Alaskans want Bristol Bay protected

Army Corps tries to rush Pebble permit review

Apr 16, 2018
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Why hurry through a public comment period for a controversial mega-mining proposal that could destroy Bristol Bay salmon runs and communities?

There’s no good reason, but the rush is on–and Alaskans have rallied to show up and speak out against the proposed Pebble mine.

Hundreds of Alaskans showed up at the Army Corps Pebble mine hearing on the proposed Pebble mine.

Hundreds of Alaskans showed up at the Homer hearing on the proposed Pebble mine. Photo courtesy Cook Inletkeeper.

Last week, hundreds of people joined rallies and participated at hearings in communities like Kokhanok, Newhalen, Naknek and Homer. Virtually all of them said yes to protecting salmon, jobs and their way of life, and no to the proposed mine.

Testify, speak out

Only a few more hearings remain. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will wrap up its scheduled scoping meetings this week in Dillingham, Igiugig, and Anchorage.

You can join one of the rallies and testify for the health of Bristol Bay, or make new and additional comments online or by email or mail until June 29.

The input of Alaskans is essential during the scoping process because it defines what the Army Corps will consider and analyze when preparing the environmental impact statement.

Alaskans showed up at the New Stuyahok hearing to speak out against the Pebble mine. Photo courtesy United Tribes of Bristol Bay.

Local, traditional knowledge essential to deciding what matters

The impacts of a mine in Bristol Bay would reach beyond arbitrary boundaries and timelines.  Any adequate review of the project must include extensive scientific inquiry, an expansive look at outcomes to subsistence activities and other economies, and a thorough assessment of the long-term risks and impacts to all the connected communities of the region and state, and to generations to come.

Pebble Limited Partnership, the Alaska face of the Canadian mining company Northern Dynasty, doesn’t want the Corps to look that far ahead. It only wants a review of its 20-year project plan, despite touting to investors the 11-million tons of ore it can extract over centuries of mining.

Alaskans need to tell the Army Corps “no way.” Bristol Bay has fed people for thousands of years. It now feeds the world. The scope of the risk is huge, and so must be the scope of the project review.

Illiamna Lake from Kokhanok. Photo courtesy United Tribes of Bristol Bay.

How you can act now

Alaskans can testify at hearings this week, and send additional comments until June 29. Now’s the time to tell the Corps that

  • the Pebble permit application is incomplete;
  • the Environmental Protection Agency determined that the Pebble project would be catastrophic to Bristol Bay;
  • alternatives to mining in the area need to be considered;
  • the scope of the environmental review needs to look at impacts of mining over a century or more.

United Tribes of Bristol Bay has information to help all Alaskans learn where and how to provide input and get tips on how to testify.  Save Bristol Bay has information for everyone who wants to speak out for Bristol Bay communities, jobs and salmon.

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