Alaska Brief Newsletter: December 2015
A Cleaner, Healthier Seward
After more than a decade of illegally dropping tons of coal into Resurrection Bay and six years of that time spent prosecuting the violations, our clients the Alaska Community Action on Toxics and the Alaska Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the operators of the Seward Coal Loading Facility resolved the lawsuit.
The Facility will finally comply with the Clean Water Act by getting a permit, which will require measures to reduce and minimize coal falling into the Bay. The settlement agreement requires other controls and funding for local projects in addition to those required by the permit.
Mining News Update
In November, the Alaska Miners Association held their annual convention. The news articles and opinion pieces were fast and furious in our Alaska papers. It got me thinking about the misinformation about mining in Alaska, which costs us a lot financially: in the lack of economic gain for the State, and in the subsidies and clean-up costs. Statutes and regulations also do not protect the public’s voice. I put my thinking into a blog post about the latest mining rhetoric in Alaska.
And a big shout-out to all of you, our loyal supporters. You help bring out the best of what we can do to protect Alaska. Thank you for helping us to a very successful year defending what we love about Alaska!
ANILCA Turns 35!
President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act December 2, 1980, placing 104 million acres into conservation status, 57 million acres of which were protected as Wilderness Areas. The new law set out to protect areas of national significance and to safeguard subsistence use by Alaska Native peoples. It is lauded as the most important conservation act of the 20th century. We couldn’t agree more.
ANILCA Under Attack At Senate Hearing
Trustees’ Legal Director defends ANILCA
Just one day after the 35th anniversary of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Lisa Murkowski, Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, held a hearing stacked with anti-ANILCA opinions. Trustees for Alaska Legal Director Valerie Brown was the lone conservation voice. Valerie told the Committee ANILCA has been a huge success, bringing the state tens of thousands of jobs in outdoor recreation and billions in consumer spending.
Client Perspective: Bella Hammond
“I love Alaska. It is a beautiful state and we have so many treasures. Because of these treasures, when development is allowed, we must use extra caution. And that is how I feel about the Pebble Project.”
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