We love Juneau, this spectacular place that we call home. The current CBJ Mining Ordinance regulates mining in Juneau and gives all of us a voice in protecting this place, our home, and our health and wellbeing. The mining ordinance is currently under threat.
In May 2017, a small group with ties to the mining industry brought the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Committee of the Whole a proposal to gut the ordinance. A subcommittee was created and tasked with investigating the proposal and making a final recommendation for next steps.
The subcommittee needs to hear your voice now! Join with your community and tell the subcommittee that we need to keep our public process and protect our home.
Send in a written comment by Thursday, February 22nd
On March 1st you have the opportunity to speak to the committee. SEACC’s Guy Archibald will also be speaking along with Jim Clark who proposed the changes.
The current ordinance is a balanced approach that allows for mining and gives all of us a voice to protect our community. It allows us to speak up about the things we love in Juneau like the trails we hike, the clean water we drink, and the astounding vistas that capture our imaginations. This unique place needs all our voices and the ordinance gives us that opportunity.
The Wrong Question
Evidence from a report the subcommittee commissioned indicates that the ordinance is typical and reasonable. Despite this, the subcommittee is not asking the real question, “should the ordinance be revised?”
A Flawed Process
Opening a mine is a risky process that could impact our quality of life, compromise our drinking water, and harm the environment. As City Manager Rorie Watt wrote, “Success in discussing this topic requires special handling, patience, substantial public communication, and durable decision-making.” To-date, there has been NO public participation.
The proposal would change mine regulation from a conditional use permit to a negotiated lease agreement; excluding public participation and freezing CBJ’s ability to exercise broad control over its lands in the face of changing circumstances or failed mitigation plans.
Like many projects, a mine should require a socioeconomic analysis which helps us understand the impact to our economy such as the potential increased cost of housing, property taxes, and daycare. The proposal would eliminate this along with a feasibility study, which demonstrates that a project is economically viable and allows the Planning Commission to look at possible impacts. Without these studies we would be in the dark, unable to predict and prepare for the impacts that a mine might have in the city.
We must act now or risk surrendering our ability to protect our home and community. Join us on March 1st at 5:30 PM at City Hall to show your support for the ordinance and sign up to testify. For more information on the issue and how you can participate email Sarah Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org, call our office at (907)586-6942 and check out our website.