SPLASH – An SUV makes a tremendous splash as it drives through a puddle on Lake Street Sunday morning.  A storm front Sunday and Monday morning brought with it torrential rain, thunder,  lightning and a power outage, but no major damage. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Pebble Mine Opponents Lose Round in Lawsuit

JUNEAU (AP) — Opponents have lost a court case against the proposed copper and gold mine near a major salmon fishery in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could withdraw a “proposed determination” about potential negative mine impacts dating from 2014, Alaska Public Media reported  Sunday.

The determination had concluded the mining project, named the Pebble Mine, posed too great a threat to the salmon-rich waters of Bristol Bay.

The judge’s ruling was based on the amount of latitude government agencies have and what is subject to legal review, rather than the merits or dangers of the mine.

The case focused on a “preemptive veto” the EPA issued during the administration of President Barack Obama, before Pebble Limited Partnership filed an application for the mine in Southwest Alaska.

The mine’s federal permit application is pending with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the EPA retains the right to veto the permit, a power that was not diminished by Friday’s ruling.

The mine proposal has loomed over the region for years. But Pebble Limited Partnership did not apply for a permit while Obama was in office.

The mining company and Alaska’s congressional delegation have complained of government overreach, saying the EPA tried to veto the project before seeing an application. The mining company eventually applied for a Clean Water Act permit in 2017.

The EPA said last year it would withdraw its proposed determination against the mine, which prompted the lawsuit by mine foes including the organizations Trout Unlimited, SalmonState and Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.

The Corps of Engineers plans to issue its final environmental impact statement on the project this summer, one of the last steps before issuing a decision on the permit.

The EPA has said the science that the Corps is relying upon is inadequate and likely understates the harm to the bay.

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:

 

On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff

 

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 9-28-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:50 a.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 115

Total statewide – 7,597

Total (cumulative) deaths – 56

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (11 resident; 9 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 44 (37 resident; 7 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 286.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 

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20 YEARS AGO
September 2000

Sitka Open Golf Tournament winners are: Men’s Division – Semisi Funaki, Tom Mattingly and Gregory Martin. Women’s Division – Janet Schwartz, Judy Sudnikovich and Liza Martin. Youth Division – Elaina Mattingly, Matthew Way and Sidney Wyman.

50 YEARS AGO
September 1970

Lions Catch a Bear at Kake. They were on Lions Club business, but Willie Dick and Bill Pasek, Sitka, brought back a bear from Kake. Pasek shot the 6-foot-tall black bear after Lions Club business was ended. He and Dick brought the bear back to Sitka where Larry Ross and Dick Wight helped prepare it for a taxidermist.

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