Judge overturns initiative restricting large mines

Mar 20, 2014 -- 11:00am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A state judge has overturned a 2011 Bristol Bay community initiative to restrict large-scale mining, a victory for supporters of the proposed Pebble Mine. Channel-2 News reports that Superior Court Judge John Suddock ruled Wednesday that the Lake and Peninsula Borough's "Save our Salmon" initiative conflicts with existing state authority. Pebble developers saw the initiative as an attempt to kill the project. The initiative, passed by borough voters, sought to ban large-scale resource extraction, including mines, that would harm salmon habitat. The Pebble Limited Partnership and state had asked Suddock to strike down the proposal, arguing it wrongly elevated the borough's role above the state's role in overseeing natural resources. A borough attorney has said that with the initiative, the borough wasn't prohibiting mining but prohibiting harm to salmon.

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