To: Conservation Friends From: Sandy Bahr, Conservation Outreach Director, Sierra Club Date: February 22, 2002 Re: Legislative Update #6 Hi Everyone! This is the déjà vu update. Most of the committee hearings and floor activities were canceled last week, so the schedule is very similar -- just more bills. The Monday committee meetings have been canceled, but at this point, it looks the others are going to move forward. I apologize for the length of the update, but I did want to include all of the issues that might be addressed this week. As always, I have tried to put the important items up front. Right now, the proposed Senate budget does not take the Heritage Fund, but the Senate is not in agreement on it. Please call Senators and thank them for not taking Heritage Fund dollars and encourage them to stick to it. Please call House Members and ask them to oppose HB2381 initiative and referendum; pamphlet; signatures (McClure; Anderson, Binder, et al). This bill holds the campaign committee liable for the county's costs (not to exceed 50 cents per signature) for examination and verification of the signatures if more than a third of the signatures that are turned in are invalid. This is another effort to limit our ability to promote issues through the initiative process and is probably unconstitutional. Please ask senators to oppose SB1117 school buses; alternative fuels (Smith: Bennett), a measure which exempts schools from meeting alternative fuel goals for school buses. While we understand that the schools are asking for this due to financial constraints, we think it is a step backwards for air quality and the health of Arizona's children. Continuing to run the school buses on diesel fuel contributes to our air quality problems and affects the health of those who are exposed to the diesel exhaust. There are numerous studies that indicate a significantly higher cancer risk from exposure to diesel exhaust, not to mention the impact of the exposure of the children to the fine particulates in the exhaust. Attention Pima County folks! Please call Representatives McClure, Somers, Graf, and Senator Bee and tell them you are disappointed in their sponsorship of HB2638, a measure that is aimed at eviscerating the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, but that would affect every county's ability to plan and zone. These legislators need to hear from you now. While you are at, please call Representatives Poelstra and Huffman and ask them to oppose the bill. The bill says that if any county adopts a planning designation in its comprehensive land use plan or a zoning regulation that causes a reduction in use or value of property of ten percent or more then that is considered a taking and the property owner is entitled to compensation. If HB2638 passes, it will result in a lot more litigation and a lot more costs to counties that are trying to plan and zone to protect the quality of life in their communities. A plan designation does not rezone a person?s property and does not reduce the value of a person?s property. Individuals do not have a right to speculate at taxpayer expense about a possible rezoning of their property in the future. Coming up in the legislature this week: MONDAY Environmental Legislative Day -- 9am to 11am in the Old Capitol, Ice Cream Parlor, 9am to 1pm tables and displays on House lawn. Please join us if you can. TUESDAY House Committee on Counties and Municipalities at 7:30 a.m. in HHR5 HB2266 municipal zoning change; protest; requirements (Somers) changes the statues regarding a zoning protest and says that if a protest is filed by a single property owner who owns twenty percent or more of the areas in which the protest is allowed, then there must be a protest by at least one owner in another area. A person's ability to rezone is not blocked if the protest level is achieved; it simply kicks in the supermajority requirement so if the proposal is good enough, it will presumably be approved by the council. There's no reason for this change. WE OPPOSE IT. HB2409 comprehensive transaction privilege tax (Camarot, Loredo, Miranda, et al) removes a long list of sales tax exemptions including for services, fees to health clubs, equipment used for remediation of contamination, automotive services, carpet cleaning, pest control, dry cleaning, equipment used for electric transmission, etc. House Committee on Ways and Means at 8:49 a.m. in HHR4 HB2106 property tax classification; conservation easement (Huffman, Hershberger, Gullett, et al) lowers the rate at which property will be taxed if it has a conservation easement. This seems like a good idea. HCR2029 tax increase by initiative; vote (Farnsworth, Pearce, Pierce, et al) refers to the ballot a measure that requires a two-thirds vote for any initiative or referendum that would provide for a net increase in state revenues. Here we go again. It is difficult to get a two-thirds vote on anything. WE OPPOSE IT. House Committee on Retirement and Government Operations at 9:00 a.m. in HHR3 HB2487 EMINENT DOMAIN (Farnsworth, Pearce, Anderson, et al) changes the conditions