HJR 9 Calls for an Investigation of Possible Downstream Impacts to Water and Fish

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2017

Juneau – Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) has introduced a resolution asking the United States and Canadian Governments to investigate the downstream effects of proposed and existing transboundary mining developments.  House Joint Resolution 9 was introduced to protect Alaska’s pristine water and healthy wild salmon populations.

“For decades, pollution from British Columbian mines has flowed downstream into Alaska’s rivers, with documented adverse effects to the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers,” said Rep. Ortiz.  “With the proposal of multiple new mines in British Columbia, large-scale mining is on the horizon and with that comes possible negative impacts.  This resolution is intended ensure the protection of natural resources that we cannot allow to be destroyed or harmed.”

HJR 9 calls for continued cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian governments to investigate long-term, region-wide downstream effect of these mines and develop measures to protect the natural environment.

“The protection of the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers is necessary for sustaining our fishing industry and preserving native culture,” said Rep. Ortiz.  “Economically, these three rivers provide over 400 jobs and have an annual economic impact of $48 million dollars.”

HJR 9 was formally introduced on Monday and referred to the House Fisheries and Resources Committees. 

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

###