Southeast Conference strongly urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement the recent June 22, 2009, Supreme Court decision and fully reinstate the permit issued by the Corps for the Kensington Mine Project Lower Slate Lake tailings facility and fill work for other mine components. This is the environmentally preferable, practicable plan for the mine.
"The Kensington mine will play a vital role in supporting our regional economy," Board President Mike Korsmo said. "With a struggling timber industry and a fluctuating fishing industry, mining can fill a vital role supporting high paying jobs and increasing tax bases for communities. The Kensington has supported training and local hire from our Native population and local communities. Local contractors and suppliers will benefit from a full operating mine and its needs. Coeur Alaska deserves the opportunity to show that they can operate the Kensington mine in an environmentally safe manner and sustainable manner."
The Supreme Court has ruled the Kensington permits valid, and the 9th Circuit Court also has lifted the injunction against the Kensington mine. As Southeast Conference executive director, in my opinion, there is no reasonable condition for further delay of these desperately needed jobs. A delay would only cause further unnecessary and prolonged financial hardship on our Alaskan families and their communities.
Coeur Alaska has gone above and beyond to assure the citizens of Southeast Alaska that the environmental impact will be minimal and that sufficient safeguards are in place to avoid any unintended environmental impacts. Now is the time for citizens, businesses, communities and tribes to communicate their support for Coeur by writing to Colonel Reinhard W. Koenig, District Commander, U.S. Army Engineer District, Alaska at P.O. Box 6898, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, 99506-0898.
SEC Executive Director
Southeast Conference is a membership based non-profit organization that represents businesses, tribes, and residents of Southeast Alaska.