Tag Archives: Pebble mine

Record of decision on Pebble delayed to autumn 2020

A final environmental impact statement that will determine the future of a proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine abutting the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska has now been delayed until the summer of 2020. “The delay is caused by us deciding that we needed more time to refine our analysis, and to finalize the respond to the concerns raised through the public comment period,” said Sheila Newman, deputy chief of the regulatory division of the Corps. The final EIS was previously anticipated no later than the beginning of March. >click to read< 09:19

Meet the salmon scientist at the center of the Pebble fight

Beneath the steady static of rain on a tin roof, University of Washington aquatic ecologist Daniel Schindler made some soup. On a clear day, he’d be wading through thousands of hump-backed, hooked-jawed sockeye that turn the pristine waters of southwestern Alaska red every year. Schindler has put himself in the middle of the two-decade fight over the Pebble mine, a proposal to build one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines roughly 100 miles east of Lake Nerka. >click to read<  20:01

‘You’re not listening to the science’: Pebble Mine fight aired at US House hearing

For Alaskans opposed to the Pebble Mine, a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday was an opportunity to raise the issue on a national stage, and to ask Congress to stop the proposed gold and copper mine upstream from Bristol Bay. But Alaska Congressman Don Young made it clear he didn’t think much of the hearing. He said he’s neither for nor against the mine, but he believes in science-based decision-making.,, The hearing produced sparks and several impassioned speeches, but no specific legislation.>click to read< 11:00

Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay thanks House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for looking into flawed Pebble Mine permitting process

This morning in Washington D.C., the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hosted an oversight hearing to look into critical issues surrounding the permitting process for the proposed Pebble Mine. Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay wishes to thank committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chairwoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), co-chairs of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment for shining a light on Pebble’s deeply flawed and rushed permitting process. >click to read< 22:04

What to watch for as Pebble Mine permitting process picks up, with link to live hearing @10:00

As the timeline shortens, developments are picking up at a rapid pace. Wednesday morning, seven witnesses are scheduled to testify before the U.S. House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. Aside from Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier, all other witnesses have been critical of the proposed project. Thursday is the deadline for the EPA to notify the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers whether it believes the proposed mine will have a “substantial and unacceptable impact on aquatic resources of national importance.” >click to read< 08:05

The Pebble Mine Project: Process and Potential Impacts, hearing starts at 10:00 today, >click to listen in<

We ask Sen. Murkowski to let the Pebble process play out

Perhaps you have seen our ads thanking Sen. Lisa Murkowski for standing up for the permitting process for Pebble. The theme of our ads is “we need jobs” and “we want hope.” While the coastal communities in our region see some benefits from the short commercial fishing season, many in our home communities do not. Recently, several of our Bristol Bay leaders took to these pages pushing Sen. Murkowski to more be more aggressively involved in the permitting process. We support Sen. Murkowski staying informed and engaged about the Pebble issue. >click to read< 09:53

Sen. Murkowski is right: The Army Corps needs to bring science back to Pebble permitting

“If a mine cannot stand on its own without negative impact to the fisheries resource, then that mine should not be permitted.” – Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sept. 18, 2019. That statement, delivered during Bristol Bay Native Corporation’s annual salmon celebration in Washington, D.C., quickly travelled from the U.S. Capitol all the way back to Bristol Bay, where many of our organizations have been working to expose the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inadequate environmental review process for Pebble. >click to read<  10:40

Legislators say Pebble mine could spark a cataclysmic mistake

Claims of Gov. Mike Dunleavy to a potential investor in the Pebble mine project that the state will actively help defend the project from “frivolous and scurrilous attacks” are drawing a sharp rebuttal from 20 Alaska legislators and the Bristol Bay Native Corp. In their Sept. 9 letter to Randy Smallwood, president and chief executive officer of Wheaton Precious Metals Corp., in Vancouver, British Columbia, the legislators said that while the mine “may provide some economic benefit to Alaska, it sits near the headwaters of the largest salmon run in the world. Dewatering and re-routing these headwaters could devastate our cherished resource, as would a single cataclysmic mistake.” >click to read<  13:28

Pebble Mine: Commercial Fishermen, Indigenous People Unite to Fight Mine in Alaska

