PRESS RELEASE: The Alaska Center Stands With Thousands of Alaskans in Opposition to Brune Appointment

Alaskans hold up Brune's Pebble past as another example of compromised leadership and Pebble's influence on Alaska's future.

TODAY - Legislators voted to confirm Jason Brune as Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Those legislators ignored the voice of Alaskans by voting to confirm a former Pebble Limited Partnership spokesperson. The Alaska Center applauds the 24  legislators voting “no” on Commissioner Brune’s appointment and standing with Alaskans.

During the legislative confirmation hearing process, over 1,926 Alaskans testified and sent emails opposing the appointment of Jason Brune, primarily due to his intimate ties to the Pebble project.

Just yesterday in Anchorage, over 500 Alaskans attended the Army Corps of Engineers’ public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Pebble project. Alaskans are deeply concerned about this conflict of interest. As DEC Commissioner Brune will have  the ability to fast track permitting for the Pebble Project.

Through the confirmation process Commissioner Brune also indicated he has plans to modify the PFAS pollution standards, repeal the Ocean Ranger program, and decrease regulation of wastewater discharges on the Cruise Industry. These plans indicate that Commissioner Brune will utilize his position to streamline water quality and air quality permit issuance to the detriment of human health and environmental health.    

“We believe Commissioner Brune is unfit to serve as commissioner of the agency that will oversee water permitting for the large mines, cruise ships and industrial air quality permits. His history of working on behalf of resource extraction, his employment with Pebble Limited Partnership, and his public statements to make it easier for big industry in Alaska are in direct conflict with the mission of the DEC.” - Polly Carr, Executive Director, The Alaska Center.

Commissioner Brune’s appointment is yet another example of the Dunleavy Administration’s corrupt tactics to compromise our state’s health for short term gain. This appointment will cause Alaskans to lose faith in the fairness and integrity of both the DEC and the water quality and air quality permitting process. It will ultimately result in less protection for Alaskans’ health.

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