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Message from the Executive Director

by Tadd Owens

Industry, State score big success

Recently the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued proposed changes to wastewater treatment and disposal regulations and administrative procedure regulations pursuant to last year’s HB 361, “The Fees Bill.” These new regulations are the first step in implementing a profound change to the state’s permitting system. RDC’s members have long desired to see improvements in both the State permitting process and in the structure of permit fees. DEC’s work in the wastewater program is a giant step in the right direction.

“RDC will continue to work with DEC to implement the provisions of HB 361, and we will continue to look for ways to fine-tune the State permitting process. For now, we would like to express our appreciation for DEC’s excellent work on this issue as a public policy matter and in writing draft regulations that are true to both the letter and spirit of HB 361.”

An RDC work group representing all of Alaska’s major industrial sectors has labored tirelessly over the past several years, in conjunction with the Legislature and the Knowles Adminis-

Resource Review is the official periodic publication of the Resource Development Council (RDC), Alaska’s largest privately funded nonprofit economic development organization working to develop Alaska’s natural resources in a responsible manner and to create a broad-based, diversified economy while protecting and enhancing the environment.

Executive Committee Officers

President ............................... Robert B. Stiles Sr. Vice President ......... Charles W. Johnson Vice President ............................ Mark Hanley Secretary ...................................... Uwe Gross Treasurer .......................... Stephanie Madsen Past President .............................. Jim Branch

Staff Executive Director ...................... Tadd Owens Deputy Director .................... Carl R. Portman Projects Coodinator.....................Jason Brune Finance/Membership...............Billie Rae Gillas

RDC is located at 121 W. Fireweed, Suite 250, Anchorage, AK 99503, (907) 276-0700. Fax: (907) 276-3887. Material in this publication may be reprinted without permission provided appropriate credit is given. RDC’s e-mail address: r e s o u r c e s @ a k r d c . o r g R D C s w e b s i t e a d d r e s s : www.akrdc.org

Writer & Editor Carl Portman

tration, to bring these important changes to fruition. The process of identifying shared goals and objectives, drafting a bill, working the bill through the Legisla- ture and now formulating the required regulations has been an arduous one. Ultimately, however, it has been not only a success, but also a precedent of which both industry and government can be proud.

The changes represented in these new regulations can be characterized in two words — predictability and accountability. The new wastewater disposal fees will be predictable. In fact, the fees will be fixed in most cases. DEC will also be accountable for the costs of the services they provide. The make-up of the new fees will be clearly tied to the reasonable direct costs of

The ANWR vote

At press time, the President’s energy package, with a key provision to open 2,000 acres of the Coastal Plain of ANWR to oil and gas drilling, passed the U.S. House of Representatives. An amendment to strike the ANWR drilling provision from the energy bill was turned back by a 223-206 vote, representing a big victory for pro-drilling advocates.

RDC and Arctic Power have been encouraging their members to contact friends

providing the service and DEC will provide applicants with a detailed accounting of costs. Alaskan businesses will benefit from the new system.

As a regulatory body, DEC will not always see eye to eye with the regulated community. However, there are times when the interests of both parties are best served through cooperation. The permit fees bill is just such a case. RDC will continue to work with DEC to implement the provisions of HB 361, and we will continue to look for ways to fine-tune the State permitting process. For now, we would like to express our appreciation for DEC’s excellent work on this issue as a public policy matter and in writing draft regulations that are true to both the letter and spirit of HB 361.

and business associates in key congressional districts of the Lower 48 to support the energy package which focuses on conservation, alternative energy and energy production.

RDC fully recognizes and appreciates the leadership and support that went into this victory from our Congressional delegation, Governor Tony Knowles, the Legislature, Arctic Power, our North Slope friends, Labor (especially Jerry Hood at the Teamsters), and our members everywhere. We have some big battles ahead, but for now, a big thank you is in order.

Page 2 / RESOURCE REVIEW / August 2001

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