Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/16/2016 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 172(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SB 163-NATL. RES. WATER NOMINATION/DESIGNATION                                                                     
4:28:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL announced consideration of SB 163.                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO moved to adopt proposed CSSB 163, version 29-                                                                  
GS2916\H, as the working document.                                                                                              
CHAIR GIESSEL objected for an explanation and invited her staff                                                                 
to explain the changes.                                                                                                         
4:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
AKIS  GIALOPSOS,   staff  to  Senator  Giessel   and  the  Senate                                                               
Resources  Committee, Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
explained  the changes  in the  CS.  There are  seven changes  in                                                               
version \H as follows:                                                                                                          
     1.  Page   1,  Lines   7-9:  Amends  Section   1(a)  by                                                                    
     prohibiting    the    Department    of    Environmental                                                                    
     Conservation from managing  a water of the  state as an                                                                    
     outstanding national resource water  unless it has been                                                                    
     designated  as an  outstanding national  resource water                                                                    
     by an act of the legislature.                                                                                              
     2.  Page  1,  Lines   10-13:  Amends  Section  1(b)  by                                                                    
     requiring    a   nomination    to   specifically    and                                                                    
     geographically identify  a water body, or  portion of a                                                                    
     waterbody, for  designation as an  outstanding national                                                                    
     resource water.                                                                                                            
     3. Page 2, Lines 1-8:  Amends Section 1(d) by requiring                                                                    
     the Department  of Environmental Conservation  to adopt                                                                    
     regulations  establishing a  process  for submitting  a                                                                    
     nomination for an  outstanding national resources water                                                                    
     by  providing   public  notice  for   all  nominations,                                                                    
     providing  notice  to  all  property  affected  by  the                                                                    
     designation, and  creating a means for  any resident of                                                                    
     the state  to provide additional information  about the                                                                    
     4. Page 2, Lines 9-31/Page  3, Lines 1-2: Creates a new                                                                    
     Section    1(e),    requiring   the    Department    of                                                                    
     Environmental Conservation to  transmit a nomination of                                                                    
     an   outstanding  national   resource   water  to   the                                                                    
     legislature if the  department determined the nominated                                                                    
     water   to  be   unique,  important,   or  ecologically                                                                    
     sensitive;  that   the  designation  is   necessary  to                                                                    
     protect  the  water  due to  insufficient  federal  and                                                                    
     state  protections;   determined  there  is   no  other                                                                    
     available/effective    method   of    protection.   The                                                                    
     Department   would  need   to  determine   whether  the                                                                    
     nominated water  had either been  designated a  wild or                                                                    
     scenic river; whether the water  is either an ecosystem                                                                    
     or  habitat for  an endangered  or threatened  species;                                                                    
     whether the  water is  an ecosystem  or habitat  for an                                                                    
     outstanding recreational fishery;  or whether the water                                                                    
     serves  as the  sole source  of  water for  the use  of                                                                    
     people.  The Department  would  describe the  potential                                                                    
     effects of  a designation  on endangered  or threatened                                                                    
     species;   recreational   fisheries;  and   the   water                                                                    
     supplies for the use of people.                                                                                            
     5.  Page  3,  Lines   3-8:  Amends  the  previous  bill                                                                    
     version's Section  1(e) by reordering it  to subsection                                                                    
     1(f),   and   adding   a  provision   prohibiting   the                                                                    
     Department    of   Environmental    Conservation   from                                                                    
     transmitting a substantially  similar nomination to one                                                                    
     already transmitted  within two  years of  the existing                                                                    
     nomination's original transmission.                                                                                        
     6.  Page  3,  Lines  9-14: Adds  a  new  Section  1(f),                                                                    
