BRUNE,   Commissioner,    Department   of   Environmental                                                               
Conservation (DEC), co-provided  a PowerPoint presentation titled                                                               
"Department of  Environmental Conservation," dated  2/26/21 [hard                                                               
copy included  in the  committee packet].   He  began on  slide 2                                                               
with  a  highlight  of  DEC's  mission,  which  is  to  conserve,                                                               
improve, and  protect Alaska's natural resources  and environment                                                               
to enhance  the health, safety,  economic, and  social well-being                                                               
of Alaskans.  He moved to  slide 3 and outlined DEC's values that                                                               
he  and  his directors  formed  at  the administration's  outset:                                                               
objectivity,   accountability,   integrity,  collaboration,   and                                                               
customer service.   He  turned to  slide 4  and pointed  out that                                                               
women comprise over 80 percent  of DEC's leadership team, and the                                                               
team has over 100 years of state service.                                                                                       
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  displayed slide  5 and  stated that  what DEC                                                               
does can be  summarized in five divisions.  He  said the Division                                                               
of  Administrative   Services  runs  the  organization   and  the                                                               
divisions of  Air Quality, Spill Prevention  and Response (SPAR),                                                               
Water  Quality, and  Environmental  Health  are the  department's                                                               
four environmental focus areas.                                                                                                 
1:05:54 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  moved to  slide 6  and related  that Governor                                                               
Dunleavy  wants to  show that  Alaska is  open for  business, can                                                               
work with  the regulated community,  and resource  extraction and                                                               
the  protection  of  human health  are  not  mutually  exclusive.                                                               
Alaska's economy is completely  dependent on resource extraction,                                                               
he said, so it's important  that the department is partnered with                                                               
the  regulated community  to  ensure  economic development  while                                                               
concurrently protecting  human health  and the environment.   The                                                               
department  is  focused  on providing  predictable,  timely,  and                                                               
science-based  permits  for the  regulated  community.   This  is                                                               
important for  ensuring and  sending the  message that  Alaska is                                                               
open  for  business and  that  there  is predictability  for  the                                                               
investment and regulated communities.   Also important is for DEC                                                               
to  have  partnerships  with  local  governments,  Alaska  Native                                                               
corporations, businesses, and other organizations.                                                                              
COMMISSIONER BRUNE addressed DEC's three  main goals for 2021, as                                                               
depicted on slide 7.  He said  the first goal is to protect human                                                               
health and  the environment by  controlling water, land,  and air                                                               
pollution.   To  do  this DEC  is looking  at  the processes  and                                                               
relationships  that  it  has with  the  regulated  community  and                                                               
determining what is slowing down  the issuance of permits and how                                                               
the regulations can  be improved.  The second goal  is to improve                                                               
employee  retention  in  the department  and  develop  employees.                                                               
Upon becoming commissioner two years  ago he learned that over 25                                                               
percent  of DEC's  employees didn't  have active  evaluations and                                                               
the turnover  rate was 20-30  percent.   An objective was  set to                                                               
cut  the turnover  rate  in  half this  year.    When looking  at                                                               
providing timely,  science based, legally defensible  permits, it                                                               
must be  assured there is  the longevity of  staff to be  able to                                                               
finish those  permits in a  timely manner.  The  department wants                                                               
to  ensure  that  evaluations, personal  development  plans,  and                                                               
training plans  are put in place,  so employees see a  future for                                                               
themselves at  DEC.   The department  will track,  encourage, and                                                               
fund the training of staff.   Ultimately DEC is making it so that                                                               
its relationship  with the development  community is going  to be                                                               
extended relationships with DEC employees.   The third goal is to                                                               
leverage   technology  and   workflow   improvements  to   create                                                               
efficiencies, reduce DEC's  environmental footprint, and increase                                                               
the transparency  and visibility of  DEC's efforts.  This  can be                                                               
done  by  using  drones,   virtual  inspections,  and  increasing                                                               
transparency with the  public so the public can  see the comments                                                               
that   DEC  has   received  from   the  conservation   community,                                                               
development  community, and  public  in general.    To become  as                                                               
efficient as  possible, a process has  been put in place  to meet                                                               
on a weekly  basis to ensure that  DEC's administrative functions                                                               
are done  in a way that  best spends state resources  but doesn't                                                               
duplicate efforts.                                                                                                              
1:10:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  shared that he has  heard from department                                                               
employees that  it is  good working for  Commissioner Brune.   He                                                               
offered his congratulations  to Ms. Emma Pokon  for her promotion                                                               
to deputy  commissioner.   He said he  looks forward  to employee                                                               
longevity at DEC.                                                                                                               
COMMISSIONER BRUNE stated  that 95 percent of  the people working                                                               
at DEC will be there after  he and Ms. Pokon leave, and fostering                                                               
them is important so they can continue doing their great work.                                                                  
1:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE spoke  to the outline on slide 8  of DEC's hot                                                               
topics for 2021.   Regarding the hot topic of  COVID, he said the                                                               
past  year of  2020  cannot be  discussed  without talking  about                                                               
COVID.   Regarding the  Division of Air  Quality, the  hot topics                                                               
are  PM  2.5  [the  Fairbanks Particulate  Matter  2.5  (PM  2.5)                                                               
Nonattainment Area] and the Greenhouse  Gas Inventory.  Regarding                                                               
the Division  of Spill  Prevention and  Response (SPAR),  the hot                                                               
topics  are PFAS  [per-and  polyfluoroalkyl  substances] and  the                                                               
Prevention Account.   Regarding  the Division  of Water,  the hot                                                               
topics are village safe water  (VSW), the Integrated Report, tier                                                               
3 waters, transboundary waters,  and commercial passenger vessels                                                               
(cruise ships).  Regarding the  Division of Environmental Health,                                                               
the  hot topics  are  invasive species,  the  Yuck-line, and  the                                                               
issues in DEC's  laboratory of dairy safety and  mariculture.  He                                                               
invited committee members  to raise other issues  of concern with                                                               
him or his deputy commissioner.                                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  turned the presentation  over to  Emma Pokon,                                                               
DEC Deputy Commissioner.  He said  Ms. Pokon came to DEC from the                                                               
Department  of Law  (DOL)  and that  for a  number  of years  she                                                               
worked at the North Slope Borough and lived in Barrow.                                                                          
1:13:30 PM                                                                                                                    
EMMA  POKON, Deputy  Commissioner,  Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department of  Environmental Conservation (DEC),  displayed slide                                                               
9  and discussed  COVID impacts.    She specified  that about  75                                                               
percent  of  DEC    employees are  currently  teleworking  in  an                                                               
effort  to protect  staff  and the  community as  a  whole.   The                                                               
department has  been able  to accomplish its  mission and  do its                                                               
work even with employees working remotely.                                                                                      
MS. POKON  said fieldwork safety guidelines  have been instituted                                                               
given there are  still instances in which employees  must go into                                                               
the field,  such as  for providing support  to facilities  or for                                                               
inspections.   Guidelines are in  place for DEC's  compliance and                                                               
enforcement group to help reduce COVID risk as much as possible.                                                                
MS. POKON related that DEC  has provided reasonable accommodation                                                               
to  permittees.    She  noted  DEC  has  always  had  enforcement                                                               
discretion  in  how to  implement  its  various programs.    Much                                                               
thought  was given  on how  to implement  that discretion  in the                                                               
context  of a  pandemic and  the challenges  that facilities  are                                                               
facing.    For  example,  some   permits  require  a  permittee                                                                 
employees  to  have  updated  certifications  for,  say,  visible                                                               
emissions  monitoring every  six months  and in-person  training.                                                               
Those trainings were  cancelled because of the  pandemic, and DEC                                                               
didn't  want to  penalize  permittees for  requirements that  are                                                               
literally impossible  for them to  comply with in the  context of                                                               
the  pandemic.    Flexibility and  working  with  permittees  was                                                               
necessary, so  DEC had  a need  for increased  communication from                                                               
permittees   regarding  their   challenges  and   why  compliance                                                               
couldn't get done.                                                                                                              
MS.  POKON  explained  that  virtual inspections  are  a  way  to                                                               
protect   staff  and   communities.     She  related   that  many                                                               
communities have  a concern about  people coming in  from outside                                                               
and potentially  being vectors for  COVID.  The  department moved                                                               
forward with some of the things  that it already had in the works                                                               
for doing inspections remotely, such as  via FaceTime.  A lot can                                                               
be told from video inspections of  a facility and this has been a                                                               
success.   A number of  these have been  done and DEC  has worked                                                               
with the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  and other states                                                               
to refine  its processes  and ensure  it is  providing meaningful                                                               
regulatory oversight using  this as a tool.  The  thought is that                                                               
this will  be a  tool going  forward; not  a replacement  for in-                                                               
person inspections, but something that  will help DEC get to more                                                               
facilities more  frequently and  prioritize which  facilities DEC                                                               
needs to go to in-person to provide effective oversight.                                                                        
MS. POKON  stated that  DEC evaluated  its existing  workload and                                                               
how  it could  best contribute  to  the state's  response to  the                                                               
pandemic  as a  whole.   She said  the Division  of Environmental                                                               
Health  identified  places  where  it  could  contribute  to  the                                                               
