Bristol Bay’s resistance regarding the Pebble Mine will only get more desperate given the news coming out this week that Pebble Partnership’s formal application to proceed has been accepted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially accepts a permit application from the Pebble Partnership – the group which intends to develop a precious metals and minerals mine near a major salmon fishery in Alaska – it has now also committed to a full environmental review of the proposed mine.
The Pebble Limited Partnership filed the permit application with the corps in December.
“Our application was sufficient,” said Pebble Limited Partnership spokesperson Mike Heatwole, “which means we now officially get to begin the permitting and review process for the Pebble project.”
Project details released Jan. 5 would indicate that the Pebble Partnership group has already made substantial changes to its development plans, including alterations that would lessen the negative environmental impact: Notables include a development footprint “less than half the size that was previously published”; they will focus on one specific drainage instead of multiple, limiting it to the North Fork Koktuli; cyanide use has been cut out.
“We’ve taken a good hard look at the environmental concerns people have raised,” Heatwole said. “And the law is the law. There is the Clean Water Act, water standards – we have to meet all those requirements, or we will not get a permit to operate.
“All we have sought, and what’s great about this phase, is to get to the starting line, get our project out there, what we actually propose to do.”