Judge Rules Against State For Failure To Process Water Rights Application

Activists fighting a proposed coal mine on the west side of Cook Inlet have won a victory in court.

Earlier this week, a state Superior Court judge ruled that the state was in error when it failed to process the  Chuitna Citizens Coalition application for water rights to a tributary of the Chuitna River.

The Coalition filed an application for in-stream flow reservations in 2009, in order to protect the salmon stream, which it said was threatened by the coal mine, but the state  Department of Natural Resources failed to process the application, and the Coalition sued.

Judge Mark Rindner ruled on Monday that the state’s refusal to process the application amounts to an unreasonable delay, while it violated Alaskan’s constitutional right to due process.