Alaska Senator Mark Begich calls it a mistake for EPA to extend its comment period on mining impacts to Bristol Bay. During a town hall meeting in Juneau on Friday, Begich said he spoke to the Environmental Protection Agency and made it clear he wanted the watershed assessment complete.
“I wanted the science to determine the outcome of what should happen in that region and the longer they take, the more politics are played. And so adding these 30 days is not something I supported. I think they should’ve completed it and move forward. I know some like that, some don’t like that. But science should make the determination before you start talking about swapping non-renewable resources for renewable resources – mining versus fishing.”
The public comment period for EPA’s revised draft assessment began April 26 and was supposed to end at the end of May. According to EPA’s website, the 30-day extension was granted in response to request from interested parties. The new comment period deadline in June 30.
After the final EPA assessment is complete, Begich says he’ll make a stronger statement on where he stands on the issue.
Five US Democratic senators from the Pacific Northwest recently wrote a letter asking President Barack Obama to consider blocking the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. Begich was not one of these senators.
- Mark Anthony De Simone is accused of shooting 34-year-old Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales twice in the back of the head in May 2016.
- The Alaska Marine Highway has seen deep funding and service cuts as the state deals with a massive budget deficit. With the money running low, what are the system’s prospects during this year’s legislative session?
- Global temperatures soared above the 20th century average last year, as the climate continues to change. It's the hottest it has been since scientists started tracking global temperatures in 1880.
- President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the Department of Health And Human Services had the first of two separate Senate hearings on Wednesday.