SEACC official outlines a way it could support gold exploration in Juneau

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The exploration for gold near Herbert Glacier by a British Columbia company has garnered the concern of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.

    The organization is also concerned about the proposal to reopen the A-J Mine downtown and is against the proposal to amend the CBJ Mining Ordinance to eliminate duplication of state and federal regulations.

    In the case of the Herbert Glacier area, SEACC's Guy Archibald said they're concerned about impacts to the ecosystem there.  He said on Action Line last week that they are also concerned with the level of state and federal oversight that occurs which is the reason SEACC believes the community needs a very strong local mining ordinance.  Archibald  said  this project would be subject to the local ordinance.

    The exploration is permitted by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the U. S. Forest Service. Archibald said they're also concerned with oversight of the project which they believe is weak.

    When  asked if there was anything the industry could do in that area or in the case of the A-J Mine that could gain the approval of SEACC, Archibald made this statement:  "One of the things that could be done is that both the company itself and the state and federal agencies can look to the long term.  They tend to look at very short term gains and they don't think in the long term.  If they look at the possibility of long term or even permanent water treatment out there and consider that and they develop the bonding and financial assurances;  if they utilize the best technology to treat the water rather than just what's quote 'financial feasible," for the company; if the company would not externalize its environmental costs of doing business on to the general public, I think we could find some middle ground."

    Archibald says SEACC will lead a hiking and biking tour on the Herbert Glacier Trail August 12th.

    Walkers are scheduled to leave that Saturday at 10 a.m. and bikers an hour later.

    Archibald made his remarks on Action Line last week.

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