Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/05/2000 03:28 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
HB 356-TRACKING OF PESTICIDE USE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  announced the next  order of business  would be                                                              
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  for HOUSE  BILL NO. 356,  "An Act  relating to                                                              
pesticide use; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0621                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA,  speaking  as  the sponsor  of  SSHB  356,                                                              
requested  that  her  staff  present  the  bill  and  the  changes                                                              
encompassed  in  the  proposed  committee   substitute  (CS)  that                                                              
reflect  the   Department  of  Environmental   Conservation  (DEC)                                                              
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  made a motion to adopt the  proposed CS for                                                              
SSHB  356, Version  I  [1-LS1360\I,  Lauterbach,  4/5/00], as  the                                                              
working document.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0671                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROB   EARL,  Staff   to   Representative   Cissna,  Alaska   State                                                              
Legislature,     explained  that  SSHB  356  establishes   a  $150                                                              
registration  fee  per  pesticide   label  registered  in  Alaska.                                                              
Currently, Alaska  is the  only state that  doesn't charge  such a                                                              
fee.   The bill also  establishes a $25  per year license  fee for                                                              
all certified pesticide  applicators.  He pointed out  that DEC is                                                              
planning  on charging  $75 for a  three-year license  in order  to                                                              
save in administrative expenses.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EARL  said  Section  4  of   Version  I  establishes  a  DEC-                                                              
administered  pesticide   use  tracking  system,  which   will  be                                                              
integrated into  a statewide  Geographic Information  System (GIS)                                                              
that is designed to reveal the extent  of pesticide use in Alaska.                                                              
Mr.  Earl   explained  that  the   system  would  rely   upon  the                                                              
applicators  to report  to the  department  the pesticide's  name,                                                              
rate, date, amount, location and  method of application as well as                                                              
the crop, commodity  or site upon which the pesticide  was applied                                                              
and the  target organism.  Applicators  would be required  to keep                                                              
these records for three years.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL noted  that these records are already  required; however,                                                              
they are not currently submitted  to DEC.  He pointed out that the                                                              
bill also allows for civil penalties  to be imposed for failure to                                                              
report pesticide usage.   The bill also establishes  a nine-member                                                              
volunteer  Pesticide   Advisory  Board,  which  will   advise  the                                                              
department in regard  to the tracking system and  research ways to                                                              
gauge  the  household  use  of  pesticides  as  well  as  research                                                              
mechanisms to increase  public awareness on pesticide  issues.  He                                                              
specified   that  the   board  will  consist   of  the   following                                                              
membership:  two pesticide applicators/dealers;  two advocates for                                                              
protection  for   pesticides;  one  agent  of  the   public  water                                                              
supplier;  one agent  of  the University's  Cooperative  Extension                                                              
Service;  one  expert  in pest  control,  epidemiology,  fish  and                                                              
wildlife biology  [and] children's  health issues; and  two public                                                              
members.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0782                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL turned  to the changes encompassed  in Version I.   A new                                                              
Section 1 designates  the receipts collected by DEC  in Sections 2                                                              
and  3,  for  the registration  and  licensing  fees,  as  program                                                              
receipts.    Those   program  receipts  would  be   accounted  for                                                              
separately from the unrestricted general fund.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL pointed  out that on page  2, line 17, subsection  (b) of                                                              
the proposed CS,  formerly part of subsection  (a), clarifies that                                                              
the  department  will  have  the  discretion  to  determine  which                                                              
pesticides it will  track.  This subsection further  says that the                                                              
department should  seek and consider  the advice of  the Pesticide                                                              
Advisory Board  [when determining which pesticides  the department                                                              
will track].  On this point, Mr.  Earl informed the committee that                                                              
there are  almost 3,000 different  pesticide labels  registered in                                                              
the state.   Most  of those  aren't implicated  in serious  public                                                              
health  or  environmental  hazards.    Of  these  3,000  pesticide                                                              
labels,  1,114 are disinfectants  or sanitizers  which are  exempt                                                              
from reporting requirements  as specified on page  2, lines 24-25.                                                              
Therefore,  choosing which  of the remaining  pesticide labels  to                                                              
track will be  one of the more difficult aspects.   The department                                                              
has suggested  that it  will want to  track the 49  restricted-use                                                              
pesticides,  which are  of  particular danger  to  people and  the                                                              
environment.  The  department has also indicated that  it will add                                                              
suspect  pesticides to  the list  as  they are  identified by  the                                                              
Environmental  Protection  Agency (EPA),  the  department, or  the                                                              
Pesticide Advisory Board.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL  directing  the committee  to page 3,  line 9,  paragraph                                                              
(6),  which had  everything  deleted except  the  location of  the                                                              
application.   That  is consistent  with  page 2,  line 26,  which                                                              
allows the  department to determine  the specifics  of application                                                              
location  that  is  to  be  reported.   He  indicated  it  is  the                                                              
sponsor's  hope  that  the location  of  application  is  specific                                                              
enough to differentiate between adjacent  watersheds while general                                                              
enough to preserve the privacy of individuals.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL  then directed  the committee to  page 3, line  18, where                                                              
the language  "In addition  to other  civil or criminal  penalties                                                              
that  may  be  applicable,"  was  added to  subsection  (e).    He                                                              
explained,  "Because  without  this  addition,  this  [sub]section                                                              
would  have  inadvertently  invalidated   DEC's  ability  to  levy                                                              
applicable sanctions already in statute."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL  moved on to  page 4, lines  3-4, which was  shortened in                                                              
order to correct an oversight by  the original bill.  Without this                                                              
change, DEC  would be  required to report  a nuisance  that wasn't                                                              
