Interior Secretary Norton announces Alaska projects

Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Interior Secretary Gale Norton made two announcements Wednesday affecting Alaska.

Norton, who is visiting the state this week, said a project to build a road linking Cordova with a future oil-spill response facility is under way. An environmental impact statement on the project is due August 2004 and will examine options, including building a link to Shepherd Point about 7 miles north of Cordova.

The project is part of the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement, which also funded similar spill-response facilities in Tatitlek and Chenega. Those projects have been completed, Norton said.

In the second announcement, Norton said an agreement was reached Wednesday between the state and the Bureau of Land Management that will allow placer mine operators on federal claims to take part in the state's mine reclamation bonding pool. The agreement will help smaller mining companies stay in business, Norton said.



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