Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

03/26/2009 06:00 PM RESOURCES

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06:08:33 PM Start
06:08:48 PM HB134
07:52:33 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed & Continued from 03/25/09 --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 134(RES) Out of Committee
HB 134-CRUISE SHIP WASTEWATER DISCHARGE PERMITS                                                                               
6:08:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  134,  "An  Act  relating  to the  terms  and                                                               
conditions  of commercial  vessel  permits for  the discharge  of                                                               
graywater, treated  sewage, and other waste  water; and providing                                                               
for  an  effective  date."     [Before  the  committee  was  CSHB
CO-CHAIR   JOHNSON  moved   to  adopt   the  proposed   committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   134,  Version  26-LS0570\C,  Bullard,                                                               
3/26/09, as the work draft.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  objected,  then  withdrew  his  objection                                                               
after ascertaining that the motion was  to adopt Version C as the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
[There  being no  further  objection, Version  C  was before  the                                                               
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN cited a 3/26/09  memorandum from Alpheus Bullard,                                                               
Legislative  Counsel, Division  of Legal  and Research  Services,                                                               
advising that the following  technical drafting corrections would                                                               
be made to Version C [original punctuation provided]:                                                                           
          page 2, line 7:  "except as provided in (e) of                                                                    
     this  section"  to  replace   "except  as  provided  in                                                            
     46.03.462(e)" [Drafting Manual at page 60]; and                                                                        
          page 4, line 16:  "Sections 1 - 5" to replace                                                                         
     "Sections 1 through 5".                                                                                                    
6:11:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON  moved  that  the  committee  adopt  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1 to  Version C, labeled 26.LS.0570\E.6,  which read as                                                               
     Page 3, line 16, following "consists of"                                                                                   
          Insert "eleven"                                                                                                       
     Page 3, line 18, following "AS 39.20.180."                                                                                 
          Insert "Each of the individuals the commissioner                                                                      
     selects will  serve for  up to a  five year  period and                                                                    
     have expertise in the design,  operation or function of                                                                    
     wastewater  management   and  treatment   systems;  the                                                                    
     Commissioner will  select at least one  individual from                                                                    
     each of the following groups:                                                                                              
          (1)   coastal    community   domestic   wastewater                                                                    
          (2) cruise ship industry;                                                                                             
          (3) commercial fishing industry; and                                                                                  
          (4) a non-governmental organization with an                                                                           
     interest in water quality matters.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                         
6:12:20 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY   HARTIG,   Commissioner,   Department   of   Environmental                                                               
Conservation  (DEC),  said  the  department  envisions  that  the                                                               
Science  Advisory  Panel members  will  have  expertise in  waste                                                               
management  treatment and  technology  drawn  from experience  or                                                               
education.   The  department also  envisions the  panel as  being                                                               
comprised of  a mix of  people from  both the public  and private                                                               
sector.    At   a  minimum  this  would  include   at  least  one                                                               
representative   from  a   coastal   community  with   wastewater                                                               
management experience,  the commercial  fishing industry,  a non-                                                               
governmental  organization  with  an interest  in  water  quality                                                               
matters, and the cruise vessel  industry.  These people will have                                                               
some experience in  waste treatment systems either  on vessels or                                                               
on shore.                                                                                                                       
6:15:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN  inquired  whether  the  five-year  appointments                                                               
would be staggered.                                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  answered that  the  maximum  would be  five                                                               
years because  that is  the maximum length  that is  intended for                                                               
this panel.  The intent would  be to appoint everyone at the same                                                               
time for  a five-year  term and only  replacing those  people who                                                               
dropped off the panel during that time.                                                                                         
6:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON commented  that the  way the  amendment is                                                               
written,  all  panel members  would  have  to have  expertise  in                                                               
wastewater  treatment systems.    She [moved  that the  committee                                                               
adopt an amendment to] Conceptual  Amendment 1 by adding the word                                                               
"also" so  that someone like a  fisherman would not have  to have                                                               
wastewater expertise.  Thus, Conceptual Amendment 1 would read:                                                                 
      "... the Commissioner also will select at least one                                                                       
     individual from each of the following groups ....".                                                                        
COMMISSIONER HARTIG stated  that DEC would not  have an objection                                                               
to this, but  that the department's preference would  be to steer                                                               
toward  the science  and engineering  aspect rather  than just  a                                                               
pure advocacy aspect.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN, after ascertaining  that there was no objection,                                                               
announced  that  the  amendment to  Conceptual  Amendment  1  has                                                               
passed.  [Conceptual Amendment 1,  as amended, was now before the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  agreed   with  Representative   Wilson's                                                               
suggestion  that   these  four  representatives  should   not  be                                                               
required to  have the same  level of scientific expertise  as the                                                               
