January 05, 2007

Coal taking center stage next week

From the Friday, January 5, 2007 online edition of the Daily Inter Lake . . .

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will headline one of two meetings Jan. 15 in Kalispell on coal-mine development in British Columbia’s Flathead drainage.

In a significant development, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is taking up the issue at its meeting this month.

Two meetings are scheduled Jan. 15 at the Red Lion Hotel Kalispell — one from 9 a.m. to noon, and a second from 7 to 9 p.m.

Schweitzer and Baucus will attend the early meeting, said Caryn Miske, executive director of the Flathead Basin Commission, a state agency that is organizing Montana comments to be submitted to the British Columbia provincial government.

Miske said an additional meeting will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Doubletree Hotel in Missoula.

The meetings will include presentations from representatives of Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the University of Montana’s Yellow Bay Biological Station. Opportunities for public comment will be available.

British Columbia, in cooperation with the Cline Mining Co., is holding meetings this month in Elko, Sparwood and Fernie, B.C.. Those meetings will gather comments on draft terms and conditions that the mining company must meet in developing an environmental assessment for its proposed open-pit coal mine in the headwaters of the Flathead River, which flows south into Montana’s Flathead Basin.

Although the Canadian meetings were advertised in Montana newspapers, Miske said it would be difficult for many Montanans to get to those venues.

“We felt it was necessary to give folks the opportunity to comment here,” she said.

Read the entire article . . .

Posted by nfpa at January 5, 2007 08:47 PM