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Fishing groups upset with Murkowski over Pebble actions

Posted: May 7, 2014 - 10:41pm  |  Updated: May 7, 2014 - 10:51pm

JUNEAU (AP) — A group of lodge owners and guides has expressed disappointment with Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s support of a bill that would limit when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could use its so-called “veto authority” under the federal Clean Water Act.

Nineteen individuals signed onto a letter to Alaska’s senior senator, featured in a full-page ad Wednesday in the Anchorage Daily News, the state’s largest newspaper.

Last month, Murkowski became a co-sponsor of legislation that would limit to the permitting stage when EPA could act to restrict or prohibit use of a certain area for disposal of dredged or fill material. Murkowski raised concerns when EPA announced this year that it was initiating the process under the Clean Water Act in relation to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region before the project had even moved into the permitting phase. That process is still underway, with no final decisions made.

EPA has rarely used this authority. Since the early 1970s, EPA has decided in 13 cases to take steps to limit or prohibit activity, once prior to a permit application being submitted, the agency’s administrator has said.

Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon said the Republican’s support of the bill isn’t about Pebble but rather is about process and precedent. He said by email that if EPA is allowed to veto projects “before, during, and long after relevant permits are considered, that will take the very last vestiges of certainty away from investors.”

Brian Kraft, a lodge owner with several businesses in the Bristol Bay region who signed onto and paid for the ad, said the bill would allow EPA only a short window of time to evaluate a project and the need for possible protections.

He said the concern raised about EPA preemptively shutting down projects is a “red herring” given how sparingly the authority has been exercised in the past.

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rwhobby 05/08/14 - 06:37 am
Pebble mine

I ask why is she still in office, second we need to protect the worlds largest salmon run. What about our kids and their kids save the resource.

Raoulduke 05/08/14 - 08:36 pm

Yep! Another politician that is the best money has bought.What else needs to be said?

potomac 05/11/14 - 12:26 pm
EPA has a lot of enemies

Murkowski is in office because Daddy appointed her to finish his horrible term, then you voted her back in! It is tough once they are in to get rid of and this is one that slipped through the mess of politics. Money is the driving force and they play the odds like a poker player, they know just when to lay a card down that will get them reelected. Eventually billions will be paid to these congress men and women to amend and destroy any power the EPA ever had and get what their big business money givers want in return for being set for life on the American tax payer and the lands they destroy. Billions apon billions will eventually be going back into the super fund site that will pollute and area as big as Wyoming

Norseman 05/12/14 - 12:16 pm
These family dynasty

These family dynasty politicians need to go. It seems that certain families are all professional politicians expecting their offspring to take there place at the throne.

Wasn't that one of the reasons we split away from great britain? So we wouldn't have these family kingdoms?

Allen 05/19/14 - 05:07 pm
We Have Our Own Family Dynasties

Isn't this a common problem in Alaska, including the Kenai Peninsula?

We need some new blood in Alaska/Kenai Peninsula politics! Vote the person, not the name.

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