Senators urge action on BC mines, acid oceans
August 14, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska Senators urge action on BC mines and acid oceans. More after this —
The At-sea Processors Association’s contributions to Alaskan universities represent the largest privately funded marine research program in Alaska’s history. Learn more at www.atsea.org
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The Mount Polley mine tailings disaster in British Columbia has both Alaska Senators urging the US State department for more oversight with mines on trans-boundary rivers. In letters to Secretary John Kerry, both specifically referenced the KSM Mine being built less than 20 miles from Southeast Alaska’s border. It’s three times larger than Mount Polley and could affect the Taku, Unuk and Stikine Rivers. Senators Murkowski and Begich urged a bilateral Panel Review on KSM and other planned mines, and accelerated US oversight before the BC projects are finally approved.
Meanwhile, Alaska state officials are defending mine regulators in Canada. DNR large project permit coordinator Kyle Moselle said he believes “the environmental assessment process in Canada is thorough and rigorous.” Moselle is reviewing the KSM mine proposal and will submit the state’s comments by the August 20th comment deadline. KSM already has Canada’s approval.
On another front, Senators Begich and Maria Cantwell of Washington are calling for a national strategy to address ocean acidification. They plan to introduce legislation that would require NOAA Fisheries to prioritize what fisheries are most at risk to guide federal monitoring and actions. The bill would create the first ever national ocean acidification monitoring plan that targets areas under the greatest economic threat.
Finally, on a lighter note — help is on the way for Washington state salmon where migration is blocked by dams. A company called Whooshh Innovations has come up with a literal fish cannon. Salmon swim into a tube and can be shot more than 500 feet into the air, then landing safely in waters upstream. A test run is underway at the Roza Dam 10 miles north of Yakima.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.