ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking at a request that would give Alaska's own environmental regulators the power to write wastewater discharge permits for local business and industry.
Forty-five other states already have the OK from the EPA to run the program.
With approval, the state of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation would also be able to enforce those permits to ensure compliance.
Elin Miller, EPA's regional administrator in Seattle, says the EPA would be handing responsibility for water quality protection to the "front line" state managers and staff.
EPA would retain a monitoring and oversight role.
The wastewater comes from industries such as logging, seafood processing and mining.