Chuitna Coal Project Air Permit

June 1, 2015

Aaron Simpson, Air Permits Program
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
P.O. Box 111800
Juneau, AK 99811

Via email to decaq.chuitna.aircomments@alaska.gov

Re: Preliminary Decision to Approve Minor Air Permit Application, Permit AQ0957MSS03, File No. 2339.16.2341, Chuitna Coal Project

Dear Mr. Simpson:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to applaud the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) decision to approve Air Quality Control Minor Permit AQ0957MSS03 for the Chuitna Coal Project (the project).

RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The preliminary approval of the air permit indicates the project proponent, PacRim Coal, LP (PacRim) has demonstrated compliance with DEC’s Title I Air Permit Project regulations. RDC believes the project will be designed with modern mining practices and equipment, minimizing the potential generation of dust in the area. In addition, PacRim is committed to continual air monitoring stations to demonstrate compliance and validate the modeling efforts. The proposed project is on Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (Trust) lands. The Trust acquired these lands specifically for the development of the coal and the royalties it will provide to the Trust.

The proposed mine will also provide significant economic benefits to Alaskans, including an estimated construction cost at $750 million and employ up to 500 workers over the two-year construction phase. After construction, the mine is expected to employ 350 people with an average annual payroll of $35 million, pay an estimated $300 million in royalties to the Trust over the life of the mine, and pay millions in taxes to the State and the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

RDC strongly supports your preliminary permit decision and encourages timely issuance of a final permit. Thank you for your consideration of these comments.

Sincerely,
Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.