The Pebble Mine is a large deposit of gold, copper and molybdenum located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The deposit was first discovered in the 1980s and multinational corporations began seriously pursuing its development in the 2000s. Those who want to develop the mine say it will create high-paying jobs for locals and reduce America’s dependence on foreign countries for the provision of raw materials. Opponents say toxic discharge from the mine could foul the home of the world’s largest salmon run, bankrupting the mammoth fishing industry and destroying the local ecology. “It’s one of the unique things about this whole fight,”,,, >click to read< 10:40

EPA kills proposed Obama-era Pebble mine ‘veto’

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it will reverse an Obama-era decision to block a controversial Alaska mine project. “After today’s action EPA will focus on the permit review process for the Pebble Mine project” Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick said in a statement. While the EPA is withdrawing the 2014 determination, which it wrote “was issued preemptively and is now outdated,” the withdrawal does not constitute an approval of the permit application or a determination in the permitting process. “Instead, it allows EPA to continue working with the Corps to review the current permit application and engage in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process,” the statement reads. >click to read< 19:19

Today – July 1 – is the last day to comment on the plans to build the Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay. It takes only minutes to do so.

The link below is from Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay and provides a suggested comment: Please take a minute to send the Army Corps the message that we do not want the Pebble Mine. The link below goes directly to the US Army Corps of Engineers: Comments can be made here on the plans for the Pebble Mine. >click to read/comment< 19:25

Bristol Bay fishermen renew call for input on Pebble Mine as commercial fishing season opens

Commercial fishing season is underway in Bristol Bay; but instead of focusing all their attention on their catches, fishermen are focused on the future the Pebble Mine could have on their livelihood. The public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement closes July 1. “Our industry in Bristol Bay is in the fight of our lives against relentless attempts by the Pebble Limited Partnership, fueled by a ‘dig baby dig’ attitude from the US Army Corps of Engineers, to develop the world’s largest and most dangerous open pit mine at the headwaters of our fishery,” >click to read<. a lot of info, and some links to comment. 16:55

EPA officials visit Dillingham to gather opinions on Pebble Mine

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency arrived in Dillingham Thursday morning, meeting with fishers and community leaders to gather opinions on the proposed development of Pebble Mine. “It’s important to hear people’s views on all sides of the issue,” said Matt Leopold, the EPA’s general counsel. “And here in Dillingham I can tell right away that people are opposed to the project.” >click to read<11:33

Opinion: We are an Alaska Native Corporation that backs Pebble Mine. Here’s why.

The proposed Pebble Mine places Alaska Peninsula Corporation in a unique and challenging position. Some shareholders oppose it, yet many support the economic benefits to community and personal well-being. Somehow through it all, we must strike balance.,,, There’s a common belief that resource development will kill the fishery. Unless one takes time to understand Alaska’s permitting process and proposed development at Pebble, one may likely continue to believe what certain environmental groups frequently publicize — worst case scenarios resulting from antiquated development standards of the past.  At APC, our leadership doesn’t have the luxury of making emotional decisions. Every aspect must be considered. >click to read< By Brad Angasan 16:20

OPINION: Bristol Bay’s future is in our fish and natural resources

We are just a few of the many young adults whose livelihoods depend on the clean water and pristine land that has sustained the people of Bristol Bay since time immemorial. As Pebble tries to sell Alaskans on its sham of a mine plan, this time by focusing on jobs, we want to clear something up: We oppose Pebble Mine. We want to protect the environment that provides the resources to sustain our communities and families, and we won’t stop until our work is done. >click to read<11:17

Designers of failed toxic waste dam to work on one taller than the Washington Monument. What would the salmon say?

The company that wants to mine copper and gold in southwest Alaska at the site of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery hired a firm to design mine waste pond dams that was behind one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history. The KnightPiésold firm designed a dam that failed in 2014 in Mount Polley, British Columbia,,,, At least 50 mine dams have failed worldwide in the last decade, including a dam that collapsed in Brazil in January, killing at least 186 people; 122 people are still missing. Alaskan fisherman Mike Fricerro told the Alaska Dispatch News, “Modern history has shown us that (catastrophic dam failures) are more likely than they want us to think.” >click to read<12:28

Fishermen’s group calls Corps’ analysis of potential tailings dam failure at Pebble ‘woefully inadequate’