     requiring    the     Departments    of    Environmental                                                                    
     Conservation and  Natural Resources to submit  a report                                                                    
     to  each  body  of  the legislature  every  ten  years,                                                                    
     beginning  in 2017.  The  reports  would describe  each                                                                    
     body  of water  designated as  an outstanding  national                                                                    
     resource water  and provide a  recommendation regarding                                                                    
     the continuation of that designation.                                                                                      
     7. Page 3,  Line 21: Amends Section 3  by replacing the                                                                    
     word "may"  with "shall,"  requiring the  Department of                                                                    
     Environmental   Conservation   to   adopt   regulations                                                                    
     necessary for the implementation of the bill.                                                                              
CHAIR GIESSEL removed her objection and said since Senators                                                                     
Coghill and Stedman had suggested some of these changes she                                                                     
would offer them the opportunity to comment.                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  commented  that  a 10-year  review  is  totally                                                               
appropriate (referencing language on  page 3, lines 9-14, Section                                                               
(g)). A lot of places in  Alaska that have not been occupied will                                                               
4:35:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN said  language on  page  2, line  5, provides  a                                                               
provision   to  require   individual  notification   to  property                                                               
owner(s), the reason  being they are always  taking away peoples'                                                               
property rights  away and  very rarely adding  to them.  When you                                                               
purchase property, you  buy those rights, and he  didn't think it                                                               
appropriate  to take  them away  without proper  notification and                                                               
due process.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  if  the notice  to  known  property                                                               
owners will  include people who  have ownership  of rights-of-way                                                               
along a  river or a  couple hundred yards  in from that,  but may                                                               
take the water.                                                                                                                 
MR.  GIALOPSOS answered  that  he  understands Senator  Stedman's                                                               
intent  is  to  provide  notice  to  each  property  owner  whose                                                               
interests are affected  by the designation that  would have their                                                               
property  directly   impeded  by  the  waterway.   The  DEC  will                                                               
promulgate regulations that should clarify that issue.                                                                          
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked for  the  DEC  commissioner to  come                                                               
4:37:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  asked if language  on page  3, line 14,  of the                                                               
10-year  report  is asking  for  a  recommendation from  the  two                                                               
departments on the continuation  of the designation, because that                                                               
implies that  there is a  process to un-designate. She  wanted to                                                               
know if that is the intent, and  if that is included in the lower                                                               
section  of  the  bill  where  the  department  would  write  the                                                               
MR.  GIALOPSOS answered  according to  Legislative Legal  because                                                               
this would  be an  act of the  legislature, not  a constitutional                                                               
act, and because one legislature  cannot bind the hands of future                                                               
legislatures,  it  is  understood that  these  departments  could                                                               
recommend  to un-designate  in extreme  circumstances, barring  a                                                               
constitutional prohibition.                                                                                                     
CHAIR  GIESSEL  asked  if  there  is  further  objection  to  the                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS).  Finding none,  she  announced  that                                                               
Version  \H was  before the  committee. She  invited Commissioner                                                               
Hartig forward and asked him to comment on the CS.                                                                              
4:39:09 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY   HARTIG,   Commissioner,   Department   of   Environmental                                                               
Conservation (DEC),  Anchorage, Alaska,  said the CS  addresses a                                                               
number of  issues and  that it  represents reaching  "some middle                                                               
ground" to  get more consensus.  He is still concerned  with some                                                               
ambiguous language that has already been mentioned.                                                                             
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if new  language on page 1, lines 7-9,                                                               
means  the  department may  not  manage  water  of the  state  as                                                               
specified in 40  CFR (Code of Federal  Regulations) 131.12 unless                                                               
it has been designated as  an outstanding national water resource                                                               
(ONWR) under  this section.  That is  essentially saying  the DEC                                                               