other panel members.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG pointed  out  that the  page and  line                                                               
numbers  included  in  Conceptual   Amendment  1  were  based  on                                                               
yesterday's working document, so they  will need to be applied to                                                               
Version C where appropriate.                                                                                                    
6:18:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON withdrew her objection.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  objected and  suggested adding  a University                                                               
of Alaska  science and engineering student  to foster involvement                                                               
of the university.                                                                                                              
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  said this  would have  to be  offered as  a new                                                               
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  agreed that this  is a good suggestion  and said                                                               
the commissioner has heard it.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK withdrew his objection.                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN, after  ascertaining that  there was  no further                                                               
objection,  announced that  Conceptual Amendment  1, as  amended,                                                               
has passed.                                                                                                                     
6:19:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON withdrew Amendment  2 to Version C, labeled                                                               
26-LS0570\C.2, Bullard, 3/26/09.                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN noted that Amendment  2 was also about the makeup                                                               
of the advisory panel.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved that  the committee adopt Amendment 3                                                               
to  Version C,  labeled  26-LS0570\C.3,  Bullard, 3/26/09,  which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     Page 3, line 22, following "workshops":                                                                                    
          Insert ", with at least one public conference or                                                                      
     workshop  to  be  held between  January  1,  2012,  and                                                                    
     January 1,  2014, if the department  issues, renews, or                                                                    
     modifies  a permit  required  under AS  46.03.462(a)(1)                                                                    
     after  January 1,  2012, that  violates any  applicable                                                                    
     effluent  limits or  standards under  state or  federal                                                                    
     law,   including   Alaska   Water   Quality   Standards                                                                    
     governing pollution at the point of discharge"                                                                             
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON explained  that Amendment  3 would  ensure                                                               
that if there has not  been satisfaction and/or permits have been                                                               
issued  for  lesser  standards   after  the  2012  workshops  and                                                               
preliminary  report, another  technological workshop  is required                                                               
for the final report.                                                                                                           
6:21:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON stated that use of  the word "if" on line 3                                                               
of the amendment does not make sense to her.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   clarified  that  this  means   a  second                                                               
conference is  not mandated if,  after the preliminary  report in                                                               
2012, all  of the conditions  have been satisfied and  the cruise                                                               
ships are meeting all of the  standards.  In further response, he                                                               
stated  that another  technological  workshop would  be held  if,                                                               
after  January  2012, DEC  issues  a  new  permit that  has  less                                                               
stringent  water   quality  standards.    The   purpose  of  this                                                               
conference  would  be  to determine  the  technologies  that  are                                                               
available that  could be used  by 2014  when the final  report is                                                               
due.   However, if  the cruise ships  are meeting  the standards,                                                               
there is no reason to require another conference by statute.                                                                    
6:23:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  said she  does  not  think that  is  what                                                               
Amendment 3 says.                                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN agreed with Representative Wilson.                                                                              
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN stated that Amendment  3 looks different than the                                                               
amendment that was provided to members last night.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  explained  that  the  amendments  he  had                                                               
provided were  conceptual and  these are  the same  amendments as                                                               
drafted by the Division of Legal and Research Services.                                                                         
COMMISSIONER HARTIG said  he does not have a copy  of Amendment 3                                                               
as drafted  by the Division  of Legal  and Research Service.   He                                                               
interpreted Amendment  3 to  mean that DEC  would be  required to                                                               
hold  another  public  workshop before  the  department's  second                                                               
report is  due to the legislature  in 2014 in the  event that the                                                               
permitted vessels at  that time had not yet  achieved the at-the-                                                               
point-of-discharge requirement.  He said  the department does not                                                               
have a problem with that if this interpretation is correct.                                                                     
6:25:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN commented  that  four  amendments were  provided                                                               
last night, but today there are five.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  responded that one of  the five amendments                                                               
is a conceptual  amendment because page 3, line 22,  of Version C                                                               
does not  say that the first  workshop must be held  before 2012.                                                               
So,  he said  he is  proposing that  the first  workshop be  held                                                               
before  2012,   and  if  the   cruise  ships  do  not   meet  the                                                               
requirements at that time and  another permit is issued with less                                                               
stringent  guidelines, then  another  workshop  will be  required                                                               
before the final report is due.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG understood that  DEC can issue waivers,                                                               
but  in regard  to violating  standards, he  said he  thinks that                                                               
that was what was being written into the bill.                                                                                  
