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Decision on Water Reservation Applications in Chuitna River Watershed

Decision reached on water reservation applications in Chuitna River watershed

The Division of Mining, Land & Water has issued a decision on the Chuitna Citizens Coalition Inc.'s three applications for instream flow reservations for Middle Creek/Stream 2003, a tributary of the Chuitna River. Two of the applications are for segments of the stream located within the footprint of the proposed Chuitna Coal project.

After review of the facts in the administrative record, public comments and hearing, the decision grants the Chuitna Citizen Coalition's application for the lower reach of Middle Creek/Stream 2003 but does not grant its applications for the creek's main and middle reaches. This decision does not award any permits or water rights to the proposed coal project.

This decision is a reasoned approach that reached conclusion on the lower reach of Middle Creek/Stream 2003 while denying the applications for reservations on the main and middle reaches because they are not ready for decision. The division cannot not yet determine, on this incomplete record, which of the competing applications for the same water would be subject to a preference as the most beneficial use. The division will adjudicate any remaining requests for water rights or instream flow applications in the Chuitna River watershed after the Clean Water Act 404, Surface Mining Coal Regulatory Act (SMCRA) and Title 16 fish habitat permits are done so that we can consider impacts to the watershed by an approved mine plan. We will not approve significant impacts to the Chuitna River.

Please review the following documents to better understand the decision.
Additional information about reservations