reported to it.  Mr. Earl offered to answer any questions.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0933                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  referred to page 4, where  the membership of                                                              
the Pesticide Advisory Board is specified.   He stated that he did                                                              
not  know  what a  person  would  be  who has  expertise  in  pest                                                              
control, epidemiology,  fish and  wildlife biology and  children's                                                              
health issues.  He inquired as to  what type of professional would                                                              
[meet such criteria].                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EARL  related  his  assumption  that  it  would  be  an  "or"                                                              
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  refuted that and  read the language  on page                                                              
4, lines  22-28, which  specifies that this  member has  [to have]                                                              
some expertise in  all of the areas listed.  He  asked if that was                                                              
the intent as it seems fairly broad.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA agreed that it seems fairly broad.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE related  his assumption  that the desire  is                                                              
probably  to  require   membership  of  an  individual   that  has                                                              
expertise "in one of the following areas" that is listed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO directed the  committee to page 4, lines 13-                                                              
17, paragraph  (2), which seems to  include the same sort  of all-                                                              
encompassing  qualifications  in  lines  14  and 15.    He  echoed                                                              
Representative  Brice's  earlier comment  regarding  what type  of                                                              
person this would be.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1110                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JANICE  ADAIR,   Director,  Division   of  Environmental   Health,                                                              
Department   of   Environmental    Conservation,   testified   via                                                              
teleconference.   She informed  the committee  that the  pesticide                                                              
program is within the Division of  Environmental Health.  She also                                                              
informed the  committee that the  department supports  the concept                                                              
of this  bill.  In  her ten years  with [the division],  there has                                                              
been one  application for  a pesticide  permit.  That  application                                                              
was from the [Alaska] railroad, but  was withdrawn by the railroad                                                              
before any  action could be taken  on the permit  application; the                                                              
application  was withdrawn  due to  the public  angst it  created.                                                              
Ms. Adair  believes that there  is a lot  of concern in  regard to                                                              
pesticide use in the state.  The  CS would give information to the                                                              
public, information that the public would like to have.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG  directed  attention  to the  fiscal  note  and                                                              
requested that Ms. Adair explain the fiscal note.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR  informed the  committee that this  bill adds  two fees.                                                              
One of the  new fees is a  registration fee for  pesticide labels.                                                              
Currently, there are 3,000 pesticides  registered in the state and                                                              
thus $150 fee per label would amount  to $450,000.  The second fee                                                              
is the licensing  fee, which is currently issued  for a three-year                                                              
period and  thus the $25  per year license  fee would result  in a                                                              
$75 charge.   At this  time there  are 860 certified  applicators.                                                              
With [those  two fees],  the revenue is  generated.   However, she                                                              
pointed out that  these [fees] are added to the  list of statutory                                                              
program receipts  and thus wouldn't  be considered  general funds.                                                              
This change would have to be made  to the fiscal note if the CS is                                                              
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR stated  that the largest expense in  this legislation is                                                              
the creation  of the GIS, for  which [the department]  has nothing                                                              
similar.  Furthermore, [the department]  doesn't have the internal                                                              
expertise  to develop  such a  system;  as a  result, that  system                                                              
would have to be developed from scratch  with some reliance on the                                                              
Department of Natural Resources (DNR).   This system would have to                                                              
be compatible with  DEC's computer system, which  doesn't tie into                                                              
the state's mainframe and thus the  system would run on individual                                                              
workstations.     Furthermore,  this  system  would   have  to  be                                                              
acceptable on the Internet in a user-friendly  fashion.  Moreover,                                                              
the continuous  changes in technology  would necessitate  the need                                                              
for  the  system to  function  while  incorporating  technological                                                              
changes.  Ms. Adair anticipated [hiring]  someone to work with the                                                              
board and  to perform the public  education outreach, which  is of                                                              
extreme importance  to the sponsor  as well as [to  the division].                                                              
An environmental technician [position]  has been included for data                                                              
entry, which is time-consuming for remote areas in particular.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  ROKEBERG inquired  as to what  the department  currently                                                              
does in the way of controlling pesticides.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1379                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR remarked  that it is a small program that  is 85 percent                                                              
funded  by the  federal government  [and thus]  the department  is                                                              
only able  to do what  is required under  the federal grant.   She                                                              
explained   that  [the  department]   certifies  applicators   for                                                              
restricted-use   pesticides.   [The  department]   also   performs                                                              
training for those that work around  pesticides.  [The department]                                                              
also performs  marketplace  inspections and  in recent years  [the                                                              
department] has (indisc.) the registration program.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG  surmised, then,  that the department  would not                                                              
enter the  field and  sample or control  for pesticide  use unless                                                              
there is a special request.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR answered  that such action would only be  taken if there                                                              
was a complaint, such as a complaint  that an illegal pesticide is                                                              
being used.   Such a complaint has occurred.   Ms. Adair mentioned                                                              
that for  some pesticide  projects, the  state requires  a permit.                                                              
Although [the  department] doesn't  have any state  general funds,                                                              
[the  department]  does perform  that  state-mandated  work.   She                                                              
pointed out that  [the department] issues permits  for such things                                                              
as mosquito control and potato blights.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO pointed out  that the sponsor statement says                                                              
that  the fees  for  registration  will  generate the  revenue  to                                                              