The committee took an at-ease from 6:28 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.                                                                       
6:50:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved that  the committee adopt Amendment 1                                                               
to Amendment 3 as follows:                                                                                                      
     Line 1, following workshops                                                                                                
          Insert "and"                                                                                                          
     Line 4, following "2012,"                                                                                                  
          Delete "that violates any applicable effluent                                                                         
     limits  or  standards  under   state  or  federal  law,                                                                    
     including  Alaska  Water  Quality  Standards  governing                                                                    
     pollution at the point of discharge"                                                                                       
Thus, Amendment 3, as amended, would read as follows:                                                                           
     Page 3, line 22, following "workshops and":                                                                                
          Insert ", with at least one public conference or                                                                      
     workshop  to  be  held between  January  1,  2012,  and                                                                    
     January 1,  2014, if the department  issues, renews, or                                                                    
     modifies  a permit  required  under AS  46.03.462(a)(1)                                                                    
     after January 1, 2012."                                                                                                    
6:52:40 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER HARTIG stated that the department has no objection.                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN,  after  ascertaining there  was  no  objection,                                                               
announced that  Amendment 1  to Amendment 3  has passed  and that                                                               
Amendment 3, as amended, is now before the committee.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reiterated  that,  if a  permit is  issued                                                               
after  2012, Amendment  3 would  require  one more  technological                                                               
workshop be held before the final report is due.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON withdrew his objection.                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN,   after  ascertaining  there  was   no  further                                                               
objection, announced that Amendment 3, as amended, has passed.                                                                  
6:54:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  moved that the committee  adopt Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 4 to Version C, which read as follows:                                                                                
     Page 3, line 22, after "workshops"                                                                                         
          Insert "before 2012;"                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  explained  that  Conceptual  Amendment  4                                                               
would require one  workshop to be held before  2012 and Amendment                                                               
3, as amended  and adopted, would require a second  workshop if a                                                               
permit was issued [after 2012].                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG stated  that  DEC's intent  is  to have  one                                                               
workshop before 2012  and report on that workshop  in the interim                                                               
report to  the legislature, therefore  Conceptual Amendment  4 is                                                               
consistent with what the department is intending to do.                                                                         
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON removed his objection.                                                                                         
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN,   after  ascertaining  there  was   no  further                                                               
objection, announced that Conceptual Amendment 4 has passed.                                                                    
6:55:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  moved that  the committee  adopt Amendment                                                               
5,  labeled  26-LS0570\C.1,  Bullard,   3/26/09,  which  read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     Page 2, following line 18:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec. 3. AS 46.03.462(b), as  amended by sec. 2 of                                                                
     this Act, is amended to read:                                                                                              
          (b)  The minimum standard terms and conditions                                                                        
     for  all   discharge  permits  authorized   under  this                                                                    
     section require that the owner or operator                                                                                 
               (1)  may not discharge untreated sewage,                                                                         
     treated sewage,  graywater, or  other wastewaters  in a                                                                    
     manner that violates any  applicable effluent limits or                                                                    
     standards under state or  federal law, including Alaska                                                                    
     Water  Quality  Standards  governing pollution  at  the                                                                    
     point   of  discharge   [,   EXCEPT   AS  PROVIDED   IN                                                                    
               (2)  shall maintain records and provide the                                                                      
     reports required under AS 46.03.465(a);                                                                                    
               (3)  shall collect and test samples as                                                                           
     required under AS 46.03.465(b) and  (d) and provide the                                                                    
     reports   with  respect   those  samples   required  by                                                                    
     AS 46.03.475(c);                                                                                                           
               (4)  shall report discharges in accordance                                                                       
     with AS 46.03.475(a);                                                                                                      
               (5)  shall allow the department access to                                                                        
     the  vessel  at  the  time   samples  are  taken  under                                                                    
     AS 46.03.465 for purposes of  taking the samples or for                                                                    
     purposes  of verifying  the integrity  of the  sampling                                                                    
     process; and                                                                                                               
               (6)  shall submit records, notices, and                                                                          
     reports   to   the   department  in   accordance   with                                                                    
     AS 46.03.475(b), (d), and (e)."                                                                                            
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 4, line 14:                                                                                                           
          Delete "AS 46.03.464 is"                                                                                              
          Insert "AS 46.03.462(e), 46.03.462(f), and                                                                            
     46.03.464 are"                                                                                                             
