Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Integrated process best for Connelly

 


ce again Alaska Power and Telephone has announced that they will seek a licensing process, this time the alternative licensing process that is designed to limit public and stakeholder input and involvement, as well as grant greater power to the licensee (AP&T) and less authority to FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission).

FERC law states that granting authority to use the alternative licensing process is appropriate only when there is evidence that a project can be expected to have consensus achieved early among the stakeholders -- that is the folks who depend on a healthy and sustainable Chilkoot watershed for their lifestyles and their living. It has already been demonstrated through past documentation and testimony that consensus among stakeholders is not possible.

The default process, ILP, integrated licensing process, has one of its key advantages being “for the public in that all parties will have certainty they can participate at a set point, starting early in the process, and can continue to stay engaged throughout all of the subsequent licensing stages rather than entering the process after most decisions regarding studies and other commitments have been made.”

In other words, nothing less than the ILP is appropriate for Chilkoot/Connelly Lake hydro studies. AP&T continues to ignore public concerns about this project and seeks to circumvent public process by pursuing the ALP. This is not acceptable for our community or for this highly productive and vulnerable watershed.

Kathleen Menke