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2015 ISSUES OF CONCERN FOR THE ALASKA MINING INDUSTRY

  • Integrity of Permitting System – Defend the current rigorous, science-based permitting process and fund permitting agencies at a level that ensures sufficient resources to properly execute their responsibilities.
  • Wetlands Mitigation – Establish a State managed program that reflects the reality of the Alaska environment that encompasses more than 50 percent of the land mass as wetlands with limited opportunities for mitigation.
  • Litigation Reform – Bring accountability to appeals and litigation processes that target community, infrastructure, and resource development projects.
  • Infrastructure – Fund infrastructure that would provide access and utilities to remote Alaska.
  • Energy – Develop and implement a strategy to provide stable and affordable sources of energy throughout the state.
  • Oil and Gas Production – Support measures to increase Alaska oil and gas production.

Permitting

Wetlands Permitting & Mitigation: Evaluate state primacy over Section 404 wetlands permitting, mitigation, and management.

Water Quality Standards: Ensure water quality standards are scientifically supportable and developed using site-specific criteria.  Ensure continued availability of mixing zones and implement anti-degradation regulations.

EPA Permit Review Process: Adamantly oppose use of Clean Water Act 404(c) and Aquatic Resources of National Importance (ARNI) to stop or delay projects.

Financial Assurance: Rigorously support Alaska’s financial assurance program and aggressively oppose federal takeover and or duplication of those same financial assurance requirements.

Endangered Species Act: Rigorously oppose unwarranted ESA listings and critical habitat designations in Alaska and ensure such decisions are based on sound science.

Fiscal Issues

Taxation: Maintain an equitable and stable tax and royalty structure on state-owned resources. Remain vigilant that state-owned natural resources are not compromised by municipal, or borough taxation, regulations, or local government moratorium.

State Fiscal Policy: Implement a responsible long-range fiscal plan.

Land and Mineral Management

Continue to pursue development and guaranteed access for all uses across all state and federal lands within Alaska.

Support State and Private efforts to terminate the application of the Roadless Rule to the National Forests in Alaska.

Maintain State sovereignty over navigable waters as granted at Statehood.

Require a detailed mineral and access evaluation prior to any state land transfers to boroughs, land disposals/sales, or leases not required for resource development.

Resource Management Philosophy: Ensure that uses of lands and resources are not mutually  exclusive.

Airborne geophysical survey: Continue to support the airborne geophysical mapping program as an incentive for private investment in Alaska.

Mining Education and Training

Continue to support University level resource education and vocational training programs to provide for a trained workforce.

Continue funding the State’s share of Alaska Resource Education (ARE), a partnership between the Sate and private industry to education students about Alaska’s natural resources.

Other Issues

Non-profit Organizations: Enact legislation to require disclosure when funds from non- profit organizations are used to affect natural resource policy, permitting, and litigation.

Support a statewide Constitutional amendment to eliminate ballot initiatives.