05 January 2007

When the process fails

Further indication that following an established process might not always produce the best results:

The DEC received 21 public comments from Nome residents, the Northern Alaska Environmental Center and AGC.

Nome residents' main concerns were over dust kicked up from increased truck traffic, as AGC proposes to haul ore from Big Hurrah to the Rock Creek mill facility 24/7 and year-round at 90-minute intervals. The DEC responded that it has no regulatory authority to through the air quality permit to include permit conditions to control dust on the road between Rock Creek and Big Hurrah because the road is open to the public. "The Department has been told by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities that they have funding in the short term to provide dust control on the state maintained roads,"says the DEC document to respond to comments.

"The Department also suggests to members of the public concerned about dust from the state maintained roads that they work with DOT employees and their state legislators to ensure DOTPF has adequate funding to provide dust control or to request paving or other measures that may be necessary," says the response to the dust comment.

DEC did not answer the public's question as to how dust will be monitored.

In other words, "Sure you might have a problem, but it's not our problem." And not only is not their problem, it's not a problem of any agency involved in the permitting process.

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