Opinions: Pebble Mine draft environmental impact statement fails Alaskans – by Daren Erickson, John Holman, Brian Kraft, Nanci Morris Lyon, Dan Michels, Phil Shoemaker, Tia Shoemaker (Anchorage Daily News – March 9, 2019)


Daren Erickson operates Enchanted Lake Lodge (King Salmon/Eagle River). John Holman operates No See Um Lodge (Kvichak River/Wasilla). Brian Kraft operates Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge (Igiugig/Anchorage). Nanci Morris Lyon operates Bear Trail Lodge (King Salmon). Dan Michels operates Crystal Creek Lodge (King Salmon/Wasilla). Phil Shoemaker and Tia Shoemaker operate Grizzly Skins of Alaska (Kejulik River/Wasilla).

The most important document on the Pebble Project’s path to a key permit to mine the headwaters of Bristol Bay has been released by the Army Corps of Engineers and utterly fails the people of Alaska.

That document, the draft environmental impact statement, is often considered the linchpin of permitting because it should outline the risks and options for safely advancing or altering a project. However, in this document, the Corps blatantly ignored risks and Alaskan concerns, seemingly content to push forward a mine that Alaskans have said time and again we don’t want.

Pebble’s draft EIS fails to meet basic standards of scientific rigor in a region that demands the opposite. There are myriad ways to back this up, but here is what rises to the top for us.

First, Pebble has put forth a massive proposal that covers only a fraction of the ore in the ground. The Corps has allowed this stunt and as such, the draft EIS ignores Pebble’s planned expansion. Proof of the doublespeak by Pebble is ample, but most recently played out over the course of just one week.

First, Pebble’s CEO claimed in the Anchorage Daily News that the mine would have a “smaller footprint.” However, that Wednesday at a mining conference, the CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals, the sole company behind the Pebble Partnership, was asked if Pebble would expand the scope of the project after securing this permit. The CEO responded, “that’s the whole purpose, is to gain your social license to operate…”

For the rest of this opinion column: https://www.adn.com/opinions/2019/03/09/pebble-mine-draft-environmental-impact-statement-fails-alaskans/

Comments are closed.