under which cities can use eminent domain in redevelopment areas -- limits it to elimination of slum or blight. House Committee on Environment at 1:00 p.m. in HHR5 HB2125 chemical fires response coordination (Landrum Taylor, Lopez L, Chase, et al) requires cities with a population of 75,000 or more persons to work with the state fire marshal to establish a permitting process that identifies and tracks commercial and industrial buildings that use or have hazardous materials on site. WE SUPPORT IT. HB2127 Hazardous chemical; right to know (Landrum Taylor, Lopez L, Chase, et al) provides for electronic filing of emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms. WE SUPPORT IT. HB2130 hazardous waste facility; notice hearing (Gullett, Huffman, O'Halleran) is a vehicle bill, I believe. HB2315 waste permits; disparate impacts (Loredo, Avelar, Lugo, et al) requires the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to establish rules to examine whether permitting hazardous waste and solid waste facilities has a disparate impact on minority communities. While it is clear that ADEQ should already be considering whether these facilities are affecting minority communities disproportionately, it is equally clear that it is not. Nearly all of Arizona's hazardous waste facilities are located in minority and low-income neighborhoods. The bill also requires the director to deny approval of the permit if she/he determines that it would have a disparate impact. This bill will have a strike everything amendment which has not yet been posted. WE SUPPORT THE BILL. HB2545 environment; cumulative risk (Loredo, Lugo, Clark, et al) requires the ADEQ to determine the cumulative risk and effect of a proposed facility on the public health and welfare and the environment when combined with existing uses within the same zip code area as that proposed facility. It includes air quality permits, hazardous waste and solid waste permits, as well as water quality permits. WE SUPPORT THIS. HB2560 air quality fund; control measures (Gullett, Huffman, Loredo, et al) puts the new vehicle emissions fee into the air quality fund and requires that these dollars only be used for the specific purposes outlined in the bill and specifically for Area A (Phoenix area) and Area B (Tucson area). The funds can be used for air quality research for improving or maintaining attainment status and specifically reducing emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds. The measures that are included in the bill include a voluntary lawn and garden equipment emissions reduction program, a voluntary vehicle repair and retrofit program, the diesel vehicle low emission incentive grant program, local grants for particulate efficient street sweepers, and other measures that have been evaluated by ADEQ. This overall seems like a positive bill to me. WE SUPPORT IT. HB2563 water quality fund transfers; repeal (Huffman, Allen, Miranda, et al) repeals the transfer of funds from the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund that was passed in the special session. While we do not oppose reinstating these dollars, we cannot help but think that this could be at the expense of the Heritage Fund. While they reinstate this $15 million, they take $8 million from Heritage Fund. HB2585 air quality; regional haze program (Huffman, Allen, Gullett, et al) allows the ADEQ to begin a regional haze program designed to identify and reduce pollution around Class I areas including places like the Grand Canyon National Park. The program will include monitoring, reduction of stationary and mobile emission sources, etc. This appears to be moving in the right direction. HB2622 fire department; electronic reporting (Landrum Taylor, Giffords, Burton Cahill, et al) requires facilities that are subject to the emergency response regulations in cities with 75,000 or more persons to file an electronic format hazardous material inventory state and hazardous material management plans. This seems like a fine idea. House Committee on Public Institutions and Rural Affairs at 1:30 p.m. in HHR4 HB2594 water exchanges (Gleason) expands the conditions under which water exchanges can occur. WEDNESDAY Senate Committee on Commerce at 8:30 a.m. in SHR1 SB1339 state agencies; administrative procedures (Burns, Bennett, Arzberger, et al) is part of another regulatory reform package. Among other things, it says that agency rules become effective after ninety days unless certain conditions are met that would justify the rules becoming effective immediately. One of those reasons is that it is a less stringent rule. I think this is simply ridiculous. Haven't the big business interests squeezed enough out of this state yet? It also looks like it eliminates the requirement for a concise explanatory statement. WE OPPOSE THIS. House Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture @ 9:00 a.m. in HHR4 HB2582 governor's water management commission amendments (O'Halleran, Carruthers, Hatch-Miller, et al) is an enormous bill that is intended to implement the recommendations of the commission. It provides some recognition