support  the program.    However,  [information  in the  committee                                                              
packet] notes that when Oregon initiated  this program there was a                                                              
20 percent  decline in the  number of registrations  and licenses.                                                              
Therefore, Representative Halcro  inquired as to what would happen                                                              
if the number  of licenses declines, but the department  still has                                                              
the same operating costs with less revenue.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ADAIR  replied that  [the department]  would come back  before                                                              
the legislature.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1529                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PETER   NAKAMURA,  Director,   Division  of  Public   Health,                                                              
Department of Health  & Social Services, noted  that his testimony                                                              
would be in reference  to the original bill.  He  pointed out that                                                              
neither  the  Division of  Public  Health  nor the  Department  of                                                              
Health & Social Services (DHSS) has  any oversight responsibility,                                                              
as identified  in the bill.  However,  this is a health  issue and                                                              
as such,  the [department  and division]  are concerned  about the                                                              
use of pesticides.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA remarked that often,  after the fact,  another effect                                                              
[of a  pesticide] is  realized.  Therefore,  a system  that merely                                                              
monitors the location [that the pesticide]  is used and the amount                                                              
doesn't allow  for a cause-and-effect  analysis.  For  example, it                                                              
was discovered after-the-fact that  [due to] MTBE, a chemical used                                                              
in fuel, practically all the water  in California is contaminated.                                                              
He pointed out that the use of [MTBE] was stopped in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA agreed that it makes  sense to have a register and to                                                              
know where  [these pesticides] are.   For [the department  and the                                                              
division,]  probably  the greatest  use  [of  this system]  is  to                                                              
address the concerns of citizens  who fear they are being poisoned                                                              
from  some  of [these  pesticides].    Often, there  are  concerns                                                              
regarding  cancer,  but  the  information  regarding  whether  the                                                              
[pesticide] is  or is not  the cause  is often unavailable.   With                                                              
this  type of  register, a  possible  cause can  be implicated  or                                                              
eliminated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  NAKAMURA stated  that some  of  the definitions  in the  bill                                                              
should be clarified such as a "custom  application."  Furthermore,                                                              
a "commercial use" should be defined  as should the reference to a                                                              
"broadcast chemical," which could  include table salt that is used                                                              
to melt  ice or  kill slugs.   Therefore,  the terms  in the  bill                                                              
should be identified and clarified.   He directed the committee to                                                              
page  2,  subsection (b),  of  the  original  bill which  read  as                                                              
follows: "(b)   The system established  under (a) of  this section                                                              
must require all  pesticide dealers in the state  to report to the                                                              
department  the following  information pertaining  to the  sale of                                                              
pesticides to end users, including  private residents and licensed                                                              
pesticide  applicators".   Dr. Nakamura  said  he understood  that                                                              
language to  mean that  [DEC] would have  to follow every  citizen                                                              
who purchased and applied a pesticide.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  informed Dr. Nakamura that  the proposed CS                                                              
doesn't   include  that   [language]  and   thus  the   individual                                                              
commercial stores aren't part of this bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  NAKAMURA turned  to  the creation  of  the  board to  monitor                                                              
pesticides,  which seemed to  be rather  challenging as  there are                                                              
many pesticides and  chemicals.  If a board is  created to address                                                              
each individual chemical, there would  be many boards.  Therefore,                                                              
Dr. Nakamura suggested that this  function could be included in an                                                              
existing board.   Dr. Nakamura expressed  his belief that  this is                                                              
such an  important function  that it  should be adequately  funded                                                              
whether  through the  collection of  fees or bills  or through  an                                                              
appropriation.   In his nine years  as a state health  officer, he                                                              
has found that  Alaska is relatively young in this  arena and thus                                                              
the  state is  still identifying  these needs  and creating  these                                                              
capabilities.  He reiterated the  need to provide adequate funding                                                              
to perform an appropriate job.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA acknowledged  that there has been concern in                                                              
regard to  the [connections] between  pesticides and cancer.   She                                                              
asked if this would have an application  for that type of problem.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. NAKAMURA  replied yes.  He  indicated that this  may eliminate                                                              
some of the concerns  by citizens as well as  possibly identifying                                                              
a cause.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2011                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KAY  BROWN,  former  Representative,   Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                              
testified via teleconference.  Ms.  Brown spoke in favor of HB 356                                                              
and thanked Representative Cissna  for bringing this forward.  She                                                              
related her belief that pesticide  use in Alaska as well as across                                                              
the  country is  an urgent  public health  problem requiring  more                                                              
attention from  legislative bodies.  Therefore,  she supported all                                                              
efforts to  regulate the  use of  pesticides more  tightly.   As a                                                              
cancer survivor,  Ms. Brown  has become  concerned with  the toxic                                                              
chemicals that  are used in the  environment.  Furthermore,  it is                                                              
well established that many of these  chemicals are causing serious                                                              
medical problems,  including cancer.   Although [these  chemicals]                                                              
are widely used, very little is known  about them.  She identified                                                              
this bill as a first step, which she supported.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BOB GORMAN,  Alaska Cooperative Extension,  UAF Anchorage  - State                                                              
Office,  testifying  via teleconference,  informed  the  committee                                                              
that he  is a  Pesticide Applicator  and Training Coordinator  for                                                              
the  Alaska  Cooperative  Extension,  University  of Alaska.    He                                                              
specified that  his opinions are  based on his  professional views                                                              
and not those of  the University of Alaska.  Mr.  Gorman said that                                                              
