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Laboratory Fees: Proposed REvisions to Seafood Processing and Inspections Regulations (18 AAC 34)

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated March 16, 2020 at 11am.

These FAQs will be updated as additional written questions are received.

Click/tap the question below to see the answer.

What are the main changes I should be aware of and how will the changes impact Seafood Processing and Inspections?
The amendment proposes an increase of fees for the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Environmental Health Laboratory to conduct laboratory analysis and testing for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin and shellfish growing water. The revisions include:
  • 18 AAC 34.905: DEC intends to amend paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin analysis and testing fees from $125 to $312;
  • 18 AAC 34.905: DEC intends to amend microbiology analysis and testing fees for presumptive coliform, confirmed coliform, and Escherichia coli (non 0157:H7) and (0157:H7) from $17 to $51 for each sample.
Why are these changes proposed?
The Governor's proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget narrative language directs DEC to collect fees charged to industry for analytical testing costs. Although the proposed budget is not finalized, DEC is proactively public noticing these proposed changes in anticipation of approval of the Governor's budget. If the budget is approved, DEC will need these regulations in place on July 1, 2020, the first day of Fiscal Year 2021. The proposed regulation changes are necessary to support the Governor's Fiscal Year 2021 proposed budget.
When will these changes take effect?
These changes will take effect on July 1, 2020, the first day of Fiscal Year 2021. The Governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget narrative language directs DEC to collect fees charged to industry for analytical testing costs. Although the proposed budget is not finalized, DEC is proactively public noticing these proposed changes in anticipation of approval of the Governor’s budget. If the budget is approved, DEC will need these regulations in place on July 1, 2020, the first day of Fiscal Year 2021. The proposed regulation changes are necessary to support the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2021 proposed budget.
Is it possible that the Governor's Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget may not get approved?
While it is possible that the Governor's Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget may not get approved as proposed, DEC must be prepared to implement the budget in the event that it is approved.
What if I want to use a private or different laboratory?
To participate in commercial shellfish markets, Alaska is required to have a shellfish program that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP), a cooperative program recognized by the FDA and the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC), for the sanitary control of shellfish sold for human consumption. DEC’s Environmental Health Laboratory is the only laboratory in Alaska that holds NSSP conformance by FDA for performing the required growing water and marine toxin testing on commercial shellfish samples.
How do I submit comments on these proposed regulations?
Comments from the public and the regulated industry on the proposed regulation changes may be submitted in several ways, including:
  • Online: Submit Comments
  • Mail: Kimberly Stryker, Department of Environmental Conservation, 555 Cordova Street, Anchorage, AK 99577
  • Email: kimberly.stryker@alaska.gov
  • Fax: 907-269-7654
  • The comments must be received not later than 11:59 p.m. on April 17, 2020.
  • We do not respond individually to comments on proposed regulations changes. After we have a chance to review the written comments received and then consider them in deciding what changes (if any) to make in our regulations, we will prepare a summary of the comments and our responses to them, which will be mailed to everyone who submits a timely written comment on the proposed changes and provides a return mailing address.
  • If you are a person with a disability who needs a special accommodation in order to participate in this process, please contact Kate Orozco by email at kate.orozco@alaska.gov or by phone at 907-465-6171 or TDD Relay Service 1-800-770-8973/TTY or dial 711 not later than April 7, 2020 to ensure that any necessary accommodations can be provided.
What if I have another question that is not answered here?
DEC will respond to questions that are relevant to the proposed changes if the questions are received in writing at least ten days before the end of the public comment period. If questions are submitted after that, we may, but we are not required to, respond to those questions. The questions and answers will be available on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website. One consolidated answer may be provided for a group of questions that are similar, as appropriate.

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