On Episode 3 of FirstHand, the podcast, Jason Brune, the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), talks with Host Patty Sullivan about the tightrope walk of defending the health of residents and protecting the environment, while also supporting responsible development of Alaska’s natural resources.
Commissioner Brune also discusses WOTUS, Waters of the United States, and a renewed effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), to change the definition. Last week, the state of Alaska joined an amicus brief asking the high court to clarify the definition.
“We know from previous examples that it could have impacts, not just on the big projects in Alaska, but the changing of this definition could have an impact on people wanting to build a dock or wanting to build a house on their property,” Brune said.
Among other topics, Commissioner Brune also highlights:
• hero and Big Brother, the two faces of DEC
• large projects like Pebble and how the statutes and regulations and staff expertise make the call
• changes to the Ocean Ranger program
• efforts to get the federal government to clean up federally-conveyed lands
• the United Way Share Campaign, a chance for State employees to help others