Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/26/1999 01:08 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
HCR 4 - TULSEQUAH CHIEF MINE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN announced that the committee would hear House                                                                     
Concurrent Resolution No. 4, supporting the responsible development                                                             
of the Tulsequah Chief Mine through the cooperative effort of                                                                   
Alaska and British Columbia and urging Governor Knowles to withdraw                                                             
his request for a referral of the Tulsequah Chief Mine to the                                                                   
International Joint Commission under the Boundary Waters Treaty.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0076                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER, Alaska State Legislature, prime                                                                    
sponsor of HCR 4, came forward.  He told members he had heard both                                                              
sides regarding the proposed mine in British Columbia (B.C.),                                                                   
including the point of view that the process is too risky for                                                                   
Alaska, and that Alaska should intercede.  However, he believes                                                                 
that the mine is worthy of consideration.  He asked members to                                                                  
listen to the testimony and make their own judgments.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER acknowledged that the permitting system for                                                               
mines in B.C. is different from that in Alaska; however, he doesn't                                                             
believe that necessarily makes it deficient.  He stated, "The House                                                             
Majority, for the years that I have been here, has basically                                                                    
supported the notion of responsible resource development.  Whether                                                              
you say 'responsible resource development' or 'resource development                                                             
in a responsible way' shouldn't make a difference, but I think, in                                                              
this case, perhaps, some people are trying to convince others that                                                              
it does make a difference which way you say that."  He suggested                                                                
that although some may describe B.C.'s system as new and untested,                                                              
he believes that is not the case; he urged members to ask about                                                                 
that point.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said as he understands it, the B.C. system                                                                
allows, after initial certification inquiries, for permits to be                                                                
issued as development occurs; in contrast, in Alaska almost all                                                                 
permitting happens before any development may take place.  He                                                                   
stated, "The criticism of this type of a system, I have heard, is                                                               
that once the project is underway it has a self-fulfilling quality,                                                             
and that the permitting is actually diminished because of that.  I                                                              
think you will hear, from the folks that know about it and do it,                                                               
that that isn't the case."  Representative Porter submitted that in                                                             
some cases, Alaska's system, which allows "challenges and repeated                                                              
inquiries and virtual arbitrations" before one bit of a project has                                                             
begun, is an opportunity for "obstructionism" so that a project                                                                 
will never occur.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked members to look at the following:  1)                                                               
whether the B.C. system meets the same standards, albeit with a                                                                 
different method, that our own systems and standards for                                                                        
environmental protection have; 2) whether the system is adequate                                                                
for protecting the concerns that people have about the road                                                                     
construction, and whether it is really going to be a public road;                                                               
3) whether First Nation considerations in Canada are about the mine                                                             
project or about longstanding land disputes, and what the                                                                       
involvement is of First Nation peoples in the process; and 4) what                                                              
risks are associated with the mine tailings, including where they                                                               
will be located and in what amounts.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated, "Our system would want every single                                                               
one of these questions answered before the project could begin.  I                                                              
guess the question remains, again:  Will the standards that we                                                                  
expect to be met be met under the system that they have?"  He next                                                              
pointed out that HCR 4 asks that a referral to the International                                                                
Joint Commission (IJC) not occur.  Noting the steps and time that                                                               
such a referral would involve, he asked members to determine                                                                    
whether that referral would provide additional information or                                                                   
protections to this project, and whether it is appropriate or                                                                   
"obstructionistic."  Representative Porter asked Mr. Keith Ogilvie                                                              
[Special Advisor, International Relations, Intergovernmental                                                                    
Relations Secretariat] and Mr. Norm Ringstad of the Environmental                                                               
Assessment Office in B.C. to explain how their system works and                                                                 
answer questions; he indicated that he himself had to leave.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0667                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN invited Representative Jeannette James to join                                                                    
members at the table, which she did.  He then invited Mr. Ogilvie                                                               
and Mr. Ringstad to the witness table; Mr. Ogilvie declined,                                                                    
deferring to Mr. Ringstad, but offered to answer questions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0751                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked whether the system in place in B.C. is equal                                                                
to, or compatible with, Alaska's system, and what safeguards will                                                               
be in place.  He noted that this project has generated more public                                                              
interest than most other mining projects in Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0855                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NORM RINGSTAD, Project Assessment Director, Environmental                                                                       
Assessment Office, came forward, noting that he is with the British                                                             
Columbia Environmental Assessment Office in Victoria.  He specified                                                             
that he and Mr. Ogilvie were present to provide information, not to                                                             
take a position on HCR 4.  He indicated he would answer by                                                                      
providing a quick summary of their entire process, which he hoped                                                               
would be enough of a basis to determine the comparability of their                                                              
processes and products to those in Alaska.  He stated:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     As you may be aware, this project has been under review since                                                              
     1994.  The Tulsequah project was subject to the British                                                                    
     Columbia Environmental Act, as most - if not all - major                                                                   
     mining projects are in British Columbia.  The project was also                                                             
     subject to the provisions of the Canadian Environmental                                                                    
     Assessment Act, so there was a federal Canadian government                                                                 
     review process, as well as a provincial government review                                                                  
     process, that this project had to come through prior to a                                                                  
     decision being made on whether or not it could proceed.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     As part of the meeting of the requirements of both of those                                                                
     processes, I chaired a committee called the Tulsequah Project                                                              
     Committee, and that committee comprises provincial British                                                                 
     Columbia government agencies, the Yukon government agencies,                                                               
     First Nations, Alaska state and U.S. federal agency                                                                        
     representatives.  We, as a committee, coordinated the overall                                                              
     review of this project to meet the requirements of both our                                                                
     British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian                                                             
     Environmental Assessment Act; and we did that over a                                                                       
     three-and-a-half-year period, beginning in the fall of 1994                                                                
     and culminating in a set of recommendations to our respective                                                              
     decision makers on the Canadian side in March of 1998.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I should point out that the Environmental Assessment Act, as                                                               
     it applied to this project, is a fairly new process in and of                                                              
     itself; the Act was proclaimed in June of 1995.  However, the                                                              
     Environmental Assessment Act is modeled on the previous                                                                    
     British Columbia Mine Development Assessment Act and process.                                                              
     ... Since 1976, there has been a coordinated overall                                                                       
     environmental assessment review process for ... mining                                                                     
     projects in British Columbia.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Throughout the review, we ensured that all of the issues that                                                              
     were raised were taken into consideration.  We identified                                                                  
     issues specific to the potential for transboundary affect on                                                               
     water quality and fisheries; and knowing that there was a                                                                  
     potential for transboundary effects, we complied with the                                                                  
     transboundary consultation / notification / information                                                                    
     requirements of the treaties for ensuring that ... our                                                                     
     neighboring jurisdictions were involved in the review, and                                                                 
     also that their issues were taken into consideration.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In March of 1998, at the conclusion of the review, the British                                                             
     Columbia ministers of Energy and Mines, and Environment, Lands                                                             
     and Parks, approved the project to proceed to permitting, and                                                              
     they did that with the issuance of a project approval                                                                      
     certificate.  In and around the same time, the federal                                                                     
     government, under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act,                                                               
     accepted the project review conclusions as meeting their                                                                   
     review needs, and also authorized the project to proceed to                                                                
     the next level of review under our statutory permitting.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I should point out that in British Columbia we have a                                                                      
     two-stage decision-making process.  The first stage is a                                                                   
     conceptual level ... of assessment, identification and                                                                     
     resolution of strategic issues; if it is determined that there                                                             
     are no strategic flaws that ... would arise in the project                                                                 
     during the permitting stage, that is the time when the British                                                             
     Columbia government approves the project to move to the                                                                    
     permitting stage.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     At the permitting stage, there are a number of provincial and                                                              
     federal statutory permit requirements, at which time the                                                                   
     detailed, technical assessment design and mitigation plans are                                                             
     put together, in support of making applications for the                                                                    
     permits; and until each of those permits [is] obtained for                                                                 
     each of the components of development, ... no construction                                                                 
     takes place.  The project approval certificate given at the                                                                
     first stage of review does not authorize a project ... to                                                                  
     actually go into construction; it only authorizes it to move                                                               
     to the permitting process.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1226                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In March, when the decisions were made to have the project                                                                 
     move to the permitting process, it was acknowledged that there                                                             
     were a number of outstanding concerns raised by U.S. federal                                                               
     agencies and Alaska state agencies, concerning a number of                                                                 
     issues related to transboundary effects.  As a result of that,                                                             
     British Columbia and Canada did two major things.  Number one,                                                             
     it made a formal invitation to Alaska state and U.S. federal                                                               
     agencies to continue to participate actively in the review of                                                              
     those permit applications, by way of sitting on a regionally                                                               
     based standing committee of permitting agencies, ... and that                                                              
     committee would take the role of coordinating the review of                                                                
     those permit applications, and would include the further                                                                   
     consideration of the concerns raised by Alaska state and U.S.                                                              
     federal agencies.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD told members the second thing they did was embark on                                                               
an 11-month continuation of bilateral discussions and information                                                               
exchanges between B.C., Canada and U.S. federal and state agencies.                                                             
In 1998, they met three times - in Washington, D.C., in April; in                                                               
Vancouver, B.C., in November; and in Seattle, Washington, in                                                                    
December - producing a number of further documents and                                                                          
communications.  Through that 11 months of iterative dialogue and                                                               
consultation, technical specialists on water quality and fisheries                                                              
on the Canadian side dealt directly with the technical specialists                                                              
on the Alaskan and U.S. federal sides.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD stated that it was their hope on the Canadian side                                                                 
that the 11 months of "bilaterals" would bring the comfort level up                                                             
for the U.S. agencies, "to agree that our permitting process is a                                                               
process within which the remaining issues - which are technical in                                                              
nature - can be resolved, and the standards for environmental                                                                   
protection, through that permitting process, will be ... equivalent                                                             
to that in Alaska."  As to the comparability between Alaska state                                                               
or U.S. federal processes and their B.C. and Canada processes, he                                                               
said he cannot answer the question any more specifically.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1396                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked Mr. Ringstad whether there are other mining                                                                 
cases dealing with transboundary circumstances between Alaska and                                                               
Canada.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD answered that there are a number of mining projects                                                                
located in northwestern B.C. on transboundary rivers.  There is the                                                             
Premier-Silbak mine near Hyder, Alaska, on a tributary leading into                                                             
the Salmon River.  There is the Cominco Snip Gold Mine on a                                                                     
tributary leading to the Iskut River.  And in the same general                                                                  
vicinity are the International Skyline Johnny Mountain Mine and the                                                             
Prime Resources Eskay Mine; the latter mine is located in the                                                                   
headwaters of the Unuk River.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD noted that these projects were also subject to the                                                                 
province's mine review process, prior to proceeding to permitting.                                                              
After clearing the first hurdle, they had moved into the permitting                                                             
stage, then into the development-operations stage.  Some of them                                                                
are now closed, or in the process of being abandoned and reclaimed.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD stated, "During those reviews, there was an invitation                                                             