he  is cautiously  supportive of  this  bill because  there is  no                                                              
current  information  base  with   regard  to  how  much  of  what                                                              
pesticides are used in what locations.   Furthermore, he supported                                                              
this  bill  because   pesticides  are  important   tools  in  pest                                                              
management and  thus it is  important to ensure  that [pesticides]                                                              
are available  in order  to maintain the  public health  of humans                                                              
and other living things.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GORMAN noted  that he has two areas of concern.   First, there                                                              
is the  need to protect  the privacy  of landowners who  choose to                                                              
use pesticides.  Therefore, he believes  that pesticides should be                                                              
identified  at the  watershed  level and  thus  collection of  the                                                              
information on a  longitude and latitude basis  could maintain the                                                              
privacy  of landowners.    Second, probably  the  greatest use  of                                                              
pesticides   in  Alaska   is  from   commercial  applicators   and                                                              
homeowners.   In all  likelihood, the  greatest use of  pesticides                                                              
can be found in urban areas with  turf and ornamental applications                                                              
and structural pest control.  Although  it may not be possible now                                                              
to address  homeowner  use of pesticides,  Mr.  Gorman said  he is                                                              
more   concerned  with   homeowner  misuse   of  pesticides   than                                                              
commercial misuse.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2310                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  acknowledged that the homeowner  problem is                                                              
a  large problem  and would  expand  this tracking  system to  the                                                              
point at  which it would be,  as many feel, unwieldy.   Therefore,                                                              
one  of the  reasons for  the tracking  board  is to  work on  the                                                              
educational  portion   of  this   matter  in  order   that  people                                                              
understand [what]  they are purchasing  at a store.  She  asked if                                                              
Mr.  Gorman  felt  that  would  help  deal  with  [the  homeowner]                                                              
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GORMAN identified  [education] as a start.   He mentioned that                                                              
DEC  has just  started a  new program  called  the Consumer  Label                                                              
Information  [which] rewrites  consumer  labels in  order to  make                                                              
them more readable  and user-friendly.  That [program]  will help.                                                              
He also mentioned  that the Cooperative Extension  Service and the                                                              
Municipality  of Anchorage  have programs  that address  homeowner                                                              
pesticide  use.  If  this bill  is enacted,  he believes  the next                                                              
effort [should  be] to have  the retailer,  at the point  of sale,                                                              
note  the total  volume  of  the  pesticides sold  to  homeowners.                                                              
Although there  would be conjecture  as to where  those pesticides                                                              
would be used, it would provide information  as to what pesticides                                                              
are  being  used  and  in  what volume  they  are  being  sold  to                                                              
homeowners.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[Due to  a tape change,  Representative Halcro's question  was not                                                              
recorded and Mr. Johnson's opening remarks were not recorded.]                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-44, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0005                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOM JOHNSON, Safety Officer, Aurora  Environmental & Safety, Inc.,                                                              
testifying via  teleconference, said, "... Aurora  Environmental &                                                              
Safety."   Mr. Johnson  noted  his support  of [SSHB  356].   As a                                                              
Safety Officer who  has performed a number of   community outreach                                                              
and education programs on hazardous  materials in the home, he has                                                              
found that  there is little awareness  with regard to  the hazards                                                              
of  pesticides  as  well  as  the  hazards  of  general  household                                                              
chemicals.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON  said he would challenge  anyone as far as  a person's                                                              
knowledge  of what  level  or degree  of  poison  the EPA  warning                                                              
labels would  have - the degree  of toxicity of the  products that                                                              
is being referred to.  He specified  that the EPA warning "Danger,                                                              
poison" means that a few drops is  deadly enough to kill a person,                                                              
yet  there  is  little awareness  with  regard  to  the  toxicity.                                                              
Therefore,  Mr. Johnson  felt it  important that  those who  bring                                                              
such a  product into the  home be more aware  of the hazards.   He                                                              
pointed out  that currently there  is great emphasis  being placed                                                              
on  weapon  safety;  however,  these   products  have  more  of  a                                                              
potential  of  being  a  weapon of  terror  and  are  more  easily                                                              
available  than any  weapon.   Therefore, he  felt that  education                                                              
should be emphasized.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON turned to the perspective  of his profession, which is                                                              
to  protect workers  for employers,  who are  required to  provide                                                              
safe  workplaces for  their employees.    He said  any means  that                                                              
could assist  him in  identifying potential  hazards would  create                                                              
less problems  in protecting his  clients.  Therefore,  [SSHB 356]                                                              
is a good starting point.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO asked if  the average homeowner  purchasing                                                              
weed killer is  going to educate him/herself about  what he or she                                                              
is using.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON replied  no, but said that the effort  has to be made.                                                              
From  a  risk  management  and  liability  standpoint,  he  didn't                                                              
believe the labels go far enough  and thus organizations that sell                                                              
these items could potentially face liability issues.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0329                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  CYR,  President,  National Education  Association  -  Alaska                                                              
(NEA-AK), testified in  favor of [SSHB 356].     Mr. Cyr indicated                                                              
that he was present due to the products  that are used at schools.                                                              
These are products  whose names he could not pronounce  nor did he                                                              
know  if these  products  were good,  bad or  indifferent.   As  a                                                              
parent and  a representative  of the staff  and the children,  Mr.                                                              
Cyr believes  that people  should  know what is  being sprayed  in                                                              
public  places, especially  around  children.   Therefore,  NEA-AK                                                              
believes this bill  is a good start to review  the information and                                                              
establish [a system] in which the  community can make decisions as                                                              