and protection for riparian areas, so we are generally supportive of the bill. HB2162 state land; planning and administration (Flake, Gleason, Guenther, et al) makes numerous changes to the urban lands act. It will be amended to say leapfrog development and sprawl are fine with the land department as long as it is in the cities' or counties' plans. WE STILL OPPOSE THIS BILL. HB2601 growing smarter; planning and zoning (Huffman, Allen, Arzberger, et al) makes changes to the required water element for general plans -- they have to identify the known legally and physically available water in the plans and include an analysis of how the demands for water associated with growth will be met. It states that no additional hydrogeological studies are required. It extends the deadlines for adopting new general plans to December 2003 and requires that they continue to refer the plan until they get approval. It is difficult to get too excited about anything relating to Growing Smarter as the base laws does very little. THURSDAY Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment at 8:30 a.m. in SHR1 (Best guess at the agenda.) SB1338 underground storage tanks (Richardson, Gunether, et al) will be amended to reinstate language regarding protection of public health and welfare and the environment. Once that is added, we are fine with the bill. SB1344 governor's water management commission amendments (Guenther, Hamilton, Hellon, et al) is the big bill that will promote the Governor's Water Commission recommendations. For such a large bill -- a whopping 147 pages -- it does relatively little. That being said, we are supportive of the provisions which recognize the need to protect riparian areas. It will have a very limited impact, but is a step in the right direction. SB1353 Arizona agricultural heritage act (Guenther, Arzberger, O'Halleran, et al) establishes the Arizona Agricultural Heritage Commission and the Arizona agricultural heritage fund within the Department of Agriculture, for the purpose of purchasing agricultural easements. This is the Nature Conservancy's bill. SB1355 governor's water commission; withdrawal assessments (Guenther, O'Halleran, Arzberger) establishes additional fees for groundwater pumping -- a safe yield fee. We are supportive of that. SB1368 navigable stream adjudication commission; continuation (Guenther, Arzberger, Brown, et al) continues this commission until 2006. The state is being very irresponsible with our streambeds and its public trust responsibility. It has been 17 years since the attorney general and the courts told the state that it had a responsibility for the streambeds. Since then, the legislature, this commission, etc. has done nothing to demonstrate any responsibility for these streambeds. Meanwhile tons of sand and gravel are extracted and the streambeds are being decimated. WE OPPOSE THIS BILL, BECAUSE WE OPPOSE THIS CONTINUED FOOT DRAGGING. Discussion Only SB1115 sand and gravel operations; procedures (Bundgaard, Cummiskey) says that before establishment of a sand and gravel operation, the county has to establish a citizen review process. It changes the make up of the citizen committee to include 4 sand and gravel operators and 8 property owners, plus county planning and zoning and someone from ADOT. This is a step in the right direction. WE ARE SUPPORTIVE OF THE BILL. SB1216 air quality permits; sand and gravel (Cirillo, Burns) says that any change in location of a sand and gavel operation or concrete batch plant constitutes a modification of the general permit relative to air emissions relative to a title V permit. This is a relatively meaningless bill because few of these operations would qualify as major sources -- just a few of the big ones. It is fine, but I don't know that it does much. WE WILL WATCH THIS. SB1249 aggregate surface mining notice act (Cirillo, Burns) gives the state mine inspector more responsibility relative to sand and gavel operations and requires a community notice. It is unlikely that this will change much. The mine inspector is not strong relative to enforcement and mining operations. WE'RE NEUTRAL ON IT. SB1274 state land; leases and improvements (Martin, Brown, Arzberger, Guenther) Requires the State Land Department to appraise improvements relating to grazing leases in relation to the production unit. There will be a major amendment or striker that will be aimed at making it difficult if not impossible for conservationists to bid on grazing leases. WE OPPOSE THIS. SB1281 sand and gravel; mine inspector (Cirillo, Burns, Rios, et al) relies on the establishment of sand and gravel zoning districts to trigger new restrictions on sand and gravel operations. Considering that such districts haven't been formed despite being available for years, it's unlikely they'll be formed under this bill, especially given the more stringent requirements on sand and gravel. If such districts were formed, the bill allows for greater power to control sand/gravel. It will be interesting to see where this bill goes. WE ARE GENERALLY SUPPORTIVE OF THIS. SB1282 sand and gravel; counties (Cirillo, Burns, Rios, et al) amends the general plan requirements to include sand and gravel areas and require future facilities to exist only in the pre-established areas (with exceptions). This appears to be a step in the right direction. WE ARE GENERALLY SUPPORTIVE. SB1354 protected development rights; procedures (Guenther, Brown, Weiers, et al) removes the authority of cities, counties and towns to specify which types of plans are protected development right plans. It also says something could become a protected development right if it was approved by staff, not the legislative body. This is another terrible bill and is similar to the one that Wal-Mart pushed last year. WE OPPOSE IT. SB1355 governor's water commission; withdrawal assessments -- establishes additional fees for groundwater pumping -- a safe yield fee. WE SUPPORT IT. SB1363 omnibus water bill makes a number of administrative changes. It seems okay. SB1375 methamphetamine labs; clean up guidelines (Martin, Cirillo) Requires the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to establish standards of practice for the remediation of residual contamination caused by the production of methamphetamines or other street drugs. SB1408 water protection fund; surcharge (Guenther) redirects, from the state general fund to the water protection fund in FY 2002-2003, revenues collected from the surcharge on leased Colorado River water. This at least restores a funding source for this program. WE SUPPORT IT. SB1409 Indian water settlements; storage credits (Guenther) allows the tribes that have water rights settlement that provides for off reservation storage CAP water to accrue up to 10,000 acre feet annually in storage credits. SB1410 water management authority; Santa Cruz(Guenther, Arzberger: Bennett, et al) allows the formation of a Water Management and Importation Authority in each active management area. Are they trying to limit DWR's control relative to groundwater in this area? SB1411 biodiesel fuel; regulation (Bennett, Guenther, Richardson, et al) requires biodiesel testing and standards. This is a good idea. SCR1014 state land exchanges; local governments (Bee, Arzberger, et al) refers to the ballot a measure which allows state trust land to be exchanged for lands owned by counties, cities, towns and school districts for a public use. We are not convinced this is a particularly good idea. What is a public use? A new Wal-Mart? The public is overall very skeptical about exchanges and this measure leaves it wide open for abuse. We oppose it. SCR1016 state land exchanges; military airports (Bundgaard, Hamilton, Blendu, et al) refers to the ballot a measure which would allow state trust land to be exchanged for land in high noise and accident potential zones surrounding military airports. So how would this be in the best interest of the trust and the trust beneficiaries. We oppose this. Land exchanges need to be done very carefully and on a limited basis otherwise the public ends up getting a bad deal. This appears to be an invitation for many bad deals. WE OPPOSE IT. House Committee on Military, Veteran Affairs and Aviation at 9:00 a.m. in HHR5 HCR2036 initiative; appropriations; return to ballot (Marsh, Johnson; Blendu) is another attempt to limit citizens' rights to the initiative and referendum process. It says that any measure that allocates from the state general fund has to be submitted again to the voters every ten years. This process is so painful and difficult that I can't imagine having to resubmit measures every ten years. The legislature can re-refer a measure AT ANY TIME, if it has the votes. WE OPPOSE THIS. Thanks for all your help! For more information on legislation go to the web page at www.azleg.state.az.us . If you're outside the Phoenix area, you can call your legislator's office toll free at 1-800-352-8404. In the Phoenix area call (602) 542-3559 (Senate) or (602) 542-4221 (House). Correspondence goes to 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890. To email legislators go to http://www.arizonasenate.org/members.html for the senate and to http://www.426-hemi.com/cars/azhouse.htm for the house. If you are not sure who your legislators are, please go to www.vote-smart.org or call the House or Senate information desks. Sandy Bahr Conservation Outreach Director Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter 202 E. McDowell Rd, Suite 277 Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone (602) 253-8633 Fax (602) 258-6533 grand.canyon.chapter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx ________________________________________________________________ GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO! Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less! Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit: http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/. You are subscribed to AZ-LEADER. To post to this mailing list, simply send email to az-leader@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx To unsubscribe, send email to az-leader-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field.