for American input at the EA [Environmental Assessment] review, and                                                             
it is my understanding from discussing with technical specialists                                                               
in the Ministry of Environment on the British Columbia side - who                                                               
are responsible for the permitting of and the maintenance of water                                                              
quality - that, in fact, these projects are meeting the compliance                                                              
standards for water quality, and the potential for downstream                                                                   
effects is not considered to be significant."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1543                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked whether Mr. Ringstad believes that there would                                                              
be the same results with this mine.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD replied:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Yes, I do.  At the first stage of decision making that we                                                                  
     completed by March last year, one of the major tasks of the                                                                
     committee was to determine the potential for significant                                                                   
     effects, in a transboundary context, on fish and water                                                                     
     quality.  Through the iterative approach to modifying the mine                                                             
     plan design - to make it as environmentally friendly as                                                                    
     necessary, in the process of looking at accumulative effects,                                                              
     assessment of water quality, and looking at the road access in                                                             
     terms of potential for effects on fish - both the British                                                                  
     Columbia environmental assessment process participants and the                                                             
     federal government, who also participated, were satisfied that                                                             
     with the adoption of the appropriate mitigation measures                                                                   
     during the construction and operation, that there would be no                                                              
     potential for any transboundary effects.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     And, also, during our permitting process, it is my                                                                         
     understanding from my discussions with the Ministry of                                                                     
     Environment on the British Columbia side that, from a water                                                                
     quality point of view, the standards to be set for permitting                                                              
     the mine will be similar or equivalent to the standards set as                                                             
     if the mine was in Alaska.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1630                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked why Mr. Ringstad believes this project is being                                                             
treated differently, if there has been past experience doing this.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD said he doesn't know why.  He agreed that the concerns                                                             
raised on this project were not similarly raised in the other mine                                                              
project reviews relating to transboundary rivers, although the same                                                             
types and levels of potential for effects, and the same types and                                                               
levels of mitigation strategies, were in place.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1670                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN called an at-ease at 1:30 p.m. to bring more chairs                                                               
into the crowded committee room; he called the meeting back to                                                                  
order at 1:34 p.m.  He asked Mr. Ringstad to explain the design                                                                 
criteria regarding the tailings impoundment; specifically, he asked                                                             
what level of flooding would need to occur to destroy the tailings                                                              
impoundment dam.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD said he could answer by providing a summary of the                                                                 
conclusions reached by their technical experts in discussions with                                                              
technical experts on the United States side.  He pointed out that                                                               
the dam and tailings impoundment are located on the fan of the                                                                  
flood plain of Shazah Creek, a tributary to the Tulsequah River,                                                                
outside the 100-year flood plain of the Tulsequah River.  Although                                                              
they are within a determined flood plain of Shazah Creek, it is yet                                                             
to be determined, through further detailed assessment, exactly                                                                  
which flood plain they are in.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD told members the dam will be designed to the                                                                       
specifications of Canadian dam safety standards.  The actual design                                                             
criteria will be established during the permitting process, but it                                                              
will be designed to withstand whatever natural disaster is deemed                                                               
to be "within the realm of happening."  At this time, he doesn't                                                                
believe there is a final dam design specification.  Mr. Ringstad                                                                
stated:                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Through the discussions that I have been involved in, and the                                                              
     subgroups that I have chaired, it was obvious to me that the                                                               
     permittors for the dam will ensure that the dam design                                                                     
     criteria will be extremely conservative, to ensure that the                                                                
     dam would withstand any natural hazard event, whether it's a                                                               
     debris flow, whether it's ... a hydrological event.  It was                                                                
     determined through ... a fairly detailed reconnaissance-level                                                              
     review of the potential for hazards that debris torrents,                                                                  
     debris hazards, are not a major factor that would influence                                                                
     the integrity of ... the tailings pond and dam.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Hydrologically, the Shazah Creek has some hydrological data on                                                             
     it from which we can determine return periods.  More                                                                       
     information will be collected over the life of the project to                                                              
     help finalize what the final dam design would be, but it is my                                                             
     understanding from what I have heard that a doubling ... of                                                                
     the ... 200-year ... flows in Shazah Creek would make that                                                                 
     event up in the 1-to-10,000-return event, and it is my                                                                     
     understanding - from the technical experts on the Canadian                                                                 
     side - that that would not breach the dam, or in any way                                                                   
     destroy its integrity, from the point of view of failure.                                                                  
     Notwithstanding, that type of an event, if it ever did happen,                                                             
     could require maintenance or upgrading ... on the armament                                                                 
     around the face of the dam.  But the actual dam design details                                                             
     will be determined at the permitting stage, under the                                                                      
     Provincial Mines Act.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1907                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked whether there are any health or environmental                                                               
hazards from the tailings materials.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD explained that one feature of this mine design - as he                                                             
understands it from the subcommittees that dealt with this - is                                                                 
that the ore mined has with it a pyrite high-sulfide waste                                                                      
material, which would end up in the tailings stream.   There would                                                              
be a pyrite float in the mill circuit, which would remove all, or                                                               
the majority, of the sulfide material from the tailings; that                                                                   
pyrite float would be mixed with cement and made into a paste                                                                   
backfill, then put back into the underground stopes, both from a                                                                
mine safety point of view and as an acceptable disposal technology                                                              
for acid-producing waste material.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD noted that it is proposed to put into the milling                                                                  
process a source of calcium carbonate from a nearby limestone                                                                   
quarry, so that the remaining tailings going into the tailings pond                                                             
are non-acid-generating.  He specified that there are no "health                                                                
hazard constituents" of the tailings or the effluent.  Mr. Ringstad                                                             
then stated:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     It is my understanding from toxicity testing of bench-scale                                                                
     effluent tests that rainbow trout have passed the LC-50 (ph)                                                               
     tests with 100 percent survival in a 96-hour period, meaning                                                               
     that the effluent in the tailings pond is not acutely toxic.                                                               
     ... There is no discharge from the tailings pond during the                                                                
     life of the project, as it is currently planned.  There is a                                                               
     total - 100 percent - recycling of all tailings water into the                                                             
     milling process.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Any seepage from the dam, any seepage from the tailings pond                                                               
     will be monitored through the development of monitoring wells                                                              
     around the face of the dam downstream, with the potential                                                                  
     mitigation plan of pumping any water back into the tailings                                                                
     pond if it was found to be of a deleterious manner. ... At                                                                 
     reclamation, the pond will be dried, and the tailings                                                                      
     themselves will be covered with a suitable growth medium, and                                                              
     the reclamation plan [is] to leave them in a dry, revegetated                                                              
     state.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2058                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked, "Would you take some of those tailings, put                                                                
them in a large glass, pour water over it and drink the water?"                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD said he couldn't answer that.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN stated his understanding that B.C. has had a time                                                                 
deadline to get a permit processed.  He asked how many extensions                                                               
there have been regarding this project.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD replied that, for the entire review, there were four.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked whether Mr. Ringstad had attempted to schedule                                                              
an appointment with the Governor while he is in Juneau.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD said he had not.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2109                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked what the situation is with the First                                                                 
Nations people, in terms of the land settlement and entitlement,                                                                
and where the First Nations people stand with this project.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD said that is outside his area of expertise or mandate,                                                             
but it is his understanding that the Tlingit First Nation people                                                                
are engaged in B.C.'s treaty planning process, "at a certain                                                                    
stage."  Treaty issues are not covered by his office under the                                                                  
British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act, because there is                                                                 
another arena in which those issues are being addressed.  He noted                                                              
that Tlingit representatives were present, then stated:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     We invited Tlingit to sit on the project committee in 1994;                                                                
     they actively participated in the review, throughout the                                                                   
     entire three-and-a-half-year period.  They have been invited                                                               
     to continue to participate in the permitting process, and I                                                                
     can say that their participation - both by themselves and with                                                             
     their consultants - made a positive contribution to making a                                                               
     better mine plan, and it made a major contribution to probably                                                             
     one of the most progressive environmental                                                                                  
     follow-up-and-monitoring programs for this project that we                                                                 
     have had in British Columbia.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     And, notwithstanding that, they do still have some concerns                                                                
     with respect to this project in their traditional territory.                                                               
     The province keeps an open-door policy to continue to discuss                                                              
     with them the nature of those concerns and opportunities for                                                               
     resolution.  In the meantime, as you may be aware, in February                                                             
     the Taku Tlingit laid a petition with supporting affidavits                                                                
     into the B.C. Supreme Court, and so the matter is now before                                                               
     the courts. ... I cannot say much more about it than that."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2254                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS expressed his understanding that the B.C.                                                                 
government has issued the environmental permit for this mine.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD responded:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     We do not have an environmental permit.  What has been issued                                                              
     - and it was issued in March of '98 - was what they refer to                                                               
     as a project approval certificate, which was basically an                                                                  
     approval to proceed to permitting, with no authority to                                                                    
     undertake any construction.  The major permits required of the                                                             
     proponent before surface disturbance can be undertaken:  on                                                                
     the road, it is a permit under the Forest Practices Code of                                                                
     British Columbia Act - that would be ... a permit to construct                                                             
     the road; under the Mines Act, it would be a work system                                                                   
     approval and reclamation plan permit for the mine site; and                                                                
     under the British Columbia Waste Management Act, a permit for                                                              
     the handling of any waste material.  And none of those permits                                                             
     have been issued to date.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2315                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS noted that a communication says that Redfern                                                              
Resources Limited, the company involved, hasn't addressed the water                                                             
quality issue downstream of the mine.  He requested a response.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD replied:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The advice I received from those agencies with the technical                                                               
     expertise on water quality on the B.C. and Canadian side                                                                   
     agreed that the potential for downstream water quality effects                                                             
     was not significant, and that, through the British Columbia                                                                
     waste management permitting system, that the details of ...                                                                
     those issues ... will be addressed to the satisfaction of both                                                             
     British Columbia and Canada, and Alaska state, and, as such,                                                               
     before the project is approved to discharge any contaminant                                                                
     materials, that all of those issues would have to be addressed                                                             
     satisfactorily.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2372                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked, "Do you feel, from the Canadian side                                                               
of things, that it's essential that this go before the                                                                          
International Joint Commission, or ... can it be handled between                                                                
the two governments?"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD answered:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Through the continuing bilateral discussions we've had with                                                                
     B.C., Canada and U.S. federal and state agencies, British                                                                  
     Columbia has taken the position that we feel that ... our                                                                  
     permitting process is an appropriate venue within which to                                                                 
     address the remaining issues, and that, by way of the                                                                      
     invitation for the Alaska state and U.S. federal agencies to                                                               
     participate, we feel that is an appropriate venue.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2442                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BOB CARMICHAEL, Redfern Resources Limited (Vancouver, B.C.), came                                                               
