CSSJR 39(RES): Relating to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general permit for placer mining in Alaska.
00CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 39(RES) 01 Relating to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft National Pollutant 02 Discharge Elimination System general permit for placer mining in Alaska. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS, in 1994, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 05 issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for placer 06 mining in Alaska; and 07 WHEREAS the EPA has issued a new draft NPDES general permit as the result of 08 the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund; and 09 WHEREAS this new draft NPDES general permit contains substantive, unrealistic 10 restrictions for commercial mines such as 11 (1) prohibiting moving a discharge location during the mining season; and 12 (2) requiring a minimum 1,000-foot separation distance between dischargers; 13 and 14 WHEREAS this new draft NPDES general permit contains substantive, unrealistic
01 restrictions on dredge and recreational mining operations in Alaska, such as 02 (1) requiring all dredgers, for the first time ever, to have an NPDES permit, 03 despite the fact that the EPA does not have the personnel to process all of these newly 04 required permits; and 05 (2) requiring an arsenic level of 0.18 parts per billion; and 06 WHEREAS the officials in the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., have approved 07 arsenic levels of 50 parts per billion in 25 other states; and 08 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature finds that this treatment of Alaska is 09 arbitrary, capricious, and without scientific foundation; 10 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the EPA 11 to withdraw from the settlement in the lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund 12 on behalf of American Rivers and Northern Alaska Environmental Center; and be it 13 FURTHER RESOLVED that if the EPA cannot withdraw from the settlement, that 14 it discard this draft NPDES general permit and begin again with a more reasonable approach 15 consistent with the EPA's own Common Sense Initiative; and be it 16 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests that, if the EPA 17 goes forward with this draft NPDES or another draft, that the EPA extend the public comment 18 period to May 1, 1996, and hold hearings in at least two additional locations in Alaska before 19 any draft NPDES general permit is included in a settlement agreement. 20 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Carol M. Browner, 21 Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the 22 Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. 23 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and to the governors and state 24 legislatures of the other states in the EPA Region 10: Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.