Clean water initiative under scrutiny in the courts

A State Superior Court judge in Fairbanks has ruled that one of the two clean water ballot initiatives slated for this year’s election is unconstitutional. Clean Water I, the more strongly worded of the initiatives, would prohibit large metal mines from discharging any quantity of toxic pollutants into salmon streams or drinking water supplies. It would further ban mines from storing or disposing of waste that could generate toxic compounds. Judge Douglas Blankenship of Fairbanks has ruled that this version of the Clean Water Initiative is unconstitutional. His verdict contradicts an October ruling from another Superior Court Judge.

Eileen Goode, KDLG – Dillingham

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