forward to give a slide presentation.  He explained that the                                                                    
project is located on the bank of the Tulsequah River, about 14                                                                 
kilometers upstream from the confluence with the Taku River, to                                                                 
which the Tulsequah is a tributary.  The tailings pond is on Shazah                                                             
Creek, a tributary to the Tulsequah River.  The closest that the                                                                
mine itself will get to the Taku River is about 14 kilometers.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL showed a slide looking up the Tulsequah River,                                                                   
depicting the old Polaris Taku townsite on the left and the mine                                                                
site on the right, with Shazah Creek flowing into the Tulsequah                                                                 
River.  He then showed a slide of the townsite of Tulsequah.  He                                                                
told members that the valley has a fairly long history of mining                                                                
activity; the town existed there for about 30 years, serving the                                                                
Polaris Taku and later the Tulsequah Chief Mine.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL next showed a slide of the ore deposit, with                                                                     
historic and proposed workings.  He pointed out that the entire ore                                                             
body, as it exists, and the planned underground workings are below                                                              
the level of the river.  The deposit is located about                                                                           
three-quarters of a mile into the side of the mountain from the                                                                 
river.  Upon closure of the mine and reclamation, this mine will be                                                             
allowed to flood naturally, and all the stopes will be backfilled;                                                              
there will be no potential for drainage into the Tulsequah River.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL showed a slide of what the mine site will look like                                                              
when it is constructed, including the proposed mill site and the                                                                
buildings associated with the mine.  He told members it is entirely                                                             
an underground mine, with a very small surface "footprint."  He                                                                 
pointed out the access road heading up Shazah Creek to Atlin, as                                                                
well as the tailings storage impoundment on Shazah Creek.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL next showed a shot of the bench where the plant site                                                             
is, then a picture of the Shazah Creek valley depicting the                                                                     
location of the tailings impoundment.  He stated, "This is where I                                                              
feel there's been a lot of misunderstanding about what we're trying                                                             
to do up here."  He mentioned the design for the tailings                                                                       
impoundment, indicating it is well-clear of any flooding danger                                                                 
from the Tulsequah River.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL explained, "The design parameters that we used were                                                              
the 1-in-200-year flood on Shazah Creek.  The state of Alaska was                                                               
interested in sort of worst-case scenarios, so, as Norm [Ringstad]                                                              
mentioned, one thing they wanted us to investigate was what would                                                               
happen if, say, we run into a volume of water that was double the                                                               
1-in-200-year flood event.  It turns out that that corresponds to                                                               
about a 1-in-10,000-year return event; it's an extremely unlikely                                                               
event."  Mr. Carmichael said in any case, the tailings impoundment                                                              
would survive such a flood-related event, and the risk of the                                                                   
tailings stored in the impoundment being washed down the river is                                                               
zero.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL told members that, as Mr. Ringstad had touched upon,                                                             
the material stored in the tailings impoundment would be mixed with                                                             
limestone, and all of the pyrite would be removed and placed back                                                               
underground; the material stored in there will have no potential                                                                
for acid generation.  That allows it to be reclaimed as a dry                                                                   
impoundment; they can "dewater" it at the end of the mine's life,                                                               
then recontour it and revegetate it.  He said it forms a very nice                                                              
walk-a-way solution, with no potential for acid (indisc.) drainage                                                              
out of the tailings pond, and no concerns about flood devastation                                                               
or of the tailings entering the Taku River system.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL noted that environmental measures include keeping                                                                
the development in hanging-wall rocks, which is a little unusual                                                                
for mining.  He stated, "We've done that because we want to stay                                                                
away from some of the rocks that do have acid-generating potential.                                                             
Sulfides will be removed from the tailings.  There'll be limestone                                                              
added to them.  We'll put as much of the waste rock as possible                                                                 
back underground.  The reclamation involves sealing and flooding                                                                
the mine workings, which have been backfilled, so there's no chance                                                             
of drainage out of that."  He pointed out the dry tailings storage,                                                             
which he had described briefly earlier.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL next showed a shot of the access road up to Atlin                                                                
and then down to Skagway, Alaska, followed by a picture of a                                                                    
now-dormant storage facility in Skagway, to be used for storing and                                                             
shipping their concentrate.  He concluded by showing the loading                                                                
facility at Skagway.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2739                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked what Alaska or the United States can do if the                                                              
project goes ahead and somehow results in environmental damage to                                                               
rivers that flow across the border, for example, or damage to                                                                   
Alaskan fisheries.  He asked whether there is recourse under                                                                    
international law or through treaty agreements.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL said that is outside his area of expertise.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. RINGSTAD noted that it is also outside his area of expertise,                                                               
then stated, "I don't have an answer specifically for that.  With                                                               
respect to the road and the mine itself, under our provincial                                                                   
legislation, there are bonds that are established ... to protect                                                                
against any risk and liability that would be leveled to the                                                                     
provincial government."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN said he would like to have that answered at some                                                                  
point, before this resolution, if it moves from committee, is taken                                                             
up on the House floor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2824                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AL CLOUGH, Local Chapter President, Alaska Miners Association,                                                                  
Incorporated, came forward, noting that executive director Steve                                                                
Borell had provided written comments.  Mr. Clough said that the                                                                 
long history of mining in the Tulsequah area bears consideration in                                                             
this project.  As Mr. Ringstad had highlighted, there are at least                                                              
four examples of other trans-border mining projects that are on                                                                 
salmon streams; those have been successfully permitted and                                                                      
operated, and in some cases, those are being reclaimed.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLOUGH stated, "Obviously, there are some heightened issues on                                                              
this.  From the Alaska Miners Association perspective, we are very                                                              
much in favor of the tenets laid out in this joint concurrent                                                                   
resolution, which basically says, 'Let's get this thing back to the                                                             
technical people, to the technical discussions that need to take                                                                
place to make sure this project moves forward in a responsible                                                                  
manner.'  And we would submit that perhaps the IJC issue has served                                                             
its purpose in getting people more aware of the issue, getting more                                                             
dialogue and more involvement by all concerned, and, as I say, it                                                               
is time to move it back off that forum and get it moved ahead and                                                               
resolved."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN announced that he would now take testimony from the                                                               
public.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2910                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ERROL CHAMPION, Cabin Owner and Member, Taku River Recreation                                                                   
Association, came forward, stating, "I appreciated you asking the                                                               
key question that our association has on this whole matter, and                                                                 
we've circulated correspondence to you prior."  He told members the                                                             
association was formed several years ago to represent property                                                                  
owners and users of the Taku River valley, mainly on the Alaska                                                                 
side of the border.  There are 130 lots on the City and Borough of                                                              
Juneau tax rolls, with 70 cabins built over the past 60 years.                                                                  
Several members are second-generation users of the river, and one                                                               
member is apparently a fifth-generation user.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHAMPION stated:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Since the last ice age, the Taku River is the main access                                                                  
     route to the northern Interior.  Tlingit Natives and others                                                                
     sailed up and down this river between Canoe Landing and                                                                    
     tidewater; it's a distance of about 100 miles.  Earlier this                                                               
     week, our association sent you communications outlining our                                                                
     views.  We neither support nor oppose the reopening of the                                                                 
     Tulsequah Chief Mine because it's a Canadian project, and it's                                                             
     the obligation of the B.C. government to review and regulated                                                              
     the proposed mine.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHAMPION advised members that the association's main concern                                                                
centers on the fact that Redfern Resources has failed to respond to                                                             
repeated requests for Redfern's position on how they plan on                                                                    
protecting and maintaining water quality below the border.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-20, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2968 [Numbers run backwards because of recorder]                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHAMPION said they don't understand why Redfern Resources                                                                   
doesn't want to communicate with members of the association or with                                                             
the state of Alaska.  He told members:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     While it's the sole responsibility of the B.C. government to                                                               
     review and regulate this project, we do not want to see a                                                                  
     repeat of the soil contamination situation that Alaskans faced                                                             
     in Skagway three years ago; that Canadian mine had no                                                                      
     responsibility and was not accountable for the cleanup costs.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Further, Premier Clark has not been a particularly good                                                                    
     neighbor to Alaska and, because of previous encounters, we                                                                 
     frankly don't think he cares about the Alaskan side of the                                                                 
     Taku River.  We would encourage the legislature to rewrite                                                                 
     this resolution to contain language that demands a response                                                                
     from Redfern and the B.C. government on how they plan to                                                                   
     protect and ensure downstream water quality during the life of                                                             
     the project.  Alaskans deserve to have those questions                                                                     
     answered.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2926                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS DOBYNS, Environmental Planner, Douglas Indian Association,                                                              
came forward.  He stated:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     We have a joint project with EPA [Environmental Protection                                                                 
     Agency] and USGS [United States Geological Survey] to conduct                                                              
     water quality monitoring on the Taku River for a five-year                                                                 
     period.  Our first sampling event was in October, which was                                                                
     reconnaissance.  The second sampling event was in November,                                                                
     which is being analyzed at the Manchester Laboratory in                                                                    
     Washington State.  This is to parts per billion; it's been                                                                 
     collected under the protocols of USGS and EPA.  And we have a                                                              
     quality assurance project plan that's been accepted by U.S.                                                                
     EPS as being a valid laboratory and field sampling guide.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     We feel that it's very necessary that someone baseline the                                                                 
     environmental conditions that are in the river at this time.                                                               
     In our review of the Redfern data, one thing that was glaring                                                              
     to us was that the samples were single-sample events that were                                                             
     repeated, but there was no regular sampling that would                                                                     
     actually baseline the conditions in the river.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     And so, we put this project as a proposal to USGS, and entered                                                             
     with the director in the state of Alaska on a joint project to                                                             
     conduct this.  At the end of five years, there'll be a report                                                              
     published by USGS that will be [an] official interpretive                                                                  
     report published in the USGS database.  And I think that                                                                   
     that's something that you should be aware of, that it's                                                                    
     necessary for us to establish the scientific credibility,                                                                  
     because there's a lot of discussion without really having                                                                  
     reference to a regular data base.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOBYNS, noting that he himself is a "technical person,"                                                                     
deferred to a council member from the Douglas Indian Association,                                                               
Michael Dunlap, who is on the environmental committee and is the                                                                
past president of the council, to further address the issues.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2794                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL DUNLAP, Council Member, Douglas Indian Association, came                                                                
forward, giving his Tlingit name of Kah Du Shan; he specified that                                                              
he is Xix Chi Hit [Frog House] Gaanax Adi from the Taaku Kwaan on                                                               
the Alaska side of the border, and that he is an IRA [Indian                                                                    
Reorganization Act] tribal council member of the Douglas Indian                                                                 
Association, a tribal government in the Juneau area.  He read into                                                              
the record his concerns about HCR 4:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The crux of the question is captured in the last "WHEREAS"                                                                 
     clause, which reads, "WHEREAS the government of British                                                                    
     Columbia has made assurances that the development of the                                                                   
     Tulsequah Chief Mine will result in no transboundary impacts".                                                             
     This is the very question that is being challenged by Alaska's                                                             
     Governor, Tony Knowles, and by the Douglas Indian Association.                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The truth is that we do not trust ... British Columbia enough                                                              
     to let them proceed without more assurances than they have                                                                 
     offered.  If there could be a binding contract, assurances                                                                 
     that would require compensation in the event of a                                                                          
     transboundary impact, such as using a posted bond that would                                                               
