The fight against the proposed Pebble mine has reached another critical milestone with the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Final EIS is the risk analysis document that should review all the potential impacts the project could bring to the people, fish, and fish-based economies in southwest Alaska. More importantly, the Final EIS serves as the basis for the record of decision, which will grant or deny Pebble its most important federal permit. This decision could come as soon as August 19, 2020.
In 2019, Trout Unlimited, multiple federal and state agencies, and 685,000 individuals submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, all noting the inadequacies in the Corps’ initial document. Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan even weighed in, saying that if the Corps doesn’t address all the issues raised in agency comments in the Final EIS, they should not issue the permit.
Even from reading the executive summary, it is clear that the Corps has not evaluated Pebble beyond a conceptual level plan, and hasn’t fully accounted for every way Pebble would impact Bristol Bay, which is a failure of their duties under the Clean Water Act.
With a record of decision issued as early as next month, we are nearly at the end of the permitting process. We’ve called on the Army Corps, our Senators, and even the President to stop Pebble, and now they need to hear from people from across the country again. Head over to www.savebristolbay.org/tellpresidenttrump to send a note to the White House — yes, again — asking them to do all they can to stop Pebble in the permitting process.
“Alaska is a world-renowned salmon resource. To risk losing the Bristol Bay drainage would be globally catastrophic. This resource must remain protected.”
— Rich DiStanislao, Vice President DFTU
This content is not original to the Doc Fritchey Chapter. Reprinted with permission from Trout Unlimited.