to what should happen where children are.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0448                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RIVER BEAN, Owner, Market Organics,  testified via teleconference.                                                              
He  informed  the committee  that  he  and  his wife  have  farmed                                                              
commercially and  organically for 12  years and thus he  said that                                                              
he knows  there are alternatives  to agricultural chemicals.   Mr.                                                              
Bean supported  HB 356 as it is  a good start.  Although  the bill                                                              
doesn't  include  agriculture,  it  should.    However,  Mr.  Bean                                                              
opposed allowing DEC  to determine which pesticides  to exempt and                                                              
which to register and track.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEAN  explained  that  often  EPA has  instituted  a  ban  on                                                              
previously  authorized   chemicals  and  often  these   have  been                                                              
chemicals which left  residues on the food.  He  indicated that it                                                              
may not be  too long before the  extreme rise in cancer  rates and                                                              
other diseases are directly linked  to some of these toxins in the                                                              
environment.  Therefore,  Mr. Bean felt that all  chemicals should                                                              
be registered  and include  the chemicals  that  farmers use.   He                                                              
indicated  the need to  be accountable  for what  one does  to the                                                              
environment as an obligation to the community.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEAN  said,  "Relying on  chemical  applications  to  control                                                              
pests,  weeds  and diseases  is  not  sustainable farming  on  any                                                              
scale."  As an organic farmer, he  expressed concern regarding the                                                              
"drift  factor"   of  chemical  applications;  a   risk  of  toxic                                                              
contamination  due   to  drift  [of  chemicals   applied  nearby].                                                              
Furthermore, he  expressed concern  with regard to  eliminating or                                                              
killing  living  organisms  in  any  environment  as  there  is  a                                                              
reaction to  every action.   He noted  that the employees  that he                                                              
has who  have worked on  chemically-dependent farms tell  tales of                                                              
ill   health,   neglected   disposal   practices   and   unchecked                                                              
applications  of chemicals.   In conclusion,  Mr. Bean  reiterated                                                              
his support of HB 356, which he identified as a good start.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked  if Mr. Bean sells some of  his produce at                                                              
the Anchorage Saturday Market.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEAN  replied yes.   He  informed the  committee that  soon he                                                              
should  be selling  to  the Ship  Creek  Market,  the Eagle  River                                                              
Market and 100 families.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG remarked that he  was sure he had purchased some                                                              
of Mr. Bean's  produce.  He  felt that organic farming  is growing                                                              
in  the [Matanuska-Susitna]  Valley, and  he hoped  that it  would                                                              
continue to grow.   Chairman Rokeberg asked if  aerial spraying of                                                              
pesticides is allowed in the Mat-Su Valley area.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEAN related his belief that  aerial spraying of pesticides is                                                              
allowed in the Mat-Su Valley area,  which is of concern because of                                                              
the  drift  factor  and  unchecked   contamination.    In  further                                                              
response to Chairman Rokeberg, Mr.  Bean said that aerial spraying                                                              
of pesticides doesn't  occur directly near his farm.   However, he                                                              
knows of other nearby farms that  are adjacent to farms that spray                                                              
chemicals.   In further  response to  Chairman Rokeberg,  Mr. Bean                                                              
said  that, to  his  knowledge, aerial  spraying  of chemicals  is                                                              
allowed  in the  state.   He  mentioned  that  the EPA  authorized                                                              
aerial  spraying  for the  potato  blight  two  years ago  and  he                                                              
indicated that  the EPA  had authorized it  again this year.   Mr.                                                              
Bean pointed out that there are alternatives  to [aerial spraying]                                                              
as well as organic practices that could be utilized.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG noted that the  bill title refers to pesticides;                                                              
however, he  was interested  in whether  the bill would  encompass                                                              
the application of other agricultural chemicals.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA clarified  that the  bill does not  include                                                              
herbicides.    She  related her  understanding  that  the  farming                                                              
community  has been  working on  nontoxic solutions  and has  been                                                              
performing  responsible  monitoring.    She  indicated  that  this                                                              
information   came  from   the  Cooperative   Extension   Service.                                                              
Therefore, [herbicides] were not included in this legislation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0824                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NEVA  HASSANEIN testified  via teleconference  from  Oregon.   She                                                              
informed  the   committee  that  she  works  with   the  Northwest                                                              
Coalition for  Alternatives to Pesticides  and has a  doctorate in                                                              
environmental science.   She further  informed the  committee that                                                              
in  the past  three  years she  has  done extensive  research  and                                                              
worked  with  the  political  system   in  order  to  establish  a                                                              
comprehensive  system to track  the use  of pesticides  in Oregon.                                                              
Ms.  Hassanein   noted  her  support   of  this   legislation  and                                                              
identified it  as a solid first  step, although she did  have some                                                              
concerns.   She clarified that the  term pesticide is  an umbrella                                                              
term  which  includes  herbicides,  insecticides,  fungicides,  et                                                              
cetera.   She defined the term  pesticide as follows:   "A product                                                              
that  is designed  to  kill, damage  or  repel living  organisms."                                                              
Unless Alaska  defines the term  pesticide differently than  it is                                                              
in other parts of the country, she  would assume that all of those                                                              
chemicals would be included.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HASSANEIN  noted  that  currently,  only a  few  states  have                                                              
established systems  to track the  use of pesticides.   The Oregon                                                              
program was  just signed  into law last  September and one  of the                                                              
key concepts of  Oregon's law was the agreement that  it needed to                                                              
be comprehensive,  including all types of applications.   However,                                                              
the   current   draft  of   HB   356  only   includes   commercial                                                              
applications.   In response to  Dr. Nakamura's question  regarding                                                              
what is a  commercial application, Ms. Hassanein  explained that a                                                              
commercial  application  is  one  made by  a  licensed  commercial                                                              
operator.  She related her belief  that it is important to include                                                              
