Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Coal dust in Seward

The pattern of deregulation is common with all transportation of mining, oil and gas materials in Alaska; especially, when shifting companies and owners. I know that there are major auto-immune diseases in areas in Appalachia where there is Mountain Top removal for coal.

So far, the Native Corporations, State and Federal agencies have not been active (in Trust Responsibilities) at building Tribal and community capacity to gather important human health and environmental information on mining processes, including in the transportation. The only statewide organization advocating for protecting the environment and human health for Tribal Governments is Alaska Inter-Tribal Council (AITC), which now has a defunct Environmental Program due to issues of Alaska Native Corporations being recognized as Tribal Governments and conflict of interest in developing mining education projects for Alaska Village and Tribal Governments.

With the help of Western Mining Action Network, Alaska's Big Village Network, Alaska Inter-Tribal Council and KACN TV will be working on a mini-project to begin shining lights on these issues from an indigenous perspective for broadcast to villages.

Included will be information on how Tribal Governments can take action to get involved in overturning Corporate preclusion of Tribal Governments (emphasis on traditional, customary and modern use of resources.) The Tribal Governments should be receiving all applications for developments from companies (including Native Corporations) that impact all traditional, customary and modern uses of resources. Like say " a big mine that takes a lot of water from a salmon stream and discharges pollution into the watershed" where there may be multiple historic and cultural properties with modern customary use that can help future generations adapt to the changing climate. (DOI has a memo regarding 'landscape conservation' for creating adaptation to climate change).

Obama could possibly be making sweeping changes within each federal agency regarding Executive Order 13175. If Alaska Tribal Governments stand by, Alaska Native Corporations will continue to pretend that they are Tribal Governments under Ted Stevens 2004 and 2005 Appropriations Act that precluded Tribal sovereignty, self-determination and education.

Coal dust an ugly problem in scenic Seward

LAWSUIT: Groups say railroad needs to fix problem or get permit.

The Associated Press

Published: November 10th, 2009 02:00 PM
Last Modified: November 10th, 2009 09:39 PM

When the north wind blows in Seward, dust flies off a large pile of coal and covers the town's scenic boat harbor in black grit.


The facility was built in 1984 as a state economic development project to engage in the world coal market. The coal was transported from Healy to Seward under a contract with Suneel Alaska Corp., the purchaser of coal for the Korean market.

When Suneel ran the facility it was permitted as a coal-processing facility and was allowed under a permit to emit 87 metric tons of coal dust annually, Maddox said.

When the railroad took over, it was reclassified as a storage facility, even though nothing changed in its operation, he said. Because it's classified as a storage facility, the railroad doesn't need a coal-dust permit.

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