may not manage the  water as an ONWR, and there is  a lot more to                                                               
anti-degradation  than just  the ONWR.  Does this  mean that  DEC                                                               
can't apply  anti-degradation to  manage any  water unless  it is                                                               
specifically designated as an ONWR? It could be read two ways.                                                                  
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG agreed  adding  that that  that CFR  section                                                               
reference  covers more  than Tier  3 waters.  It appears  to also                                                               
deal with  Tier 2 waters and  perhaps Tier 1. This  also might be                                                               
contrary to  requirements of  the Clean Water  Act, but  he would                                                               
have  to  get  a  legal  opinion.  He  thought  there  were  some                                                               
unintended consequences that need to be addressed.                                                                              
CHAIR GIESSEL asked if he  would advocate when water is nominated                                                               
that  it would  immediately become  under the  jurisdiction of  a                                                               
Tier 3 water without having any review.                                                                                         
COMMISSIONER HARTIG responded no; it's  more subtle than that. It                                                               
says  the  department  may  not  manage water  of  the  state  as                                                               
specified in 40 CFR 131.12, and  that section also deals with how                                                               
Tier 2 waters are managed and maybe Tier 1. It's confusing.                                                                     
CHAIR GIESSEL asked if "tier water" only is designated as ONRW.                                                                 
COMMISSIONER HARTIG replied only Tier 3 water.                                                                                  
CHAIR GIESSEL said  she agreed that that language  seemed to make                                                               
it a bit more specific.                                                                                                         
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG  explained  that  the problem  is  with  the                                                               
referral to all  of 40 CFR 131.12 that deals  with more than just                                                               
Tier 3 waters.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if he had any recommended language.                                                                  
COMMISSIONER  HARTIG answered  that he  could come  up with  some                                                               
other language.                                                                                                                 
4:43:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  what if you had to take  the river to                                                               
get to your  property and had to  hike in a few  hundred yards in                                                               
reference  to language  on page  2, lines  5-6. How  would it  be                                                               
determined that  a property is affected,  because clearly someone                                                               
whose land abutted water would be affected?                                                                                     
COMMISSIONER HARTIG agreed  with all the discussion  he had heard                                                               
already about  noticing anyone affected before  anything happens,                                                               
but  in practice  it might  not be  easy to  execute, because  of                                                               
ambiguity  and  costs.  For  instance, it  says  to  "each  known                                                               
property  owner,"  for which  he  thought  the intent  was  "real                                                               
property owner."  Also, "whose interest  is affected" would  be a                                                               
tough determination to make,  because each person's circumstances                                                               
would have to  be considered. Something definitive  would have to                                                               
be  crafted.  Perhaps they  could  provide  the same  notice  the                                                               
department  does  to  the  general   public  for  a  rule  making                                                               
broadcast,  and a  more targeted  approach for  directly affected                                                               
CHAIR GIESSEL asked  if he wants that language  in statute rather                                                               
than regulation.                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HARTIG said  he wants some guidance  in statute, but                                                               
the details could be worked out in regulations.                                                                                 
4:47:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL said  he  thought the  40  CFR 131.12  reference                                                               
issue  could   be  fixed   by  referencing   subsections  (a)(3),                                                               
specifically. Then the designation  hasn't happen, but the reason                                                               
to designate is in what is called Tier 3 section.                                                                               
CHAIR GIESSEL asked if he was on page 1, line 8.                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL answered yes.                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HARTIG said  he guessed that would  be the direction                                                               
to go, but he would have to talk to the attorneys about it.                                                                     
4:49:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said language on  page 2, lines 16-17, talks                                                               
about  the department  transmitting an  ONRW nomination  only if,                                                               
and  a number  of things  are  listed, and  asked if  number 3  -                                                               
determines that there  is no other available  or effective method                                                               
of  protecting  the  water  -  and asked  if  that  is  a  costly                                                               
