Exploration permit for Pebble Mine rejection was appealed

Alaska Native group and two Bristol Bay residents challenge decision denying them the right to appeal Pebble permit

Dec 18, 2009
trustees

Native spokesman: End the rubber-stamping of permits without public notice or input

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska Native organization and two Bristol Bay residents today appealed in Alaska Superior Court a decision by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ commissioner rejecting their challenge of an exploration permit for the proposed Pebble Mine issued earlier this year.

Nunamta Aulukestai, an association of eight Bristol Bay Native village corporations, along with Nondalton resident Rick Delkittie and former Alaska First Lady Bella Hammond, say Commissioner Thomas Irwin violated their constitutional right to due process by conducting an illegal permitting process that allows significant impacts to public subsistence resources without a valid opportunity for public participation.

Trustees for Alaska, a nonprofit law firm, is representing Nunamta Aulukestai, Delkittie and Mrs. Hammond. For a copy of today’s appeal contact Vicki Clark, Trustees for Alaska, (907) 276- 4244 ext. 110 or by e-mail at vclark@trustees.org.

“The Department of Natural Resources routinely rubber-stamps permits without public input or notice and at the expense of people who depend on subsistence resources that would be damaged by Pebble mine exploration and development,” said Bobby Andrew, a spokesman for Nunamta Aulukestai. “The State has a moral and legal obligation to listen to the public when making decisions that affect the public’s natural and subsistence resources. Our lives and livelihoods are too important for the State to deny us that.”

Read full press release (PDF)
Notice of Appeal
DNR Decision