Juneau Chamber officials outline support for mining ordinance changes

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Assembly Mining Subcommittee is scheduled to take public comment on the proposed changes to the CBJ Mining Ordinance Thursday evening.

The Juneau Chamber of Commerce supports the proposed changes.

Mike Satre, the president elect and current Government Relations Committee chair for the business organization, was among the guests on Action Line Tuesday.   

It's proposed to eliminate duplicate requirements already in place by the state and federal governments which the chamber supports.  Satre thinks the local government needs to take a hard look at its capacity to review mining projects.  "I was involved in the Planning Commission for a number of years.  We have a great planning department.  We have a great city engineering department, but these people are use to permitting subdivisions and looking at conditional use permits.  They're not mining engineers.  They don't have an expertise that our federal and state agencies bring to the table."

The chamber also favors eliminating the requirement for a socio-ecnomic impact study which is included in the environmental impact statement process.  Satre points out that a such a study is not required in the cases of other groups of workers.  He says no other business wanting to come to Juneau is required to undergo such a study.   "The current ordinance presumes that mining people are bad people and may have impacts that other folks won't, " he said.

The subcommittee public hearing is scheduled to convene at 5:30 Thursday evening in Assembly Chambers at City Hall.


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