"An Act relating to regulations, definitions, and permits under the emission control permit program; and providing for an effective date. "
"If unaddressed, these deficiencies would prevent federal approval of Alaska's permit programs, and could jeopardize State primacy for these programs."
- Sen. Wagoner
As part of Governor Murkowski's permit reform initiative, the 23rd Alaska Legislature passed CSHB 160 (Fin) in 2003. This law streamlined Alaska's air permitting by making the State's air permit rules mirror federal requirements.
However, in adopting the regulations to implement the new statute, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) found several places where the statute did not meet federal requirements. If unaddressed, these deficiencies would prevent federal approval of Alaska's permit programs, and could jeopardize State primacy for these programs.
This bill makes technical changes to address certain specific deficiencies and to ensure continued State primacy in air permitting. It adopts federal definitions to ensure the State's program is consistent with federal law, and repeals definitions not needed in statute. For needed terms that are not defined in statute, the bill directs the department to define them in regulation consistent with federal law.
One change proposed by the bill is not required by federal law, but is needed to ensure a solvent program. The air permit program is funded entirely by user fees. This bill would give DEC the authority to revoke a permit for failure to pay valid fees.