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Over 100 in attendance at Fairbanks area Susitna Dam presentation

by Sue Deyoe ~ February 25th, 2011

The Fairbanks News Miner reports that dozens of Fairbanks residents showed up for the Alaska Energy Authority’s open house on the Susitna Dam Thursday evening.

Lisa Hughes, with the Northern Environmental Center was in attendance and said that well over a hundred people were in attendance.  She said that  two AEA officials spoke on energy production and environmental issues for two different proposed dam sites.  People were invited to wander the room and look at maps for about an hour before the presentation began.

The presentation started at 6 pm and AEA officials gave background on the Chakachamna project and why it wasn’t selected, the reasoning being its proximity to a national park, its proximity to seismic activity and to fishing zones.

Attendees were given cards to write down questions.  At the end, the questions were given to the presenters to answer.

Hughes said not all questions got answered, still leaving questions in her mind about the project. Hughes said one of her biggest questions at this time is economics:   this project is to be the largest appropriation in Alaska history but it will only benefit those residents on the Railbelt.

All public meetings are expected to be the same in format and length.  The next public meeting is in Talkeetna on Monday evening with the informal open house period starting at 5 pm at the Talkeetna Elementary school.  Meetings will also be held in Palmer, Anchorage, and the Kenai.

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