PUBLISHED: 7:01 PM on Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Alaska water permit program approved
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Oct. 31 Alaska's application to take over permitting authority for wastewater discharges under the Clean Water Act.

Wastewater discharge permits are issued to municipal sewage treatment plants, seafood processors, and to industrial facilities such as mines and certain oil and gas facilities. Until now, permits in Alaska were issued by the federal EPA. With this approval, Alaska joins 45 other states that run their own state permitting programs. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) will issue and enforce the permits. EPA will assume an oversight role.

"When Alaska became a state almost 50 years ago, it was with the promise that we would be self-sufficient, particularly when it comes to managing our natural resources," Gov. Sarah Palin said. "Taking responsibility for the quality of our water resources is yet another step toward fulfilling that promise. Alaskans are the best stewards of Alaska's resources. I have full confidence in the Department of Environmental Conservation and our other agencies and know that our water resources are in the best possible hands."