Dubbed the “Clean Water Act”, this measure has received the majority of media attention. Raise your hand if you’re sick of these ads. Yeah, me too.

From the Alaska voter’s pamphlet:

This bill imposes two water quality standards on new large scale metallic mineral mining operations in Alaska. The first standard does not allow such a mining operation to release into water a toxic pollutant that will adversely affect human health or the life cycle of salmon. The second standard does not allow such a mining operation to store mining wastes and tailings that could release sufuric acid, other acids, dissolved metals or other toxic pollutants that could adversely affect water that is used by humans or by salmon. The bill defines a large scale metallic mineral mining operation that is in excess of 640 acres in size. The bill defines toxic pollutants to include substances that will cause death and disease in humans and fish, and includes a list of substances identified as toxic pollutants under federal law.

Janeen’s Summary:

This measure is an attempt to further regulate large-scale metallic mining in Alaska, with regards to their impact on nearby water sources. Only large-scale (greater than 640 acres) mines would be held to the standard, and only those mines which are created after the bill is passed. The mines would not be allowed to release OR store (in a potentially releasable manner) “toxic pollutants” (as defined under 33 U.S.C. 1317). Vote YES if you agree with regulating new large-scale mines in this way. Vote NO if you do not agree with adding this additional regulation, or if you disagree with the wording of the initiative. You may want to check the full initiative out in the voters pamphlet here. It’s only a couple of pages long.

There is so much advertising (and money) backing each side of this measure that I’m just really frustrated. Both sides are giving out information that has been skewed to serve their demands. Ok. I’m going to go eat a cookie before I get too distraught. Nuts, I don’t have any cookies. Argh. Is it worth firing up the oven? Perhaps…

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