JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state official has rejected an administrative law judge’s findings that the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation lacked “reasonable assurance” that a proposed gold mine in western Alaska would meet state water quality standards.
The decision by the department's commissioner provides a key approval for Donlin Gold LLC. The mine developer commended the commissioner's decision, while critics decried it. Critics of the proposed mine have raised concerns about possible impacts to water and salmon habitat. The commissioner's decision may be challenged in court.