Copy
May 2020

Pebble ditches ferry route; northern road is now the preferred transportation corridor

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed in a media advisory last week that it has made a preliminary decision on a Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative (LEDPA) for the Pebble project. That LEDPA hasn't been entirely spelled out to the public, but major components mirror those evaluated under "Alternative 3 - North Road Only." This LEDPA excludes a port site at Amakdedori, and eliminates a ferry crossing over Iliamna Lake. It includes an 84-mile road with adjacent pipeline that would carry concentrate from the mine site to a port at Diamond Point.

A few notes about the northern route...

  • For developers and investors, the northern route is more preferable in the long-run, as it is the only alternative that works with an expanded mine scenario. While the permit application under review is based on a 20-year mine life, developers have consistently touted the larger deposit to investors. They note that expansion could be possible once they gain social license from the public through successful operation of the 20-year plan.
  • However, there are existing land access issues for all the alternatives, including the northern route. Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) owns surface and subsurface land along the route and has said it will not give access to developers. In a May 21 letter to the Corps, BBNC demanded that "the Corps remove from consideration all alternatives that would require use of its subsurface or surface estate, as our lands are not available to PLP." The Corps maintains that land ownership issues would be dealt with by the applicant once the Corps completes its review process. 
  • Over the course of the permitting process, project opponents have been focused on potential impacts related to the initial project plan, which is still highlighted on the Corps' website. This plan included a port at Amakdedori Creek/Kamishak Bay, a road near McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge, and a ferry crossing over Iliamna Lake. Opponents, including BBNC, say that the northern route has not been fully analyzed and that its selection just weeks before the final Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be released does not give the public or cooperating agencies an opportunity to weigh in. The Corps says the public comment period is over and that all alternatives have been fully analyzed.

Land Status Map provided by Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This map illustrates Pebble mine project alternatives analyzed by the Corps as part of the federal permitting process. The northern route, Alternative 3, is highlighted in pink. Red and yellow areas show subsurface and surface estate owned by BBNC and not accessible to developers.
EPA will not formally elevate decision-making on Pebble project permit

Today was the deadline for the EPA to submit an elevation letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of an established dispute resolution process between the two agencies. The EPA had been critical of the Corps’ Draft EIS and the two agencies have been meeting regularly to address those.

In a letter to the Corps today, EPA noted that the two agencies have had "very productive" discussions to resolve concerns about the project. An EPA spokesperson said that, "EPA will continue working with the Corps outside of the formal elevation process as the Corps completes its review of this proposed project."
Alaska DNR letter to Corps: Keep Pebble moving forward

An April 15 letter from Corri Feige, Commissioner of the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to "stay on task and on schedule" with the federal permitting process for the Pebble project. She cited the project's importance to local and state economies in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DNR has not received a state permit application with details about Pebble’s engineering plans yet. This part of the process is important, as the Corps’ oversight is limited to dredge and fill in waters of the U.S. It is also "lengthy and time-consuming," according to Feige. 

Read the letter in our recent post.

Pebble Watch is a program of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Land Department.
Learn more at www.pebblewatch.com

Copyright © 2017, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
 111 W 16th Ave, Ste 400 Anchorage, Alaska

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
Pebble Watch is a program of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Land Department.
Learn more at www.pebblewatch.com

Copyright © 2017, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
 111 W 16th Ave, Ste 400 Anchorage, Alaska

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
BBNC Land Department · 111 West 16th Avenue · Suite 400 · Anchorage, AK 99501 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp