HB 399: "An Act establishing a health impact assessment program in the Department of Health and Social Services; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 399 01 "An Act establishing a health impact assessment program in the Department of Health 02 and Social Services; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 18.07 is amended by adding new sections to read: 05 Article 7A. Health Impact Assessment Program. 06 Sec. 18.07.200. Health impact assessment program established. (a) A health 07 impact assessment program is established in the department for the purpose of 08 promoting healthy communities, eliminating health disparities among communities, 09 and protecting the human environment. Components of the program include 10 (1) an advisory committee made up of individuals with specialized 11 knowledge of health impact assessment and environmental impact analysis, appointed 12 by the commissioner; 13 (2) development of a health impact assessment; 14 (3) procedures for requesting, applying for, reviewing, taking public
01 comment on, and appealing a certificate of health impact; 02 (4) establishment of an acceptable health risk standard for purposes of 03 issuing or denying a certificate of health impact; 04 (5) establishment of a community health index for use in the health 05 impact assessment procedure; and 06 (6) a procedure for enhanced public notification of and involvement in 07 developing community health awareness and mitigation options. 08 (b) The department shall adopt regulations necessary to carry out the purposes 09 of the program and to establish an application fee and procedure for conducting health 10 impact assessments. 11 Sec. 18.07.210. Certificate of health impact required; exceptions. (a) 12 Except as provided in (c) of this section, and in addition to other environmental 13 assessments required by state and federal law, a person may not begin construction or 14 development of a project that requires an environmental assessment or an 15 environmental impact statement for effects on air, water, and soil quality under 16 another state or federal law and that is situated within a one-mile radius of a 17 vulnerable community as determined by the commissioner, unless the person receives 18 a certificate of health impact or a waiver under AS 18.07.200 - 18.07.290. 19 (b) Before the department may issue a certificate of health impact to a project, 20 the department shall develop and publish a community health index under 21 AS 18.07.220 for the area within a one-mile radius of the proposed project. 22 (c) This section does not apply to a project that is identified by the 23 commissioner of environmental conservation as a project that is 24 (1) in response to an emergency declared by the governor; 25 (2) a remediation project; 26 (3) for the treatment or disposal of wastewater or sewage sludge. 27 Sec. 18.07.220. Community health index. (a) The department shall, in 28 consultation with the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of 29 Natural Resources, and the Health Impact Assessment Advisory Committee, develop 30 and publish a community health index for each health unit established under 31 AS 18.10.010 - 18.10.260. The index shall be a cumulative evaluation of the health of
01 a community in the state that is based on community health outcome indicators that 02 are based on community rates of disease and premature death and that ranks 03 communities according to the average outcomes for the entire state. The index must 04 take into consideration the following factors: 05 (1) primary indicators of the vulnerability of the community to health 06 effects from sources of air, water, or soil contamination that include 07 (A) total age-adjusted mortality; 08 (B) total age-adjusted emergency room visits; 09 (C) the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels in children 13 10 years of age or younger; 11 (D) the number of hospital admissions related to asthma; 12 (E) the prevalence of asthma in children who are 14 years of 13 age or younger; 14 (F) the infant mortality rate; 15 (2) secondary indicators of the vulnerability of the community to 16 health effects from sources of air, water, or soil contamination that include 17 (A) the total age-adjusted noncongenital cardiovascular disease 18 and stroke morbidity; 19 (B) the total age-adjusted heart attack hospitalizations; 20 (C) the total age-adjusted stroke and stroke-related 21 hospitalizations; 22 (D) the total bronchitis and bronchitis-related hospitalizations 23 of children who are 14 years of age or younger and of adults who are 65 years 24 of age and older; 25 (3) other health indicators in the community that include 26 (A) other health outcome indicators determined by the 27 commissioner to be relevant to a community's vulnerability to pollutants; 28 (B) environmental indicators, including air and water quality 29 data. 30 (b) The community health index shall be reviewed and updated at least once 31 every five years.
01 Sec. 18.07.230. Health impact assessment; notice; waiver. (a) Within 30 02 days after receiving notification of a proposed project and before issuing a certificate 03 of health impact as required under AS 18.07.210, the department shall notify the 04 contact person for the project of the requirements under AS 18.07.200 - 18.07.290 and 05 publish notice of the availability of a health impact assessment to the affected 06 community. 07 (b) The department shall provide public notice of the availability of a health 08 impact assessment and a certificate of health impact to the community located within a 09 one-mile radius of the proposed project. The notice shall be published in a newspaper 10 of general circulation, posted at the site of the proposed project, and published on a 11 public Internet website used for that purpose. The notice must include the statement 12 that a member of the community may request a health impact assessment and the 13 procedure for making the request. 14 (c) If the department receives 10 or more requests from members of the 15 affected community for a health impact assessment within 30 days after posting the 16 public notice, the department shall immediately notify the contact person for the 17 project of the required health impact assessment and certificate of health impact before 18 beginning construction of the project. 19 (d) Within 90 days after the notice provided under (c) of this section, the 20 department shall either issue or deny a certificate of health impact to the proposed 21 project based on a qualitative review of the health impact assessment and a 22 determination of the acceptable health risk level as described in regulations adopted by 23 the department. If issuance of the certificate is denied, the department shall provide 24 notification of the appeal procedures established by regulation. 25 (e) A health impact assessment must include, at a minimum, a determination 26 of 27 (1) evidence of the anticipated relationship between the proposed 28 project and the health index of the community, including a description of the persons 29 whose health is most likely affected by the project and the cumulative health effects 30 that may result from the project; 31 (2) the opinions, experience, and expectations of residents of the
01 affected community; 02 (3) information and analysis of the potential health effects resulting 03 from the proposed project; 04 (4) other information the commissioner determines to be relevant. 05 (f) If the department does not receive at least 10 requests to conduct a health 06 impact assessment, the department shall issue a waiver of the requirement for a 07 certificate of health impact for the proposed project. 08 Sec. 18.05.240. Agency notification of project. A state agency acting as the 09 lead agency on a project located in the state that may result in effects on air, water, or 10 soil quality of the state shall provide the department with notification, including a 11 description of, the location of, and contact information for the project, within 30 days 12 after receiving an application for the project. 13 Sec. 18.05.290. Definitions. In AS 18.05.200 - 18.05.290, 14 (1) "community" means the persons who reside or work in a 15 designated health unit under AS 18.10.010 - 18.10.260; 16 (2) "department" means the Department of Health and Social Services; 17 (3) "lead agency" means a state agency that is designated by law as the 18 primary decision-making authority in the state for a project that affects the 19 environment of the state. 20 * Sec. 2. This Act takes effect July 1, 2012.