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ALASKA-The Pebble Limited Partnership has filed an emergency petition with Alaska Superior Court asking for an August 15th decision on the "Save our Salmon" initiative. The initiative's aim is to amend the Lake and Peninsula Borough code to preclude granting permits for mining operations of greater than 640 acres that would give rise to a "significant adverse impact" on any salmon stream. That initiative is to come to a vote in October. The Partnership is trying to keep that from happening.
Citing substantive and legal matters as well as poor wording, and stating case law and precedent in support of their arguments, the Pebble Partnership insists that the decision in Bristol Bay must be decided through a comprehensive planning process rather than through a voter’s initiative.
George Jacko, the president of Alaskans for Bristol Bay, responded by saying the emergency petition is nothing more than “a blatant attempt by the Pebble Partnership to silence the voices of lake and Peninsula Borough residents.” He went on to say that “the majority of Alaskans and over 80 percent of local residents oppose the Pebble mine, so it isn’t surprising the partnership does not want to allow the people a vote.”
Superior Court Judge John Suddock decided on July 26th to defer the ruling on the initiative until after the Borough election in October. It was this decision that spurred the emergency petition from Pebble.