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Joint Committee Makes Recommendations on Diaries

Administrative Regulation Review also voices concerns


Tuesday, March 16, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – The Joint Administrative Regulation Review Committee met on Monday to continue discussion items from their previous hearing, including the Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s proposed regulatory changes to cheese-making and other milk production.

At yesterday’s meeting, the Committee requested that a small-producer exemption be enacted into the proposed regulations. A number of small producers attended the March 8 ARRC meeting, asking for an exemption from these proposed DEC regulations, similar to the way that the State of Oregon exempts small dairies from certain regulations. The committee’s recommendations hope to address the effects the regulations will have on small dairies and consumers.

“The Committee believes that small dairies should not be burdened with expensive or complicated regulations,” said ARRC Co-Chair Wes Keller, R-Wasilla, “and that individuals should be free to buy fresh milk and cheese from these small farms if they wish. It is good public policy for both the small dairyman and the consumer. Where they deal directly with one another is not a place the State needs to be involved.”

Keller proposed that before make regulation changes that the Dept. of Environmental Conservation enter into discussions with stakeholders to reach an agreed solution, otherwise known as negotiated rule-making. By using this strategy, both parties can work out a compromise prior to regulations taking effect. Keller says the committee would prefer that the Department and stakeholders come to an agreed solution without the need for legislative involvement.

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