FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2015
JUNEAU – Today, Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) introduced a bill aimed at further protecting the Bristol Bay fisheries against the impacts of a large-scale mine located in the watershed of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.
“In passing Ballot Measure 4, Alaskans clearly expressed their interest in protecting the world’s largest wild salmon run,” said Rep. Josephson. “HB 119 builds off the spirit and intent of the initiative by adding one more layer of approval for a large mining project in the area.”
HB 119 goes a step beyond the voter initiative passed last November, by requiring the Commissioners of the Departments of Natural Resource, Environmental Conservation and Fish and Game, to make independent determinations that an applicant has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a proposed mine would not constitute a danger to the fisheries.
Bristol Bay boasts the largest sockeye salmon runs on earth and the fisheries targeting those sockeye salmon are major economic drivers for the economies in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.
HB 119 has been referred to the House Fisheries, Resources and Finance Committees.