86 Alaska Business Monthly | August 2017 www.akbizmag.com
INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS
INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY PACIFIC PILE & MARINE
Additionally, generators will gain new abilities to
track their wastes from pickup to destruction via
live email notifications and electronic destruction certificates. This differs significantly from
services historically available in the Alaska market which require generators to submit a request
before paper based destruction documentation
is received. The improved record accessibility
helps generators meet their reporting requirements more efficiently. Secondly, this provides
greater visibility of operational data at each individual practice which can be used to support
minimization strategies that further reduce regulated medical waste volumes and disposal costs.
ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE
Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law that allows ridesharing companies
including Lyft and Uber to operate in Alaska.
House Bill 132, sponsored by Representative
Adam Wool, paves the way for Transportation
Network Companies (Lyft, Uber, and the like) to
begin operating in Alaska communities.
Under HB 132, drivers working for ridesharing
companies are labeled as independent contractors and must be insured. HB 132 passed the
Alaska State Legislature this year with strong bipartisan support. The bill took effect the moment
it was signed by Governor Walker in June.
The Alaska Maritime Training Center at AV TEC, the state’s post-secondary career and technical education institution located in Seward,
completed curriculum development for two new
maritime ice navigation courses that meet new
International Maritime Organization Polar Code
training requirements. The United States adopted these requirements into regulation making
this training mandatory for mariners serving in
The courses, called Basic Training for Polar
Operations and Advanced Training for Polar
Operations, are required by July 1, 2018 for
shipboard deck officers working on ships oper-
ating in polar waters. The total length of the two
courses combined is two weeks. AVTEC began
offering these courses July 10, 2017. High de-
mand for these courses is anticipated, especially
as the July 2018 deadline date nears. Mariners
interested in applying may do so online or by
contacting the AVTEC Alaska Maritime Training
Center admissions office at 907-224-6196.
The US Department of Health and Human Ser- vices’ Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded SEARHC $300,000
per year for the next three years for the Prince of
Wales Health Network (POWHN) under the Rural
Health Network Development Program.
Five healthcare stakeholders on Prince of
Wales make up POWHN: SEARHC, PeaceHealth,
Craig Public Health Center, Community Connections, and Whale Tail Pharmacy. Through a network of POWHN providers, this project aims to
increase access to prevention activities for youth
by developing an evidenced-based, peer-driven
leadership program to support and prevent
young people in adversity and build community
resiliency, in culturally appropriate ways.
The specific goals of this project include establishing and integrating youth leadership to
lead and cultivate behavioral change relating to
suicide, alcohol and substance abuse, and domestic violence; increasing community awareness and support and build resiliency in youth
and families; and developing program sustainability.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Governor Bill Walker signed into law House Bills 57 and 59, approving the $4.9 billion
operating budget bills the legislature passed for
fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018),
without vetoes. State spending for department
operations has been cut $145 million from the
previous year, and total state spending on the
operating budget has been cut $1.9 billion since
fiscal year 2015—a 27 percent decrease in three
years. Overall state spending has been reduced
44 percent in the past five years.
In passing its budget this year, the legislature
set permanent fund dividends at $1,100 for each
eligible Alaskan—and chose to pay for the $2.5
billion deficit entirely from savings. That leaves
only $2 billion in the state’s main savings account, which pays for response to emergencies,
such as earthquakes, fires, and floods.
Additionally, Walker announced in June the
initial steps to building a life-saving road between the communities of King Cove and Cold
Bay. The US Department of Interior issued to the
State of Alaska’s Department of Transportation a
permit to survey the area for an initial assessment of the best place to begin construction;
survey work was expected to be completed mid-July.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in June that Eni US Operating Co.
has met the regulatory requirements for its Beaufort Sea exploration plan (EP) to be “deemed submitted” and invited public comment on the plan
in June and July. In its EP, Eni proposes to drill
into the federal submerged lands of the Beaufort
Sea from their Spy Island Drillsite, a pre-existing
facility located in Alaska state waters.
An EP describes all exploration activities
planned by the operator for a specific lease or
leases, including the timing of these activities,
information concerning drilling processes, the
surface location of each planned well, and actions to be taken to meet important safety and
environmental standards and to protect access
to subsistence resources. An EP does not allow
an operator to produce oil if any is found; for that,
an operator is required to obtain approval of a
Development and Production Plan.
US COAST GUARD
In July, Captain Shannan Greene transferred command of Coast Guard Sector Juneau to
Captain Phillip Thorne during a change of command ceremony at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in
Thorne was previously assigned as the Seventeenth District Chief of Response in Juneau
where he oversaw all Coast Guard search and
rescue, law enforcement, marine environmental response, and ports and waterways security
missions along with intelligence support across
Alaska. His other ashore assignments included
Chief of Enforcement at the Seventeenth Coast
Guard District, Philippines Country Officer at
Joint Interagency Task Force West, and as the
Chief of Response at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England.