A new study commissioned by a Bristol Bay seafood marketing group paints a doomsday scenario if the bulk tailings dam at the proposed Pebble mine ever suffered a catastrophic breach, an outcome the U.S Army Corps of Engineers has called very remote and one the mine developer has taken steps to avoid. Billions of gallons of mud would smother valley bottoms, covering vast stretches of salmon habitat, according to an executive summary released Friday. Finely ground-up waste material from mining would travel downstream and spill into Bristol Bay more than 200 river miles from the mine site, threatening the valuable salmon fishery. >click to read<13:16

Army Corps releases Pebble Mine draft EIS hearing schedule

The Army Corps of Engineers published the draft EIS last week, sparking comment from both Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan. Murkowski said she has not made it all the way through the EIS but has started digging into the 1,400 page document. Sullivan met with reporters last week in Juneau, telling them he felt that 90 days is too short for a comprehensive comment period. The public comment period for the draft EIS will begin March 1 and end May 30, according the Pebble project website. Public hearings will be held in nine different communities between March 25 and April 16. The full schedule is as follows: <click to read<09:50

The Former Clintonite Trying to Build the Country’s Most Controversial Mine

Tom Collier is buckled into the back of a six-seat AS350 Helicopter, racing over the lowland bluffs of southwest Alaska. Clad in a black Helly Hansen jacket and baseball hat bearing the word Pebble, he doesn’t exactly look at ease, though he’ll later claim otherwise. When the chopper banks south, he reaches awkwardly for the ceiling, desperate for something to grab. Soon we pass over the Newhalen River, a rushing white torrent, then cut into the rolling hills of the Nushagak and Kvichak river drainages. The two waterways are among the wildest left in the United States , and their watersheds form a sea of tundra sedge and skinny water that produces about half of the sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. >click to read<11:36

State won’t support Pebble Mine, unless it can prove ‘zero impact’

Gov. Bill Walker wants to press pause on the controversial Pebble Mine project in Southwest, Alaska. Pebble is seeking federal permits on a smaller mine proposal, about half the size of the one it began pursuing more than a decade ago. But in a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers on Friday, Walker urged suspension of a critical piece of that process — the environmental impact statement — calling for proof of a “feasible and realistic” project first. “This is something that we’ve looked at very carefully, and we feel like even the project proponents are unsure of the size of this project,” said Andy Mack, Commissioner of the Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources.,, >click to read<10:45

Deadline to comment on Pebble Mine is 5 P.M. today

Please be aware that 5:00 p.m. today is the deadline to submit comments on the second proposed Pebble Mine. Online, it might only take a few minutes. Many people thought the mine wouldn’t be built, but that is not the case. The project is moving forward and a second Pebble Mine proposal is in the works. Please submit your comment online at Pebble Project EIS at www.pebbleprojecteis.com or mail comments to Program Manager, Regulatory Division U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PO Box 6898, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, AK 99506-0898. >click to read<10:06

Canadian investor backs away from Alaska mine project

A Canadian company that was courted as a potential partner in a proposed copper-and-gold mine near one of the world’s largest salmon fisheries in Alaska has backed away from the project.
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which is seeking to develop the Pebble Mine project in southwest Alaska, said Friday that it was unable to finalize an agreement with First Quantum Minerals Ltd., the potential investor. It was not immediately clear what happened or what this means for the project, which has a permit application pending with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. >click to read<10:55

Voices of Alaska: A call to fishermen

Things are getting sideways out there in the ocean. Nearly every fishermen who’s motored in recent years along the Peninsula coast and around to Bristol Bay would probably agree. I do it every year, working my way from Kodiak to Naknek over the course of a week. And the last 10 years, with increasingly warmer water, have brought one weird phenomenon after another. Massive sea bird die offs. Whale strandings. Extraterrestial looking tropical species on the beach. The forage fish are heading for colder deeper waters at odd times.,,Now, the Pebble Mine,, >click to read<11:37

Pebble Mine: In reversal, EPA deals setback to controversial gold mining proposal in Alaska

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced late Friday that he will not scrap the agency’s 2014 determination that a large-scale mining operation could irreparably harm Alaska’s Bristol Bay water­shed.,, The announcement said the decision “neither deters nor derails the application process” for the mine. “It is my judgment at this time that any mining projects in the region likely pose a risk to the abundant natural resources that exist there,” Pruitt said. “Until we know the full extent of that risk, those natural resources and world-class fisheries deserve the utmost protection.” >click here to read< 08:54

Pebble mine opponents at Dillingham meeting hammer EPA for changed course

In close to four hours of public testimony, dozens of people told EPA staffers that large-scale mining threatens a fishery and way of life in Bristol Bay. The unanimous opinion given during Wednesday’s meeting in Dillingham, held in the middle of the work day, was that the EPA should finalize preemptive Section 404(c) Clean Water Act restrictions, not withdraw them and wait for an environmental impact statement. click here to read the story 09:30

Pebble rising?

