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USACE Releases Draft EIS for Pebble Project

Feb 21, 2019 | Mining, Monitor

Company welcomes robust public comment period

The Pebble Project

ANCHORAGE—The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Pebble Project has been released by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Upon initial review, the Pebble Partnership (PLP) strongly believes it demonstrates that the proposed 20-year mine development plan for the Pebble deposit can be done in an environmentally responsible manner and that it points to a clear path forward for success in permitting the project.

A project overview, executive summary, and the entire DEIS itself can be found here:
https://pebbleprojecteis.com/

“Our preliminary review of the DEIS shows no major data gaps or substantive impacts that cannot be appropriately mitigated. We see no significant environmental challenges that would preclude the project from getting a permit and this shows Alaska stakeholders that there is a clear path forward for this project that could potentially generate significant economic activity, tax revenue and thousands of jobs,” said PLP CEO Tom Collier. “I also commend the Corps for their comprehensive, efficient and transparent management of the process thus far.”

Collier stressed that the DEIS is a draft look at the Pebble project and that the next phase is for extensive public review and comment to inform and guide the development of the final EIS and record of decision for the project. The PLP team will undertake an extensive technical review of the DEIS over the next several days to develop the company’s formal comments, expected to be submitted near the end of the public comment window. Collier added that since the document is a draft he fully expects substantive comments from a range of project stakeholders while emphasizing that there do not appear to be any major hurdles.

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“Since this is our first chance to see what the Corps has evaluated, I fully expect a few bumps along the way before we conclude this process. This is what reviewing a draft is all about. While we have a lot of work remaining in front of us, this is clearly a very exciting time for the project as we have reached a significant milestone for Pebble,” said Collier.

In December 2017, PLP submitted its application with the USACE to initiate permitting for a 20-year mine development plan for the Pebble Deposit. The project has a smaller footprint, has no major mine facilities in the Upper Talarik drainage, and will not use cyanide for secondary gold recovery.

“We have stated that the project must co-exist with the important salmon fishery in the region and we believe we will not harm the fish and water resources in Bristol Bay. Now we have a science based, objective assessment of the project that affirms our work,” said Collier.

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Mining has long been a key fixture of Alaska’s economy. On a small scale, people flock to the 49th state to tour different operations. Kennecott Mine was once a booming copper mining site and is now a National Historic Landmark, attracting tourists eager to visit the ghost town and get a feel of the Gold Rush era it once dominated.

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