by Ted Land
Friday, March 19, 2010
JUNEAU, Alaska -- Both sides of the Pebble Mine debate were at the state Capitol Friday evening to testify on whether or not the state needs a third-party review of its permitting standards and environmental safeguards.
The state Board of Fisheries asked the Legislature to look into the matter and take any steps it deems necessary to protect fish and game in the region.
Specifically, the Legislature wants to know the biggest risks of the mine, and how they compare to other mines throughout the U.S. and Canada. Opponents of the mine say could it cover 15 square miles and leave a gaping open pit, while supporters say it could create up to 1,000 long-term jobs.
Once it gets some answers the Legislature could ask for an independent review of the state's permitting process, to be carried out by the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council.