DNR Withdraws Approval for Sutton Coal Mine

The state Department of Natural Resources has withdrawn a decision allowing a coal mine project to go forward near Sutton. On July 1, DNR announced that it would not allow Ranger Alaska, an Australian owned mining company, to develop a surface strip mine and an underground coal mine at Jonesboro. Castle Mountain Coalition spokesman Kirby Spangler says it’s a win for local residents who are opposed to coal development

Castle Mountain Coalition, Chickaloon Village Tribal Council and other groups have been outspoken against the coal development in the area. A number of coal projects near Chickaloon and Sutton have sparked opposition, based on environmental concerns regarding salmon habitat, air and water pollution and proximity to land considered sacred by Alaska Natives.

Appeals against the coal permit focused on DNR’s failure to respond to public comments and its failure to require mine owners to meet statutory deadlines. Geoffrey Stauffer, an attorney representing the Chickaloon Village Tribal Council, says the matter is in DNR’s hands now.  Stauffer says Ranger Alaska needs to file a whole new permit.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone.
Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA
elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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