Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/09/2016 10:00 AM Senate FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
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                                                                    
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                                                                    
SB  163  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
11:50:51 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed housekeeping.                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 8 Public Testimony Packet 1.pdf SFIN 4/9/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 8