     be put up by the mine ahead of time, we would be more                                                                      
     impressed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     It is not an arbitrary position to question the assurances of                                                              
     British Columbia in this matter.  There are indications that                                                               
     [B.C. Premier] Glen Clark's credibility is in question on a                                                                
     number of counts at this time in general, and the track record                                                             
     for the environmental control over mine pollution in B.C. is                                                               
     not good, in particular.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     There is the issue of the judicial review of the B.C. mining                                                               
     certificate that has been filed by the Taku River Tlingits.                                                                
     The First Nation is concerned enough to take expensive legal                                                               
     action to defend their homeland.  We are told to expect the                                                                
     review to be heard within the next few weeks.  It did not seem                                                             
     prudent for the legislature of the state of Alaska to be                                                                   
     making a claim that all of the concerns have been met over                                                                 
     this issue.  In fact, it may be that ... the intervention of                                                               
     the IJC is the only way to (indisc.--coughing) the                                                                         
     jurisdictional question and the outstanding environmental                                                                  
     concerns that have been expressed by the many interest groups,                                                             
     in addition to the Douglas Indian Association and the Taku                                                                 
     River Tlingits.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The Douglas Indian Association has begun a water testing                                                                   
     program on the Taku River, together with USGS and the EPA.                                                                 
     The second sampling will be taken in the next two weeks and                                                                
     shipped to the EPA Manchester Lab in Washington State.  This                                                               
     is a five-year project that will document the baseline water                                                               
     quality at the USGS gauge, just downstream of the B.C. and                                                                 
     Alaska border.  The database will document the water quality                                                               
     from November 1998 to October 2002, according to official                                                                  
     protocols of USGS and the EPA.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     We suggest that this work will tell us whether there are                                                                   
     transboundary impacts or not, so that we will not have to take                                                             
     the word of British Columbia or Redfern mine company.  We ask                                                              
     that the Alaska State Legislature support this activity,                                                                   
     rather than assuming that there will be no transboundary                                                                   
     impacts.  Ask, instead, that the contractual assurance is                                                                  
     established, ... that will pay for any damages to the valuable                                                             
     fisheries and the other natural resources that the Alaskans                                                                
     depend upon from the Taku River.  If the legislature is not                                                                
     ... prepared to take this action, we ask, at the very least,                                                               
     the proposed resolution being considered here not be passed.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2603                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked Mr. Dunlap to briefly cite what he was                                                                      
referring to when he said B.C.'s track record is not good with                                                                  
water quality.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOBYNS returned to the witness table.  He stated:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I've personally done review of two mines in British Columbia.                                                              
     One is the Western Mines that feeds into Buttle Lake on                                                                    
     Vancouver Island.  This was done under doctor Allen Austin at                                                              
     the University of Victoria, who just recently retired ... and                                                              
     has filed all of this papers with the library at the                                                                       
     University of Victoria.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We found extensive problems with tumors in fish, elevated                                                                  
     heavy metals; it resulted in a major amount of questions on                                                                
     this, since it was the drinking water source for the city of                                                               
     Campbell River.  This issue has been going for approximately                                                               
     30 years, and it's been in and out of numerous discussions.                                                                
     The mine is in a provincial park of British Columbia, I should                                                             
     add ....                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked whether that mine was permitted under the same                                                              
process as this one.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOBYNS replied:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     No, it was permitted under an earlier process.  However, since                                                             
     it was brought up numerous times by concerned citizens for                                                                 
     redress by British Columbia, and they failed to get very good                                                              
     satisfaction, I think it's pertinent.  The second is [Island                                                               
     Mines] that feeds into Quatsino Sound.  And that's been used                                                               
     - cited - as a stellar example of dealing with tailings                                                                    
     disposal in the marine environment; and I can tell you that                                                                
     that was not the case.  There's problems with crabs migrating,                                                             
     juvenile salmonids, and I participated with some First Nations                                                             
     people in monitoring that on northern Vancouver Island.  So,                                                               
     from my experience, I would say, as a professional opinion,                                                                
     that there is not a good track record ... in this regard.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked what Mr. Dobyns' educational background is.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOBYNS answered, "I'm a Master's of Environmental Science."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2435                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ELDON DENNIS, Fisherman, came forward.  A Juneau resident for 32                                                                
years, he has been involved in commercial fisheries for 28 years.                                                               
Mr. Dennis said he fully supports the Governor's efforts to ensure                                                              
the safety of the Taku River fisheries, and he emphasized the                                                                   
importance of these fisheries.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. DENNIS referred to his first encounter at a meeting with                                                                    
Redfern Resources representatives and said, "They proposed a                                                                    
barging system at that time, and when meeting and discussing with                                                               
them, they were totally unaware that the barge schedule they were                                                               
planning to run would interfere with gillnets all across Taku                                                                   
Inlet; they didn't have an idea that a fishery was even operating                                                               
at that time of the year, which is the summer."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. DENNIS stated that based on experience with the Canadian                                                                    
government, dealing with the transboundary treaty negotiations, he                                                              
doesn't believe a word they say.  Furthermore, he finds it                                                                      
incredible that Alaska legislators are purporting to serve the                                                                  
interests of Canadian mining companies, rather than looking after                                                               
the interests of Alaskan citizens involved in the commercial                                                                    
fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2335                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CARL PETERSON, Fisherman, came forward, specifying that he owns and                                                             
operates a 42-foot gillnet and longline vessel on which he catches                                                              
and processes salmon, halibut, shrimp and other species.  He told                                                               
members he was speaking against HCR 4.  Mr. Peterson stated:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The reason I am against this resolution is that I don't                                                                    
     believe there has been enough information on this project                                                                  
     regarding safeguards for critical salmon spawning and rearing                                                              
     habitat.  I also have major concerns about possible leaching                                                               
     of acid from this mine into the Taku River watershed.  This                                                                
     river system now supports a world-class run of king salmon, as                                                             
     well as a large run of sockeye and coho salmon; pinks and                                                                  
     chums use this river system, along with numerous freshwater                                                                
     species of fish, and large numbers of waterfowl and other                                                                  
     wildlife.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I would like to make it clear that I am not against mining or                                                              
     other resource development.  I just believe that these                                                                     
     projects should not have an impact on existing industries and                                                              
     recreational users.  I do support the efforts of Governor                                                                  
     Knowles to bring the highest level of protection to this                                                                   
     pristine watershed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN referred to HCR 4, page 2, line 20, where it states,                                                              
"BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recommends                                                                    
continuing the cooperative effort between the two governments                                                                   
toward to environmentally responsible development of the Tulsequah                                                              
Chief Mine".  He asked whether that language is offensive to Mr.                                                                
Dennis.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. DENNIS said no, he has no problem with the legislature's                                                                    
working towards that goal.  However, he believes it should go to                                                                
the IJC, and he backs Governor Knowles' efforts to do that.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2232                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked, "What do you think that this                                                                       
international commission can do that our environmental agencies in                                                              
the state can't do?"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. DENNIS replied that he is not an expert on this.  However, if                                                               
there were to be a problem with leaching of acid, for example,                                                                  
there would be no recourse for commercial fishermen; all of a                                                                   
sudden, the fish wouldn't show up and the fishermen would be out of                                                             
business.  He pointed out that in Prince William Sound, where the                                                               
Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred, they had said there was no effect                                                              
on the herring fisheries, yet ten years after the spill, there is                                                               
still oil in the water, and people up there haven't even been paid                                                              
for that disaster.  He would like to have some recourse, through                                                                
the legislature or the Governor's office, for example, that says if                                                             
something does happen, the fishermen can be compensated.  Testimony                                                             
that day indicates there is little recourse with the British                                                                    
Columbia government, yet any effluent coming out of that mine will                                                              
go downstream, "straight to us."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2150                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KATHY WELTZIN came forward next.  She pointed out that the project                                                              
includes a 150-kilometer road going through the watershed, with                                                                 
more than 50 stream crossings.  She emphasized the need to focus on                                                             
the whole watershed, not just the mine itself.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2081                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARMICHAEL said the road will be permitted under the B.C.                                                                   
Ministry of Energy and Mines, as a private industrial road.  It                                                                 
will have a manned gate, and access will be allowed only to people                                                              
on mine business.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2066                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JIM BECKER, President, Juneau Chapter, United Southeast Alaska                                                                  
Gillnetters (USAG), came forward on behalf of USAG, an organization                                                             
of men and women who make their living commercial fishing in                                                                    
Southeast Alaska.  He noted that USAG has chapters in Puget Sound,                                                              
Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau and Haines.  He stated:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     We are here today to encourage you to support the                                                                          
     Administration's efforts to have the issue of the Tulsequah                                                                
     Chief Mine resolved by the International Joint Commission.  To                                                             
     date, the process has been totally inadequate in addressing                                                                
     the impact of the mine on Alaskan Taku gillnet, sports and                                                                 
     subsistence fisheries.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The extent of our involvement was one public hearing at the                                                                
     Baranof Hotel in the fall of 1997.  At that hearing, Redfern                                                               
     presented a full and complete overview of the proposed mine.                                                               
     However, many questions from the audience raised serious                                                                   
     doubts as to the thoroughness of Redfern's application, and it                                                             
     also raised concerns about ... additional potential                                                                        
     development, using the road built for Tulsequah Mine.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     At the conclusion of that public hearing, we accepted                                                                      
     Redfern's offer to get on their mailing list and continue the                                                              
     dialogue with them on unresolved issues concerning potential                                                               
     impact on our fishery.  To date, we have received nothing from                                                             
     Redfern.  It seems that we were afforded the opportunity of                                                                
     commenting on the mine at the end of their public permitting                                                               
     process, because in March of 1998, Redfern was issued a                                                                    
     permit.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Our organization has a responsibility to work diligently to                                                                
     protect our fishing industry and ensure the long-term                                                                      
     survivability of our fishing industry.  We have an internal                                                                
     board resolution which guides our efforts in matters of                                                                    
     economic development, water quality and habitat issues.  The                                                               
     final part of our resolution says we strive to make it clear                                                               
     we are not opposed to economic development. ... Expansion or                                                               
     development of new industries can be good for everyone, as                                                                 
     long as development doesn't come at the expense of an existing                                                             
     industry.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     USAG has a long and successful working relationship with other                                                             
     mine applicants, most notably, Coeur Alaska.  We were the                                                                  
     first fishing organization to publicly support their                                                                       
     Kensington Mine, and even after Coeur Alaska had to make a                                                                 
     basic change to their tailing discharge, we continued to have                                                              
     a healthy dialogue with them.  From our perspective, the                                                                   
     process of permitting this mine didn't adequately consider the                                                             
     impact on the healthy, viable Alaska fishery.  [We are] the                                                                
     one industry just down the stream, and we weren't even brought                                                             
     into this discussion till the very end.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We base our concerns about the mine operation on information                                                               
     submitted by the Department of Fish and Game, habitat and                                                                  
     restoration division.  They say, in an October 30, 1997,                                                                   
     memorandum, and in subsequent memorandums, the following:                                                                  
     Their concerns are of downstream interested parties.                                                                       