agriculture and governmental use as well as household use.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. HASSANEIN  said that the  collection of information  regarding                                                              
pesticide use is  essential to understanding how  these pesticides                                                              
move in the environment and how they  affect human health.  With a                                                              
good tracking  system, one would  know where say, water  should be                                                              
monitored for  particular chemicals.   That  is how these  systems                                                              
can  be used,  which is  extremely important.   In  regard to  Dr.                                                              
Nakamura's  comments disputing  the  need to  create  a board  for                                                              
every thing,  Ms. Hassanein suggested  placing a [sunset]  on this                                                              
board.   Furthermore,  Ms. Hassanein  expressed  concern with  the                                                              
department's  open-ended  authority  to  decide  which  pesticides                                                              
would be  included.   She suggested  that a  time table  should be                                                              
laid  out over the  next three  years  or so.   She remarked  that                                                              
Alaska is  lucky in  that it  only has  about 1,800 products  that                                                              
would be  tracked under this  system, while Oregon  and California                                                              
are tracking about  9,000 products.  Therefore, she  felt there is                                                              
time to do a top-notch job.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1160                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BOB SHAVELSON,  Executive Director,  Cook Inlet Keeper,  testified                                                              
via teleconference  from Homer.   He  informed the committee  that                                                              
Cook Inlet  Keeper represents  about 650  citizens throughout  the                                                              
Cook Inlet  area and beyond. [The  Cook Inlet Keeper] is  in favor                                                              
of HB  356, which is a  good start.   He felt it fitting  that the                                                              
House Labor & Commerce Committee  is reviewing this legislation as                                                              
it is  really a worker  health issue.   For example, last  year at                                                              
Western  Homer Elementary  there  was a  pesticide application  by                                                              
some workers,  who weren't  aware of  some of  the dangers  of the                                                              
pesticide   that  they   were   applying.     Subsequent   workers                                                              
maintaining the  field where the  pesticide had been  sprayed were                                                              
unaware  of  its  presence.   Therefore,  some  of  the  reporting                                                              
[requirements] in the bill will resolve  such situations.  This is                                                              
a worker's  issue in that many  people rely on the  rich fisheries                                                              
in Cook Inlet  and other areas for their livelihood  and thus this                                                              
legislation   will   help   protect  some   of   the   commercial,                                                              
recreational and subsistence fish resources.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHAVELSON informed the committee  that about a year and a half                                                              
ago,  a study  for  Cook Inlet  was  performed by  the  EPA.   One                                                              
remarkable finding  was that many  fish resources there  have high                                                              
levels of pesticides;  no one is certain whether  these pesticides                                                              
are coming in  via the Asian current or are  draining off Alaska's                                                              
land.    Therefore,  he  felt that  this  legislation  would  help                                                              
resolve some of those issues.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1297                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REGINA  MANTEUFEL  testified via  teleconference  from  Anchorage.                                                              
She  began   by  thanking  Representative   Cissna  for   HB  356,                                                              
specifically  the  language  referring  to  the  total  amount  of                                                              
product applied.  Ms. Manteufel related  a personal story from the                                                              
time she  lived in Salinas, California.   At the time,  there were                                                              
no  notices  when there  was  aerial  spraying of  pesticides  and                                                              
because  of this  her  brother is  mentally  retarded.   When  her                                                              
brother  was in his  twenties, the  pesticides  stored in his  fat                                                              
cells resulted in the loss of control of his bladder.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MANTEUFEL  related a story in  which a boyfriend of  hers, who                                                              
sprayed pesticides  for a  living, died of  cancer even  though he                                                              
wore all the safety gear.  Furthermore,  a friend of hers - due to                                                              
exposure  to pesticides  as a field  worker -  had a  miscarriage.                                                              
Ms.  Manteufel  informed  the  committee  that due  to  the  water                                                              
situation  resulting  from  farms  using  pesticides  in  Salinas,                                                              
California,  she  left.   She  also  related  a situation  in  her                                                              
elementary  school that  she believes indicated  that exposure  to                                                              
pesticides  affected  brain  development.     In  conclusion,  she                                                              
expressed  her belief that  Alaska has  the chance  to do  what is                                                              
right,  which is to  pass this  legislation in  order that  people                                                              
don't  go  through the  pain  and  suffering  she  has had  to  go                                                              
through.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1551                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GERAN TARR,  Alaska Community Action  on Toxics (ACAT),  testified                                                              
via teleconference  from Anchorage.   She testified in  support of                                                              
HB  356,  which  is  a  necessary  and  important  first  step  in                                                              
providing  Alaskans the  right  to know  about  their exposure  to                                                              
potentially  harmful  chemicals in  their  daily  lives.   As  the                                                              
Pesticide  Coordinator for  the Right  to Know  Campaign, she  has                                                              
discussed  this bill  with  many individuals  and  thus has  found                                                              
broad public  support for this bill.   She informed  the committee                                                              
that a poll  conducted for the Alaska Conservation  Alliance found                                                              
that 93  percent of  registered Alaskan  voters support  requiring                                                              
disclosure and reporting of pesticide use.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. TARR  noted that people  support this legislation  for various                                                              
reasons  such as:  public  health  and water  quality  protection,                                                              
subsistence  food safety  and  worker safety.    She informed  the                                                              
committee  that the following  organizations  support HB  356, the                                                              
version  in which all  pesticides  would have  been tracked:   the                                                              
Alaska Action Center,  the Alaska Center for the  Environment, the                                                              
Alaska CFIDS/FMS/GWS Association  which is the Chronic Fatigue and                                                              
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Support  Group, the Alaska Community                                                              
Action on  Toxics, the  Alaska Conservation  Alliance, the  Alaska                                                              
Public Interest  Research Group, the American Lung  Association of                                                              
Alaska, Arctic  Organic, the Brain  Injury Association  of Alaska,                                                              