state's efforts.   Folks reviewed the workplace  safety plans and                                                               
a virologist  was loaned to  the Department of Health  and Social                                                               
Services (DHSS), so DEC was  thinking about how to accomplish its                                                               
own mission as well as contribute to the state's effort.                                                                        
MS. POKON  noted that DEC  worked with the [University  of Alaska                                                               
Anchorage]  to  pilot  surveillance testing  of  wastewater  [for                                                               
COVID].  She  informed members that national  news reported COVID                                                               
showing up in  wastewater streams, allowing testing  of a limited                                                               
population for  the presence  of COVID  even when  no individuals                                                               
had yet  tested positive.   The department helped  the university                                                               
get started on examining this method as a tool in Alaska.                                                                       
MS. POKON discussed DEC's statewide  online public comment system                                                               
and digitizing  files.  With  so much of DEC's  workforce working                                                               
remotely, she explained,  the need arose to get  things even more                                                               
into the  modern era.  While  the public has always  been able to                                                               
submit  comments  electronically  via   email,  the  new  format,                                                               
SmartComment, accepts comments electronically  and puts them on a                                                               
platform where  the public can  see those comments in  real time.                                                               
The department  has helped the rest  of the state to  get on this                                                               
as well.   Digitizing files allows employees  working remotely to                                                               
be able to access  the material they need to do  their jobs.  The                                                               
department   is  learning   how  to   adjust  its   processes  to                                                               
accommodate working remotely.                                                                                                   
1:19:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  inquired  about  virtual  inspections  in                                                               
relation  to those  inspections that  require the  taking of  lab                                                               
samples; for example, sampling a  drain for bacterial growth at a                                                               
fish processing plant.  She  asked who was responsible for taking                                                               
those  samples  at  a  site  inspection  or  whether  those  were                                                               
delayed, and only visual inspections done.                                                                                      
MS. POKON replied  she is not familiar with the  specifics of how                                                               
DEC handles the  samples.  She said many facilities  must send in                                                               
samples on  a recurring  basis, and  those requirements  have not                                                               
been waived.   For the virtual inspections, a  lot of preparation                                                               
was  done to  ensure that  DEC had  all paperwork  in order,  and                                                               
while  the inspector  wasn't  there to  take  samples in  person,                                                               
sending them into the lab is always an option.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked what the  plan is for continuation of                                                               
site  inspections during  this current  year;  for example,  fish                                                               
processing plants  and restaurants.   She said she wants  to make                                                               
sure  that the  state's inspectors  are being  allowed onsite  to                                                               
gather  the  lab samples  themselves  so  that  not only  is  the                                                               
counter that's  always been clean  being inspected, but  also the                                                               
counters that have been forgotten to be cleaned.                                                                                
MS. POKON replied that  DEC recognizes virtual/remote inspections                                                               
are  not going  to be  a replacement  for onsite  visits and  for                                                               
getting DEC's inspectors onsite.   The department is working with                                                               
the  EPA,  the Food  and  Drug  Administration (FDA),  and  other                                                               
federal authorities  that provide  grant funding or  that oversee                                                               
primacy  programs to  make sure  DEC's inspections  fulfill their                                                               
requirements  as  well.    For  the  coming  year  everything  is                                                               
uncertain  as vaccines  are rolled  out, so  she doesn't  want to                                                               
make any representations about concrete  plans because those will                                                               
evolve as the pandemic response evolves.                                                                                        
1:22:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. POKON  returned to her  presentation and discussed  slide 10,                                                               
titled "Air:  Supporting Primacy Under  the Clean Air Act."   She                                                               
explained  DEC has  implemented  the federal  Clean  Air Act  via                                                               
primacy programs for nearly 50  years.  These programs assess air                                                               
quality,  prevent  deterioration  of  air  quality,  and  address                                                               
pollution  problems within  Alaska  when they  do  develop.   The                                                               
department developed  an Alaska  Air Quality Control  Plan, which                                                               
it implements [and maintains to  meet federal requirements].  The                                                               
primacy  programs provide  value to  the state  by ensuring  that                                                               
it's Alaskans  who are implementing  these programs and  that the                                                               
folks  directly  overseeing  compliance   have  the  context  and                                                               
understanding of local conditions.                                                                                              
MS.  POKON spoke  to slide  11, titled  "Improving Fairbanks  Air                                                               
Quality."  She  reported that Fairbanks has  been a nonattainment                                                               
area for  fine particulate matter  for some time.   The pollution                                                               
becomes  unhealthy during  parts of  the  year, so  DEC has  been                                                               
working with Fairbanks  and improvements are being seen.   Due to                                                               
measures put in  place during the last planning  process there is                                                               
the possibility of attainment by 2024.                                                                                          
MS.  POKON  reviewed  the  graph  on  Slide  12,  titled  "Alaska                                                               
Greenhouse Gas Inventory."  She  said the inventory was completed                                                               
in 2015 and this coming year  the Division of Air Quality will be                                                               
updating its  inventory of Alaska  sources.  The  department will                                                               
use the  data for climate  change conversations expected  to take                                                               
place in the near future.                                                                                                       
1:24:53 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  informed the  committee that the  entire team                                                               
of DEC  directors is typing  text messages  to him and  Ms. Pokon                                                               
with  answers to  questions.    He elaborated  on  the answer  to                                                               
Representative  Hannan's question,  explaining  that samples  are                                                               
not typically collected  during environmental health inspections,                                                               
and that includes  pre-COVID.  For the water  team, the benchmark                                                               
for inspections for  calendar year 2020 was  232 inspections, and                                                               
231 were  actually completed.   The  benchmark for  calendar year                                                               
2021 is 290,  and it's likely that 330 inspections  will be done.                                                               
The  Clean Air  Act and  the Clean  Water Act  are self-reporting                                                               
Acts  delegated to  the state  from the  federal level.   Samples                                                               
from  [regulated] entities  are usually  collected and  tested by                                                               
third parties  and the  data provided  to DEC,  and this  has not                                                               
changed.  If entities were unable  during COVID to get folks out,                                                               
DEC absolutely  understood and ensured that  that was documented.                                                               
More and more,  however, third parties have been able  to get out                                                               
there and  collect samples,  so the entities  are able  to comply                                                               
with their permit requirements.                                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  continued the presentation.   Moving to slide                                                               
13, titled "Responding  to PFAS," he explained that  all sorts of                                                               
items contain PFAS,  such as Teflon pans,  clothing, and wrappers                                                               
from  McDonalds.   These  chemicals  are used  to  repel oil  and                                                               
grease.  In  Alaska, PFAS are found in aqueous  film forming foam                                                               
(AFFF),  [a  fire  suppressant used]  at  every  state  certified                                                               
airport for putting  out high temperature fires  to protect human                                                               
health and property if a  major accident occurs.  Until recently,                                                               
AFFF  was required  to  be  tested on  an  annual  basis by  each                                                               
airport.  It  was found that the PFAS in  AFFF were contaminating                                                               
the drinking  water supplies of  many of those communities.   The                                                               
department worked with  the legislature for funding  and then put                                                               
together a  risk matrix where  DEC identified what  airports used                                                               
and tested  AFFF and whether  it was  done in close  proximity to                                                               
community drinking  water supplies.  The  [EPA's] Lifetime Health                                                               
Advisory is 70 parts per trillion  (the equivalent of one drop in                                                               
an  Olympic-sized pool)  of  perfluorooctanesulfonic acid  (PFOS)                                                               
and  perfluorooctanoic acid  (PFOA), two  of the  6,000 types  of                                                               
PFAS chemicals that  have been found harmful to  humans.  Today's                                                               
testing is able  to accommodate somewhere between 18  and 25 PFAS                                                               
chemicals by using two of  the EPA-approved methodologies, either                                                               
537.1 or 533.   Two years ago testing could  only accommodate 5-8                                                               
PFAS chemicals, so technology is improving.                                                                                     
1:29:54 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE continued  addressing slide 13.   He said it's                                                               
important for  the public to know  how people may be  impacted by                                                               
PFAS, so DEC has made it a  point to be very transparent with the                                                               
risk  matrix   and  the  airports   and  communities   that  were                                                               
identified that could  have been impacted.  All  the testing data                                                               
received by  DEC has been  put on the  website for the  public to                                                               
see.    Even  if  the  testing levels  don't  reach  the  [EPA's]                                                               
Lifetime Health  Advisory level of  70 parts per  trillion (ppt),                                                               
or the  state's level of  400 ppt,  it's still important  for the                                                               
public  to understand  what those  levels  are so  they can  make                                                               
their  own choices  if the  results are  not at  the levels  that                                                               
create the regulatory impact.                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  informed  members  that DEC  has  seen  PFAS                                                               
contaminated  soils  throughout  the  state at  airports  and  at                                                               
military bases  in Fairbanks.  Also,  he said, DEC has  seen PFAS                                                               
in the  bio-solids at  many wastewater  treatment plants,  and in                                                               
some areas these bio-solids are  composted and distributed in the                                                               
community.  The department wants  to ensure it isn't overseeing a                                                               
process  where  PFAS-contaminated  compost is  being  distributed                                                               
into communities.   For  example, DEC  worked with  the Fairbanks                                                               
wastewater utility and  testing showed a higher level  of PFAS in                                                               
their bio-solids,  so distribution was  stopped that year.   It's                                                               
unknown whether the compost of  previous years included PFAS, but                                                               
