Not in my back yard takes on a whole new meaning when it refers to huge mines upstream from your local salmon rivers.

That’s prompted two Southeast boroughs to pass resolutions urging the federal government to invoke a treaty with British Columbia to enforce transboundary water protections.

Up to a dozen mines with some of the biggest open pits in North America  are operating in B.C. or are in the works, some less than 20 miles from headwaters of major Southeast river systems.

Sitka and Ketchikan assemblies passed resolutions last week. The move is backed by the group Salmon Beyond Borders. Spokesperson Erin Heist –

 “These kinds of resolutions, they seem a little bit like a formality. But they’re really, really helpful for us moving this issue forward, especially in D.C. And we’re just going to keep the ball rolling because we have to make as much noise as we can.”  

Salmon Beyond Borders is seeking support from other Southeast communities – but they did not find it at Juneau.

On Monday night the resolution was pulled for further review after a local mining interest urged the Juneau assembly to work at the state and provincial levels rather than through an international treaty.

 

Meanwhile, Alaskans have just a few weeks to comment on the Trump Administration’s plan to withdraw Clean Water Act protections for the Pebble Mine.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to nullify a 2014 determination that would restrict the discharge of dredged or fill material while building the mine.

The deadline to comment to the EPA is October 17th.

Pebble Mine Comments can be made on line or emailed – (Docket Number is EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 for the email subject line).

Thanks to the assist from Coast Alaska.

 

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