Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/31/2017 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
03:32:04 PM Start
03:32:47 PM Update on Interior Energy Project
04:47:36 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Update on the Interior Energy Project: TELECONFERENCED
Interior Gas Utility, Alaska Industrial
Development & Export Authority
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
         SB  92-VESSELS: REGISTRATION/TITLES; DERELICTS                                                                     
4:32:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL announced consideration of  SB 92 and opened public                                                               
BRYAN   HAWKINS,   Vice    President,   Alaska   Association   of                                                               
Harbormasters and Port Administrators  (AAHPA), Homer, said he is                                                               
also the Harbormaster  for Homer and he supports SB  92. He noted                                                               
that he  served on  the ad  hoc Derelict Vessel  Task Force  as a                                                               
representative for AAHPA. He said:                                                                                              
     Alaska  is a  maritime  state. Most  of our  population                                                                    
     lives next  to the ocean,  and our connection to  it is                                                                    
     vital  to  our  ability  to exist  either  by  directly                                                                    
     pulling our livelihoods from the  sea or simply because                                                                    
     of the fact that most of  our goods we purchase and use                                                                    
     every day are transported across the water.                                                                                
     Alaska is in the business  of boats. We have a thinking                                                                    
     here: when  it comes to vessels  - any boat -  large or                                                                    
     small, and that is that we  behave as if they will last                                                                    
     forever.  That  is  evidenced  by   the  fact  that  we                                                                    
     currently have no plan for when they don't.                                                                                
     Alaskans  must work  together to  develop a  cradle-to-                                                                    
     grave management  plan for our vessels.  This plan must                                                                    
     work to  protect the individual's rights  of ownership,                                                                    
     promote and encourage fleet renewal,  while at the same                                                                    
     time  protect the  state,  municipalities, and  private                                                                    
     land  owners from  becoming the  dump site  for vessels                                                                    
     that have no commercial value left in them.                                                                                
     I realize this  is a huge task and  that we're starting                                                                    
     late, but I  don't believe it's an  impossible one. And                                                                    
     SB 92 is a big step forward in that effort. Thank you.                                                                     
RACHEL LORD,  representing herself,  Homer, said  she facilitated                                                               
the  ad hoc  Derelict Vessel  Task  Force, but  her comments  are                                                               
hers. She said  she supports SB 92 and the  entire effort. It's a                                                               
huge step  forward. A couple  of days ago the  federal Government                                                               
Accountability  Office  came  out  with  a  report  requested  by                                                               
Alaska's entire congressional delegation  and many other senators                                                               
and congress  people from around  the country asking  the federal                                                               
government to  look at the  issue of derelict vessels.  It paints                                                               
the picture  that there is a  long way to go,  she stated. Alaska                                                               
is one  state that has  derelict vessel  laws, but they  are very                                                               
outdated.  This  bill   has  a  lot  of  pieces,   and  from  her                                                               
perspective on  the task  force, the  effort was  to look  at the                                                               
full  suite of  problems with  derelict vessels,  solutions being                                                               
used around the country, and what could work here.                                                                              
MS. LORD encouraged  the committee to look at this  as a holistic                                                               
effort. She  has been  talking to  insurance companies  and still                                                               
feels like  insurance is a  really important tool. The  intent is                                                               
P&I [protection  and liability] insurance  covered by SB  92 with                                                               
the  wreck removal,  and  it is  not  to be  an  added burden  on                                                               
commercial  fishing fleets  or active  commercial  vessels but  a                                                               
protection  when  vessels  are  transferred and  when  folks  are                                                               
considering on-water  endeavors. But insurance is  just one piece                                                               
of a very large puzzle, she concluded.                                                                                          
GREG ROCZICKA,  Kuskokwim River Salmon Management  Working Group,                                                               
Bethel, expressed  the working  group's whole-hearted  support of                                                               
SB 92.  He explained that  the Kuskokwim River  Salmon Management                                                               
Working  Group consists  of stakeholders  that have  been working                                                               
with  the  State  of  Alaska  on  fisheries  issues  since  1988,                                                               
including on  derelict vessels. Some of  the members participated                                                               
in the task force, and the  group has been pushing these kinds of                                                               
issues  for many  years. They  continue  to see  vessels sink  or                                                               
construction  outfits dropping  equipment off  the side  of their                                                               
barges.  They pose  a significant  navigation hazard.  People get                                                               
injured when outboards hit them,  and they damage boats. He spoke                                                               
of one  that is  in the  slough, and people  are hitting  them by                                                               
snow  machines at  night. It  is a  major concern  throughout the                                                               
whole  Kuskokwim  drainage,  which  is  Alaska's  second  longest                                                               
river, running from  the base of Mt. McKinley  to Nunivak Island.                                                               
Throughout  the  drainages,  people  have  similar  problems.  He                                                               
expressed  gratitude  that something  is  moving  forward to  put                                                               
