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Alaska Energy Authority says it has reached agreement on land-use permit for dam studies

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JUNEAU, Alaska — The Alaska Energy Authority says it has reached a land-use agreement that is also key to it perhaps receiving additional funding for the proposed Susitna-Watana hydro project.

The authority, known as AEA, announced it had reached agreement with six Cook Inlet village corporations and Cook Inlet Region Inc. AEA says the permit will allow for additional study work on private lands.

Gov. Sean Parnell proposed $32.7 million in funding for the project, if AEA secured land access permits required for field work. That was on top of the $10 million he had earlier proposed as part of his budget for next year.

Some lawmakers have questioned additional funding for the project and whether the dam is necessary, given the state also is pursuing a major natural gas project.

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