     Page 4, line 15:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Section 6 of this Act takes"                                                                                  
          Insert "Sections 3 and 7 of this Act take"                                                                            
     Page 4, line 16:                                                                                                           
         Delete "Sections 1 through 5 of this Act take"                                                                         
     Insert "Except as provided in  sec. 8 of this Act, this                                                                    
     Act takes"                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON objected.                                                                                                 
6:56:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON explained that Section  6, page 4, line 14,                                                               
of Version  C repeals  the Science Advisory  Panel.   Amendment 5                                                               
would provide that once the panel  is repealed, a permit could no                                                               
longer  be issued  that exceeds  water quality  standards at  the                                                               
point of discharge.                                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN asked  whether this  would eliminate  everything                                                               
that has just been done.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  responded no.   Amendment 5  provides that                                                               
if the problem is not solved  in five years, then the issue would                                                               
come  back to  the legislature  to decide  what to  do.   Without                                                               
Amendment 5, there  could be a continuous  offering of wastewater                                                               
discharge  permits  that exceed  the  [at-the-point-of-discharge]                                                               
limits and  there would  be no  requirement to  come back  to the                                                               
legislature  if this  were to  occur.   He  reiterated that  this                                                               
would  eliminate  the ability  to  grant  discharge permits  that                                                               
exceed the limits once the Science Advisory Panel is eliminated.                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN   maintained  that   Amendment  5   would  bring                                                               
everything back to  where things are today, and  the efforts over                                                               
the next five years would all be for naught.                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER HARTIG said Version  C, as currently written without                                                               
Amendment  5,   provides  that  this   does  come  back   to  the                                                               
legislature through DEC's final report  in 2014.  The report will                                                               
provide the  legislature with the  information necessary  to make                                                               
an  informed decision  as to  whether DEC  has pushed  the cruise                                                               
line companies  as far as technology  will take them.   Thus, the                                                               
report would be  a check on DEC and the  legislature could choose                                                               
to take action at  that time if it believes DEC  has not done its                                                               
job in  implementing AS  46.03.462.  He  agreed that  Amendment 5                                                               
would create the  problem described by Co-Chair  Neuman, which is                                                               
that  there is  a  standard  the cruise  ships  just cannot  meet                                                               
despite their best efforts.                                                                                                     
7:00:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN  commented that  the  intent  of  HB 134  is  to                                                               
continue the  pressure to meet  the standards established  by the                                                               
2006  Cruise  Ship  Initiative   ("the  initiative").    He  said                                                               
Representative Harris's  fear is  that if  the technology  is not                                                               
there, the cruise ships could not  come to Alaska, which would be                                                               
devastating to  communities.  This  problem is solved by  HB 134,                                                               
but Amendment 5  would make everything start all over  again.  He                                                               
asked whether Commissioner Hartig  agrees with his interpretation                                                               
of what Amendment 5 would do.                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HARTIG replied correct.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG said  his  reading of  Amendment 5  is                                                               
that  it simply  requires legislative  action at  the end  of the                                                               
five-year period, and  this action would be to  either extend the                                                               
permits or say the problem has gone away.                                                                                       
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN inquired whether  this could mean the legislature                                                               
does not take the recommendations of the Science Advisory Panel.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GUTTENBERG  answered   that  members   would  do                                                               
whatever they do.                                                                                                               
7:03:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  pointed out that the  legislature receives                                                               
dozens of  reports a  year, and  most are  simply filed  with the                                                               
secretary and  no one ever  sees them and  no action is  taken on                                                               
them.    There  is  no  requirement for  the  legislature  to  do                                                               
anything with the 2014 report  if permanent authority is given to                                                               
DEC to  override the initiative's  provisions for  measurement at                                                               
the point  of discharge.  Under  Version C and Amendment  5, five                                                               
years are given to improve the  technology and then it comes back                                                               
before the legislature and the  legislature can decide whether or                                                               
not to give DEC the ability to issue permits.                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HARTIG stated  that yesterday's amendment [Amendment                                                               
3  to CSHB  134(CRA)] requires  a permit  every two  years, which                                                               
means there will be three permits  over the next five years.  The                                                               
current permit has conditions that  must be changed by March 2010                                                               
and, under  the two year  permit cycle,  permits will need  to be                                                               
issued again in 2012 and 2014.   Amendment 5 could possibly leave                                                               
everyone in  a suspended status  because DEC would be  giving its                                                               
final report by  January 2014 and then the  legislature might not                                                               
act until  April 2015.   If DEC  had to modify  the permit  for a                                                               
fourth time  in five  years, the department  would have  only two                                                               
weeks to act before  the 2015 cruise season, yet by  law a 30 day                                                               
