I, Frank H. Murkowski, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the following findings:
During the period October 11, 2006, through October 13, 2006, a fall sea storm with sustained high surf and storm surge caused severe wave damage and coastal erosion in the City of Kivalina in the Northwest Arctic Borough.
- The Northwest Arctic Borough and the City of Kivalina, through local declarations, each dated October 19, 2006, requested assistance to repair the seawall and protect community infrastructure. The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AVEC), a private nonprofit utility cooperative, has also requested state disaster assistance for emergency protective measures required by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for the AVEC fuel tank farm in the City of Kivalina.
- The Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM); Northwest Arctic Borough; and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District (USACE), performed a joint damage assessment of the seawall. This assessment revealed severe structural damage and substantial material loss along several hundred feet of the seawall, which threatens critical infrastructure in the City of Kivalina, including the AVEC bulk fuel tank farm. The assessment also determined that the seawall, as constructed, did not meet intended shoreline protection goals and should not be replaced as originally built.
- Based on the findings of the joint DHS&EM, Northwest Arctic Borough, and USACE damage assessment, as supported by recommendations from the November 6, 2006, Disaster Policy Cabinet meeting, I have determined that this incident poses a direct and imminent threat of sufficient magnitude and severity to justify state action.
- 5. I find it appropriate that financial assistance from the disaster relief fund be expended in accordance with AS 26.23.020(h) to cover eligible emergency response costs and emergency protective measures for the Northwest Arctic Borough, AVEC, and the City of Kivalina, including costs incurred for spill response equipment and supplies. Costs of permanent repairs to or replacement of the seawall are not appropriate for funding from the disaster relief fund.
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 1 of the Alaska Constitution and AS 26.23.020(h) and AS 26.23.050, I, Frank H. Murkowski, Governor of the State of Alaska, hereby order that:
Consistent with AS 26.23.010-AS 26.23.220 (Alaska Disaster Act) and AS 26.23.020(h), expenditures be made from the disaster relief fund to cover eligible emergency response and emergency protective measures costs for the Northwest Arctic Borough, AVEC, and the City of Kivalina not covered by alternative financing sources. The amounts of these expenditures are not to exceed $235,000, including administrative fees.
Consistent with Administrative Order No. 175, I further direct the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development to act as the state coordinating agency to coordinate with other state and federal agencies to propose long-term solutions to the ongoing erosion issues in the City of Kivalina and other affected coastal communities in this state
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 29th day of November, 2006
/s/Frank H. Murkowski