Alaska congressional delegation, governor’s office urge U.S. State Department, Secretary Mike Pompeo to defend U.S. interests from Canadian transboundary mines
JUNEAU — Salmon Beyond Borders thanks Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Representative Don Young, Governor Bill Walker, and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott for their October 2, 2018 letter urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. Department of State to act to defend Alaskan interests, salmon, and salmon-producing rivers from under-regulated mining activity in transboundary British Columbian / Alaskan watersheds.
The request follows up on a November 13, 2017 letter from the lawmakers to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with similar asks. This letter, however, specifically requests the State Department deliver this “strong message” to Global Affairs Canada at the U.S.-Canada bilateral meetings later this month in Ottawa.
The letter also reiterates “that the Department’s representatives impress upon their Canadian counterparts the critical need for binding protections, joint water quality monitoring, and financial assurances to protect Americans downstream of large-scale Canadian mines.”
Salmon Beyond Borders Campaign Director Jill Weitz said she was thrilled the letter urges those actions, specifically.
“The development of large-scale open-pit B.C. mines in watersheds that flow into Alaska is moving forward at a mind-blowing pace, while the cleanup of mines like the bankrupt Tulsequah Chief, which has been polluting the Taku River watershed for more than 60 years, is at a seemingly constant stand-still. With the uncertainties regarding Imperial Metals' financial standing, we need enforceable protections now, before the Red Chris mine goes bankrupt and begins polluting the Stikine River on a far greater scale,” she said. “This unity and leadership from Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, Representative Young, Governor Walker, and Lt. Governor Mallott during otherwise politically divisive times is in direct response to their constituents. Fishermen, tribes, businesses, municipalities, and nearly 10,000 Alaskans have called for these measures to help ensure Alaskan economies and ways of life stay healthy for generations to come."
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