Alaska House Bill 134
House Bill 134 is a bill proposed in the Alaska House by Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham which would prohibit "sulfide mining operations" in waters that would disturb the salmon population. It would affect only one region of Bristol Bay Region, namely the area that includes the controversial Pebble Beach.
Making of the Bill
There have been 11 versions of the bill drafted. The Fisheries Committee came to an agreement on the final version of the bill on February 26, 2008.
The version of this bill takes into account testimony given during field hearings late fall in three Bristol Bay villages. It made the bill less stringent than the previous one which would have allowed water only for use of drinking and municipal reasons. The bill also calls for legislative approval of any state leases dealing with mining in the area.
Up to $1 million could be levied in fines for those that would violate the bill.
One question raised about HB 134 is which agency will be in charge of enforcing and levying the fines on violators. Others are concerned at the long-term effects of the bill saying that it will cause an economic slow down and defeat to prohibit future mining projects.
The Protect Alaska's Clean Water Act is a related initiative that is was proposed in the case that HB 134 is not passed. The sponsor's of the initiative, the Renewable Resources Coalition, supports the passage of the bill, and has spoken during the public-comment section of the hearing for the bill.
- Alaska 2008 ballot measures
- Alaska Initiative Law
- Campaign finance requirements for Alaska ballot measures