USACE Accepts Pebble Partnership Request for Appeal
Northern Dynasty Minerals reports the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has accepted Pebble Limited Partnership’s request to initiate an administrative appeal process with respect to southwest Alaska’s Pebble Project and a negative Record of Decision (ROD) issued by the USACE’s Alaska District in November 2020.
On January 19, 2021, Northern Dynasty’s subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership submitted a Request for Appeal (RFA) to the USACE’s Pacific Ocean Division Engineer headquartered in Hawaii. In a letter dated February 24, the USACE confirmed the Pebble Partnership’s RFA is “complete and meets the criteria for appeal.”
The USACE Alaska District published a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed copper-gold-molybdenum-silver-rhenium mine in July 2020, finding that Pebble would “not have measurable effects” on fish populations or fisheries in southwest Alaska. Despite this, the USACE published a ROD on November 25, 2020 denying Pebble a key permit under the Clean Water Act on the grounds that its ‘compensatory mitigation plan’ (CMP) is non-compliant and the project is not in the ‘public interest.’
Northern Dynasty believes that key aspects of the USACE’s ROD and permitting decision—including its “significant degradation” finding, its “public interest review” findings and its perfunctory rejection of Pebble’s CMP—are contrary to law, unprecedented in Alaska and fundamentally unsupported by the administrative record, including the Pebble Project EIS.
USACE guidelines indicate the administrative appeal process should conclude within ninety days, although it may be extended under certain circumstances.
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