the Center  for Marine  Conservation, the  Cook Inlet Keeper,  the                                                              
Injured Workers' Alliance, Kachemak  Bay Conservation Society, the                                                              
Mental  Health  Association  of   Alaska,  the  National  Wildlife                                                              
Federation  of  Alaska,  the Native  American  Fish  and  Wildlife                                                              
Society  and  the  Northern Alaskan  Environmental  Center.    She                                                              
indicated  that  due  to  the  timing  of  the  legislation,  some                                                              
organizations have  been unable to sign statements  of support yet                                                              
and thus she expected more broad support.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  acknowledged that Ms. Tarr  was very active                                                              
in putting together  some of the ideas for this  legislation.  She                                                              
referred to the section in the CS  regarding the membership of the                                                              
Pesticide Advisory Board and asked  if Ms. Tarr had any ideas with                                                              
regard   to  the   type   of  person   that   would  fulfill   the                                                              
qualifications   specified in  paragraphs (2)  and (5) on  page 4,                                                              
lines 13-17 and 22-24, respectively.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. TARR  said that  there are  many individuals  that could  fill                                                              
those positions.   She  said that there  are individuals  who work                                                              
for state or  federal agencies, whose job description  would cover                                                              
this category.   For example, there  are individuals at  both U.S.                                                              
Fish & Game and Alaska Department  of Fish & Wildlife who research                                                              
the potential  affects pesticides  are having  on wildlife  in the                                                              
state as well  as water quality issues.  Through  that work, these                                                              
individuals  have  dealt  with alternatives  to  pesticides,  pest                                                              
management  and  the  public's  right  to  know.    In  regard  to                                                              
paragraph (5),  she noted  that many of  the people with  whom she                                                              
works in  ACAT have  expertise in many  of the categories  listed.                                                              
Although  there may  be people  who aren't  an expert  in all  the                                                              
categories, they could certainly  fulfill the need to have a broad                                                              
base of knowledge to address the issue.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1818                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
STACEY  MARZ, Resource  Coordinator,  Alaska  Community Action  on                                                              
Toxics,  testifying via  teleconference  from Anchorage,  informed                                                              
the committee  that  Barbara Williams  had to  leave and thus  Ms.                                                              
Marz wanted  to read Ms. Williams'  testimony and then  submit her                                                              
own.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN   ROKEBERG   suggested   that  Ms.   Marz   provide   the                                                              
teleconference  moderator with  Ms.  Williams' written  testimony,                                                              
which would  become part  of the record.   He then  requested that                                                              
Ms. Marz proceed with her testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARZ informed the committee that  ACAT has begun to attempt to                                                              
collect information  regarding pesticide use in Alaska.   This has                                                              
proven to be a [difficult] task as  the information is not readily                                                              
available and must be systematically  collected from all pesticide                                                              
users.    Much of  the  information  collected  thus far  is  from                                                              
different  sectors  of  the  government.    She  noted  that  this                                                              
information  was collected because  it is  the easiest  to collect                                                              
due  to public  record laws  which require  disclosure.   However,                                                              
public  record  requests result  in  varying  results due  to  the                                                              
different   record  keeping   systems   within  the   institutions                                                              
contacted.     Although   some   of  the   institutions   maintain                                                              
comprehensive  records regarding  pesticide application,  that was                                                              
not  the  norm.    Unfortunately,   some  [institutions]  maintain                                                              
nothing  at all  or merely  note  that an  exterminator visited  a                                                              
premises.   Ms. Marz  pointed out  that information about  private                                                              
pesticide  use is  very difficult  to obtain  as the  only way  to                                                              
obtain such  information is  if there  is voluntary disclosure  by                                                              
the private institution using pesticides.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARZ  stated that [ACAT] has  found that use of  pesticides in                                                              
Alaska  is  widespread  and  occurs in  many  places  that  people                                                              
frequent in daily life.  She informed  the committee that there is                                                              
regular pesticide use in Anchorage,  Fairbanks, Juneau, Palmer and                                                              
Kenai.  Pesticides are applied in  locations such as private homes                                                              
and  yards,   restaurants,  nursing  homes,   schools,  hospitals,                                                              
airports, parks, gardens, greenhouse,  the universities and farms.                                                              
She noted that the target organism  varies from different types of                                                              
insects to different  types of weeds.  Ms. Marz stated  that it is                                                              
virtually   impossible   for   an  average   citizen   to   access                                                              
information,  in  an expedient  and  comprehensive  manner,  about                                                              
pesticide use  and exposure  in Alaska.   Furthermore, no  one has                                                              
the time or energy to systematically  call all potential pesticide                                                              
users in  order to create a  big picture perspective in  regard to                                                              
personal exposure.  Therefore, a  pesticide tracking system on the                                                              
Internet would allow  individuals to evaluate their  own risks and                                                              
minimize their exposure  to toxic chemicals as well  as decide how                                                              
best to protect himself/herself and their family.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2002                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAM  MILLER,  Biologist  and Program  Director,  Alaska  Community                                                              
Action  on  Toxics  (ACAT),  testified   via  teleconference  from                                                              
Anchorage.   The mission of ACAT  "is to protect human  health and                                                              
the  environment from  the toxic  effects of  contaminants and  we                                                              
also work  to enhance  public access  to information about  toxics                                                              
and to build  community action capabilities," she said.   The ACAT                                                              
strongly supports  HB 356 as introduced by  Representative Cissna.                                                              
However, she  had some recommendations  that would  strengthen the                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER said enactment of this  bill will be an important first                                                              
step in  ensuring the  public's and workers'  right to  know about                                                              
pesticide  applications.    Furthermore, this  bill  will  provide                                                              
necessary  data  for  people  to evaluate  their  risks  and  take                                                              