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  agreed that it  would be and added  that his                                                               
concern generally  was how to pay  for this, because there  is no                                                               
mechanism  currently. He  is looking  at  four nominations  right                                                               
now, and if they start acting on  those and he to have them ready                                                               
by the start  of next session, he would have  "to get real busy."                                                               
There  is the  whole Bristol  Bay watershed,  all of  the Yakutat                                                               
forelands, the Chilkat River, and the Koktuli River.                                                                            
The  concept  about  an  alternative  short of  a  Tier  3  is  a                                                               
legitimate area of  inquiry, he said, but he was  a bit concerned                                                               
with "determines  that there is  no other available  or effective                                                               
method for  protecting the  water," because  that would  never be                                                               
the case. There is always something else, like declaring a park.                                                                
CHAIR GIESSEL  said the fiscal  issue is a  fundamental question.                                                               
The   Governor  has   asked  that   the  legislature   make  this                                                               
determination,  but  public  comment   indicates  that  they  are                                                               
considered  a  political  body  and not  a  scientific  one.  So,                                                               
regardless of who is doing  this, scientific information would be                                                               
needed.  One  member  suggested  having   a  fee  attached  to  a                                                               
4:52:46 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER HARTIG  agreed about the science  and other relevant                                                               
facts  to the  criteria like  recreational and  ecological values                                                               
would be needed.                                                                                                                
4:53:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STOLTZE disclosed that his  property has a couple hundred                                                               
feet of  river front. He asked  what the legislature could  do to                                                               
help him  "keep on this  high ground  that I believe  you started                                                               
COMMISSIONER HARTIG said he believes  the legislature should make                                                               
the  ultimate decision;  it  would  take a  lot  to convince  him                                                               
otherwise. He would  want to assure that the  legislature has the                                                               
science and  public weigh-in when it  gets the package to  make a                                                               
decision efficiently.                                                                                                           
4:59:33 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
5:00:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL called  the meeting back to order  and began taking                                                               
public comment on the CSSB 163, version 29-GS2916\H.                                                                            
5:01:02 PM                                                                                                                    
PENNY VADLA,  representing herself, Soldotna, Alaska,  opposed SB
163. The legislature should not  be making this designation about                                                               
our  waters,  but  the  DEC  should do  it  based  on  scientific                                                               
5:03:41 PM                                                                                                                    
RANDY JACKSON,  representing himself, Haines, Alaska,  opposed SB
163. The  bill is  not ready  to be moved  forward as  it doesn't                                                               
have much  local support. He  said the bill should  have specific                                                               
language saying the  ADF&G advisory committees should  have a say                                                               
in  the nominations,  maybe through  a letter  of recommendation.                                                               
How  to pay  for this  has  been brought  up a  number of  times,                                                               
because the department can't pay for its projects now.                                                                          
5:07:00 PM                                                                                                                    
GEORGE   CAMPBELL,   representing    himself,   Haines,   Alaska,                                                               
enumerated  problems with  SB 163.  In looking  at case  law, the                                                               
Tier 3  designation is important throughout  the country, because                                                               
of its  restrictions. What  about the  people on  the tributaries                                                               
when  their lifestyle  must change  because of  this designation?                                                               
There  is  already  confusion about  parks  and  subsistence  and                                                               
overlapping federal and state regulations.                                                                                      
5:10:01 PM                                                                                                                    
VERNER WILSON,  Director, Natural  Resources, Bristol  Bay Native                                                               
Association (BBNA),  Dillingham, Alaska, opposed SB  163. He said                                                               
a decision like  this should be based on science.  In Bristol Bay                                                               
the  bill would  place the  burden on  them to  obtain additional                                                               
protections on their clean waters  that many people in the region                                                               
depend on. They  would have to spend tight  resources to convince                                                               
legislators from other regions in  Alaska to place protections on                                                               
