Permitting bill hits bump in Senate committee

Apr 06, 2013 -- 4:00pm


- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - One of the governor's permitting bills has hit a speed bump in the Senate, where rural lawmakers have raised concerns about the impact it will have on tribal organizations and citizens. HB77, from Gov. Sean Parnell, is aimed at improving the permitting process and seeks to build upon efforts to eat into a backlog of permits and authorizations. Critics say it could hurt the public's ability to participate in permitting decisions. And one of the more controversial provisions would remove the ability of individuals or groups to apply for water reservations, to maintain or protect certain water levels for purposes such as protecting fish habitat, recreation and water quality. That provision has been a focus of debate in the Senate Finance Committee, the last committee of referral for the bill.

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