Juneau’s local mining law has been left intact. That’s following more than a year of contentious debate.
A group of businessmen tied to the Echo Bay’s failed gold mining venture in the 1990s proposed the overhaul of the local mining ordinance.
Mining critic Guy Archibald of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council praised the Juneau Assembly-appointed mining subcommittee for coming to the conclusion it did: Juneau’s mining ordinance doesn’t needlessly duplicate state and federal review.
“We started with an effort to remove 19 pages of protections, out of a 23-page ordinance,” Archibald said after the meeting. “And we ended up with a streamlined, protective ordinance with all the safeguards left in. It only took a year to get there.”
The only substantial change in the new version was recommended by Archibald’s group SEACC. It allows the city hold on to mining companies’ reclamation bonds for up to six months. These bonds are insurance against a mining company failing to adhere to its reclamation plans after active mining shuts down.
The previous mining ordinance required the bonds to be released after 30 days.
- Federal regulators are investigating video footage that appears to show a Holland America Line cruise ship narrowly missing a pod of humpback whales while on its way to Juneau.
- Legislative leaders say the floor sessions would be held at the Capitol in Juneau, while most of the meetings would be in Anchorage at the Legislative Information Office.
- The rising water level will bring more debris and much colder water. "So, if you were to perhaps fall in the river, there would be more risk of hypothermia," said Nicole Ferrin of the National Weather Service.
- Gov. Mike Dunleavy says the Alaska Federation of Natives hasn’t offered a valid solution to the fiscal crisis. He wants to know AFN’s plans to fight sexual assaults and educational woes in Native communities.