House Bill 104 Update

As the state legislature continues into a special budget session, CIRCAC continues to call on lawmakers to pass House Bill 104. We are specifically interested in Section 5 of the bill which would increase the state’s refined fuel surcharge to one and a half cents per gallon.


This modest increase would help fund sections of the Department of Environmental Conservation that have shouldered dramatic staffing cuts in recent years. Much of our concern is within the Spill Prevention and Response (SPAR) division of DEC which, as a result of ongoing budget cuts, has become chronically understaffed, leading to high rates of staff turnover, the loss of valuable institutional knowledge, and a decreased capacity to adequately respond to hazardous substance spills across the state.


In partnership with our colleagues at Prince William Sound RCAC, we offered testimony to the House Finance Committee on HB 104 in May. We encourage you to reach out to your representatives in the legislature and let them know that having adequately trained and compensated staff within state regulatory agencies is a key component in preventing spills and maintaining environmental safety in Cook Inlet.