Legislature(2003 - 2004)
2004-02-26 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2004-02-26 House Journal Page 2754 HB 524 HOUSE BILL NO. 524 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act relating to the protection of land and water from waste disposal; providing for the regulation of waste management; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Resources Committee. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Zero, Dept. of Environmental Conservation The Governor's transmittal letter dated February 25, 2004, follows: "Dear Speaker Kott: Under the authority of article III, section 18, of the Alaska Constitution, and in the interest of reducing duplication in and otherwise improving regulatory processes, I am transmitting a bill relating to regulation of waste management and disposal that would: 1. reorganize and supplement existing statutory authority to provide flexibility in the regulatory tools used to control the treatment and disposal of waste; 2. streamline certain aspects of the permitting process; and 3. provide explicit statutory authority for proof of financial responsibility for certain types of municipal solid waste and mining waste treatment and disposal facilities. Under existing state law, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulates a broad universe of waste and wastewater disposal activities. In addition to regulating discharges to surface waters, the DEC regulates discharges to groundwater and the disposal of solid and liquid wastes on land. The existing statutory authority for these regulatory programs is drawn from several sections 2004-02-26 House Journal Page 2755 of AS 46.03, some providing broad, general powers and others prescribing detailed requirements. These statutory authorities do not provide adequate regulatory tools for efficient regulation of waste treatment and disposal. This bill would change the existing statutory authority for a waste disposal permit program (AS 46.03.100) by reorganizing and supplementing it. That reorganized section would preserve the essential requirement to obtain authorization before conducting an operation that results in waste disposal. The bill would allow for the needed authorization to take one of several forms, providing flexibility to use regulatory tools other than the individual and general permits contemplated by the current law, in addition to those permits. The bill would provide for stakeholder participation in that even the simplest of the regulatory tools would include notice and comment regulation adoption. The changes proposed to existing AS 46.03.100 would address requirements for proof of financial responsibility for certain types of waste treatment or disposal facilities. Current law explicitly requires such proof only for permits to dispose of hazardous waste. This bill would refocus the requirement on solid waste disposal facilities that accept hazardous waste and on mine waste treatment and disposal facilities that use chemical processing or have acid generation potential. For mines that do not use chemical processing or produce waste with acid generation potential, proof of financial responsibility would not be required as a condition for the waste treatment or disposal authorization, but this would not affect the separate reclamation-related financial responsibility requirements administered by the Department of Natural Resources. The bill would provide for DEC to accept proof of financial responsibility provided to the Department of Natural Resources or a federal land manager agency for mine reclamation instead of requiring duplicative bonding. The bill would clarify that the proof of financial responsibility must cover managing and closing the facility to control or minimize the risk of release of unauthorized levels of pollutants to waters. The bill also would allow for the possibility that this financial responsibility requirement may need to be extended to some municipal solid waste disposal facilities. 2004-02-26 House Journal Page 2756 The changes proposed to AS 46.03.100 would modify the requirement for a solid waste permit applicant to demonstrate consideration of all solid waste management options and consistency with the waste reduction practices and priorities of AS 46.06.021. As modified, those requirements would apply only to non-municipal solid waste disposal applicants. The bill also would reorder the components of the waste disposal authorization provisions so that they flow from the prohibition against unauthorized waste disposal, to the basic regulatory tools available for authorizing the disposal, to provisions for plan reviews and integrated waste management permits, to the exemptions, and finally to specific requirements that must be met by certain categories of disposers. This bill would amend some existing permit processing requirements related to application submittals, public notice and comment opportunities, the maximum term of permits, and the causes for termination or modification of an authorization. This bill would add a definition for "municipal solid waste" and would amend the definition of "solid waste." It also would repeal the plan submittal, review, and approval provisions of AS 46.03.090 and 46.03.720(a) as superfluous in light of the changes proposed to AS 46.03.100 (which makes written plan approvals one of the tools available for authorizing activities covered by the repealed sections). It also would make conforming amendments in AS 16.05.782(e), AS 44.46.025(a), and 46.03.833(a), to reflect citation or terminology changes caused by other amendments and repealers in the bill. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely yours, /s/ Frank H. Murkowski Governor"