whatever protective  actions they deem necessary.   [The ACAT] has                                                              
worked  with  a  number  of chemically  injured  people,  who  are                                                              
particularly  susceptible  to  the  health  effects  of  pesticide                                                              
exposure.   Ms. Miller  pointed out  that a  number of people  are                                                              
particularly vulnerable  to pesticides, including  pregnant women,                                                              
children, adolescents,  people with immune illnesses  and women in                                                              
menopause.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER explained that ACAT's  support for this bill stems from                                                              
the group's  research and  experience working  with the  Anchorage                                                              
School District regarding  the use of pesticides in  schools.  The                                                              
group's research  demonstrated that the Anchorage  School District                                                              
used pesticides  that are linked  to serious health  problems and,                                                              
the  group thinks,  pose a  special  risk to  children.   However,                                                              
teachers, parents  and students were not notified  about pesticide                                                              
application.   She noted  that a  group of  parents, teachers  and                                                              
students worked  with ACAT for nearly  a year in order  to address                                                              
this problem, which culminated in  a February 2000 decision of the                                                              
Anchorage   School  Board   to   implement   a  policy   requiring                                                              
notification  procedures and  implementation of  least toxic  pest                                                              
management.   The organization believes  it to be one of  the most                                                              
progressive in the country.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER  turned to specific  recommendations of ACAT,  which it                                                              
believes  will   strengthen  and  ensure  public   health  in  the                                                              
environment.   Ms.  Miller proposed  the  following amendments  to                                                              
CSSSHB 356.   First, she recommended  that on page 2, line  9, the                                                              
word "shall"  should be  substituted for the  word "may"  and thus                                                              
DEC would  be required  to charge  registration fees, which  would                                                              
ensure  annual  income from  pesticide  label registration.    She                                                              
reminded the  committee that  Alaska is the  only state  that does                                                              
not require  such registration fees,  which are generally  paid by                                                              
pesticide managers in other states.   The second recommendation is                                                              
on page 2, line  22, to remove the language "based  in part on the                                                              
frequency of pesticide application"  and add a provision requiring                                                              
all pesticide  users to  report all  pesticides that are  applied.                                                              
She  said it  will  be  inefficient and  costly  to  allow DEC  to                                                              
determine which pesticides require reporting.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER noted  that her written testimony included  a series of                                                              
justifications for this recommendation,  which she urged committee                                                              
members  to review.   She  returned  to Section  4 of  the CS  and                                                              
referred  the committee  to Section 4(c)  regarding the  reporting                                                              
requirement to DEC.  While ACAT supports  a pesticide use tracking                                                              
system,   ACAT  urges   the  committee   to  make  the   reporting                                                              
requirement  apply to  all pesticide  applicators.   Additionally,                                                              
the  word "shall"  should be  substituted  for the  word "may"  in                                                              
Section 4(b),  which would require  DEC to "establish  regulations                                                              
for  the submission  and dissemination  of accurate  data for  the                                                              
tracking system."  Ms. Miller explained  that the only way to have                                                              
an  accurate  picture  of  pesticide  use  and  exposure  is  with                                                              
complete  information  -    readily  available  to  the  public  -                                                              
provided by all pesticide applicators.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER turned  to Section 3(b) and again recommended  that the                                                              
word  "shall"  be substituted  for  the  word  "may" in  order  to                                                              
require DEC to regulate the licensing  of restricted-use pesticide                                                              
applicators  and custom,  commercial and  contract applicators  of                                                              
pesticides and  broadcast chemicals.   Although ACAT  supports the                                                              
imposition of civil  penalties for applicators who  fail to comply                                                              
with the  reporting requirement  established in  Section 3  of the                                                              
proposed CS, it requests the addition  of a citizen suit provision                                                              
such as  the one in the  Federal Emergency Planning  and Community                                                              
Right to  Know Act.   She explained that  this federal  Act allows                                                              
lawsuits  to  be  filed  for  noncompliance   with  the  reporting                                                              
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked who the Alaska  Community Action on Toxics                                                              
is.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2266                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLER  responded that the  Alaska Community Action  on Toxics                                                              
is  a  statewide   membership  organization  that   has  over  300                                                              
individual  members as  well as  Alaska tribes.   It  has been  in                                                              
existence approximately three years.  She described its mission:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The mission of  Alaska Community Action on  Toxics is to                                                                   
     protect human health and the  environment from the toxic                                                                   
     effects of contaminants.  We  are dedicated to achieving                                                                   
     environmental justice through  a collaborative work with                                                                   
     affected     communities,      tribes,     environmental                                                                   
     organizations  and  individual activists.    We work  to                                                                   
     ensure  responsible cleanup  of  contaminated sites  and                                                                   
     empower community involvement  in cleanup decisions.  We                                                                   
     strive  to   stop  the  production,  proliferation   and                                                                   
     release of  toxic chemicals  and work to enhance  public                                                                   
     access  to   information  about  toxics  and   to  build                                                                   
     community action capabilities.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked if ACAT has full-time employees.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILLER  replied  yes.   Currently,  ACAT  has  two  full-time                                                              
employees and some contract employees.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  mentioned that ACAT was one  of the citizen                                                              
groups  that worked  to develop  this  bill.   She Cissna  thanked                                                              
those who had testified today.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN ROKEBERG asked  if anyone else wished to  testify.  There                                                              
being no  one, Chairman  Rokeberg announced that  HB 356  would be                                                              
held.                                                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects