US senators urge more oversight from British Columbia in transboundary mining

Oxidized rock colors a valley where one of Seabridge Gold's KSM Project's open pit mines will be dug. Canadian officials have opened their final comment period before environmental approval. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)

Oxidized rock colors a valley where one of Seabridge Gold’s KSM Project’s open pit mines would be dug if the project proceeds. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)

U.S. senators from Alaska and three other border states have written to British Columbia’s premier expressing concern over transboundary mining.

Thursday’s two-page letter to British Columbia Premier John Horgan says the eight senators “remain concerned about the lack of oversight of Canadian mining projects near multiple transboundary rivers that originate in B.C. and flow into our four U.S. states.”

The bipartisan effort includes Alaska’s Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republicans. In a statement, they urged stronger regulatory oversight by British Columbia to guarantee the protection of Alaska’s natural resources.

“As you know, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, and Montana have tremendous natural resources that need to be protected against impacts from B.C. hard rock and coal mining activities near the headwaters of shared rivers, many of which support environmentally and economically significant salmon populations,” reads the letter, which was also signed by senators from Washington, Idaho and Montana.

The letter closed with an appeal for British Columbia to continue to monitor transboundary water quality.

Following the urging from state lawmakers, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy wrote a May 6 letter in response, reaffirming the state’s commitment to cross-border cooperation.

 

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