Gov. Walker asks Army Corps to suspend Pebble EIS process

Jun 30, 2018

On Friday, Governor Walker’s office asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to suspend the Environmental Impact Statement process for the proposed Pebble Mine.

 

 

At the U.S. Army Corps' April scoping meeting in Kokhanok, a community member speaks. Right, Program Coordinator Shane McCoy (R).
Credit Avery Lill/KDLG

 

In a letter to the Army Corps, Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallot contend that Pebble Limited Partnership has yet to present a “feasible and realistic” project. In order for the Corps to fully consider all alternatives in the draft EIS, they recommend a preliminary economic assessment at minimum, and preferably a pre-feasibility study. 

 

The letter was submitted on the final day of the EIS scoping period.

 

Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation CEO, Norman Van Vactor, called the decision "fantastic." BBEDC has long opposed the mining project.

 

“I'm glad to see the governor and this administration and Byron Mallott step up and do it. I think it speaks to our concerns. It speaks to the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers seems to be rushing the whole permit process...There's just so many ongoing uncertainties about it. I hope and pray that the Army Corps of Engineers listens to the state,” said Van Vactor. 

 

KDLG reached out to the Pebble Limited Partnership, but they did not respond in time for this story.

 

UPDATE: July 1, 2018 

 

In a press release, Pebble Limited Partnership CEO Tom Collier said that the purpose of the Corps’ EIS process is to evaluate Pebble’s potential environmental impact, including whether it would be able to operate without harming the region’s salmon habitat. He said that governor’s request to suspend this process was unclear and sees it as a “stall tactic.”

 

Contact the authors at isabelle@kdlg.org or avery@kdlg.org, or at 907-842-5281.