Reports: Beluga coal mine would hurt streams

August 17, 2009 

BELUGA -- Salmon streams near a proposed coal mine on the west side of Cook Inlet would never fully recover from damage if the mine was developed as designed, according to reports commissioned by an environmental law firm.

At the request of Trustees for Alaska, three scientists looked at the impact of the Chuitna coal mine project 45 miles from Anchorage. PacRim Coal is pursuing permits for the project and hopes to mine an estimated 300 million metric tons of coal over 25 years for export to power plants in Asia.

The scientists examined PacRim's hydrology reports, as well as its preliminary mining and reclamation plans, in making their conclusions. The reports were prepared for the Chuitna Citizens Coalition and Cook Inletkeeper, an environmental group.

A call to PacRim for comment Monday was not immediately returned.

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