A draft of a Health Impact Assessment of a proposed coal mine related to several communities in the Matanuska Susitna Borough has been released by the state. A state mining permit is still pending for Usibelli Coal’s project at Wishbone Hill. Although approval of the permit does not hinge on the health report, stakeholders in the mine decision are weighing it carefully.
The 140-page document was posted on the state Department of Health and Social Services website this week. Dr. Paul Anderson, HIA program manager for the state division of epidemiology, says an HIA actually outlines a set of procedures used to evaluate public policy.
Anderson says the HIA program represents a collaboration among state agencies, public health officials and tribal groups. The HIA is open to public comment through April 30.
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