Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532
04/09/2016 10:00 AM Senate FINANCE
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SENATE BILL NO. 163 "An Act relating to the nomination and designation of state water as outstanding national resource water; and providing for an effective date." 11:34:18 AM Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony. 11:35:04 AM GUY ARCHIBALD, INSIDE PASSAGE WATER KEEPERS, JUNEAU (via teleconference), testified in opposition to the bill as written. He thought it should not be harder to the citizens of Alaska to protect clean water than it was for industry to pollute it. He pointed out that the Department of Environmental Conservation did not currently require baseline data on the receiving water, as part of the application for discharge. He furthered that the significant economic benefit analysis conducted by the department had no minimum economic benefit level. He thought there had to be waters in the state that were so critical to the communities that they could be designated without burdensome bureaucracy. He asserted that this issue was not one of land use, but of water quality. He argued that land owners did not retain the right to pollute the water. He added that it was the responsibility of the legislature and administrative agencies to protect clean water. 11:37:21 AM RAYMOND SENSMEIER, SELF, YAKUTAT (via teleconference), testified in opposition to the bill as written. He read from a prepared letter (copy on file): On August 26 the Yakutat Tlingit Tribal Council unanimously voted to seek Tier 3 Natural Resource Water Designation, The Yakutat Tlingit Tribal Council represents Yakutat Tlingit Tribe (Petitioners) in nominating the Yakutat Forelands for ONRW status and protection under 18 AAC 70.015(a)(3). To qualify as a Tier 3, or ONRW water, one of two criteria must be met. The water must either be in a national or state park or wildlife refuge or be a water with exceptional recreational or ecological significance (Emphasis added). Under these criteria the Yakutat Forelands qualify as both an exceptional recreational area and as having special ecological significance. Additionally, these lands contain many historic, traditional, sacred and cultural sites vital to the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. The area is currently under congressionally designated protection and within an inventoried Roadless Area. Even though the State of Alaska has no nomination producers yet in place, the federal antidegradation policy provides guidance for Petitioners. ONRW designation offers special protection for waters of "exceptional ecological significance." These are water bodies that are important, unique, or sensitive ecologically, but whose water quality, as measures by the traditional parameters such as dissolved oxygen or pH. may not be particularly high or whose characteristics cannot be adequately described by these parameters (such as wetlands). Guidance for developing implementation methods for antidegradation policies is provided through EPA's Regional Offices. [This 9 page document, in its entirety, can be found on BASIS under the bill] 11:43:36 AM ROSEMARIE HOTCH, SELF, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), testified against the bill as written. She felt that the legislation was example of Alaska Natives being maligned in waste water issue discussions. He hoped that the legislature could move forward with legislation that supported protecting Alaska's waters. 11:45:52 AM Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony. Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed housekeeping. 11:47:30 AM RICK SOLIE, Alaska Miners Association, FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), testified against the bill as written. He expressed that that the association had significant concerns with regard to AS 46.03.185, and believed that Sub section (a) should be removed from the bill. He hoped that the association could work with the committee to craft a bill that would address the situation and allow the administration to comply with EPA requirements. 11:49:32 AM Co-Chair Kelly refuted previous testimony that the bill would make it harder for Alaskans to protect clean water than for corporations to pollute waters. He contended that corporations kept water clean and offered the Red Dog Mine as an example. He furthered that fishing improved in areas of mining because industry was required to put cleaner water back into watersheds than had been naturally existing. SB 163 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. 11:50:51 AM Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed housekeeping.
|SB 8 Public Testimony Packet 1.pdf||
SFIN 4/9/2016 10:00:00 AM