     Tulsequah Mine and related activity has a potential to                                                                     
     substantially affect the water quality and fisheries of the                                                                
     Taku River watershed.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In comment about ... Flannigan Slough, the department said,                                                                
     "We are particularly concerned about the short- and long-term                                                              
     impact to this area."  The department has concerns about the                                                               
     tailing storage ponds and water treatment plan, as well.  The                                                              
     department concludes [that] in the event of a landslide,                                                                   
     avalanche or earthquakes, tailing impoundment seepage would                                                                
     increase substantially.  They also raise the question of how                                                               
     the cyanide would be shipped.  In regard to the access road,                                                               
     the department raises questions about sediment, siltation and                                                              
     fish passages.  Also, the department questions secondary                                                                   
     impact from additional development ... of the newly                                                                        
     established access road.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     These are our concerns, as well.  And if the mine were in                                                                  
     Alaska, all these and other related issues would be completely                                                             
     hammered out in the public process.  The only avenue left to                                                               
     protect the Alaska interest is the International Joint                                                                     
     Commission.  We appreciate and support Governor Knowles'                                                                   
     insistence that this matter be resolved there.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1825                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked, "You said that the operator of the mine                                                             
offered to keep you informed, and you got on their mailing list and                                                             
then heard nothing?"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BECKER affirmed that.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked Mr. Carmichael of Redfern Resources Limited to                                                              
jot down some of the questions and problems; Co-Chair Ogan stated                                                               
his intention of providing time at the end of the hearing for a                                                                 
response.  He expressed hope that this process can foster some                                                                  
better communications.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1769                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AARON BRAKEL, Juneau resident, came forward next.  He told members                                                              
that he supports the Governor's position on this.  He believes it                                                               
needs to go to the IJC, which would give Alaska a seat at the                                                                   
table.  In contrast, HCR 4 says, "Let's not even sit at the table."                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRAKEL pointed out that the Tongass Land Management Plan says                                                               
that the largest impact on fish habitat from logging in Southeast                                                               
Alaska is from the road building.  He expressed extreme concern                                                                 
about the road building on this project, noting that there are many                                                             
problems with the route, including that it is steep and will have                                                               
impacts on fish downstream.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRAKEL referred to mention that the road will be closed to the                                                              
public.  He emphasized that a person flying south can view all the                                                              
devastation and clearcuts in British Columbia, which run for miles                                                              
along the streams and right up the sides of mountains into                                                                      
avalanche zones.  He concluded, "They're not going to stop that                                                                 
from happening in Canada. ... Their record on fish habitat                                                                      
protection is terrible.  So, I hope that you support the Governor's                                                             
position and go to the International Joint Commission on this, so                                                               
that we - Alaska - can have a seat at the table."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1623                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JAY CRONDAHL came forward, concisely stating, "No.  Vote no on the                                                              
resolution."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1582                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRAD PIERCE, Taku River Cabin Owner, came forward next.  He told                                                                
members that he has nothing against Canadians or Canadian                                                                       
companies.  However, he wonders why the legislature would want to                                                               
promote the interests of a Canadian company over the interests of                                                               
Alaskan voters who have cabins up the river or who earn their                                                                   
livelihoods in Taku Inlet.  He supports what the Governor is doing                                                              
by making sure that this developer meets international standards.                                                               
In response to Co-Chair Ogan's question about whether he works for                                                              
the Administration, Mr. Pierce specified that he was speaking on                                                                
his own behalf, although he works for the Office of Management and                                                              
Budget (OMB).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN called upon Joe Geldhof, but there was no response.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1462                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE FERGUSON CRAIG, Issues Coordinator, Alaskans for Juneau,                                                                 
came forward, noting that she had provided written comments that                                                                
say that Alaskans for Juneau supports IJC consideration and                                                                     
referral for this project, and that they do not support HCR 4.  She                                                             
stated:                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     There are a couple of things that have come up that may be                                                                 
     relevant, that are not in our comments - number one, the                                                                   
     process between how Canada decides these projects and how the                                                              
     U.S. and Alaska decide them.  There was a similar approach                                                                 
     taken to the A-J Mine here in Juneau, called phasing.  And our                                                             
     citizens' group, and another citizens' group, appealed the                                                                 
     city's decision of going ahead in segments and not knowing                                                                 
     exactly what would happen before permits were granted.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     They chose to make those decisions before the answers were in.                                                             
     We took that all the way to the supreme court and ended up                                                                 
     with a fine precedent that says that is not to be done; and I                                                              
     would be happy to provide you with a copy of that court                                                                    
     ruling, so that you can consider that as you take your vote,                                                               
     and how your vote would be influenced by standing supreme                                                                  
     court decision making.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The second point, very briefly, is about the IJC.  I have been                                                             
     following an issue that they are working on right at this                                                                  
     time.  They are primarily an organization that was designed to                                                             
     resolve problems with the Great Lakes.  They are currently in                                                              
     some hearings right now between Canada and the U.S., and it                                                                
     provides a forum for both sides to present their approaches,                                                               
     in an equal and fair way.  There are currently four hearings                                                               
     going on in the U.S. side - and citizens that are affected by                                                              
     this Great Lakes potential decision - and four hearings going                                                              
     on that have just concluded today, over the last two weeks, on                                                             
     the Canadian side.  And I think that's the fair kind of                                                                    
     approach that we see here with the legislature - that you want                                                             
     to hear what everybody has to say.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     And so, I would suggest that - along with some of my fellow                                                                
     people - I recommend that you not pass this resolution at this                                                             
     time, and consider continuing to support the Governor in his                                                               
     assessment that this should have IJC approval.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1300                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RICH DAVIS, Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC), came forward next,                                                             
informing members that he is a 36-year resident of Juneau; for the                                                              
last 30 years, he has been a commercial fisherman.  He, his wife                                                                
and their three children are totally dependent on Alaska's                                                                      
commercial fisheries resources.  He has fished both commercially                                                                
and recreationally for salmon from the Taku River since he was ten                                                              
years old.  He serves the 400-member SPC as their representative to                                                             
the United Fishermen of Alaska.  Mr. Davis stated:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     We harvest Taku River salmon in both gillnet and troll                                                                     
     fisheries in Southeast.  Mining issues, as they relate to                                                                  
     mineral extractions, and fisheries issues, as they relate to                                                               
     water quality, are not new to us.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The Tulsequah Chief Mine project does not answer the questions                                                             
     or assuage the concerns of Alaska's resource agencies at this                                                              
     point.  Our state's resource agencies have our interests and                                                               
     concerns in mind.  A few corporate executives and government                                                               
     diplomats from Canada can show up here and change a few minds                                                              
     - how convenient for them.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The Canadians are not your constituents.  If they're going to                                                              
     mine upstream, with adequate safeguards for the water quality                                                              
     necessary to sustain salmon habit, then let's make them prove                                                              
     it with thorough science, good planning, and satisfy the                                                                   
     state's concerns that our resource agencies have.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Put yourself in the fishermen's shoes.  Our neighboring                                                                    
     government has degraded its waterways, exploited its salmon                                                                
     resources, to the point where their commercial salmon                                                                      
     fisheries in British Columbia are no longer sustainable.                                                                   
     Rather than face the reality of their own irresponsibility,                                                                
     they - for years - have labeled Alaska's fisheries as the                                                                  
     culprit.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Their government is not my government.  I don't trust them,                                                                
     and they don't elect you.  We oppose the resolution and will                                                               
     support the Governor's effort to resolve the differences we                                                                
     have through the International Joint Commission, until the                                                                 
     mine's proponents convince Alaska's resource agencies that                                                                 
     water quality and fish habitat concerns of the users of the                                                                
     Taku River drainage are addressed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked Mr. Davis what steps Redfern Resources and the                                                              
Canadian government could take that would make him comfortable.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVIS replied that if they could convince the Alaska Department                                                             
of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the Department of Environmental                                                                    
Conservation (DEC) that the efforts that they are going to                                                                      
undertake would ensure the safeguards of the spawning habitat, the                                                              
rearing habitat, the critical fisheries habitat, and the resources                                                              
that inhabit that river, he would be much more comfortable.  "But                                                               
our state agencies, at this point, have not been convinced that our                                                             
concerns are addressed," he concluded.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked Deputy Commissioner Bosworth whether the state                                                              
has changed its position.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1094                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT BOSWORTH, Deputy Commissioner, Alaska Department of Fish and                                                             
Game, answered, "We have not changed our basic position."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1084                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TIM BRISTOL, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, came forward.                                                               
He stated:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Just for the record, we are adamantly opposed to this                                                                      
     resolution.  We think that the International Joint Commission                                                              
     actually would give the state of Alaska more control over                                                                  
     development of this mine.  I grew up on the Great Lakes, and                                                               
     there were a lot of IJC issues that came up; and usually it                                                                
     was the Canadians, very concerned about something that was                                                                 
     going on, on the American side of the border, and they would                                                               
     go to the IJC to make sure that they had fair representation,                                                              
     being a smaller country and having a lot less people on their                                                              
     side of the border.  And I just kind of see it as turnabout,                                                               
     and ... I think it's fair play.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     And I would also encourage the legislature to look at the                                                                  
     concerns that the commercial fishermen are bringing up here.                                                               
     They probably have the most intimate relationship with                                                                     
     Canadians when it comes to treaty negotiations and dealing                                                                 
     with allocation of resources, particularly salmon, and I think                                                             
     that we should defer to them on this issue.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1002                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DON WEIR, President, Taku Wilderness Association, came forward,                                                                 
noting that he is from Atlin, B.C.  He handed out a copy of written                                                             
testimony, attached to a document titled, "Lessons from the                                                                     
Environmental Assessment process of the South Kemess Copper/Gold                                                                
Mining Project," which he said details problems with the B.C.                                                                   
Environmental Assessment Act and why it should be of concern to                                                                 
Alaskans.  Mr. Weir stated:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     There are two key questions here which I really think that                                                                 
     people should be thinking about more seriously, and ... it's                                                               
     a broader question than Redfern.  Our concern with this whole                                                              
     project, in addition to the problems with the Redfern mine,                                                                
     are the long-term impacts, looking at the watershed over a 10-                                                             
     or 20-year period.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Our main concern here - and a lot of it was from talking to                                                                
     people in the B.C. government - is that there is an agenda                                                                 
     here to have a road going from Atlin to Telegraph Creek,                                                                   
     setting up, basically, an industrial corridor in there for                                                                 
     logging and for mining.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We knew that if the Redfern project did go ahead - it was                                                                  
     given a project approval certificate - that interest would be                                                              
     aroused; and that is exactly what happened.  The Muddy Lake --                                                             
     or the Explorer Gold moved into and was doing exploration work                                                             
     on the main-stem Taku.  People who were rafting down the river                                                             
     sat down with those people, talked to them, asked them what                                                                
     their long-term mine plan was; and they said they didn't                                                                   
     really feel they needed the Tulsequah Chief road, that they                                                                
     wanted to punch a road from the mine site, on the main stem,                                                               
