Kim Williams: Alaska hypocritical as Natives fight mining project

"Last month the Environmental Protection Agency released its Draft Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems in Bristol Bay. It scheduled eight public hearings and a 60-day comment period so that the public could participate in the preparation of the document. State Attorney General Michael Geraghty complained that 60 days was "inadequate," asking for an additional four months "for the public, including the state" to "address the technical and legal merits of the assessment." Industry representatives expressed their alarm that the public wasn't being given sufficient time to respond.

How ironic. And hypocritical.

For the last 24 years, mining companies have been exploring for copper and gold on state lands in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, hoping to develop the largest mine of its type in North America. They have drilled 1,200 bore holes (some more than a mile deep), used fragile tundra as their waste dump, crisscrossed subsistence areas with tens of thousands of helicopter flights and removed millions of gallons of water from ponds and streams."

Get the Story:
Kim Williams: State allows industrial-scale exploration without hearings (The Anchorage Daily News 6/10)

Another Opinion:
Alaska attorney general Michael Geraghty: We should wait for detailed Pebble plan before judging (The Anchorage Daily News 6/10)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Vote against Pebble Mine won't settle the debate (10/19)

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