public comment period must be provided for permits.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  said he does  not believe the  legislature would                                                               
be unaware of this issue.                                                                                                       
7:07:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  asked  whether the  department  would                                                               
have the ability to issue a two-year permit in December 2013.                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  replied that  with yesterday's  Amendment 3,                                                               
the department could not issue a  permit with a life of more than                                                               
two  years if  it has  conditions  other than  meeting all  water                                                               
quality criteria  at the point  of discharge.  Under  the current                                                               
timetable a permit  will be issued in March 2010.   If the cruise                                                               
ships do  not meet the  standards by  March 2012, a  new two-year                                                               
permit would be  issued and would be in effect  until March 2014.                                                               
If the  legislature changed anything during  the 2014 legislative                                                               
session, another permit would have  to be issued sometime between                                                               
March 2014 and the cruise season which starts May 2014.                                                                         
7:09:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN remarked that this would put DEC in a bind.                                                                     
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG agreed  and said  this puts  DEC in  an even                                                               
greater bind than what he had pointed out yesterday.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN  inquired  whether  Commissioner  Hartig  thinks                                                               
there is a need for Amendment 5.                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  answered  that  he  thinks  DEC's  original                                                               
proposal was  a reasonable approach.   He said he does  not see a                                                               
need for this many permits  this quickly.  Technologically things                                                               
do not  change that much and  the discharge does not  change that                                                               
much.  If  there was that much  of a risk with  the discharge DEC                                                               
would  not even  allow  the discharge  in the  first  place.   He                                                               
reminded members  that what  is being talked  about is  parts per                                                               
billion and  it is extraordinary  to be putting this  much effort                                                               
into dealing with something on that scale.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON contended that  the March 2014 permit would                                                               
be good until March 2016.   Amendment 5 does not say that permits                                                               
have to be  revoked, it only says that DEC  cannot issue a permit                                                               
with less stringent  standards after that.  Thus,  there would be                                                               
two years after 2014 for DEC to handle this.                                                                                    
7:12:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  whether Commissioner  Hartig believes                                                               
the water quality standards will be  met by 2014 when the Science                                                               
Advisory  Panel  ceases, or  will  the  cruise ship  industry  be                                                               
meeting standards that will be good enough.                                                                                     
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG replied  that he  does not  want to  predict                                                               
where the technology,  or the technology that  could be employed,                                                               
will be  in 2014.   Even if  the technology becomes  available in                                                               
2012,  it  will  still  take   a  period  of  time  to  purchase,                                                               
fabricate, and install  the equipment, all of which  must be done                                                               
around  the cruise  season.   He said  he thinks  the ships  will                                                               
continue to advance and be closer  if not there, but he is unable                                                               
to speculate whether they will be  able to meet all water quality                                                               
criteria  at the  end of  the pipe  by 2014.   The  science panel                                                               
could be extended  if needed, but by that time  it is likely that                                                               
everything that  needs to  be known  about treatment  systems for                                                               
cruise ships will be known.                                                                                                     
7:14:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  inquired  how  DEC  will  ensure  that  the                                                               
standards are eventually  met if they have not  yet been achieved                                                               
by the time the Science Advisory Panel is sunsetted.                                                                            
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  stated  that   DEC  could  convene  another                                                               
technology conference if  it sees the need.  He  pointed out that                                                               
this is  what DEC did with  the February 2009 conference  - there                                                               
was no  statute that required  DEC to  hold that conference.   He                                                               
said  he thought  that the  panel and  a 2014  report would  give                                                               
comfort  to the  legislature and  others  that DEC  was making  a                                                               
concerted effort to  reach the mandated standards as  much and as                                                               
quickly as possible.   At that point, the  legislature can extend                                                               
the panel  if it thinks the  benefits from such a  panel have not                                                               
been exhausted.  Once the panel  is no longer there does not mean                                                               
that DEC will stop trying to advance the wastewater treatment.                                                                  
7:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON reviewed  the  timeline that  Commissioner                                                               
Hartig had previously  outlined and surmised that  this would not                                                               
give DEC enough time to act  if changes needed to be made because                                                               
there had not been enough progress.                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER HARTIG answered correct.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON said this makes sense to her.                                                                             
7:17:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON interpreted Amendment  5 to mean that after                                                               
five  years  there is  a  mandate  for  the legislature  to  take                                                               
action,  whether it  is no  action or  some type  of action.   He                                                               
understood the commissioner to be  saying that he cannot tell for                                                               
certain that the standards will be achieved after five years.                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HARTIG said correct.   The department will push this                                                               