     connecting with the Muddy Lake road.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     A month later, I came to Juneau, was talking to an Alaska                                                                  
     state fisheries official, and when I showed him where they                                                                 
     were talking about punching a road, he said that is the heart                                                              
     of the Taku with regard to the fishery.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We know that that is what the government would like to do, to                                                              
     pull in tax revenue, and that is what our concern is here.                                                                 
     The Redfern -- the work they have done is decent work, but the                                                             
     long-term impact on the watershed is what people should be                                                                 
     thinking about .... We would hope the IJC, if it did happen,                                                               
     would address that.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The other question, which I think all stakeholders should have                                                             
     a major concern with, is whether the monitoring and the                                                                    
     regulatory processes in B.C. will adequately address issues if                                                             
     the mine does go ahead; and that is what I address in here                                                                 
     [the handout].  There is a long litany of pollution abatement                                                              
     orders, violations to fisheries Acts, one thing after another;                                                             
     I have six pages of them here, just on two mines - one, the                                                                
     Huckleberry Mine, and the Kemess Mine in the interior of B.C.                                                              
     And I think that should be a concern if the mine does go                                                                   
     ahead.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I'll read just a brief snippet here:  From the point of view                                                               
     of other stakeholders, the ... key question should be whether                                                              
     the assessment of this process properly addressed the short-                                                               
     and long-term impacts of this project.  Another question is                                                                
     whether the mitigation measures created by the provincial                                                                  
     government, to cover up flaws in Redfern's project report,                                                                 
     will adequately deal with the long-term impacts.  The best way                                                             
     to make this determination is to look at British Columbia's                                                                
     track record on other mining projects.  The record does not                                                                
     provide much assurance.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We have been told by numerous government officials that, due                                                               
     to severe budgetary cutbacks, it will be difficult, if not                                                                 
     impossible, to properly investigate and remedy the inevitable                                                              
     problems that will come.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     It's your call whether you want to go to an IJC or not, or                                                                 
     even if the IJC would address the issues.  But there are some                                                              
     serious problems here.  Taku River Tlingit have filed a court                                                              
     challenge against the project certificate, and the key part of                                                             
     that case is that there were clear violations of the                                                                       
     environmental assessment, and violations were made on                                                                      
     political grounds because the government wanted this project;                                                              
     and there's a history of these things happening.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     And the impact will not be on us in Atlin, except                                                                          
     socioeconomic (indisc.).  The impact will be on you downriver,                                                             
     if the watershed is opened up.  And I hope you will just take                                                              
     a serious look and perhaps delay a decision on this resolution                                                             
     until the outcome of the court case in the summer, because we                                                              
     think it will indicate that there were some really serious and                                                             
     blatant violations.  And it should be of concern to you.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked if Atlin is at the headwaters of the Taku                                                                   
River.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. WEIR answered that Atlin is north of the Taku watershed, on                                                                 
Atlin Lake, about 90 kilometers - 60 miles - south of the Yukon                                                                 
Territory border.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0609                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOAN JACK, Nakina Center for Aboriginal Learning and Living                                                                     
(C.A.L.L.), came forward.  From Atlin, B.C., she informed members                                                               
that Nakina C.A.L.L. is a nonprofit organization formed by Tlingit                                                              
people within the Canadian portion of the Taku watershed.  She                                                                  
stated:                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     It's difficult to know what to say in a situation like this.                                                               
     I don't pretend to understand your politics, or - as one of                                                                
     the men has alluded - what good would an IJC do, anyway?  ...                                                              
     I don't know.  All I know is that somebody very powerful                                                                   
     within your country thinks that he needs to do that.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     And we have very serious concerns about what's been going on                                                               
     within the province of British Columbia. ... [To                                                                           
     Representative Joule] You had some concerns about the First                                                                
     Nations issues.  And I personally believe that the resolution,                                                             
     as presented, is misleading. ... The "WHEREASes" within the                                                                
     resolution imply that everything has gone well within the                                                                  
     environmental assessment legislative process of the province.                                                              
     If it had gone well, the First Nation people affected by this                                                              
     issue would not be in court.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We did participate, as Mr. Ringstad indicated.  He said that                                                               
     in a way to kind of get you to believe - or he made me feel                                                                
     that way, anyway - to get you to believe that everything was                                                               
     okay.  We participated right through.  We did our best,                                                                    
     under-resourced, and gone $170,000 in debt, I might add, to                                                                
     participate.  We participated, and the Taku River Tlingit                                                                  
     First Nation filed a formal dissent to the ... project review                                                              
     committee's decision to approve that project certificate.  And                                                             
     that dissent is available; I can submit that at a later time                                                               
     to you, for your consideration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     We did our own review of the project. ... The man who                                                                      
     introduced this resolution seemed to be implying - maybe I'm                                                               
     paranoid today - but he seemed to be implying that the First                                                               
     Nations issues had to do with larger issues.  Well, I felt                                                                 
     like saying, "Well, you're darn right they do!"  But that                                                                  
     aside, we have raised concerns based on Western science, ...                                                               
     on your way of doing things.  We have hired technicians, and                                                               
     we have raised those concerns that the work that's been done                                                               
     on this project doesn't even meet the standards of sound                                                                   
     science.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     They're proposing grizzly bear monitoring, to be done as we                                                                
     go.  I live in the valley with my husband.  I live with the                                                                
     grizzly bears.  I don't know one grizzly bear that's going to                                                              
     be around once you start bulldozing down trees.  So, the                                                                   
     baseline data for these protection mechanisms is not going to                                                              
     be there.  Any self-respecting moose or grizzly is going to be                                                             
     long-gone because of the noise. ... They will acclimatize to                                                               
     the intervention, over maybe a 20-year period; they get used                                                               
     to it, it's easy-access travel, whatever.  But the baseline                                                                
     data is not there.  The province hasn't done the work. ...                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I'm also a nonpracticing lawyer, called to the bar in                                                                      
     Manitoba, so I do have a legal background. ... [I] wouldn't be                                                             
     able to give any legal opinions here, but I do understand this                                                             
     situation both traditionally, culturally and in terms of the                                                               
     White law, to a certain degree.  And I'd be happy to take some                                                             
     questions, if there were any.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0297                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE pointed out that he serves in the Minority                                                                 
party, where they try to make the best difference that they can, as                                                             
legislation moves along.  He said he was wondering if that was the                                                              
case in terms of the involvement of the First Nations people in                                                                 
this issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. JACK said she'd found it interesting that day that several                                                                  
Alaskans pointed out that HCR 4 in a way supports a Canadian                                                                    
company and a Canadian government.  She stated, "No matter what you                                                             
want to say about the province's track record, ... we're in court                                                               
with them, so we're not very happy."  She said she honestly doesn't                                                             
understand the benefit of going to the IJC, except that it is an                                                                
international regulatory body that would ensure, for all parties                                                                
involved, that things were done to the best of everyone's                                                                       
abilities.  "And I don't feel, as one person who lives in that                                                                  
place - I live there - that the provincial government is meeting                                                                
our needs or protecting anything," she concluded.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-21, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRYAN JACK, Taku River Tlingit from Atlin, British Columbia, came                                                               
forward next, expressing full support for IJC review of the road.                                                               
He told members he has a hard time when government officials come                                                               
into communities and disrupt the structure put in place by the                                                                  
people.  The road itself is not a "Redfern issue" but is clearly a                                                              
government issue, as the government wants this road to go through.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACK stated:  "Now, this road goes right through the heart of                                                               
our traditional territory.  We have a treaty in place that has                                                                  
never been acknowledged.  The assessment has never acknowledged us.                                                             
The only time we were ever, ever, ever acknowledged was when it was                                                             
beneficial to Redfern issues.  I have a hard time with it because                                                               
I've sat down with government officials and talked with them.  I've                                                             
sat down with Redfern a number of times to talk with them.  I've                                                                
sat down with Norm Ringstad.  I've sat down with the president."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACK emphasized that the whole area is a migratory area.  He                                                                
lives on the land, walks the land, and knows the animals there.                                                                 
There is a place with canyons on each side, for example, where the                                                              
proposed road goes through but which is a potential area for                                                                    
migratory animals.  In addition, from Kuthai Lake to the Taku                                                                   
River, about 50 miles, it is a downgrade.  Any spill would go down                                                              
to the river, where the salmon, bears and moose are.  Furthermore,                                                              
the area has a potential for slides, all the way down.  "I know                                                                 
it," he said.  "I walk that area.  My trail goes right on the side,                                                             
where the road goes.  It touches a migratory trail all the way                                                                  
down."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACK restated support for an IJC review, in order to "filter it                                                             
in any way possible."  He added, "I don't think that I have any                                                                 
support from the government, and I'm saying that as an individual,                                                              
as a Taku River Tlingit that is sitting at a treaty table, that is                                                              
not acknowledged."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0380                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. JACK informed Co-Chair Ogan, who was about to take testimony                                                                
via teleconference, that they had also brought an elder with them,                                                              
Mr. William Campbell.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0475                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROGER BURGGRAF testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in                                                                   
support of HCR 4.  A Fairbanks resident, he told members he has                                                                 
lived and worked in Southeast Alaska, both in the mining industry                                                               
and in "fish and wildlife."  He cannot support the Governor's                                                                   
position on the mine, and he believes that the Governor has been                                                                
misinformed by environmental groups and other special groups with                                                               
regard to the mine and the permitting process.  He also believes                                                                
that with the present permitting tools that are in place, and with                                                              
cooperation between Canada and the United States, this mine can be                                                              
developed in an environmentally sound manner.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGGRAF stated, "I feel that there's been a lot of fear                                                                    
tactics that have been used here today.  I do understand the                                                                    
concerns, but I've seen many mines - recent mines that have been                                                                
developed - that ... have been done ... in an environmentally sound                                                             
manner, and I feel that this can be done, and that we're sending                                                                
some bad messages in trying to stop this from occurring.  We do not                                                             
need to go to the International Joint Commission under the Boundary                                                             
Waters Treaty, and I feel it can be handled adequately between                                                                  
Alaska and Canada."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0656                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY NORDALE testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support                                                             
of HCR 4.  She said it appears from the language of HCR 4 that the                                                              
IJC would have nothing to decide, and that there are no                                                                         
transboundary impacts; if the assurances of the B.C. government are                                                             
correct, then Alaska and the U.S. would have no interest in the                                                                 
project.  She stated:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I think that the people who speak in favor of the                                                                          
     International Joint Commission believe that its jurisdiction                                                               
     is far wider than it truly is, but it really is just a                                                                     
     commission to reconcile differences between the two nations.                                                               
     The Tulsequah Chief project is important for a couple of                                                                   
     reasons.  One, of course, is that it is a mine, and historic,                                                              
     and capable of sound - environmentally sound - development.                                                                
     The other is that it's very important to keep the Taku River                                                               
     open as a transboundary water upon which commerce can take                                                                 
     place, even if the commerce is something where the                                                                         
     (indisc.--poor sound quality).  But there are a lot of people                                                              
     who live or have summer homes along the Taku, and if we turn                                                               
     down the ... Tulsequah Chief, we will be adding one more brick                                                             
     in the wall that will prevent people from accessing the Taku                                                               
