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Environment

Environmental stories that take place in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

The proposed Donlin Gold mine site in 2014. The site is located north of Crooked Creek, which sits on the Kuskokwim River in Alaska.
Dean Swope / KYUK

On April 12, an administrative law judge issued a recommendation that the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation rescind a state water quality certificate that was issued to the Donlin Gold mine in 2018. The certificate is required under the Clean Water Act. Here's what rescinding the certificate could mean for the proposed mine, and how the parties involved in the decision have responded to the judge’s recommendation.

Public comments for the water quality certification permit for the Donlin gold mine are due July 13.
KYUK

On April 12, an Administrative Law judge issued a recommendation that the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation not uphold a water certificate issued to the Donlin Gold mine.

The Native Village of Napaimute crew maintaining the Kuskokwim Ice Road 5 miles downriver of Kalskag, Alaska on Feb. 27, 2021.
Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

The Native Village of Napaimute has announced that the lower Kuskokwim Ice Road has closed. The ice road crew stopped plowing this week due to heavy snow and overflow. The crew will not plow or maintain the ice road any more this season.

The Native Village of Napaimute crew maintaining the Kuskokwim Ice Road 5 miles downriver of Kalskag, Alaska on Feb. 27, 2021.
Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

Heavy snowfall has made maintaining the lower Kuskokwim Ice Road a challenge this year. The road is shorter than usual, even as its crew is working harder than ever.


Gabby Hiestand Salgado / KYUK

Recent storms have battered the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta coast and dumped multiple feet of snow in some places. Some are saying that this is more snow than they’ve seen in decades. Scientists say that heavy winter snowfall may become more common in many parts of Alaska in the future.

  

Katie Basile / KYUK

U.S. Air Force officials said that the mechanical problem that forced the pilot of an F-16 based at Eielson Air Force Base to land at the Bethel Airport in September 2020 was a malfunction of the engine’s oil system.

  

The proposed Donlin Gold mine site in 2014. The site is located north of Crooked Creek, which sits on the Kuskokwim River in Alaska.
Dean Swope / KYUK

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources gave the public 15 days to comment on 12 water right permits for the proposed Donlin Gold mine in December. The Orutsararmiut Native Council claims that wasn’t enough time, especially as villages locked down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and taking into account limited access to the internet in rural Alaska.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the Kuskokwim Delta coast. The warning is in effect from 4 a.m. on Feb. 11 to 6 a.m. on Feb. 12.
Screenshot NWS

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the Kuskokwim Delta coast. The warning is in effect from 4 a.m. on Feb. 11 to 6 a.m. on Feb. 12.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Kuskokwim Delta coast. The advisory is in effect from 3 p.m. on Feb. 10 until 6 p.m. on Feb. 11.
Screenshot NWS

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Kuskokwim Delta coast. The advisory is in effect from 3 p.m. on Feb. 10 until 6 p.m. on Feb. 11.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Kuskokwim Delta for Feb. 1-2, 2021.
Screenshot NWS

Updated 2 p.m., Feb. 2: The Native Village of Napaimute is warning travelers to stay off the lower Kuskokwim ice road to avoid becoming stuck in dangerous snow drifts.

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