technology as hard  as it can and  it is DEC's hope  that in five                                                               
years,   when  the   next  five-year   permit   is  issued,   the                                                               
technologies  will have  been identified  that would  achieve the                                                               
water  quality  standards  at  the point  of  discharge  for  all                                                               
pollutants.   If all  of the companies  had not  already employed                                                               
the technology at that time,  then a compliance schedule would be                                                               
put in the permit that is issued in 2014.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON remarked  that he  does not  have a  clear                                                               
picture because  he is hearing  two different things  - assurance                                                               
that  the developing  technology  is coming  along  such that  it                                                               
could be in  place, yet there is hesitation that  five years from                                                               
now that technology may not be  available.  In addition, there is                                                               
the term economically  feasible in the bill.   Therefore, he said                                                               
this does  not line up  for him to be  able to have  a reasonable                                                               
interpretation of the impact of Amendment 5.                                                                                    
7:20:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  asked whether  Commissioner Hartig  believes DEC                                                               
will get spread too thin trying  to deal with so many permits and                                                               
conferences for  an issue that  may not really require  this much                                                               
attention since  it is parts per  billion and DEC has  many other                                                               
important issues that it must also deal with.                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  responded that DEC will  follow whatever the                                                               
legislature directs.  Only a  handful of contaminants are not yet                                                               
meeting  the  at-the-point-of-discharge requirement,  he  pointed                                                               
out.   At the  February 2009  conference, some  vendors expressed                                                               
optimism for  ammonia, but that  same optimism was not  there for                                                               
the metals.   For copper,  what is being  talked about is  in the                                                               
parts  per billion.    The  vendors at  the  conference were  for                                                               
particular  models of  pollution reduction  equipment, and  those                                                               
models may not fit  on all ships.  Some ships  may already have a                                                               
different  system with  a different  vendor and  the question  is                                                               
whether that ship would be required  to scrap that system and put                                                               
in a  whole new system  from a  different vendor that  might only                                                               
get a few  parts per billion more.   He said he  is worried about                                                               
setting iron-clad  requirements based on general  statements that                                                               
everything is  going to  be fine  in two  years.   The department                                                               
wants to  be aggressive, but  the question is how  aggressive DEC                                                               
should be  when something is already  this close with no  risk of                                                               
environmental  harm  in  the  meantime.    In  further  response,                                                               
Commissioner Hartig said  the vendors at the  conference were not                                                               
signing contracts  guaranteeing they  would have systems  for the                                                               
ships  that would  meet  the  water quality  criteria.   If  such                                                               
contracts were in place, he said he would have more confidence.                                                                 
7:24:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   argued  that  if  Amendment   5  is  not                                                               
included,  then   the  legislature,  through  the   proposed  new                                                               
subsection  (e) to  AS 46.03.462,  is permanently  overriding the                                                               
statute  that requires  an end-of-the-pipe  measurement of  these                                                               
discharges.    This end-of-the-pipe  standard  is  what is  being                                                               
exceeded under  subsection (e), he  pointed out.  In  response to                                                               
Co-Chair Neuman, he  said Amendment 5 directs that  in five years                                                               
the  end-of-the-pipe  standard will  be  back  in place  and  the                                                               
legislature must deal with it.                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN disagreed  that  this is  all  that Amendment  5                                                               
would do.                                                                                                                       
7:26:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  understood Amendment 5  to mean that  if the                                                               
end-of-the-pipe  standards are  being  met in  five years,  there                                                               
will be  no need for the  Science Advisory Panel and  no need for                                                               
the legislature to  do anything.  If the standards  are not being                                                               
met at  that time,  then the  legislature can  decide what  to do                                                               
based on  the information in  DEC's reports.   He said  he thinks                                                               
this is a fair amendment.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE OLSON commented  that it looks to  him like micro-                                                               
management and he does not want to go down this path.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  disagreed  that this  is  micro-management,                                                               
saying that what  is being proposed is a method  of relief if the                                                               
initiative's standards cannot be met.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN agreed  with Representative  Olson  and said  he                                                               
thinks the  commissioner is expressing  concern about  being able                                                               
to do the rest of his job and  feels the bill meets the intent of                                                               
the initiative.                                                                                                                 
7:30:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON requested a rebuttal  from the maker of the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  the  current law  requires that  the                                                               
point  of discharge  be the  point of  measurement.   Amendment 5                                                               
says that  relief from this  requirement is being given  for five                                                               
years and  at the end  of the five  years this relief  goes away.                                                               
If Amendment 5  does not pass, then members are  saying that this                                                               
relief  goes  on forever  because  the  exception under  proposed                                                               
subsection (e) to  AS 46.03.462 will continue to be  in place and                                                               
the  department could  continue to  issue permits  that are  less                                                               