     River for fishing, for sport, for recreation, for whatever.                                                                
     And I would urge that the House pass the resolution as quickly                                                             
     as possible.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0837                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM CAMPBELL, Taku River Tlingit from Atlin, B.C., came forward                                                             
to testify, noting that he was raised by his grandparents in                                                                    
Juneau.  He said he doesn't want the road to come in.  Emphasizing                                                              
the impact on game, he cited the Dempster Highway as an example;                                                                
since that road went in near the Peel River, the game left the                                                                  
area, whereas before that there were sometimes 5,000 or 10,000                                                                  
caribou at a time.  Mr. Campbell figures that the proposed road                                                                 
will affect his area similarly.  Furthermore, he doesn't want the                                                               
mine to be opened because it will ruin all the fishing spots.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1095                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CLAY FRICK from Port Alexander came forward next to speak on behalf                                                             
of his wife, Anissa Berry-Frick, and himself.  He said some                                                                     
legislators are wantonly putting Alaska and its resources at risk                                                               
with HCR 4 and SCR 7.  He asked:  How can Alaskans know that the                                                                
Tulsequah Chief Mine is an environmentally sound venture?  He said                                                              
that what Canada does not admit to will be self-evident when the                                                                
Taku River fisheries are put at risk due to contamination from                                                                  
tailings deposits and the effects of road building.  The health of                                                              
the Taku River, which ends up in Alaska waters, could be                                                                        
compromised if this mine is opened.  Mr. Frick stated:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Because we share this important waterway, the largest unroaded                                                             
     protected watershed on the West Coast of North America, our                                                                
     fish and game, and wildlife and other federal agencies, need                                                               
     ... to be ... included in the review of the mine.  Let's let                                                               
     the International Joint Commission be the venue of our                                                                     
     resolution to our concerns.  It is the only way we can                                                                     
     mitigate future problems with our neighbors upstream.  Why do                                                              
     our [legislators] feel it is so important to go out of their                                                               
     way to pressure the Governor's stance on this issue?  Do we                                                                
     Alaskans really feel so much compassion for Canada's natural                                                               
     resource depletion, when it cannot even [manage] its own                                                                   
     fisheries and blames Alaska for its fisheries problems?  I'm                                                               
     sorry, but ... we ... are not ready to roll out the red carpet                                                             
     for the Canadian mine upriver.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. FRICK closed by saying he is almost embarrassed that Alaska is                                                              
addressing this issue, especially after hearing about the Native                                                                
issues in Canada right now.  Furthermore, in light of the blockade                                                              
of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry, as well as Premier                                                                   
Clark's administration at that time, this sticking up for Premier                                                               
Clark in terms of pushing the mine he also finds rather                                                                         
embarrassing.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1259                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOEL BENNETT came forward to testify on his own behalf as a 30-year                                                             
Juneau resident who has been an active sport fisherman for that                                                                 
long.  He pointed out that silver and king salmon from the Taku                                                                 
River are target species for sport fishing anglers in Juneau, who                                                               
contribute quite a bit of money - which he estimates at more than                                                               
$2 million per year - to the Juneau economy.  He has had personal                                                               
experience with the Taku River, an area of immense value as far as                                                              
the salmon resources.  Mr. Bennett stated:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I support Governor Knowles' position to recognize the                                                                      
     outstanding worth and contribution of these resources, and the                                                             
     potential risk to them from improper resource development.                                                                 
     This would include roading in sensitive areas, storage of mine                                                             
     byproducts in riparian areas, and problems relating to mixing                                                              
     zones.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The key part of the Governor's position is further IJC review.                                                             
     Parenthetically, I would note that ... Governor Knowles has                                                                
     been a friend in general to mining; the Red Dog and Greens                                                                 
     Creek Mines are two examples.  Accordingly, the highest                                                                    
     standard of permitting, I believe, should apply to this                                                                    
     project, at least as rigorous as our own in Alaska, with all                                                               
     aspects of the project being reviewed before final go-ahead is                                                             
     authorized.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Since this does not appear to be the case for the B.C. permit                                                              
     process, I would urge that Alaska support the International                                                                
     Joint Commission review of the mine project and its impact on                                                              
     the Taku River watershed.  Without provision for this review,                                                              
     I would oppose HCR [4] at this time.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1439                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PHILLIP GRAY came forward on his own behalf.  Formerly employed by                                                              
the ADF&G for more than 20 years, he worked in coho salmon research                                                             
for about 18 years.  Mr. Gray stated that he is opposed to HCR 4                                                                
and favors Governor Knowles' proposal regarding IJC review to                                                                   
protect the habitat for coho salmon, as well as other species, to                                                               
the maximum degree possible.  The Taku River is one of the major                                                                
producers of coho salmon in Southeast Alaska, and the area of the                                                               
mine is apparently particularly susceptible to damage.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRAY reminded members that the Columbia River, "the greatest                                                                
salmon river on earth," only has 3 percent of its salmon runs left,                                                             
having lost 97 percent in spite of fish hatcheries.  "We don't want                                                             
that to happen in Alaska," he cautioned.  He told members that he                                                               
has talked to a lot of the biologists from the Lower 48, especially                                                             
from Oregon and Washington, who have warned of the need to be                                                                   
particularly careful of our coho salmon habitat up here, because                                                                
once it is lost, it is too expensive to replace it.  Mr. Gray                                                                   
concluded, "So, you want to protect your habitat to the maximum                                                                 
degree possible and prevent the damage from occurring.  We can have                                                             
the mine, I think, but I think this International Joint Commission                                                              
is the best way to go to protect the fish."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1559                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NEIL MacKINNON came forward, specifying that he is a Juneau                                                                     
resident.  He stated:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Five generations of my family have used the Taku River for                                                                 
     hunting, fishing and access ... to the early gold fields of                                                                
     Fortymile, Circle City and Atlin; and I might add that my                                                                  
     great-grandfather was one of the discoverers ... of Atlin.  My                                                             
     family has had a cabin on the banks of the Taku for over 40                                                                
     years.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I am not concerned by the mine.  I am not concerned by the                                                                 
     road.  I am very concerned by the new attention ... the                                                                    
     environmental industry has taken in the Taku River.  Saving                                                                
     the Taku is the new cause the "enviro-elite" can use to                                                                    
     justify their existence and funding.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This is no pristine area, as the environmentalists are trying                                                              
     to portray.  I can remember as a youth the operating mine that                                                             
     Redfern is attempting to open.  This mine and road will not                                                                
     harm the Taku, its wildlife, its fish or our lifestyle on the                                                              
     river.  What will harm the Taku is the environmental lobby and                                                             
     its tactics they will use to save us.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The coordinated campaign strategy to save the Taku River - and                                                             
     ... if you have not seen a copy of that, I can provide one to                                                              
     you - is quite clear about the aims of the environmental                                                                   
     groups, that is, and I quote, "To stop the immediate threats                                                               
     to this area and to establish a plan for the longer-term                                                                   
     protection of its environmental values and the people in the                                                               
     region."  The campaign's further goal and objective is, "To                                                                
     stop the mine in such a way that it ensures a developmental                                                                
     moratorium on the Taku watershed."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     They do not want a better project.  They want to kill it.                                                                  
     They do not want to save the Taku.  They want to lock it up.                                                               
     They are using the Taku as the next cause to entice funds from                                                             
     large foundations and perpetual their existence.  I agree with                                                             
     the "enviro-elitist" that the Taku is unique, and its                                                                      
     uniqueness deserves to be preserved.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     But contrary to the environmental view, its uniqueness is                                                                  
     because the Taku is the last river on the border between                                                                   
     Alaska and Canada not encumbered by a park, wilderness, or                                                                 
     wild and scenic river, or other restrictive designation.  The                                                              
     freedom to use and access the last unencumbered trans-border                                                               
     river must be preserved.  I applaud the legislature for taking                                                             
     the initiative to keep the Taku (indisc.--papers shuffling).                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1731                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
WAYNE WEIHING, Tongass Conservation Society, testified via                                                                      
teleconference from Ketchikan in support of the Governor's position                                                             
on IJC review.  He referred to the Pacific Northwest fisheries and                                                              
the currently listings of endangered species; he said he believes                                                               
we can avoid some of those fisheries problems by protecting our                                                                 
habitat.  However, the proposed mine cannot ensure that fisheries                                                               
habitat can be protected.  There is concern in southern Southeast                                                               
Alaska that if fisheries decrease as a whole because of habitat                                                                 
loss on the Taku River, it would put more pressure on southern                                                                  
Southeast Alaska fisheries.  Mr. Weihing emphasized the need to                                                                 
refer this problem to the IJC, concluding that we don't want to                                                                 
damage something and then try to repair it later.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1802                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SALLEE testified via teleconference from Ketchikan.  Born in                                                               
Ketchikan, he is a commercial fisherman and harvest diver who also                                                              
operates a small sawmill.  Although his commercial fishing doesn't                                                              
involve salmon, he has an intense interest, he said.  As a deck                                                                 
hand on a fish-packing boat traveling through the Inside Passage in                                                             
the 1960s and early 1970s, he saw what the Canadians did to                                                                     
Vancouver Island, "when they logged the thing from the shoreline up                                                             
to the tops of the mountains."  Mr. Sallee told members he is not                                                               
impressed with the Canadians' environmental practices.  Although he                                                             
is not advocating for environmental groups that receive funding                                                                 
from the East Coast, he is concerned about his own back yard.  Mr.                                                              
Sallee said he knows nothing about the IJC, but he does support                                                                 
anything that gets this issue looked at as much as possible.  "I'm                                                              
currently not real enthused with House [Concurrent] Resolution                                                                  
Number 4," he concluded.  "It sounds like they're trying to                                                                     
side-step getting this thing thoroughly looked at."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1879                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked whether anyone else wished to testify, then                                                                 
closed public testimony.  He invited Robert Bosworth, Deputy                                                                    
Commissioner of the ADF&G, to provide the Administration's position                                                             
and answer questions.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1904                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH stated his understanding that John Katz was on the                                                                 
line, waiting to make a few comments after he himself spoke.  He                                                                
told members he would speaking to the biological and economic                                                                   
contexts for the project; noting that some of that had been                                                                     
addressed that day, he indicated he would edit his comments                                                                     
accordingly.  Mr. Bosworth stated:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     We do have concerns about the Tulsequah Chief Mine, and those                                                              
     concerns are related to salmon and salmon habitat.  The Taku                                                               
     is the largest salmon producer in the region; it produces up                                                               
     to two million salmon annually.  This compares to many of the                                                              
     state's largest salmon spawning systems:  the Copper River,                                                                
     the Susitna, the Yukon in some years.  All these rivers                                                                    
     produce ... at the approximate level of the Taku.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Our concerns about the effects of mine development on the Taku                                                             
     River salmon habitat and salmon production are the same                                                                    
     concerns we would have if a mine were proposed for any one of                                                              
     these other large salmon producers in Alaska.  If this were                                                                
     the Copper River, you can be sure we'd be asking the same                                                                  
     questions and seeking the same assurances about water quality,                                                             
     tailings disposal and road development.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The economic value of the Taku River salmon resource to                                                                    
     Alaskans is very large.  For example, the commercial gillnet                                                               
     fishery ... for sockeyes alone is worth about $2.8 million to                                                              
     about 100 permit holders.  You can add to that the value of                                                                
     the commercial troll harvest of cohos, about another million                                                               
     dollars.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     As I've mentioned, the Taku regularly produces the largest                                                                 
     salmon run in the region.  Sport fisheries take tremendous                                                                 
     advantage of that.  We estimate that in 1997 over 32,200                                                                   
     anglers participated in the Juneau sport fisheries, and they                                                               
     fished over 140,000 angler days.  To cut this short, I'll just                                                             
