The recently introduced House Bill 138 (HB 138), sponsored by Representative Kopp, is an act that would gut the rights of Alaskans to protect the exceptional waters on which our ecosystems, ways of life, and economies depend. This bill is practically identical to SB 51, which remains in the Senate Resources Committee.
The Clean Water Act allows residents of Alaska to protect waters critical to their communities or culture from pollution under a Tier 3 Designation. HB 138 would require a Tier 3 nomination get passed as a law through the state legislature to exercise this right. The decision would be political rather than science-based and would make the approval process nearly impossible. Meanwhile, corporations only have to fill out a 6-page online form, through an administrative process managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation, to get permission to degrade our waters.
Corporations should not be granted rights denied to residents. A Tier 3 designation process to protect waters should be no more onerous than the process to degrade our waters.
The most important thing you can do to add your voice to this effort is:
- Contact Representatives John Lincoln and Geran Tarr, Co-Chairs of the House Resources Committee (Representative.John.Lincoln@akleg.gov and Representative.Geran.Tarr@akleg.gov) and Senator Chris Birch Senate Resource Committee Chair (Senator.email@example.com) to let them know that you oppose this bill and you’d like to see it go to the Fisheries Committee and the Tribal Affairs Committee, as it will have a heavy impact on these stakeholders.
- Please also consider signing our Tier 3 Petition that calls for an equal process for protecting water and degrading it.
See our suggested talking points here.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our office at 907-586-6942.