Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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Pointing at Pebble, EPA leader looks to rein in agency’s veto power

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The proposal would eliminate EPA’s ability to preemptively or retroactively veto permits for waste discharge in waterways, restricting the agency’s ability to step in and regulate large projects. Under the Obama administration, EPA used its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to propose restrictions on the Pebble Mine.

Locals react to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows employees to opt out of union dues

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

A U.S. Supreme Court decision released today dealt a blow to public sector unions. That will have big implications in Alaska, which has one of the highest rates of unionization in the country.

First Y-K Delta tribe marches against Donlin Gold in Bethel

Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Bethel

The mine would be built in a region where many residents practice subsistence and would be one of the biggest gold mines in the world.

Governor’s climate change task force adds science education to draft plan

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Governor Bill Walker’s climate change task force has been working this summer to nail down some clear draft policy objectives.

Assembly rejects pot tax hike, tightens unlawful camp rules

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

In a surprising move, the Anchorage Assembly voted down a proposal to raise taxes on cannabis businesses.

Housing expert: Many Sitkans struggle to make rent

Rachel Cassandra, KCAW – Sitka

In Sitka, like many towns in Southeast Alaska, geographic isolation creates unique problems for affordable housing and homelessness. This week Sitka held a pair of town hall meetings with a visiting expert to look for ideas for solutions.

Excursion Inlet cannery ramps up frozen fish production

Henry Leasia, KHNS – Haines

Excursion Inlet’s fish-processing plant is gearing up for another season. Recently, seafood processor and distributor Ocean Beauty has been reducing its canning operations while ramping up frozen fish production.

Scientists study spring transition in Bering Strait waters

Gabe Colombo, KNOM – Nome

The Bering Sea is getting warmer. That’s a pretty commonly accepted trend, and in Western Alaska, it looks like a lot less sea ice. But there are lots of details about how this affects marine life that we don’t really understand.