stringent than  the water quality standards  currently imposed in                                                               
statute from the  initiative.  Amendment 5 is saying  that if the                                                               
standards cannot  be met at  the end of  the five years,  then it                                                               
must be brought back to the legislature.                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN  pointed out that  the commissioner has  said the                                                               
statute cannot  be met  because the technology  is not  there and                                                               
that the measurements are in parts per billion.                                                                                 
7:33:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  presented a scenario in  which Amendment 5                                                               
does not go into effect and  the legislature does not take action                                                               
in  2014 to  ensure  that  the standards  of  the initiative  are                                                               
reached.  Could  a third party then force this  issue through the                                                               
courts and put everybody in a bind, he asked.                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG   understood  that   if  the   proposed  new                                                               
subsection (e) to  AS 46.03.462 sunsets and  the cruise companies                                                               
are unable to meet all the  criteria at the point of discharge in                                                               
2014,  there is  a provision  in the  statute established  by the                                                               
initiative that allows citizens to file  suit even if DEC were to                                                               
give the cruise ships a further break.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  offered her opinion that  the proposed new                                                               
subsection (f) to AS 46.03.462  under Section 3 would require DEC                                                               
to do what members want the department to do.                                                                                   
7:37:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  asked how the term  economically feasible,                                                               
as written  on page  3, line  1, ties  into the  initiative given                                                               
that economic feasibility was not part of the initiative.                                                                       
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG related  that the  initiative language  says                                                               
the  cruise ships  must meet  all water  quality criteria  at the                                                               
point of  discharge and  did not  speak one way  or the  other to                                                               
technology.   He  presumed that  the initiative's  assumption was                                                               
that the  technology existed or  that the cruise ships  would not                                                               
discharge in Alaska.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON   surmised  that  the   term  economically                                                               
feasible comes from DEC.                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  said the term  is standard language  that is                                                               
not unique to  the cruise industry; the term is  applied to every                                                               
other context.   For example,  he explained, if there  were other                                                               
dischargers  in the  state  that were  subject  to water  quality                                                               
criteria at  the point of discharge  and they could not  meet the                                                               
criteria,  the  department  would look  at  economic  feasibility                                                               
along  with several  environmental factors  to determine  how the                                                               
discharger  could be  given a  break.   At a  minimum, DEC  would                                                               
still require the discharger to  use the most effective treatment                                                               
technology that is technologically and economically feasible.                                                                   
7:39:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  inquired whether DEC could  issue a permit                                                               
in  2020  that does  not  meet  the initiative's  end-of-the-pipe                                                               
standard if Amendment 5 fails to pass.                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG answered  that  that would  be correct,  but                                                               
only  if  in   2020  it  could  be  shown   to  the  department's                                                               
satisfaction  that the  discharger  is using  the most  effective                                                               
technology  that is  technologically and  economically available.                                                               
He pointed  out that  this is one  requirement among  others that                                                               
are already in  state statute.  Even if that  level of technology                                                               
was being achieved, if there  were still environmental risks, DEC                                                               
would not allow it.   So it is not a free  card because there are                                                               
still many requirements that must be met.                                                                                       
7:41:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked  whether a waiver could  be issued in                                                               
2020 if the technology is available.                                                                                            
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG said  no, all  water quality  criteria would                                                               
have to be  met at the point  of discharge.  This  is the current                                                               
state  requirement  for all  dischargers;  it  is not  unique  to                                                               
cruise  ships.   Whether  it is  an oil,  gas,  mining, or  water                                                               
treatment  company,   the  at-the-point-of-discharge  requirement                                                               
should be  met.   However, the technology  does not  always exist                                                               
for this or  it is not economically feasible.   He noted that DEC                                                               
does  not  require  fishing  boats  to  meet  all  water  quality                                                               
criteria,  but if  the  department  did do  this,  then it  would                                                               
presumably  give  the fishing  boats  a  break  if there  was  no                                                               
technology  that  all  fishing  vessels could  use  to  meet  the                                                               
criteria.  But,  once that technology existed,  DEC would require                                                               
fishing boats to have it.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  inquired whether DEC will  be following up                                                               
with this on all of the cruise ships.                                                                                           
COMMISSIONER HARTIG replied  yes, the existing permit  has a host                                                               
of monitoring  and reporting requirements.   Failure to  meet the                                                               
requirements  is a  violation of  the permit  and an  enforcement                                                               
action would be taken.                                                                                                          
7:42:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON asked  whether  fishing boats  are required  to                                                               
