Enough signatures, initiative sponsors say

January 14, 2008 

JUNEAU - Backers of an initiative that would set stricter pollution standards for new large-scale mines say they have enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

Sponsors of Alaska's Clean Water Initiative plan to hand over petition booklets to the Division of Elections Monday.

They say they have 30,000 signatures collected from around the state. They need 23,831 signatures from 30 of the 40 House districts to have the measure placed on the statewide ballot this fall.

The initiative was prompted by concerns that the proposed Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska could harm Bristol Bay fisheries. The measure would prevent mine pollutants being discharged into water used for drinking or salmon habitat.

Opponents say it could shut down mine development across the state.

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