Tribes pursue grant for junker removal
A joint effort by the Chilkoot Indian Association and Chilkat Indian Village to remove junked vehicles for tribal members could result in another scrap metal barge visit to Haines this spring.
The two organizations recently received a $65,000 special projects grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to assist in the collection and transportation of junked vehicles, said Pat Warren, CIV’s environmental planner.
Luke Williams, who conducts environmental services for CIA, said he is in discussions with Juneau-based Skookum Sales and Recycling to coordinate another scrap metal barge visit to Haines. He said the company wants to make sure a trip here would be worth its while in number of vehicles collected before committing to anything.
“They want to come back because, from what they told me, there’s a bunch of cars up the highway. There’s almost another barge load,” Williams said.
Williams said Skookum is investigating potential staging areas for the barge. Last spring, a barge staged at the Lutak sawmill site.
“Some people were just starting to drop off a bunch of stuff and the rain was making fuel leach down toward the bay. They got it all contained, but it was a burden on the barge workers because they had to contain all the leaking fuel,” Williams said.
Williams said the company wants to use a different site if they return this spring.
Abandoned cars in Klukwan will get first priority because of their long distance from any potential barge site and consequent increased cost of removal, Williams said. Warren said the Klukwan landfill already has 40 vehicles drained of fluids and ready to be taken away.
Williams said the agencies will contact tribal members to see who is in need of the junked car removal service. Williams said he is looking into whether the Haines Borough would be interested in organizing some sort of scrap metal or junked car collection if a barge were to come to town.
The grant expires Sept. 30, 2013.