lands and waters in their own region.                                                                                           
He  said  the  BBNA  supports additional  protections  for  their                                                               
waters  and  have passed  numerous  resolutions  to that  effect.                                                               
Clean  waters are  the  basis for  their  cultural wellbeing  and                                                               
putting food on the table.                                                                                                      
5:12:15 PM                                                                                                                    
KIM   WILLIAMS,    Executive   Director,    Nunamta   Aulukestai,                                                               
Dillingham, Alaska,  suggested changes to  SB 163. She  said they                                                               
are one of seven petitioners  for the nomination of Koktuli River                                                               
to  be an  ONRW. She  said they  are a  502(c)(3) non-profit  and                                                               
their mission  is to protect the  land, water, and air  that will                                                               
sustain their way  of life for all generations.  They advocate on                                                               
behalf of more than 6,000  tribal and village corporation members                                                               
in the Bristol Bay region.                                                                                                      
She  thanked  the chair  for  keeping  SB  163 in  committee  for                                                               
further work. One of her problems  was with "only if" language on                                                               
page 2,  line 10.  Their interpretation  is that  the legislature                                                               
will never see  ONRW because it has to meet  the criteria on page                                                               
2  (1,  2, 3,  4,  and  5). She  wanted  to  know who  determines                                                               
"unique,  ecological  sensitive  or   important."  She  was  also                                                               
concerned  that current  state and  federal  protections are  not                                                               
sufficient  and  DEC  will  never find  that  current  state  and                                                               
federal protections are not there.                                                                                              
Additionally,  on page  3 "recreational  fishery" should  include                                                               
the recognition of subsistence fisheries.  People in rural Alaska                                                               
rely  on subsistence  and it's  important to  recognize not  only                                                               
recreational, but subsistence.  One other problem is  on the last                                                               
page with the  intent that it has to come  before the legislature                                                               
within  10 days  and  what happens  if "no  action  or action  is                                                               
taken" needs to be defined.                                                                                                     
She reminded them  that Tier 3 is about  prohibiting the lowering                                                               
of  water  quality  and  the   reason  they  made  their  Koktuli                                                               
submission  is  to  not  lower   the  water  quality  because  of                                                               
competing uses.  Please keep this  bill in committee  until these                                                               
issues are worked out.                                                                                                          
5:14:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SAM SNYDER,  Trout Unlimited, Anchorage, Alaska,  opposed SB 163.                                                               
He said clean water is a  critical component of the health of our                                                               
fisheries  and subsequently  the  businesses  and interests  they                                                               
work  with.  Trout Unlimited  with  other  businesses and  tribes                                                               
applied for ONRW status on the  Koktuli River in 2012, because it                                                               
sits at  the head waters  of Alaska's largest  commercial sockeye                                                               
fishery and  home of Alaska's  "legendary sport  fishing rivers,"                                                               
which  draw  anglers,  hunters and  outdoor  recreationists  from                                                               
around the world.                                                                                                               
This bill raises three concerns:                                                                                                
1. It  places ownership of the  resources that are to  be managed                                                               
at  the  best   interest  of  all  Alaskan  into   the  hands  of                                                               
2. It creates  hurdles for securing ONRW  designations that favor                                                               
Alaskans  and  opening  the  door  for  the  influence  of  other                                                               
companies and lobbying interests.                                                                                               
3.  Granting  ONRW designation  also  creates  a clear  imbalance                                                               
between managing  Alaska's important resource for  the benefit of                                                               
Alaskans. This process should be  clean, transparent and based on                                                               
MR. SNYDER  said SB  163 creates a  more cumbersome  process that                                                               
discourages public  involvement and  raises the  costs associated                                                               
with proving the status, he concluded.                                                                                          
5:17:51 PM                                                                                                                    
BRITTANY HOGAN, representing  herself, Anchorage, Alaska, opposed                                                               
SB 163. Outdoor  recreation is one of the reasons  she chooses to                                                               