     say that about 40 percent of that harvest came from the Taku                                                               
     - that's cohos and kings. ...                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2022                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The reason the state is particularly concerned about the                                                                   
     Tulsequah Chief project has to do with its location.  You've                                                               
     heard about ... the road ... and the issues related to the                                                                 
     road; I won't reiterate that except to say, regardless of                                                                  
     whether it's a private road ... and it has a specified                                                                     
     lifetime or goes on into the future, the road will be used to                                                              
     transport toxic chemicals and ore concentrates alongside many                                                              
     miles of salmon habitat.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     You know that the site is adjacent to the largest salmon                                                                   
     rearing area on the river - that's Flannigan Slough, and,                                                                  
     again, it's on the largest salmon-producing river system in                                                                
     Southeast Alaska. ... The largest Taku stock of cohos spawns                                                               
     immediately below the project location.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Siting a project of this type in the floodplain of a major                                                                 
     salmon-producing river system presents special risks and                                                                   
     challenges.  We believe there is, quite simply, a risk of                                                                  
     catastrophic loss of salmon production.  We think it's                                                                     
     reasonable to hold to very high standards any project proposed                                                             
     for such a location.  We also think it's reasonable that                                                                   
     critically important concerns be resolved prior to permitting,                                                             
     yet the Canadian process does not require this.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Consistent with our perspective, we found baseline scientific                                                              
     studies, necessary to resolve key issues up front, to be                                                                   
     inadequate or lacking.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2083                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I want to reiterate that while we have numerous concerns                                                                   
     regarding water quality, road building and tailings disposal,                                                              
     we do think these concerns are resolvable.  Our Canadian                                                                   
     technical counterparts have agreed our concerns are legitimate                                                             
     ones, and we're making progress with the Canadians.  In our                                                                
     discussions with Canada, we have begun to agree on reasonable                                                              
     mine development standards, a major advance; and this has                                                                  
     happened ... in the 11 months that Mr. Ringstad spoke of, an                                                               
     11-month period, I might add, that we do not think would have                                                              
     been available to us had we not approached the possibility of                                                              
     the IJC referral.  That did get the attention of the                                                                       
     Canadians, and I think we've all benefited, including the                                                                  
     Canadians, from that referral and from the discussions we've                                                               
     had since then.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2133                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In summary, Alaska has an enormous economic interest in this                                                               
     watershed.  We're proud of the fact that our salmon stocks are                                                             
     healthy, including the Taku River stocks, and we want to keep                                                              
     them that way.  The bottom line is that when we look at the                                                                
     costs and the benefits of the Tulsequah Chief Mine, it appears                                                             
     that the risks are all on our side of the border, and the                                                                  
     benefits are on the Canadian side.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Having said that, we've never said "no" to a mine.  At this                                                                
     point, we're working to get answers to serious questions, and                                                              
     we're asking to have a specified, meaningful role in the                                                                   
     permit process.  From my perspective, the IJC referral, as I                                                               
     indicated, has helped get us to the table by emphasizing to                                                                
     Canada how serious we are about the mine development issues.                                                               
     An IJC referral can help keep us at the table in that                                                                      
     meaningful role.  With that introduction, I'll pass off to                                                                 
     John Katz to elaborate; I think he'll pay particular attention                                                             
     to these diplomatic issues.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked whether Mr. Katz was available; however, Mr.                                                                
Katz was participating in the Senate Resources Committee hearing on                                                             
the same subject (SCR 7) via teleconference.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2200                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked when Governor Knowles had petitioned to                                                              
have this go to the IJC.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH said April 1998.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2215                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked what recourse the state has if the Canadians                                                                
don't live up to their promises.  For example, if a truck carrying                                                              
a load of toxic materials went off the road into the creek, what                                                                
recourse, under international law or otherwise, would the state                                                                 
have?                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH replied, "We're not aware that we have any recourses."                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked if that means there is no recourse.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH answered, "I'm not the expert on this topic, but I                                                                 
have asked that question, and that's the answer I received."  He                                                                
said he was discussing it earlier with Kerry Howard of the Office                                                               
of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees the state                                                                        
coordination on this project.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2366                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KERRY HOWARD, Project Review, Division of Governmental                                                                          
Coordination, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the                                                                    
Governor, joined Mr. Bosworth at the witness table, acknowledging                                                               
that OMB is not a legal entity.  She stated, "We do not know about                                                              
whether we have any recourses.  I notice that this is the same                                                                  
question that was posed to Mr. Ringstad earlier, and he did not                                                                 
know the answer.  It's a question we would like an answer to, but                                                               
we just do not have one at this time."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN said he would like an answer, perhaps from the Office                                                             
of the Attorney General.  He asked Mr. Bosworth how long it would                                                               
be until the IJC would meet and make a determination.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2353                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH answered that this was the topic that John Katz was                                                                
going to cover; he himself didn't have firsthand information.  He                                                               
asked whether Ms. Howard could answer.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOWARD responded, "At this point, I just want to make it real                                                               
clear, too, the IJC has not accepted the project for review.  It                                                                
takes a bi-national referral to do it, and Canada has not agreed at                                                             
this point.  If and when a project is accepted for review by the                                                                
commission, it can take anywhere from three to five years - is what                                                             
we've been advised - for the IJC to complete its review and                                                                     
findings."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN suggested the Canadians aren't going to agree.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOWARD replied, "Yeah, I think that's what they would respond                                                               
if asked the question."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN asked:  If the Canadians don't agree, why are we                                                                  
here?                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2430                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOWARD said that is a good question, then reiterated an                                                                     
important point:  "Even though the project has not been accepted by                                                             
the IJC for review, as Mr. Bosworth indicated, we do feel that the                                                              
Governor's request for one upped the ante on the entire review and                                                              
did compel further government-to-government diplomatic relations                                                                
that have taken place over the last 11 months, that, again, I think                                                             
both sides would agree have been very fruitful in resolving and                                                                 
identifying remaining issues.  So, even though there has not been                                                               
an IJC referral or acceptance, just the notion that the Governor                                                                
thought it was important enough to ask for one has given us a                                                                   
further seat at the table that otherwise we do not legally have."                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2464                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked what happens if the Canadian government                                                              
chooses not to get involved, and this doesn't go to the IJC.  Can                                                               
Redfern go ahead with the project?                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOWARD answered, "They are continuing with their B.C. process,                                                              
as Mr. Ringstad indicated; a project certificate has been issued by                                                             
the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office.  At this point in time,                                                               
the way the Canadian process works, is further review is                                                                        
applicant-driven; that is, as the applicant comes in the door with                                                              
their various permit requests, the B.C. and Canadian federal                                                                    
government will continue to process those.  The one permit that's                                                               
come in the door thus far is for a special use permit for road                                                                  
construction, and that has been in review since this past fall.                                                                 
So, they are proceeding with their permitting process."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2519                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked Mr. Bosworth what involvement the ADF&G                                                             
and other state departments have had with the Canadian government                                                               
on this; what questions have not been answered sufficiently that                                                                
prompted the Governor to move in this direction; and what concerns                                                              
the ADF&G has.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2550                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH replied that the ADF&G's concerns fall generally into                                                              
the categories of road construction and maintenance; tailings                                                                   
disposal and ongoing maintenance; and general water quality                                                                     
considerations.  He stated:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     It's fish and it's fish habit.  We're concerned that the road                                                              
     be built and - most important, perhaps, or equally important                                                               
     - maintained to standards that provide for fish passage, and                                                               
     that avoid problems such as sedimentation or siltation.  The                                                               
     speaker earlier was accurate in that the road does traverse                                                                
     many miles of pristine spawning habitat, certainly migratory                                                               
     corridors for salmon, as well as wildlife.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     So, ... there are many concerns, and they're the same concerns                                                             
     we have for road building in Alaska, and we would hope to                                                                  
     apply the same standards.  Fish passage is essential.  And,                                                                
     you know, what does it mean to close a road?  Does that mean                                                               
     that bridges are taken out and fish passage is assured?  Does                                                              
     it mean that somehow the roadbeds are treated in such a way                                                                
     that you don't get sloughing and siltation of important                                                                    
     spawning beds?  These seem to us to be reasonable questions to                                                             
     ask, and those are the kinds of things that we are asking.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     And we are working with the Canadians to find answers.  And I                                                              
     did mention that we seem to have good agreement at this point                                                              
     on standards - that's as we see it - so, step one in a rather                                                              
     lengthy process, perhaps, or at least in an ongoing process,                                                               
     which would then include gathering baseline data, analyzing                                                                
     that data, and then discussing how that data is used ... in                                                                
     permitting.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2638                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH said that with regard to tailings disposal, he would                                                               
be reiterating points others had made.  For example, how stable is                                                              
the tailings disposal site?  Are there other sites that might be                                                                
more stable?  What are the geologic and hydrologic effects on that                                                              
tailings disposal site?  What is the possibility of a flooding                                                                  
event causing a catastrophic failure?  Or perhaps of greater                                                                    
concern, what about a chronic seepage that would have a different                                                               
effect on fish than the acute toxicity studies that had been                                                                    
described?  Water quality is a part of all of that, whether the                                                                 
problem is from sedimentation or from toxicity due to effluent                                                                  
runoff or seepage.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH pointed out one concern not mentioned, the concern                                                                 
that the standards for effluent dispersal in the river be adequate                                                              
for not only high-water and mid-water events, but also for                                                                      
low-water events.  Noting that the river system has been described                                                              
as braided, he asked, "What about when the river channel shifts,                                                                
and suddenly the mixing zone is effectively dewatered?  First of                                                                
all, is that a possibility?  And if so, what is the likely effect                                                               
of that?"                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2714                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked whether his understanding is correct                                                                
that if the IJC were to accept this request, it would automatically                                                             
delay the project for three years to perhaps five or more years.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOWARD replied, "Factually, there's nothing about even the                                                                  
acceptance of a project for review that would compel B.C. to stop                                                               
permitting.  That would be a choice.  If Canada does agree an IJC                                                               
referral is appropriate, likely they would also agree that                                                                      
permitting can wait; but there's nothing that compels that,                                                                     
particularly since the IJC is federal-to-federal.  It's done                                                                    
through our State Department and through the Canada Department of                                                               
External Affairs, and so while Canadian External Affairs is likely                                                              
consulting with the province - as the State Department is                                                                       
consulting with us - that is the choice the province would make."                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2770                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked whether any protections for Alaskans                                                                
are in place between the two countries in the event of a                                                                        
catastrophe.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWORTH offered to try to find an answer to that question.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2798                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OGAN agreed he would like an answer to that.  He announced                                                             
that he would hold the resolution over, then thanked participants                                                               
for their patience.  [HCR 4 was held over.]                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects