Senate bill targets state Supreme Court spill ruling

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill to overturn an Alaska Supreme Court ruling requiring state regulators to look harder at oil companies spill response plans was passed in the Senate on Wednesday.

The bill would allow the state Department of Environmental Conservation to continue it's current rules on regulating contingency plans for oil spills. It passed the Senate 17-1 and now goes to the House.

The bill takes aim at a state Supreme Court ruling that found the state's ''best available technology'' requirement should be read broadly.

The state's high court ruled the Legislature, when it passed the law, did not intend for regulators to rely on state spill standards as a yardstick of what is ''best available technology.''

The bill, sponsored by the Senate Resources Committee, would allow the department to approve technology so long as it is ''proven, appropriate and reliable'' to meet state standards for spill response.

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