live Alaska and  she finds great joy in being  able to experience                                                               
excellent  trout  and salmon  fishing  basically  outside of  her                                                               
front door. It is exciting that  Alaska has waters worthy of ONRW                                                               
designation and  it is clear they  need to be protected.  An ONRW                                                               
designation is best carried out  through the sound science of the                                                               
DEC, not legislators in Juneau, she said.                                                                                       
ERIC BOOTON, representing himself,  Anchorage, Alaska, opposed SB
163.  He moved  to  Alaska from  Colorado  after graduating  from                                                               
college, because  it is such a  pristine state and truly  a dream                                                               
come  true. Alaska  is known  world-wide as  one of  the greatest                                                               
sportfishing destinations, because of  its intact ecosystems that                                                               
allow salmon  and trout  to thrive. Water  quality is  a critical                                                               
component of the health of our fisheries.                                                                                       
MR. BOOTON  said he and many  of his fellow anglers  have serious                                                               
concerns about changing the responsibility  for ruling making for                                                               
ONRW  from  DEC  to  the legislature.  That  would  put  Alaska's                                                               
resources in  a game  of political  football while  lobbyists are                                                               
guaranteed  to   win  over  concerns   of  Alaska   citizens,  as                                                               
amendments   from   the   Alaska  Miners'   Association   clearly                                                               
demonstrate. He  suggested leaving management of  these resources                                                               
and the determination  of ONRW to the scientific  experts at DEC.                                                               
DEC  is  more accountable  and  consistent  with these  kinds  of                                                               
5:21:11 PM                                                                                                                    
JED WHITTAKER,  representing himself, Anchorage,  Alaska, opposed                                                               
SB 163.  He said,  "We share  Mother Earth. We  share the  air we                                                               
breathe. We share  the water." But SB 163 makes  him feel like he                                                               
lives  in Flint,  Michigan, because  of their  contaminated water                                                               
5:23:43 PM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI  KRITZ,  United  Tribes of  Bristol  Bay,  Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
opposed SB  163 and its  CS. She said  the tribes in  Bristol Bay                                                               
are over 80  percent of its population. The  tribal members still                                                               
depend on a traditional subsistence way  of life and they hope to                                                               
continue to thrive in this region for years to come.                                                                            
MS. KRITZ  said they have  serious concerns about the  process in                                                               
all  the versions  of  the  bill. The  previous  bill lacked  any                                                               
provisions about a process by  which the water designations would                                                               
be  made  and left  those  decisions  to  the legislature.    The                                                               
proposed amendments,  however, seem  entirely concerned  with the                                                               
outcomes, more specifically avoiding  a specific kind of outcome,                                                               
a Tier 3  water designation. These amendments would  put in place                                                               
criteria  so  burdensome and  cost  prohibitive  that they  would                                                               
essentially prevent  an ONRW designation from  ever being applied                                                               
to  any Alaska  water  body. Further,  if DEC  had  the funds  to                                                               
conduct  the review  as  described  in the  bill,  it could  take                                                               
years, and  the ultimate decision  on any such  designation would                                                               
still  belong  to the  legislature.  The  tribes do  not  support                                                               
politicizing the  determination of  an ONRW. The  decision should                                                               
be based on science.                                                                                                            
JAMES  SULLIVAN, representing  himself, Douglas,  Alaska, tacitly                                                               
supported  SB  163. He  supports  any  effort  that is  open  and                                                               
transparent. He urged them to keep working on the bill.                                                                         
5:29:22 PM                                                                                                                    
DENNIS WATSON, Mayor, City of  Craig, Juneau, Alaska, tentatively                                                               
supported SB 163, but said it  needs more work. Tier 3 appears to                                                               
be a wilderness  type designation and prohibits a  lot of things.                                                               
It could  be an  end run by  the Environmental  Protection Agency                                                               
(EPA) around Congress.                                                                                                          
5:30:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MELANIE  BROWN,  representing  herself,  Naknek  Native  Council,                                                               
Juneau,  Alaska, said  she is  a  member of  United Fishermen  of                                                               
Alaska (UFA) and is a  fourth-generation commercial permit holder                                                               
in Bristol  Bay. She is affiliated  with the water body  known as                                                               
