Oxidized rock colors a valley where one of Seabridge Gold’s KSM Project’s open pit mines will be dug if the project proceeds. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

U.S. senators from Alaska and three other border states have written to British Columbia’s premier expressing concern over transboundary mining.

Thursday’s two-page letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan says the eight senators “remain concerned about the lack of oversight of Canadian mining projects near multiple transboundary rivers that originate in B.C. and flow into our four U.S. states…”

The bipartisan effort includes Alaska’s senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. In a statement, they urged stronger regulatory oversight by B.C. to guarantee the protection of Alaska’s natural resources.

“As you know, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, and Montana have tremendous natural resources that need to be protected against impacts from B.C. hard rock and coal mining activities near the headwaters of shared rivers,” read the letter, signed by the senators from Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana, “many of which support environmentally and economically significant salmon populations.”

It closed with an appeal for B.C. to continue to monitor transboundary water quality.

Following the urging from state lawmakers, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy wrote a letter to Premier Horgan last month re-affirming the state’s commitment to cross-border cooperation.

That letter, however, did not mention mining.

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