Once thought to be on the verge of death, Alaska’s proposed Pebble prospect copper and gold mine seems to be taking on a new life. First came the July announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency of President Donald Trump that it planned to lift a proposed ban on the mine ordered by the EPA of President Barrack Obama.,,, The Pebble Limited Partnership sued the Obama administration and the EPA of Trump – taking a page from the playbook of enviromental organizations fond of filing lawsuits to leverage legal settlements – in this case negotiated an agreement allowing Pebble to apply for the necessary permits. click here to read the story 09:37

Gold vs. Salmon: How Pebble Mine Threatens Alaskan Salmon

The environment and natural resources have been a topic of great controversy in the United States and throughout the world, especially in recent years. We have always had a battle between industrialism and conservation. From one end, profits must grow, jobs must be made, and mouths must be fed. Yet from the other end, we must protect our planet, the environment, and the many species of wild animals that roam the globe.,,, In Alaska there is a hot debate going on between which is more important, salmon or gold. In 2001 a Canadian mining company called Northern Dynasty Minerals began exploring and testing an area of Alaska that is located East of Bristol Bay, North of Lake Iliamna and South West of the Lake Clark Natural Reserve. They were going off of data provided by Cominco Alaska Exploration, who in 1987 discovered a site of possible mineral wealth in the region.,,, If this article has moved you, then please do not sit idly by. Thank you Nikolai!  click here to read this excellent article 14:23

Fishermen’s voices will not fall silent

As we look to the summer ahead, the Bristol Bay commercial fishing fleet again faces a season of uncertainty. To be sure, our fishermen face unknowns every year: be it the price per pound, strength of the run, or the possibility of dangerous weather. For over a decade though, our fleet has been living with an uncertainty more dangerous than them all. After 10 years of actively fighting the prospect of a mine that could end our centuries-old commercial fishery, we go into this fishing season with the proposed Pebble Mine as close as it has ever been to permitting. The issue weighs heavy over the fleet, and there is no denying we are more than a little tired of the fight. But that is what this foreign mining company is waiting for, us to get tired and quit fighting. That’s why I am excited about a new effort; Sustaining Bristol Bay Fisheries (SBBF), founded to represent commercial fishermen in the fight to protect our livelihoods. Click here to read the rest 09:16

Not Good. Alaska approves key permit for Pebble copper-gold mine, with conditions

Shares in Canadian miner Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX:NDM) were soaring Wednesday morning following Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approval of a long-awaited land-use permit that clears the way for the company’s vast, but stalled Pebble copper-gold-silver project. The permit, issued late Tuesday, allows Northern Dynasty’s subsidiary — Pebble Limited Partnership — to conduct reclamation and monitoring activities at hundreds of boreholes for the next 12 months. The company, which applied for such permit in October last year, was hoping to get it until 2018. The land use permit comes after months of reviewing the application and over 1,000 public comments, the authority said. grrrrrr. click here to read the story 10:24

It’s good business to keep Bristol Bay protections

Regulations are in the crosshairs in Washington, D.C. these days. Those elected officials and appointed agency leaders have been clear in their goal to get rid of regulations they say are blocking jobs and economic activity. I humbly suggest that in this flurry to slash red tape, one Environmental Protection Agency protection should stay in place: the one protecting the Bristol Bay fishery in Alaska from the controversial Pebble Mine. I guarantee you the EPA’s plan to restrict mine waste disposal in Bristol Bay waters protects jobs and economic activity: those of my family and the 14,000 others who rely on our nation’s most valuable salmon fishery. In fact, we Alaskans call the sockeye salmon that return to Bristol Bay in their annual spawning runs “red gold.” Bristol Bay is the largest wild salmon fishery remaining anywhere in the world. For thousands of years, those fish have represented not just survival, but wealth. continue reading the op-ed here by Kim Williams 09:08