Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/07/2017 03:30 PM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:30:50 PM Start
03:31:42 PM SB64
03:46:15 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 64 UNIFORM ENVIRONMENTAL COVENANTS ACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 64 Out of Committee
           SB  64-UNIFORM ENVIRONMENTAL COVENANTS ACT                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:31:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BISHOP  announced consideration  of  SB  64. He  said  the                                                               
sponsor,  Senator Micciche,  gave a  brief overview  in the  last                                                               
meeting.  He also  stated that  he would  leave public  testimony                                                               
open.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:32:30 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:32:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP  said there  is new  information on  SB 64  from the                                                               
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:33:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PETER   MICCICHE,  sponsor   of  SB  64,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature  Juneau, Alaska,  said  he read  the  DOD letter  and                                                               
expected  this response  and would  like to  hear more  specifics                                                               
from that agency. He didn't  feel Alaska's land should be subject                                                               
to contamination  without an answer from  the federal government.                                                               
SB 64 holds them accountable for their contamination.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:34:16 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTIN  RYAN,   Director,  Division  of  Spill   Prevention  and                                                               
Response,   Department  of   Environmental  Conservation   (DEC),                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, said  that the U.S. Department  of Defense has                                                               
the most  contaminated sites  in Alaska, but  she did  not expect                                                               
them to testify.  Some of their restrictions last  for 500 years.                                                               
The  state has  legitimate concerns  that those  restrictions run                                                               
with the land,  because the assumption is that the  lands will go                                                               
into  other  people's hands  at  some  point. The  Department  of                                                               
Defense won't necessarily own the land for the entire 500 years.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
In addition,  she said the  state is already  doing environmental                                                               
restrictions  on federal  lands. All  SB 64  does is  communicate                                                               
those restrictions  to future  landowners. DEC  has disagreements                                                               
with the DOD  and other federal agencies  about state sovereignty                                                               
and the ability  to put restrictions on federal  lands, and those                                                               
will  continue with  or without  this  legislation. However,  she                                                               
asserted  that  they  believe  it  is important  to  be  able  to                                                               
communicate those restrictions to future landowners.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN   stated  that  the   language  the   DOD  particularly                                                               
recommends  comes  from  similar  legislation  in  the  State  of                                                               
Colorado to serve  just this purpose, and they  are complying. It                                                               
is working.  So, she said  they disagree  with the DOD  and think                                                               
the state  can put  restrictions on  federal property,  and other                                                               
states have done it successfully.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP said  his question was that  the department believes                                                               
the  state's efforts  in  this regard  would  likely qualify  for                                                               
payment  under the  Defense/State Memorandum  of Agreement  (MOA)                                                               
and he wanted to know if it has an MOA now.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN answered yes and explained  that when the state works on                                                               
contaminated  sites DOD  pays the  state for  that time  now; and                                                               
that work  will continue as  it is right  now. The bill  will not                                                               
change the amount of work performed by the state on those sites.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:37:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP asked  if either she or the Department  of Law (DOL)                                                               
is concerned about the payments continuing under SB 64.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RYAN said  she did  not have  concerns that  the state  will                                                               
continue to be  paid for work performed on federal  sites; it's a                                                               
continuing  negotiation every  year.  But  the amount  fluctuates                                                               
depending on  the work they  do and the  amount of money  that is                                                               
available to the DOD.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP asked the Department of  Law if she could defend the                                                               
state. "Does this lead you to pause?"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:38:23 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  CURRIE,  Assistant  Attorney General,  Civil  Division,                                                               
Environmental  Section,  Department   of  Law  (DOL),  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, answered this does not give her pause.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON asked  Ms. Currie to comment  on the amendments                                                               
DOD is proposing.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CURRIE responded  that the  two  specific amendments  listed                                                               
purport to  take the DOD out  of the requirements for  SB 64, and                                                               
she thinks  that is not  justified in  the sense that  all people                                                               
who contaminate state lands should  be subject to the same rules.                                                               
These  rules  are  for  moving   forward  and  making  sure  that                                                               
covenants and notices  run with the land, which  is important for                                                               
maintaining the list of contaminated sites in Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The   letter   also   suggests   changing   references   to   the                                                               
Comprehensive Environmental  Response Compensation  and Liability                                                               
Act and the  Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,  and she had                                                               
not yet  looked at the  whether those changes are  necessary. But                                                               
she was open to assuring those laws are referenced correctly.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON  asked to  make sure  the legal  references are                                                               
accurate.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:40:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE said  it is important to continue  to defend the                                                               
integrity  of Alaska's  lands from  the  federal government  that                                                               
often deals  with Alaska "from  both sides of the  coin." Certain                                                               
federal  agencies restrict  commerce on  a regular  basis in  the                                                               
state   of   Alaska   through  extremely   stringent   regulatory                                                               
requirements that  have often squelched development.  "All we are                                                               
asking the  feds to  do, and  everyone else in  this case,  is to                                                               
maintain  the integrity  of our  lands  and to  help us  document                                                               
contaminated lands for the protection of future owners."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE said he sees this  bill as a way to move forward                                                               
in the  sense of commerce in  Alaska; it protects the  buyers and                                                               
the sellers,  and in this  case the federal  government shouldn't                                                               
be any  different. Further, he  expected the letter and  it won't                                                               
ever change, but  it's imperative that the bill  continue to move                                                               
through the process.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:42:05 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BISHOP called  the meeting  back  to order  and asked  Ms.                                                               
Currie  if  the  DOD  wants  exemptions  from  the  Comprehensive                                                               
Environmental Response, Compensation,  and Liability Act (CERCLA)                                                               
and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURRIE answered  that they are saying that the  state did not                                                               
refer to the two laws with the correct titles.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP noted that it was just a technical amendment then.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. RYAN  added that  the reference  to the  CERCLA that  the DOD                                                               
wants  the state  to  make is  to an  older  version that  grants                                                               
immunity.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP remarked that is why they are asking for it.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:44:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP said the bill  has another committee of referral and                                                               
a  couple of  their  questions  would follow  with  the bill.  He                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:44:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BISHOP called the meeting back to order.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON  said she  sees a zero  fiscal note  from DEC's                                                               
Division of Spill Prevention and  Response on OMB component 3094.                                                               
But  additional  regulations will  need  to  be adopted  and  the                                                               
department's existing budget won't cover  those. She also noted a                                                               
zero fiscal note from the  Department of Natural Resources' (DNR)                                                               
Division of Mining, Land, and  Water for Fire Suppression for OMB                                                               
component 3002 with no regulations required.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MACKINNON moved  to report  SB 64,  version 30-LS0446\J,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BISHOP announced  that without objection, SB  64 moved from                                                               
the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 64 Support Letters.pdf SCRA 3/7/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 64
DoD REC 10 Comments on AK SB 64 UECA Bill.pdf SCRA 3/7/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 64