Bill to protect spawning grounds is dead, sponsor says

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

JUNEAU - The sponsor of a wastewater discharge bill intended to protect fish spawning grounds from mine waste says his bill is dead.

Rep. Paul Seaton, a Republican from Homer and commercial fisherman, says the bill would create a modest protection for fish against effects of mining. Opponents have cited legal and regulatory concerns.

The House's special committee on fisheries voted 4-3 to table the bill Tuesday. Seaton says this effectively kills it.

Rep. Craig Johnson, an Anchorage Republican, initially called on his colleagues to have the "fortitude" to vote it up or down directly. He then made the motion to table.

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