DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
DIVISION OF MINING, LAND & WATER -- MINING SECTION
550 WEST 7TH AVENUE, SUITE 920
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 99501-3514
PHONE: (907) 269-8621
FAX: (907) 269-8930
Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly
350 E. Dahlia Ave Palmer, Alaska 99645
Dear Assembly Members:
December 22, 2010
The Borough Planning Commission has put forth two resolutions, 10-31 and 10- 32, dealing with coal mining issues in the Borough. During the planning commission’s presentation at the Joint Assembly/Planning Commission Meeting on October 26 it was alleged that the Alaska Surface Coal Mining Control and Reclamation Act (ASCMCRA) does not address issues such as noise, dust, light or other issues not specifically addressed in the ASCMCRA performance standards.
The DNR wants to reassure the Assembly that the DNR does indeed have authority to address such issues stemming from coal mining operations or other such mining operations in the State. In addition to the comprehensive regulations (11 AAC 90) and statutes (AS 27.21) governing all aspects coal mining and related activities, the regulations recognize that the state needs the authority to address environmental issues not directly mentioned in regulations. This allows the DNR to address various conditions found in Alaska.
The state is willing to work with the Assembly, the community, and the developer in adopting additional standards that will minimize and mitigate the potential adverse environmental impacts of mining to the local citizenry. For instance, the DNR previously dealt with noise and light issues with respect to development of the True North/Fort Knox mine near Fairbanks. Under AMCMCRA, this can be accomplished through technical amendments to the existing mine permit and pursuant to 11 AAC 90.127(2).
Russ Kirkham, Coal Program Manager, and I are available to discuss how we can move forward in addressing these issues.
Rick S. Fredericksen
ADNR Mining Section Chief
“Develop, Conserve, and Enhance Natural Resources for Present and Future Alaskans.”