DEC wanted to ensure it wasn't being distributed any farther.                                                                   
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  pointed out that  the question is what  to do                                                               
with this contaminated soil.  He  related that DEC had Dr. Andrew                                                               
Gillespie, EPA's lead PFAS researcher,  come to Alaska last year.                                                               
The  previous year  DEC authorized  an air  permit to  study what                                                               
happens  when PFAS  contaminated soils  are thermally  treated to                                                               
try to  eliminate the PFAS  from the soil.   This study,  done in                                                               
partnership  with  EPA's  Office  of  Research  and  Development,                                                               
looked at whether the PFAS  chemicals would switch from one media                                                               
to another,  in other words  go from the  soil into the  air shed                                                               
and  then be  deposited  down the  air shed  and  creating a  new                                                               
contaminated site.  It was found  that 99.99 percent of the 18-25                                                               
PFAS chemicals being looked at  were destroyed and converted into                                                               
hydrogen fluoride (HF).  What  is unknown is the other 5,000-plus                                                               
PFAS that weren't looked for.   The department looked at shipping                                                               
the  contaminated  soil from  Alaska  to  a landfill  in  eastern                                                               
Oregon, but  decided to come  up with  a local solution  for this                                                               
local problem,  and that's DEC  began looking at  whether thermal                                                               
treatment  of the  PFAS would  work.   The department  is working                                                               
with  Alaska  Native corporations  and  other  entities that  are                                                               
looking at  remote opportunities  for bringing  thermal treatment                                                               
of  PFAS to  rural  Alaska.   One  Alaska  Native corporation  is                                                               
looking at permitting  a landfill in Alaska  rather than shipping                                                               
it to the Lower 48.                                                                                                             
1:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  stated that  PFAS has  been a  big concern                                                               
for her and her  constituents.  She asked where DEC  is at on the                                                               
list of  priority airports and  evaluations in communities.   She                                                               
said she knows  tests have yet to be done  in all the communities                                                               
where  groundwater  contamination  is speculated.    She  further                                                               
asked where DEC is at on the  ability to address a solution.  She                                                               
stated she knows  there hasn't yet been a solution  in North Pole                                                               
or Gustavus,  and asked  whether a  solution has  been identified                                                               
for King Salmon, which was put on bottled water three years ago.                                                                
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  responded that  this issue is  high priority.                                                               
He  said high  priority airports  were identified  in cooperation                                                               
with  the  Department  of Transportation  and  Public  Facilities                                                               
(DOT&PF).    He  stated  that  every one  of  the  high  priority                                                               
airports  has been  tested and  that  testing will  begin on  the                                                               
middle and  low priority  airports.   As additional  data becomes                                                               
available  it will  be put  on DEC's  website.   If contamination                                                               
levels  exceed  the  EPA's  Lifetime  Health  Advisory  or  DEC's                                                               
regulation,  the  responsible  parties must  provide  alternative                                                               
drinking  water to  the communities.   The  responsible party  in                                                               
this case, DOT&PF,  has provided alternative drinking  water.  In                                                               
the North  Pole area with the  military, a water system  is being                                                               
put in as  an alternative drinking source.   The department works                                                               
in  tandem  with the  responsible  party  to address  that  need.                                                               
Short-term  needs  are  met through  providing  bottled  drinking                                                               
water, but  long-term needs must  also be addressed.   To address                                                               
the PFAS issue a couple  years ago, the legislature provided $9.4                                                               
million from  the Oil and Hazardous  Substance Release Prevention                                                               
and  Response Fund  ("Response  Fund   [also  known  as the  "470                                                               
Fund" from  the enacting  legislation, House  Bill 470  passed in                                                               
1986].  To date,  less than $1 million has been  spent but DEC is                                                               
working closely with DOT&PF, as  the responsible party, to ensure                                                               
that  long-term solutions  for  sustainable alternative  drinking                                                               
water are provided.                                                                                                             
1:38:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CRONK  noted his district includes  Moose Creek in                                                               
North Pole.   He  related that in  attending meetings  during his                                                               
campaign, the people  felt they had no say in  what was going on.                                                               
He offered his  understanding that people received  a letter from                                                               
the U.S. Air  Force stating that if they signed,  then they would                                                               
get   a  certain   amount   of  money,   their   well  would   be                                                               
decommissioned,  and they  would  be charged  $60  per month  for                                                               
water.   The people felt  they didn't have the  information, were                                                               
left out  of much of  the information,  had no voice,  were being                                                               
forced  to  sign and  decommission  their  wells, and  the  water                                                               
project was  being put in.   He said he didn't  know whether this                                                               
was a military issue only or whether it also involved DEC.                                                                      
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  replied  that  the  ultimate  responsibility                                                               
falls on  the responsible party  for providing  those alternative                                                               
sources of water.  He said  he understands the concerns of people                                                               
who have  paid for a well  and don't have any  utility costs, but                                                               
are suddenly told their well  is contaminated, a utility is going                                                               
to be built, and they will  have a monthly expense.  Compensation                                                               
was given  to local residents to  offset some of those  costs but                                                               
it's not an  offset in perpetuity.  He pointed  out that a person                                                               
not  wanting to  sign the  agreement can  choose to  negotiate an                                                               
individual agreement with the responsible party.                                                                                
1:40:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS recalled that  conversations were had last                                                               
year about which of the PFAS  chemicals were being tested for and                                                               
the test results  logged.  He asked whether all  the test results                                                               
for all of  the 18-25 PFAS chemicals are being  stored on the DEC                                                               
website  or whether  only  a  certain number  of  them are  being                                                               
stored on the website.                                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER BRUNE answered  that as much data as DEC  can put on                                                               
the website is  put out there, and his understanding  is that all                                                               
of them are out there.  If they're  not, or it is heard that they                                                               
are not, he  will ensure they are placed there  because that kind                                                               
of  transparency and  opportunity for  the general  public to  be                                                               
informed is one of his highest priorities.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS said he hasn't  heard anything contrary to                                                               
that, but was just following up from last year's conversation.                                                                  
1:42:15 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE returned  to  his presentation.   He  skipped                                                               
slide  14 and  spoke to  slide 15,  titled "Spill  Prevention and                                                               
Response,  An ounce  of  prevention is  worth  more than  260,000                                                               
barrels of response."  He stated  DEC wants to ensure that things                                                               
are in  place to  protect the environment  so something  like the                                                               
Exxon  Valdez oil  spill never  happens again.   The  contingency                                                               
plans  ("C plans")  put  together by  DEC  require very  specific                                                               
detail  about  how  an  entity  might  respond  if  there  is  an                                                               
incident.    Day-to-day  prevention  work  within  SPAR  includes                                                               
reviewing the  C plans  and making sure  that those  entities are                                                               
able  to respond.   The  Prevention Account  is funded  through a                                                               
[surcharge  of] $0.04  per barrel  of crude  oil produced  in the                                                               
state, as  well as a surcharge  of $0.0095 per gallon  of refined                                                               
fuel that goes  to fund SPAR's activities.  No  general funds are                                                               
provided to SPAR.                                                                                                               
1:44:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCKAY  inquired about  the difference  between the                                                               
Response Fund  and the  470 Fund.   He offered  his understanding                                                               
that the  470 Fund was  established after the Exxon  Valdez spill                                                               
and has millions of dollars in and it and has rarely been used.                                                                 
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE responded  that  there are  two  funds:   the                                                               
Prevention  Account,  which is  funded  by  the $0.04  crude  oil                                                               
production surcharge and the $0.0095  refined fuel surcharge; and                                                               
the 470  Fund, or Response  Account, which  is funded by  a $0.01                                                               
surcharge per barrel  and is used on a very  regular basis.  That                                                               
$0.01 per  barrel production surcharge  for the  Response Account                                                               
is subject  to shutting off  once the [Response  Account] reaches                                                               
$50  million.    Today  [the  Response  Account]  in  unallocated                                                               
amounts  is around  $30  million, so  that  $0.01 surcharge  will                                                               
continue to  go into  the Response Account  until it  reaches $50                                                               
million.  That account is used  for the initial work that the DEC                                                               
team  has to  do in  responding to  oil or  other spills,  and it                                                               
needs to be that  amount so DEC can mobilize a  team in the event                                                               
a large spill happens.  It is  also used when trucks tip over, or                                                               
houses have  spills from their buried  underground storage tanks,                                                               
or  other  kinds  of  spills.   The  department  can  access  the                                                               
Response  Account   to  address   a  spill   without  legislative                                                               
approval, but  it does require  the DEC  commissioner's approval,                                                               
and DEC informs the legislature.   The department has a statutory                                                               
responsibility to cost  recover, and therefore DEC  must go after                                                               
the  individuals that  created the  spill.   So,  DEC spends  the                                                               
upfront  money to  clean up  the spill  and then  goes after  the                                                               
individuals to  recover that amount.   He said twice in  the last                                                               
five  years the  legislature has  appropriated from  the Response                                                               
Account, the 470  Fund:  the $9.4 million  referenced earlier for                                                               
PFAS, and  about $5 million  to move materials from  the Wrangell                                                               
dump  to  a Lower  48  landfill.    Had  those amounts  not  been                                                               
appropriated, the  Response Account  would be around  $45 million                                                               
