Get rid of it. The environmentalists just use it as another forum to delay projects.
With Murkowski moving the Habitat Division from ADF&G to DNR and laying off many experienced habitat biologists throughout Southeast Alaska and with the Legislature moving toward gutting local communities' ability to influence development through the Alaska Coastal Management Program, this is absolutely the worst time for Juneau residents to give up our rights to ensure resource development is done properly. Our salmon fishermen are facing enough difficulties without risking more loss of habitat and clean water from poorly planned mining projects.
The CBJ permitting process is redundant and unnecessary. State and federal rules are adequate. CBJ should be able to act through appropriate channels to state agencies. The CBJ process may be an impediment to bringing much needed, living-wage jobs to SE Alaska.
Federal and state regulations do not over lap with city regulations on mining. DNR is not the right agency to review developments that affect fish and wildlife. The DEC water quality section barely functions. There may not be much of a state review. The feds usually do a superficial review at best. More likely than not, environmental lawyers will benefit most from Mr. Wanamaker's awful proposal.
Yes, the city should ease its permitting process for mining operations. They are long overdue to be updated.
Many members of our community worked hard to get rules enacted to help protect our air and water from the devastation to our environment caused by bad mining practices in other places. We need to keep the rules we have at this time.
The state and federal agencies have the expertise and resources, the city does not. The current process is costly and it is a poor duplication that does not add real environmental protection.
Suggesting that the city's mine permitting rules are inefficient and duplicative without providing specifics reminds me of how Gov. Murkowski uses unsubstantiated and misleading statements to slam the Habitat Division, and to break his promises about taxes.
It doesn't make sense to lower the standard for mining. The local permitting is particularly important given the recent weakening of state and federal habitat and environmental protection.