404 Business Coalition
May 1, 2023 Alaska State Senate Juneau, AK 99801 Dear Senators,
The broad coalition of Alaska organizations, representing thousands of large and small businesses and tens of thousands of jobs in our state, strongly support funding for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to assume primacy for Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Under the current system, our members often face uncertainty and delays while permits are processed by federal regulators. State primacy ensures better communication and accountability between the permitters and applicants to help move infrastructure projects forward. We have seen these results in other programs where the state has assumed primacy, like the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (now the Alaska Pollution Discharge Elimination System), the Clean Air Act, and the Safe Water Drinking Act.
Primacy does not weaken oversight: the programs are required to follow federal law and cannot be less stringent than the federal regulations. The advantage to having infrastructure projects permitted and regulated by Alaskans ensures consideration of Alaska’s unique climate and geography, remote project locations, mitigation opportunities, and short construction seasons.
Thank you for your consideration of funding for a program that will strengthen the State’s permitting oversight while delivering greater efficiency and stability. These are valuable steps to attract investment and ensure that projects are developed responsibly for the benefit of Alaska and Alaskans.
About the Alaska Chamber The Alaska Chamber is a non-profit founded in 1953 working to promote a positive business environment in Alaska. The Chamber is the voice of small and large business representing more than 700 businesses, manufacturers, and local chambers across Alaska. Our member companies employ more than 55,000 hard- working Alaskans. The Chamber advocates for a positive investment climate that provides certainty and stability for Alaska. More information about the organization is available at www.alaskachamber.com.
About the Alaska Miners Association (AMA) AMA is a professional membership trade organization established in 1939 to represent the mining industry in Alaska. AMA’s more than 1,400 members come from eight statewide branches: Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks, Haines, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan/Prince of Wales, and Nome. Alaska’s miners are individual prospectors, geologists, engineers, suction dredge miners, small family mines, junior mining companies, major mining companies, Alaska Native Corporations, and the contracting sector that supports Alaska’s mining industry.
About the Alaska State Home Building Association (ASHBA) The Alaska State Home Building Association is a non-profit trade organization that represents the residential construction industry in Alaska. The organization serves as a resource for home builders, contractors, and other professionals in the housing industry, providing education advocacy and networking opportunities.
About the Alaska Telecom Association (ATA) Alaska Telecom Association, formed in 1949, represents Alaska's telecommunications providers. Its members connect Alaskans throughout the state with advanced telecommunications services, including broadband, local and long-distance voice services, 9-1-1, and data connectivity. ATA's members are committed to connecting all Alaskans.
About the Alaska District Council of Laborers The Alaska District Council of Laborers is a labor organization that serves as the exclusive bargaining representative for around 5,000 members in the oil and gas, healthcare, service, public, transportation, tourism, and construction sectors. Our members work on the frontlines building and maintaining critical energy infrastructure, including projects from the North Slope to the Valdez Marine Terminal.
About the Anchorage Home Builders Association (AHBA) The Anchorage Home Builders Association is a non-profit trade organization representing over 6,000 industry professionals. AHBA strives to protect the American Dream of homeownership by advocating for quality development, sustainable housing, and consumer protection. AHBA promotes high ethical standards and educates its members and the Anchorage community about the building industry.
About the Associated General Contractors of Alaska (AGC) Associated General Contractors of Alaska is the construction industry’s largest professional trade association, representing over 620 Alaskan contractors, specialty contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and businesses in Alaska. AGC members abide by the best practices in the industry and take pride in their work to support vital infrastructure and connect Alaska. At AGC, we don’t represent any specific resource industry. We instead advocate for a healthy economy, responsible environmental/developmental partnerships, and proper, legal, and well-established permitting and review process.
About the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC Alaska)
ABC Alaska is the voice of the construction industry, advocating the ideals of free enterprise, developing training for the workforce, and providing contractors the resources required to compete in the ever- changing environment. ABC Alaska represents over 130 members statewide which accounts for 75 percent of Alaska’s merit construction workforce.
About the Alaska Support Industry Alliance The Alliance promotes responsible exploration, development and production of oil, gas and mineral resources for the benefit of all Alaskans. It represents more than 500 businesses who provide support to the oil and gas and mining industries.
About the Council of Alaska Producers (CAP) CAP is a non-profit trade association formed in 1992 to represent the interests of large metal mines and mine developmental projects in Alaska. CAP informs members on legislative and regulatory issues; supports and advances the mining industry; educates members, the media, and the general public on mining related issues; and promotes economic opportunity, social benefits, and environmentally sound mining practices.
About the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce is leading voice advocating for the community by supporting business prosperity in the Interior. As a business advocacy organization representing over 620 members, across more than 20 different industries, we support responsible development and management of state resources.
About the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce The Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce supports economic diversity, encourages entrepreneurship, and endorses responsible, sustainable development to maintain Juneau’s high quality of life while advocating economic vitality for all of Alaska.
About the Operating Engineers
Local 302 represents 14,000 men and women performing Hoisting & Portable (construction) and Stationary (building service maintenance, healthcare roles, public sector roles, etc.) operations in Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. Our training centers offer apprentice programs and journey-level training. We are proud to be one of 123 local unions which make up the International Union of Operating Engineers. Founded in 1896, IUOE has over 400,000 members throughout the United States and Canada.
About the Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. The Resource Development Council for Alaska is an Alaskan trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.