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Legislation & Regulation

Comments Needed On Pebble Project Draft EIS

The US Army Corps of Engineers’ Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska comes in at over 1,400 pages.

If you do not have the time to read the entire document, I would suggest starting with the Executive Summary that begins on page 80.

Scientists with the Army Corps appear to have done a very thorough job, taking into consideration runoff, geology, above ground and underground waters, cultural resources, fisheries, access, areas of disturbance and more.

The Pebble Project scaled down their proposal to garner support and further minimize impacts. The Army Corps estimates the amount of disturbed habitat for the seven species of fish at less than four acres during mine operation with a net loss of less than 1.5 acres post closure for Chinook and Coho salmon, while other species will see their habitat slightly increased. The Pebble Project has proposed two huge, triple-lined tailings ponds with multiple layers of engineered berms to eliminate the risk of any contamination to the environment.

After reviewing the documents, it appears the Pebble Project and the Bristol Bay watershed can coexist without significant environmental consequences. The plan has been so thoroughly vetted that Iliamna Natives Limited have flipped from naysayers to supporters and are offering to provide a transportation corridor across their lands  to support the operation and construction of the proposed Pebble mine.

It’s estimated 3,000 high-paying jobs will be created at the Pebble Project, and it will support more than 16,000 American jobs while contributing $2.4 billion in gross domestic product annually according to a study by IHS Global. Jobs at the mine site are projected at $109,500 salary per year, which is more than double the state average.

Public comments on the Draft EIS will be accepted through June 29, 2019, and we encourage all of readers to weigh in.

You can review the Draft EIS and submit your comments through the online portal at pebbleprojecteis.com. (There is a “Public Comments” tab at the top when you are ready to submit comments.) 

Comments may also be emailed to: drafteis@comments.pebbleprojecteis.com

Comments may be mailed to:

Program Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers 
645 G St. Suite 100-921
Anchorage, AK 99501

© ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal, CMJ Inc.
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