have a discharge permit.                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  responded that  at this  point they  do not.                                                               
The Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) was sued several years                                                               
ago for  not requiring discharge  permits, primarily  relating to                                                               
ballast water,  he said.  The  federal court ruled that  a permit                                                               
was needed for all vessels, but  last year Congress passed an act                                                               
giving  an exemption  to commercial  ships less  than 79  feet in                                                               
length.   This exemption applies to  approximately 14,000 private                                                               
vessels in  Alaska.  The EPA  went out with a  general permit for                                                               
the   larger   commercial   vessels.     In   further   response,                                                               
Commissioner   Hartig   explained  that,   technically,   vessels                                                               
discharging pollutants in the waters  of the United States should                                                               
have a  permit.   However, small  private watercraft  and fishing                                                               
vessels are exempted under federal law.                                                                                         
7:44:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON inquired  whether the  state can  restrict that                                                               
discharge in state waters despite the federal exemption.                                                                        
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  said a separate  state requirement  could be                                                               
created, but by no means is he suggesting this.                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  remarked that  14,000 vessels  would put  out a                                                               
lot of bilge  and other wastewater, as do the  state ferries.  He                                                               
said he  is all  for clean water,  but it seems  to him  that one                                                               
industry is being singled out.                                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER HARTIG agreed that there  are a number of discharges                                                               
that  are  exempted  already  and  for those  there  is  not  any                                                               
technology or requirements.                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON asked  whether treatment  technology exists  in                                                               
the market today for these exempted vessels.                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  answered that  if DEC  were to  do something                                                               
for a situation of high numbers  of recreation boats, it would be                                                               
more along the  line of adopting regulations  for best management                                                               
practices rather than issuing a permit  for each vessel.  This is                                                               
what DEC does for analogous situations, he added.                                                                               
7:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON  reiterated  that  it seems  to  him  a  single                                                               
industry is being singled out on  a parts per billion issue while                                                               
a  bigger water  pollution culprit  is being  ignored.   He asked                                                               
whether the commissioner agrees.                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  stated that no  comparison has been  done so                                                               
he does not have a basis from which to offer an opinion.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON commented  that there  are communities  in                                                               
Alaska that have no standards put  upon them and Anchorage is one                                                               
of them.   She cited  information from her committee  packet that                                                               
states  the discharge  from Anchorage  is the  same as  251 large                                                               
cruise  ships   every  day.     She  urged  that   the  committee                                                               
concentrate on  what is in  HB 134 for  now because the  issue is                                                               
too far reaching to consider the other tangents.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  countered that  clean water is  what HB  134 is                                                               
looking at.   If the  committee is  talking about clean  water in                                                               
parts per  billion, then  maybe this should  be broadened  out to                                                               
include  all of  these  other things.   He  said  picking on  one                                                               
industry is where he has a problem.   If the issue is clean water                                                               
then that  is what  should be addressed  and one  industry should                                                               
not be singled  out, especially an industry that  is working hard                                                               
to address the issue while other industries are getting waivers.                                                                
7:49:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN inquired  whether  the  metals being  discharged                                                               
from the cruise ships are coming  from the drinking water that is                                                               
supplied to the vessels by Alaska communities.                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG replied  that  the department  is trying  to                                                               
address this  question by requiring  the cruise ships  to conduct                                                               
source reduction  evaluations.   Municipal drinking water  is one                                                               
of several suspects, he said.   One suspect is the bunkered water                                                               
sitting for  a length of time  onshore in copper pipes  before it                                                               
is brought onto  the ship.  In other instances  the piping in the                                                               
vessels  is contributing  the metals.    In those  cases where  a                                                               
vessel's  metal  piping  was  replaced  with  plastic  piping,  a                                                               
reduction in metals was seen.   In further response, Commissioner                                                               
Hartig  agreed  that DEC  will  be  continuing  to look  at  this                                                               
through the source reduction evaluations.                                                                                       
7:50:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON maintained her objection to Amendment 5.                                                                  
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Tuck,  Seaton,                                                               
Guttenberg,  and   Kawasaki  voted  in  favor   of  Amendment  5.                                                               
Representatives Wilson, Olson, Edgmon,  Neuman, and Johnson voted                                                               
against it.  Therefore, Amendment 5 failed by a vote of 4-5.                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN  announced  that  Version  C  of  the  bill,  as                                                               
amended, was now before the committee.                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  moved to  report Version C  of HB  134, labeled                                                               
26-LS0570\C, Bullard, 3/26/09, as  amended, out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and the  zero  fiscal  note.   There                                                               
being no objection,  CSHB 134(RES) was reported out  of the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   

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