rather than the  current $30 million, so it is  used on a regular                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  MCKAY  offered  his understanding  that  the  470                                                               
Fund, originally  established for oil  spills, is being  used for                                                               
just about every spill imaginable.                                                                                              
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  answered yes,  that  is  what the  statutory                                                               
language allows DEC to do.  He said  he is able to do no more and                                                               
no less than what the legislature gives him the authority to do.                                                                
1:48:41 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  returned to the presentation.   Regarding the                                                               
graph  on  slide  16  titled  "Prevention  Account  Deficit,"  he                                                               
related that  when he  became commissioner, he  was told  that in                                                               
four years the  fund was not sustainable, and  30 positions would                                                               
have to be cut.  To  provide a soft landing, seven positions were                                                               
cut  last  year  and  this  year the  proposal  is  to  cut  five                                                               
positions   from   Spill    Prevention   and   Response   (SPAR).                                                               
Concurrently, DEC is looking at  ways to increase the funding for                                                               
SPAR.  Of  course the department wants more  production, and more                                                               
production will  lead to more money  for SPAR.  Secondly,  DEC is                                                               
supporting  the proposal  in Representative  Josephson's bill  to                                                               
increase  the  refined fuel  surcharge  from  0.95 cents  to  1.5                                                               
cents.  The department is  looking to bring sustainability to the                                                               
program going forward.                                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER BRUNE turned to slide  17, titled "Water: Supporting                                                               
Primacy  Through APDES  [Alaska  Pollutant Discharge  Elimination                                                               
Systems]."  He said DEC has  primacy of water under provisions of                                                               
the  Clean  Water Act,  which  delegated  that authority  to  the                                                               
state, and  the legislature  gave DEC that  authority in  2007 or                                                               
2008.    The department  is  responsible  for ensuring  that  the                                                               
requirements  of the  Clean Water  Act are  met.   Last year  the                                                               
legislature  approved four  additional  positions  within DEC  to                                                               
make sure the department was  doing the inspections and oversight                                                               
and not  the EPA,  although the  EPA has the  ability to  come in                                                               
because it has the ultimate oversight.                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  addressed  slide 18,  titled  "Village  Safe                                                               
Water."   He said this  is very  important during COVID.   Thirty                                                               
communities in  Alaska are not served,  meaning these communities                                                               
are still  using honey buckets.   The Village Safe  Water Program                                                               
receives   significant  contributions   from  the   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature and  the federal government  for improving  water and                                                               
wastewater  treatment   opportunities.    The  average   cost  of                                                               
bringing  first-time pipe  service  to those  systems is  between                                                               
$350,000 and $750,000  per home, so it is  a significant economic                                                               
consideration.   The department  has remote  maintenance workers,                                                               
five of whom work  for DEC and twelve who are  funded by DEC with                                                               
the  regional health  corporations.   These are  the workers  out                                                               
there  at 30  degrees  below zero  trying  to restore  wastewater                                                               
service when pipes are frozen.                                                                                                  
1:52:26 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE proceeded  to  slide  19, titled  "Integrated                                                               
Report and KTN Beaches."  He  specified that for the last several                                                               
years DEC  has been testing  beaches in a number  of communities,                                                               
but  Ketchikan specifically.   This  year  11 of  the beaches  in                                                               
Ketchikan will be  listed as impaired water bodies.   The testing                                                               
is reported weekly  on DEC's social media pages.   The absence of                                                               
cruise ships this  past year was a great opportunity  to see what                                                               
the  ambient impact  would be  without cruise  ships and  whether                                                               
there  are impacts  to  high fecal  coliform  bacteria levels  in                                                               
these communities.  It was  found that the Ketchikan beaches were                                                               
being impacted even in the absence  of cruise ships.  That report                                                               
just came  out and is  currently open  for comment.   Those water                                                               
bodies  will  be  put  on  the impaired  water  body  list  going                                                               
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  spoke to  slide  20,  titled "Tier  3  Water                                                               
Bodies," a  policy put in  place by the  previous administration.                                                               
He  said this  policy requires  that any  proposal for  a Tier  3                                                               
designation  be referred  to  the  legislature to  act  on.   The                                                               
policy remains  in effect today,  and while  a bill has  not been                                                               
proposed this session to codify that,  there is a lot of interest                                                               
in this  issue.   Such legislation would  ensure that  that power                                                               
rests with the legislature, not  the executive branch, because in                                                               
a  future   administration  an  individual   such  as   him,  the                                                               
commissioner,   can   change   it   just  like   that.      [This                                                               
administration's] view  is that designating  Tier 3  water bodies                                                               
is a responsibility of the legislature.                                                                                         
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  displayed  slide 21,  titled  "Transboundary                                                               
Bilateral Working Group."  He explained  that the focus is on the                                                               
impact of  previous mines  and potential  future mines  on Alaska                                                               
water bodies.   Testing of  water bodies in Southeast  Alaska was                                                               
recently done to  see if there has been any  historic impacts and                                                               
to establish a  baseline understanding of what  the water quality                                                               
is  today  if any  future  mines  are  built.   That  report  was                                                               
recently  released,  he continued,  and  there  haven't been  any                                                               
historic  impacts.    Alaska's three  members  of  the  Bilateral                                                               
Working Group  are himself, Commissioner Corri  Feige [Department                                                               
of  Natural  Resources  (DNR)],  Commissioner  Doug  Vincent-Lang                                                               
[Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)].                                                                                   
1:55:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  inquired about  the ongoing  commitment to                                                               
continue gathering  data as British  Columbia either  develops or                                                               
continues to let its historic  mine sites degrade without regular                                                               
monitoring on the British Columbia side.                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE  replied  that  DEC wants  to  ensure  it  is                                                               
emphasizing  its limited  state dollars  to find  data that  will                                                               
help the  department in the  future.  The U.S.  Geological Survey                                                               
(USGS), he  said, has appropriated  about $3 million per  year to                                                               
continue  these  studies in  Southeast  Alaska,  so DEC  felt  it                                                               
inappropriate  to  duplicate  state   funding  for  this  ongoing                                                               
research.   In  addition, the  Canadian government  is collecting                                                               
data upstream on  its lands.  He and the  other two commissioners                                                               
in the  Bilateral Working  Group have  been pushing  the Canadian                                                               
and British  Columbia governments  very hard  to ensure  that the                                                               
Tulsequah Chief Mine  gets cleaned up.  The cleanup  plan will be                                                               
unveiled soon, and the mine will be cleaned up very soon.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  what the  lag time  is between  the                                                               
USGS gathering the data and the  ability of Alaska to use and act                                                               
on it.   She  related that  the concern she  is hearing  from her                                                               
communities  located in  those transboundary  waters is  that the                                                               
federal agency is  collecting data but it's a year  or two before                                                               
Alaska  sees  that data  and  can  act  on  it, and  for  fishing                                                               
communities that's too long.                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  responded that  he doesn't know  the specific                                                               
answer  but the  commitment  for transparency  exists across  the                                                               
federal agencies, so  when the data is available it  will be made                                                               
available to  the public.   New mines  are being  deliberated, he                                                               
continued,  but currently  no new  mines are  under construction,                                                               
and that type of  data is often shared from the  mine sites.  The                                                               
government of  Canada has been  transparent and willing  to share                                                               
the data as new projects come to fruition.                                                                                      
1:58:27 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE resumed  the presentation.  He  moved to slide                                                               
22,   titled   "Commercial    Passenger   Vessels   Environmental                                                               
Oversight," and reported that roughly  $5 per head comes from the                                                               
cruise ships, of  which $4 per berth has been  used to fund ocean                                                               
rangers.   Over the last 10-15  years, more than $40  million has                                                               
been spent  on ocean rangers,  and only six notices  of violation                                                               
came  out  of that.    The  department  believes there  are  more                                                               
efficient  and appropriate  ways for  DEC to  be regulating  that                                                               
industry.  The  department will be coming forward with  a bill to                                                               
do that,  similar to the  bill introduced last year  that focused                                                               
on  using technology  where appropriate,  using DEC  staff to  do                                                               
announced and  unannounced inspections,  and to  use some  of the                                                               
money that  was used for  ocean rangers to upgrade  the shoreside                                                               
wastewater  treatment plants  that  are being  used  by over  one                                                               
million cruise ship visitors every  year.  The department has the                                                               
authority to  regulate that  industry as it  is.   The department                                                               
plans on doing  early season inspections of each of  the ships as                                                               
they enter  into Alaska  waters.   [Commissioner Brune  turned to                                                               
slide  23]  and pointed  out  that  with  the  lack of  a  cruise                                                               
industry  this past  year and  possibly this  year, there  is the                                                               
potential  loss  of $15  million  in  revenue to  the  Commercial                                                               
Passenger Vessels  Environmental Oversight  (CPVEC) account.   He                                                               
said  the  legislature appropriated  $4.5  million  last year  to                                                               
ready the  communities in Southeast  Alaska for  accepting cruise                                                               
ship visitors because of COVID.  This season remains uncertain.                                                                 
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  proceeded to slide 24,  titled "Ambient Water                                                               
Quality  Testing."   He noted  that last  week committee  members                                                               
received a  DEC report regarding  the water quality  testing done                                                               
during the  absence of cruise  ships [from  June-September 2020].                                                               
Sixteen ports were  studied from Nome to Ketchikan.   During this                                                               
absence  of  cruise  ships,  DEC  also  conducted  ambient  water                                                               
quality testing  [in 20 sites]  along major shipping  and traffic                                                               
lanes throughout Southeast Alaska.   The department will use [the                                                               
2020 data] as a baseline for when cruise ships return.                                                                          
2:02:06 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER BRUNE  displayed slide 25, titled  "Holding Everyone                                                               
to the Same High Standards."   He said DEC wants to hold everyone                                                               
to the same environmental standards,  not just the big industries                                                               
in the  state.  For example,  cruise ships are allowed  a maximum                                                               
of 40 fecal  coliform bacteria per 100  milliliters of discharge,                                                               
while one local wastewater discharge  facility has the ability to                                                               
discharge  up to  1.5  million fecal  coliform  bacteria per  100                                                               
milliliters of water.  This is  one reason why DEC wants to focus                                                               
on upgrading the shoreside wastewater treatment plants.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  SCHRAGE, in  regard to  the maximum  allowance of                                                               
1.5 million  fecal coliform bacteria  per 100  milliliters, asked                                                               
what  the   average  discharge  is  and   whether  any  shoreside                                                               
treatment facilities actually approach that 1.5 million limit.                                                                  
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE confirmed  that  DEC  definitely sees  levels                                                               
that high, and  advised that it will  require significant capital                                                               
improvements to decrease that amount.   Oftentimes, he continued,                                                               
it is  seen that  regulated entities  will not  do any  more than                                                               
they have to in their permits,  and that is often what drives the                                                               
economic considerations.                                                                                                        
2:04:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. POKON  provided a  few highlights  regarding the  Division of                                                               
Environmental  Health.   She displayed  slide 26,  titled "Multi-                                                               
Agency  Response to  Invasive Species,"  and  explained that  DEC                                                               
created general pesticide permits to  allow ADF&G and DNR to more                                                               
rapidly respond when  an invasive species is found.   The general                                                               
permit allows ADF&G  and DNR to start work within  15 days rather                                                               
than the 70 days that it previously took.                                                                                       
MS.  POKON  spoke to  slide  27,  titled "Improving  Food  Safety                                                               
Complaint Process  - Yuck Line."   She specified that  DEC worked                                                               
with  the  Department  of  Health and  Social  Services  and  the                                                               
Municipality of  Anchorage to implement  a phone number  that the                                                               
public  can  call  with  concerns;  for  example,  concern  about                                                               
something seen at a restaurant.                                                                                                 
MS.  POKON  addressed  slide  28,  titled  "Environmental  Health                                                               
Laboratory Capacity."  She related  that the Environmental Health                                                               
Laboratory prioritizes  the laboratory  needs for  the regulatory                                                               
programs, including dairy safety,  shellfish, food safety, animal                                                               
health,  and drinking  water.    She noted  that  in response  to                                                               
Representative Rauscher,  the program name of  dairy sanitization                                                               
was changed  to dairy safety.   Any  excess lab capacity  will be                                                               
put toward  fish tissue monitoring, Food  and Drug Administration                                                               
(FDA)  cooperative agreements,  shellfish sampling  for inorganic                                                               
arsenic  or paralytic  shellfish  poisoning  (PSP) research,  and                                                               
audit/certification of marijuana testing labs.                                                                                  
2:07:27 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  BRUNE concluded  the  presentation  with slide  29,                                                               
titled "Telling Our  Story."  He offered his  appreciation to the                                                               
committee for allowing  DEC to come tell its story  about why the                                                               
department matters  and what  it does.   He  said any  input from                                                               
legislators  or constituents  on how  to improve  is appreciated.                                                               
The  department  has a  social  media  presence on  Facebook  and                                                               
Twitter where  DEC constantly tells  the story of the  great work                                                               
being done  by its approximately  470 employees to  protect human                                                               
health  and the  environment and  to partner  with the  regulated                                                               
community  to ensure  Alaska has  an economy  and to  responsibly                                                               
develop its resources.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER thanked the  commissioner for the work he                                                               
is doing and for working with the legislature.                                                                                  
CHAIR PATKOTAK offered his appreciation to Commissioner Brune.                                                                  
         HJR 12-ENDORSING ANWR LEASING; RELATED ISSUES                                                                      
2:10:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be  HJR 12  HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION  NO. 12,  "Urging the  United                                                               
States Department of the Interior,  Bureau of Land Management, to                                                               
honor the recent  lease sales and proceed with  permitting in the                                                               
Arctic  National Wildlife  Refuge;  urging the  President of  the                                                               
United States  to defend  the 2020  Record of  Decision approving                                                               
the  Coastal Plain  Oil and  Gas  Leasing Program  in the  Arctic                                                               
National  Wildlife Refuge;  opposing  designation  of the  Arctic                                                               
National Wildlife Refuge  as a National Monument;  and urging the                                                               
Alaska delegation  in Congress  to uphold sec.  20001 of  the Tax                                                               
Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017."                                                                                                     
2:10:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER,  as prime  sponsor of HJR  12, explained                                                               
the  resolution   requests  continuation  of  the   oil  and  gas                                                               
development  program  in  the  Arctic  National  Wildlife  Refuge                                                               
(ANWR) that was  recently put on hold.  When  the Alaska National                                                               
Interest Lands Conservation  Act (ANILCA) was signed  into law in                                                               
1980, he said,  Congress itself reserved the right  to permit oil                                                               
and gas  development and production  on the Coastal  Plain ["1002                                                               
Area"] of  the refuge.   Within days of  the first lease  sale in                                                               
January  2021  President  Biden placed  the  entire  leasing  and                                                               
development program on hold, and HJR  12 urges a reversal of that                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER related that  the resolution implores the                                                               
U.S. Department  of Interior Bureau  of Land Management  (BLM) to                                                               
honor the  recent Coastal Plain  oil and gas leasing  program and                                                               
to proceed with  permitting in the 1002 Area of  the refuge.  The                                                               
resolution also  asks President Biden's administration  to defend                                                               
the BLM's  2020 Record  of Decision  approving the  Coastal Plain                                                               
oil  and gas  leasing.   The  resolution asks  that  when BLM  is                                                               
considering  and taking  action on  the leasing  program that  it                                                               
take into  account the long  history of safe and  responsible oil                                                               
and gas development  on the North Slope, as well  as the enormous                                                               
benefits that the development in  the refuge could bring to North                                                               
Slope residents, the state of Alaska, and the nation.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER said  HJR 12 also states  that the Alaska                                                               
State Legislature  opposes any effort  to employ  the Antiquities                                                               
Act  to  designate  the  Arctic National  Wildlife  Refuge  as  a                                                               
national  monument.   It  implores  President  Biden to  take  an                                                               
approach of  consultation and engagement in  these decisions that                                                               
affect  the state,  local communities,  Alaska Native  tribes and                                                               
entities, and  residents.  The  resolution urges  President Biden                                                               
to immediately  rescind the provisions  of Executive  Order 13990                                                               
pertaining to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER noted  that  while  the Arctic  National                                                               
Wildlife  Refuge  isn't  in  his   district,  he  worked  on  the                                                               
resolution's  language with  Chair Patkotak  whose district  does                                                               
include the  refuge and  the North  Slope.   He stressed  that he                                                               
believes this is a state's rights  issue as well as a jobs issue.                                                               
Development within the  refuge could create tens  of thousands of                                                               
jobs across the country and thousands of jobs within Alaska.                                                                    
2:15:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK opened invited testimony.                                                                                        
2:15:17 PM                                                                                                                    
KARA MORIARTY, President and CEO,  Alaska Oil and Gas Association                                                               
(AOGA), testified  in support  of HJR 12.   She  paraphrased from                                                               
the following written statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     AOGA  is the  professional  trade  association for  the                                                                    
     industry and  we appreciate the opportunity  to testify                                                                    
     today  on  House  Joint  Resolution  12  (HJR12).  This                                                                    
     resolution   provides  specific   recommendations  that                                                                    
     honors the  commitment of  ANILCA and  the will  of the                                                                    
     majority of  Alaskans who support the  safe development                                                                    
     of the  Coastal Plain  of the Arctic  National Wildlife                                                                    
     Refuge (ANWR).                                                                                                             
     The  sponsor  did  a  very  nice  job  summarizing  the                                                                    
     specific  actions that  need to  continue  to occur  to                                                                    
     keeping  ANWR   as  a   viable  option   for  long-term                                                                    
     development of our oil and gas resources.                                                                                  
     The Arctic National Refuge was  expanded from 9 million                                                                    
     acres  to over  19 million  acres with  the passage  of                                                                    
     ANILCA in  1980, with over  90 [percent] of  the region                                                                    
     permanently protected  as wilderness.  However, section                                                                    
     1002  of  ANILCA  specifically   states  that  a  small                                                                    
     portion of  the Coastal  Plain would  be set  aside for                                                                    
     future oil  and gas  development. There was  always the                                                                    
     intent that  oil and  gas could occur  one day.  It was                                                                    
     part of one of the many compromises of ANILCA.                                                                             
     The Tax  Act of 2017,  referenced in HJR12,  does limit                                                                    
     development to  2,000 acres.  To give  you perspective,                                                                    
     the  Dulles  International  Airport  in  DC  is  12,000                                                                    
     acres,  and  right  here in  Alaska,  the  Ted  Stevens                                                                    
     International Airport is just over 4,600 acres.                                                                            
     So,  why   are  even   discussing  more  oil   and  gas                                                                    
     development down the road?  The U.S. Energy Information                                                                    
     Administration (EIA) predicts  that, by 2050, petroleum                                                                    
     and  other  liquids will  continue  to  supply over  50                                                                    
     [percent]  of  the  energy  and  fuels  in  the  United                                                                    
     States,  and  the International  Energy  Administration                                                                    
     (IEA) has a similar prediction for global demand.                                                                          
     So, if the demand for oil  and gas is going to be there                                                                    
     at least 30 years from  now, why the Coastal Plain? The                                                                    
     federal  government has  described the  potential 10-11                                                                    
     billion barrels of  oil recovery from the  1002 Area as                                                                    
     the  most  significant  oil  potential  in  the  United                                                                    
     States.  And  while  market conditions  and  regulatory                                                                    
     risk  that currently  exist were  the likely  causes of                                                                    
     the  lack of  interest  from our  members  in the  2021                                                                    
     January lease  sale, the fact remains  that the Coastal                                                                    
     Plain  is still  the  largest onshore  play on  federal                                                                    
     land  in the  entire  country. And  it  is a  long-term                                                                    
     play.  Just  because   companies  did  not  demonstrate                                                                    
     interest two  months ago,  does not mean  it is  not an                                                                    
     important  component  of  energy supply  for  years  to                                                                    
     In  fact, in  2018  the EIA  estimated that  production                                                                    
     from the Coastal Plain, if  it were to occur from 2031-                                                                    
     2050, could  reduce U.S. expenditures on  crude oil and                                                                    
     petroleum products imports by almost $600 billion.                                                                         
     One  of the  last things  I would  like to  stress, and                                                                    
     would like  to stress  the most,  is that  Alaska's oil                                                                    
     and gas industry has a  history of safe, effective, and                                                                    
     environmentally responsible  development of  the Arctic                                                                    
     spanning over five decades.  Development today does not                                                                    
     occur the  same way  as it  did 40 years  ago.   In the                                                                    
     1970's, a typical  oil pad would be about  65 acres and                                                                    
     the  drilling  areas  underground  would  extend  about                                                                    
     three  miles. Today,  the surface  area  has shrunk  to                                                                    
     about  12-14   acres,  but  with  the   advancement  of                                                                    
     technologies and cutting-edge  drilling techniques that                                                                    
     are  often  pioneered  in   Alaska,  the  drilling  now                                                                    
     extends to  up to 55  miles underground. But,  with the                                                                    
     advancement  of  a  brand-new  drilling  rig  owned  by                                                                    
     Alaska Native  Corporation Doyon, commonly  referred to                                                                    
     as  "The Beast",  Alaska  is now  home  to the  largest                                                                    
     extended  reach drilling  rig  in  North America.  Now,                                                                    
     drilling can expand  another 100 miles, for  a total of                                                                    
     154  square miles  underground while  still maintaining                                                                    
     only about a 14-acre gravel pad on the surface.                                                                            
     Eventual  development  of  the Coastal  Plain  will  be                                                                    
     safe, be  good for  the country,  and will  continue to                                                                    
     build  upon  the jobs  and  revenues  the industry  has                                                                    
     contributed  to  the  State  and  the  local  area  for                                                                    
2:21:00 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM WALSH, Past President (2020), Alaska Support Industry                                                                       
Alliance, testified  in support of  HJR 12.  He  paraphrased from                                                               
the following written statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     Thank you  for the opportunity to  provide testimony on                                                                    
     this resolution  today on behalf of  the Alaska Support                                                                    
     Industry Alliance,  an organization  of which I  am the                                                                    
     immediate Past  President. The  Alliance is  an Alaskan                                                                    
     Trade  Organization   whose  mission  is    To  promote                                                                    
     responsible exploration, development  and production of                                                                    
     oil, gas and  mineral resources for the  benefit of all                                                                    
     The Alliance  has a membership  of 500+  businesses and                                                                    
     individuals, who  in total employ over  30,000 workers.                                                                    
     Alliance education  and advocacy  efforts focus  on our                                                                    
     mission  by   providing  substantiated,   credible  and                                                                    
     valuable information  for our members, the  public, and                                                                    
     decision-makers, such  as yourselves.  I am  honored to                                                                    
     inform you  today that the  subject resolution  is very                                                                    
     much aligned with the  Alliance mission and objectives,                                                                    
     and I  appreciate this opportunity  to outline  some of                                                                    
     the significant areas of alignment.                                                                                        
     The    resolution     is    comprehensive     in    its                                                                    
     characterization  of the  many reasons  why exploration                                                                    
     and development  of ANWR are important  to Alaskans and                                                                    
     the  citizens of  the United  States, and  supports the                                                                    
     fact  that   the  activity  has   been  congressionally                                                                    
     authorized, and  is supported  broadly by  Alaskans. In                                                                    
     fact, it  is critical to Alaskans,  given the declining                                                                    
     oil  production and  associated revenue  stream to  the                                                                    
     State. The  text of  the resolution  covers all  of the                                                                    
     key  areas aligned  with the  Alliance mission,  but it                                                                    
     would require more than my  allocated 5 minutes just to                                                                    
     read the  text. Therefore, I  will summarize a  few key                                                                    
     points in my testimony.                                                                                                    
     As  we  all know,  the  State  of Alaska  is  extremely                                                                    
     dependent on  revenue gained from taxes  and royalty on                                                                    
     oil production  from our declining asset  base. Natural                                                                    
     decline  of   oil  production  has   been  aggressively                                                                    
     mitigated  by  our  industry partners  through  massive                                                                    
     drilling,   enhanced   recovery,  and   deployment   of                                                                    
     innovative  and   evolving  technology.  The   cost  of                                                                    
     producing a  barrel of  oil in  Alaska has  always been                                                                    
     challenging  in comparison  to  most other  hydrocarbon                                                                    
     provinces, although  our giant field size  has provided                                                                    
     some relief  through economies of  scale. As  our giant                                                                    
     fields   decline,    and   overall    production   rate                                                                    
     diminishes, those  economies of scale no  longer apply.                                                                    
     Simply  put, we  need  more oil  production to  sustain                                                                    
     commercial   viability.   Successful  exploration   and                                                                    
     production from ANWR  can play a key  role in extending                                                                    
     oil throughput to  TAPS [Trans-Alaska Pipeline System],                                                                    
     and in supporting Alaska's economic engine.                                                                                
     Energy Independence                                                                                                        
     The  United States  has remarkably  reached a  point of                                                                    
     energy independence,  largely based on a  resurgence of                                                                    
     oil and  gas production in  the Lower 48  shale basins.                                                                    
     This energy  independence is fragile  and may  prove to                                                                    
     be  fleeting in  light of  economic and  sociopolitical                                                                    
     changes[.]  The  fact  remains that  our  productivity,                                                                    
     economic  health, and  prosperity as  a nation  rely on                                                                    
     affordable  energy.  There  is no  doubt  that  climate                                                                    
     change  impacts will  require a  paradigm shift  in our                                                                    
     energy  production and  consumption,  but  there is  no                                                                    
     light  switch to  turn on  renewable energy.  A logical                                                                    
     and  structured transition  from carbon-based  fuels to                                                                    
     carbon-neutral  will require  a logical  and structured                                                                    
     effort to reduce carbon release  while we transition to                                                                    
     the  next source  of energy.  Alaska can  play a  major                                                                    
     role in this transition, based  on our vast natural gas                                                                    
     resources, and  our carbon  sequestration opportunities                                                                    
     in  depleted subsurface  reservoirs. Oil  production at                                                                    
     ANWR could  help as a  bridge to access to  our natural                                                                    
     gas resources, and  eventually to gas commercialization                                                                    
     of natural gas at ANWR  and across the North Slope. The                                                                    
     U.S.   Geological   Survey  has   estimated   potential                                                                    
     reserves of nearly 8 billion  barrels of oil, and 7 TCF                                                                    
     [trillion cubic feet]  of gas in the  subsurface of the                                                                    
     Coastal Plain of ANWR.                                                                                                     
2:25:06 PM                                                                                                                    
     Alaska  and  the  nation  are  suffering  from  massive                                                                    
     unemployment due  to the pandemic, magnified  in Alaska                                                                    
     by the  collapse in oil  price. We are just  now seeing                                                                    
     some  recovery  in  oil  price, but  we  all  know  how                                                                    
     reliable that  trend has proven  to be. We have  yet to                                                                    
     see  recovery  in energy  sector  jobs  in Alaska,  and                                                                    
     Alliance  member  companies  and  their  employees  are                                                                    
     impacted  particularly severely.  Jobs associated  with                                                                    
     exploration  and  development  of ANWR  resources  will                                                                    
     have significant  positive impact for our  members, and                                                                    
     indeed the benefit to the  State of Alaska and the U.S.                                                                    
     jobs market  will be significant,  as evidenced  by the                                                                    
     activity  associated with  oil  development across  the                                                                    
     North  Slope of  Alaska [historically].  We desperately                                                                    
     need this jobs  engine to help our return  to a healthy                                                                    
     employment environment.                                                                                                    
     Environmental Stewardship                                                                                                  
     Alliance  companies have  helped  the  oil industry  in                                                                    
     Alaska to be leaders  in safe and environmentally sound                                                                    
     exploration and development of oil  and gas on a global                                                                    
     level. We  strongly believe  that Alaskans  can explore                                                                    
     for,  develop,  and  produce  oil and  gas  in  a  more                                                                    
     prudent,  safe  and  environmentally  sensitive  manner                                                                    
     than anyone  in the world.  The Alliance is  working to                                                                    
     brand  this   record  of  safety   and  environmentally                                                                    
     sensitive  development on  behalf  of  our industry  in                                                                    
     Alaska, and the industry  has long recognized Alaska as                                                                    
     a  training  ground  for  their  global  operations  in                                                                    
     minimizing   impact  and   footprint  associated   with                                                                    
     oilfield development.  We can  develop and  produce oil                                                                    
     and gas from ANWR's  Coastal Plain with minimal impact,                                                                    
     and with a  tiny footprint. We have  proved this across                                                                    
     the North Slope of Alaska.                                                                                                 
     Access to Resources                                                                                                        
     A fundamental premise of the  resolution is that Alaska                                                                    
     and Alaskans have a right  to benefit from our resource                                                                    
     wealth,  but  we  can't benefit  from  what  we  cannot                                                                    
     access.   Alaska  is   a  resource   state,  from   our                                                                    
     significant   mineral   resources   to   our   abundant                                                                    
     fisheries, our spectacular natural  beauty, and our oil                                                                    
     and  gas  opportunities.  We need  to  develop  a  more                                                                    
     diverse  economy,   no  doubt,   but  we   rely  almost                                                                    
     exclusively on  extraction of our natural  resources to                                                                    
     drive our economy, and we  have since before Statehood.                                                                    
     It is rational  for Alaskans to expect  to benefit from                                                                    
     the natural  resources with  which we've  been blessed,                                                                    
     and it  is reasonable  for us to  have access  to those                                                                    
     resources and  associated jobs  and revenue  whether on                                                                    
     state, federal or private  lands. This resolution makes                                                                    
     a clear case  for that access. As  stated earlier, this                                                                    
     resolution  is   aligned  with  Alliance   mission  and                                                                    
     objectives, and I believe  submittal of this resolution                                                                    
     to the  identified parties is not  only appropriate but                                                                    
     required to  help make Alaskan's  voices heard  in this                                                                    
     critical time.                                                                                                             
2:28:12 PM                                                                                                                    
KATI CAPOZZI, President & CEO, Alaska Chamber of Commerce,                                                                      
testified in support of HJR 12.  She spoke as follows:                                                                          
     The Alaska Chamber was founded  in 1953 and our mission                                                                    
     is to  advocate for  a healthy business  environment in                                                                    
     Alaska.   The  chamber has  more than  700 members  and                                                                    
     represents businesses of all  sizes and industries from                                                                    
     across the state.                                                                                                          
     The Alaska  Chamber thanks you  for introducing  HJR 12                                                                    
     and enthusiastically supports HJR  12.  Our top federal                                                                    
     priority at the  chamber for years has  been to support                                                                    
     oil  and gas  exploration and  development in  Alaska's                                                                    
     federal areas  and to encourage and  support the Alaska                                                                    
     Legislature  to   strongly  advocate   for  responsible                                                                    
     development of these valuable resources.                                                                                   
     Our  reason  for  prioritizing this  issue  is  simple.                                                                    
     Developing  the   1002  Area  of  ANWR   would  provide                                                                    
     incredible  opportunity  for all  Alaskans,  especially                                                                    
     economic  opportunities.   Responsible  development  in                                                                    
     the  1002 Area  would  provide an  invaluable boost  to                                                                    
     America's  energy   security  and  bring   much  needed                                                                    
     economic growth potential  to Alaska at a  time when we                                                                    
     need  it most.   Our  iconic pipeline  also desperately                                                                    
     needs new oil the ANWR development could provide.                                                                          
     ANWR has  incredible potential for  oil and gas    more                                                                    
     than 10  billion barrels by some  government estimates.                                                                    
     For  reference,  the  Trans-Alaska Pipeline  has  moved                                                                    
     just more than 17 billion  barrels of oil since startup                                                                    
     more than 40  years ago.  So the  resource potential in                                                                    
     ANWR  is truly  incredible.   A  project  the size  and                                                                    
     scope  of ANWR  would create  thousands of  high-paying                                                                    
     jobs  for  Alaskans.    In  addition,  with  the  Point                                                                    
     Thomson development fully operational  just to the west                                                                    
     of ANWR, the 1002 Area  is closer than ever to existing                                                                    
     infrastructure  and could  feed into  TAPS with  a much                                                                    
     smaller footprint than in years past.                                                                                      
     The  Alaska  Chamber  was   pleased  to  see  potential                                                                    
     development of ANWR making  historic progress in recent                                                                    
     years.     However,  with   a  new   administration  in                                                                    
     Washington,  DC, ANWR's  future  is less  certain.   We                                                                    
     appreciate and applaud  the joint resolution's sponsors                                                                    
     for sending a strong  bi-partisan signal of support for                                                                    
     maintaining  that  momentum  and  hope  our  collective                                                                    
     Alaskan  voices make  a  difference  to federal  policy                                                                    
     Last  but not  least,  the  Alaska Chamber's  statewide                                                                    
     scientific  polling of  Alaskans  attitudes about  ANWR                                                                    
     continually show the vast  majority of Alaskans support                                                                    
     opening  a  small  portion  of  ANWR  to  oil  and  gas                                                                    
     development.   Two-thirds  of Alaskans  support it  and                                                                    
     they have for decades.                                                                                                     
     We thank  you for introducing a  resolution that stands                                                                    
     to  improve the  business  climate and  to create  jobs                                                                    
     here in  Alaska at  a time  when we  need it  more than                                                                    
     ever, and we offer our full support.                                                                                       
2:31:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MARLEANNA HALL, Executive  Director, Resource Development Council                                                               
for Alaska (RDC),  testified in support of HJR 12.   She said RDC                                                               
is a statewide business association  comprised of individuals and                                                               
companies from  Alaska's oil and gas,  fishing, forestry, mining,                                                               
and tourism industries.  She continued as follows:                                                                              
     Our  membership  includes   all  12  landowning  Alaska                                                                    
     Native   corporations,  local   communities,  organized                                                                    
     labor,  industry   support  firms,  and   thousands  of                                                                    
     Alaskans   supporting    responsible   development   of                                                                    
     Alaska's natural resources.                                                                                                
     I am  here today to  express strong support for  HJR 12                                                                    
     as it supports the oil  and gas lease program that will                                                                    
     allow  limited   activity  within   the  non-wilderness                                                                    
     portion of the Coastal Plain of ANWR.                                                                                      
     ...  This   legislation  well  describes   measures  to                                                                    
     properly  address ANILCA  and  the  intent to  preserve                                                                    
     areas   in  the   Coastal  Plain   for   oil  and   gas                                                                    
     development.   Further, it is  important that  we allow                                                                    
     for   the   eventual   development,   production,   and                                                                    
     transportation of oil  and gas in and  from the Coastal                                                                    
     Plain that  would meet the requirements  established by                                                                    
     Alaska depends  on the  responsible development  of its                                                                    
     natural resources  to expand  and support  our economy.                                                                    
     Alaskans  statewide have  long  supported  oil and  gas                                                                    
     exploration and development in the  Coastal Plain.  ...                                                                    
     Polling has  consistently shown 70 percent  of Alaskans                                                                    
     in support  of development of energy  resources beneath                                                                    
     the 1002  Area.  In  addition, local residents  and the                                                                    
     Inupiat people  who actually live adjacent  to the 1002                                                                    
     Area have also demonstrated support for development.                                                                       
     However, we recognize there  are special interests that                                                                    
     are  opposed to  any further  development of  America's                                                                    
     energy  resources.   They advocate  for leaving  oil in                                                                    
     the  ground, but  even  in the  era  of climate  change                                                                    
     reality  requires  continued development  of  America's                                                                    
     oil  and  gas  resources.    While  ...  renewable  and                                                                    
     alternative energy will make up  a growing part of U.S.                                                                    
     energy portfolio, it will  not significantly reduce our                                                                    
     reliance on  oil in  the near  or mid  term.   We don't                                                                    
     deny renewable  energy as a  growing part  of America's                                                                    
     portfolio, but  it is still  only projected  to account                                                                    
     for a minority of American energy production in 2040.                                                                      
     ...  New oil  and gas  production will  be required  to                                                                    
     power America's energy and can  serve as a bridge until                                                                    
     renewable energy becomes a  more dominant energy source                                                                    