the Naknek River through her  grandparents and ancestors. She and                                                               
her  children are  supported not  only  economically through  the                                                               
commercial fishery,  but she believes  they exist because  of the                                                               
water and what it supports.                                                                                                     
MS. BROWN  said a  lot of  people are treating  the Tier  3 water                                                               
designation  as  something  that  would limit  resource  use  and                                                               
development, when the water, itself, is a resource.                                                                             
5:33:31 PM                                                                                                                    
VICTORIA  DEMMERT,  President,  Yakutat Tlingit  Tribe,  Yakutat,                                                               
Alaska, opposed SB 163. She  is a commercial setnet fisherman and                                                               
a subsistence user and lifelong  Yakutat member. Their concern is                                                               
that there be a Tier 3,  because they want clean water that can't                                                               
be degraded. "There  have to be places in this  world where these                                                               
things exist¼ The water is life to us."                                                                                         
She had  concerns about some of  the barriers she sees,  like who                                                               
is going  to do it,  but she didn't  want "the whole  business of                                                               
the  Tier 3  to  be  lost....Alaska needs  it  as  a state."  She                                                               
thought the DEC would be best for processing the designations.                                                                  
5:36:37 PM                                                                                                                    
GUY  ARCHIBALD, Director,  Southeast Alaska  Conservation Council                                                               
(SEACC), Juneau, Alaska,  opposed SB 163. He said he  is also the                                                               
director  of the  Inside Passage  Waterkeeper that  is affiliated                                                               
with the  National Waterkeeper Alliance.  He gets  the impression                                                               
that a Tier 3 designation is  a very onerous thing to landowners.                                                               
But  people  need to  remember  that  the  only  thing a  Tier  3                                                               
designation  does is  prevent  permanent  long-term or  permanent                                                               
degradation of  water quality.  Any activity  on that  water that                                                               
does not  create permanent degradation  is allowed,  like boating                                                               
and fishing. Many states have gone through this process.                                                                        
If there  is an existing  permitted waste water discharge  into a                                                               
water body  and it is designated  a Tier 3, those  discharges are                                                               
grandfathered  in. Also,  temporary  degradation  is allowed  for                                                               
construction:  there are  exemptions  for  river restoration  and                                                               
flood control.  "It's not going  to stop industry," he  said. But                                                               
an industry seeking  to discharge into a Tier 3  water would have                                                               
to treat its  water to the water quality criteria  that exists in                                                               
the water  body. They would  no longer be allowed  to externalize                                                               
the cost of doing business onto  the public trust, but could seek                                                               
alternatives  to waste  water  discharge  like land  application.                                                               
They could do  deep well injection like the oil  and gas industry                                                               
does  or  recycle  the  water   like  the  Pogo  Mine  does  very                                                               
successfully and profitably.                                                                                                    
"It is  not a  red-letter nail  in the coffin  of industry  as it                                                               
seems  to be  portrayed," Mr.  Archibald concluded.  Colorado has                                                               
over 6,000 miles of Tier 3  waters and New Mexico has 2,000 miles                                                               
and  29  lakes.  Those  states have  active  extractive  resource                                                               
businesses and their economies are doing well. "It needs to be a                                                                
DEC process," he concluded.                                                                                                     
CHAIR GIESSEL, finding no further comments, thanked everyone and                                                                
closed public testimony and held SB 163 in committee.                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB172-Version E.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 172
SB172-Explanation of Changes-Version E.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 172
SB172 ver A.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 172
SB172 Sponsor Statement - Governor's Transmittal letter.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 172
SB172-DFG-CF-2-5-16.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 172
SB163-Version H.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163-Explanation of Changes-Version H.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163 ver A.PDF SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163 Fiscal Note DEC-WQ-12-30-15.PDF SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163 Fiscal Note-DNR-MLR-02-15-2016.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163-Comments-Bristol Bay Businesses.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB 163-Comments-Sealaska Corporation.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
CS SB163- Nunamta Aulukestai comments-3-16-16.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163-Various Written Comments.pdf SRES 3/16/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 163