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House approves change to coastal management program

Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) A bill revamping the Alaska Coastal Management Program passed the state House on Wednesday, over objections from some representatives that it reduces local control over development projects.

The bill would limit the authority of Alaska's 34 local coastal districts, generally not allowing them to regulate environmental impacts that are covered by state and federal laws.

Murkowski administration officials say that's needed so developers have a clear idea what they need to do to get permits for a project.

Opponents say the bill shifts too much power from local communities to the state and could leave communities unable to protect local resources.

The bill passed the House 25-10.

Reps. Dan Ogg, R-Kodiak, and Paul Seaton, R-Homer, joined minority Democrats in opposing the bill. Under a procedural move, the bill could come back up in the House on Thursday.

After that, it will go to the Senate for its consideration.



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