     decades  into the  future.   Every  barrel  of oil  not                                                                    
     developed in Alaska or America  will simply be imported                                                                    
     from  overseas  where   environmental  regulations  are                                                                    
     often  weaker.    To further  reduce  our  reliance  on                                                                    
     foreign  sources  of  oil,  America  must  continue  to                                                                    
     pursue responsible oil and  gas development onshore and                                                                    
     offshore  Alaska.    New  production  would  provide  a                                                                    
     bridge to the alternative  and renewable energy sources                                                                    
     of the future.                                                                                                             
     Oil  development on  a fraction  of  the Coastal  Plain                                                                    
     would  create  thousands  of  jobs  nationwide  and  in                                                                    
     Alaska,  generate  billions  of dollars  in  government                                                                    
     revenues  for  all  public services,  ...  and  further                                                                    
     improve energy  security for  decades into  the future.                                                                    
     Not only  does Alaska need  oil and gas  development on                                                                    
     the Coastal  Plain, but the  rest of the  United States                                                                    
     would  benefit  from  it too.    Let's  fuel  America's                                                                    
     future with ANWR.                                                                                                          
2:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MATTHEW  REXFORD,   President,  Kaktovik   Inupiat  Corporation;,                                                               
Tribal Administrator,,  Native Village of Kaktovik,  testified in                                                               
support of  HJR 12.   He paraphrased  from the  following written                                                               
statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
     My  name  is  Matthew   Rexford  and  I  represent  the                                                                    
     community of  Kaktovik, the  only community  inside the                                                                    
     Arctic National  Wildlife Refuge,  known as  ANWR (also                                                                    
     known  and  referred  to  as   the  Refuge),  but  more                                                                    
     importantly Kaktovik  is the only community  inside the                                                                    
     Coastal Plain area  of ANWR   the area  covered by your                                                                    
     Resolution. In  many ways, I  find it  frustrating that                                                                    
     ANWR is still an issue  of public debate   my community                                                                    
     has supported oil and gas  leasing in the Coastal Plain                                                                    
     for many decades and it was  not until the Tax Cuts and                                                                    
     Jobs  Act of  2017 that  we  were able  to realize  our                                                                    
     vision. I  have to admit  that I am  extreme frustrated                                                                    
     that   it   took   seventeen  paragraphs   before   the                                                                    
     Kaktovikmiut are even mentioned in  HJR No. 12 and that                                                                    
     caribou  are  mentioned  before  the  people.  You  are                                                                    
     speaking of my homeland,  our children have been raised                                                                    
     in this  region and our  ancestors are buried  here. It                                                                    
     seems that the Kaktovikmiut,  my people, continue to be                                                                    
     overlooked between  the arguments over oil  and gas and                                                                    
     Caribou  which in  many  national  discussions we  have                                                                    
     been  erased-  yet  ANWR would  not  have  been  opened                                                                    
     without our efforts.                                                                                                       
     Despite  my frustration,  I am  speaking today  to urge                                                                    
     you to  support HJR No. 12  and to state that  by doing                                                                    
     so you  will support  the Kaktovikmiut in  the farthest                                                                    
     northeast corner  of the State. We  oppose any attempts                                                                    
     to designate ANWR  as a National Monument.  I will keep                                                                    
     my  comments brief  because our  list of  grievances is                                                                    
     Our  community  has  continually  been  caught  between                                                                    
     federal actions  that impactour ability to  realize our                                                                    
     visions  of  a  vibrant  and  sustainable  future.  The                                                                    
     Alaska  Native Claims  Settlement Act  of 1974  (ANCSA)                                                                    
     was supposed to allow  our Kaktovik I?upiat Corporation                                                                    
     (KIC)  the economic  freedoms to  develop its  lands to                                                                    
     benefit our  community. However, ANCSA was  followed by                                                                    
     the  passage  of  the Alaska  National  Interest  Lands                                                                    
     Conservation Act  of [1980] (ANILCA)  which compromised                                                                    
     KIC's  ability   to  access  and  develop   its  lands.                                                                    
     Kaktovik did not want to be  an island in the middle of                                                                    
     a Refuge  but it happened  anyway. Having lived  in the                                                                    
     Refuge since  ANILCA I  am here to  tell you  that life                                                                    
     has been  difficult, and the federal  management agency                                                                    
     has  not  performed  its  duty   to  our  community  as                                                                    
     required. We  would not expect  that to change  if ANWR                                                                    
     was designated a national monument.                                                                                        
     By example, in February 2020,  our school burned to the                                                                    
     ground. We  immediately applied for an  overland permit                                                                    
     to  move temporary  school modules  across the  coastal                                                                    
     plain    as an in-holder  of the Refuge we  have rights                                                                    
     under ANILCA  that were not  provided to us. As  a last                                                                    
     minute  stop-gap measure  we  were forced  to move  the                                                                    
     modules over  the sea-ice to our  community which added                                                                    
     significant   risk   to    the   transport   operation.                                                                    
     Representative Patkotak,  you understand  the challenge                                                                    
     that we faced as a  community to achieve moving modules                                                                    
     before we  lost the  sea ice  route. This  represents a                                                                    
     failure  by  the  Refuge   land  management  agency  to                                                                    
     acknowledge our rights.                                                                                                    
     We  support oil  and gas  development not  only on  our                                                                    
     lands but on the adjacent  federal lands to provide for                                                                    
     economic opportunities  to our people through  jobs and                                                                    
     new business  development. Our tribe,  corporation, and                                                                    
     city government  all actively participated not  only in                                                                    
     the   public  process,   but  also   in  government-to-                                                                    
     government  consultation, of  the Environmental  Impact                                                                    
     Statement   (EIS)   performed   the  Bureau   of   Land                                                                    
     Management   (BLM)  development   and  supported   full                                                                    
     leasing   of  the   entire  Coastal   Plain  with   the                                                                    
     mitigations and stipulation presented  in the Record of                                                                    
     Decision.  Potential development  of the  coastal plain                                                                    
     is  not only  important  for Kaktovik'  s economy,  but                                                                    
     also    critical    for    the    long-term    economic                                                                    
     sustainability of  our municipal government,  the North                                                                    
     Slope  Borough  (NSB).  Without the  services  the  NSB                                                                    
     provides  Kaktovik,  and  the other  seven  communities                                                                    
     within the North Slope of  Alaska would still be living                                                                    
     in third-world  conditions. The life expectancy  of the                                                                    
     I?upiat  has increased  13-years  since development  of                                                                    
     oil within our region due  to the borough providing for                                                                    
     clean water  and sanitation in our  communities. We can                                                                    
     not turn  the clock back    we  are part of  the United                                                                    
     States and  demand first world  amenities and  until we                                                                    
     find  something  else to  provide  for  our health  and                                                                    
     economic  well-being  we  are  fundamentally  a  people                                                                    
     dependent on  resource development.  We have  been able                                                                    
     to come  to terms with  that paradox while at  the same                                                                    
     time   providing   appropriate   protections   to   our                                                                    
     subsistence  resources and  the lands  and waters  they                                                                    
     are dependent on.                                                                                                          
     We  recognize that  exploration is  the first  phase of                                                                    
     opportunity for our community  I  am sure that you have                                                                    
     seen in  the press last week  surrounding our inability                                                                    
     to  receive permits  to  perform  a low-impact  seismic                                                                    
     program over  our lands. Seismic  is an  important step                                                                    
     to  determine  whether  there are  potential  drillable                                                                    
     targets for oil and gas.  Due to our location, this was                                                                    
     an  important project  to  identify  local natural  gas                                                                    
     targets that  could be developed as  a long-term energy                                                                    
     resource and move our community  away from its reliance                                                                    
     of diesel  and our  only energy source.  However, again                                                                    
     we were thwarted by the  federal government to progress                                                                    
     toward a sustainable future.                                                                                               
     Again, I  request that you  support HJR No. 12.  I will                                                                    
     also leave  you with  this request and  that is  to not                                                                    
     forget  about the  people, my  people,  in the  future.                                                                    
     Thank you for your time and invitation.                                                                                    
2:41:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR PATKOTAK held over HJR 12 and stated that public testimony                                                                
would be taken at the resolution's next hearing.                                                                                
2:42:46 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:43 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 12 Supporting Document ADN Editorial 3.1.2021.pdf HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/10/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR 12 Testimony Matthew Rexford Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation 2.28.2021.pdf HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/10/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR 12 Letter of Support AIDEA 3.2.2021.pdf HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR 12 Sponsor Statement 2.22.2021.pdf HRES 3/1/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/10/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR 12 Research AOGA Statement on Federal Leasing Ban 01.27.2021.pdf HRES 3/1/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/10/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12
Dept. of Environmental Conservation Presentation for HRES.pdf HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
DEC Overview
HJR 12 FN NA.pdf HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/10/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR 12 Testimony AOGA 3.8.2021.pdf HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/10/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12
HJR 12 Testimony Tom Walsh AK Support Industry Alliance 3.8.2021.pdf HRES 3/8/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/10/2021 1:00:00 PM
HJR 12