teeth in some enforcement to address this problem.                                                                              
CHAIR GIESEL noted  that photos from the next  speaker are posted                                                               
on BASIS.                                                                                                                       
ALISSA NADINE ROGERS, Orutsararmiut  Native Council, Bethel, said                                                               
the  council is  the federally-recognized  body representing  the                                                               
Native village  of Bethel,  Alaska. The  council supports  SB 92,                                                               
because  it holds  people accountable  for  abandoning barges  on                                                               
public waters, and it streamlines  the state's ability to prevent                                                               
and manage  derelict vessels.  She said SB  92 will  address some                                                               
known 40-plus abandoned and derelict  vessels in Steamboat Slough                                                               
and 20 more  vessels within the Bethel  Native Corporation lands.                                                               
These hazards  have been abandoned  and derelict and  are mooring                                                               
on tribal  grounds. Over the  past decade, the council  and other                                                               
organizations  in  Bethel  have  been asking  for  assistance  to                                                               
remove them, she said, but there  is no agency that can help. For                                                               
example, a  boat sunk  in the  middle of  Steamboat Slough  a few                                                               
years ago, as shown in the  photos she provided to the committee.                                                               
It  has  become  increasingly dangerous  to  motorized  vehicles,                                                               
people,  and  the environment.  Senate  Bill  92 will  provide  a                                                               
program with  pro-active strategies to address  such occurrences,                                                               
and without  it, towns  like Bethel will  continue to  suffer the                                                               
dangerous  burden of  derelict and  abandoned vessels.  They will                                                               
continue  to  be  hazardous  to  traffic,  human  life,  and  the                                                               
ecosystem, and she urged support of this important legislation.                                                                 
4:41:18 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVEN RUSSELL, 152 Degrees West  Environmental, Nikiski, said he                                                               
is  a   former  on-scene  coordinator  with   the  Department  of                                                               
Environmental  Conservation.  Currently,  he is  working  in  the                                                               
environmental field outside of state  government. He said much of                                                               
this legislation  is focused on  the registration and  titling of                                                               
vessels that operate in state  waters. State and federal managers                                                               
can spend  hundreds of  hours trying  to identify  ADV [abandoned                                                               
and  derelict vessel]  ownership,  mostly to  no  avail. A  state                                                               
registration and  titling system  will be a  significant resource                                                               
to reduce future problems, he stated,  but it is important to not                                                               
lose sight  of the  need to  deal with the  hundreds of  ADVs now                                                               
found  around the  state. These  vessels  are threatening  public                                                               
health  and  safety,  damaging   habitat,  and  interfering  with                                                               
commercial  fisheries and  subsistence lifestyles,  and they  can                                                               
impede  or  complicate  economic   opportunities  in  our  remote                                                               
MR. RUSSELL said  section 24 deals with ADV  programs to increase                                                               
prevention,  assist   communities  to  develop   proper  disposal                                                               
options, educate  vessel owners and operators,  and develop other                                                               
programs that  incentivize the  removal of  the current  fleet of                                                               
abandoned  vessels on  state tidelands.  This effort,  of course,                                                               
should   receive   the  support   of   every   port  and   harbor                                                               
administration,  boatyards, vessel  owners, and  communities that                                                               
are affected by these vessels.  The bill will provide a long-term                                                               
plan essential to sound maritime operations.                                                                                    
JOHN ERICKSON,  City Manager, Yakutat,  Alaska, said  he supports                                                               
SB 92. Yakutat has many  derelict vessels, and because Yakutat is                                                               
so isolated, trying to clean them  and get barges up to haul them                                                               
away is almost impossible. Anything  to help identify owners will                                                               
make a big difference for  Yakutat. There are many boats damaging                                                               
the environment, he added.                                                                                                      
4:44:53 PM                                                                                                                    
BETTY  SVENSON, Deputy  Director, Alaska  Municipal League  (AML)                                                               
Juneau,  said the  AML  supports  SB 92,  and  the director  will                                                               
submit a letter of support and  a copy of a resolution supporting                                                               
improved management and prevention of derelict vessels.                                                                         
4:45:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE,  Alaska State  Legislature, Juneau,  sponsor of                                                               
SB 92,  said there  is widespread exposure  and potential  in the                                                               
state and there has been  widespread damage. This bill is helpful                                                               
and well considered. He said he  doesn't plan to pass it out this                                                               
year; there is some work to do.                                                                                                 
SB 92 was held in committee.                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Updated Agenda - 3 - 31 - 17.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
IEP Update - Senate Resources_March 31_2017.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
Interior Energy Project
SB 92 - Briefing on SB 92 - Distributed by City of Thorne Bay.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB 92 - Support - City of Thorne Bay.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB 92 - Support - Pictures of Vessels in Stemboat Slough.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB 92 - Support - Orutsararmiut Native Council.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB 92- Support - Carl Uchytil.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
SB 92 - Support - Alaska Municipal League.PDF SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
SB 92
AIDEA Response to Giessel April 11 2017.pdf SRES 3/31/2017 3:30:00 PM
Interior Energy Project