Report: Pebble Mine Company Was Deceptive Over Size Of Project
Here’s more on the controversy from Alaska Public Media:
Backers of a proposed copper and gold mine in Southwest Alaska “tried to trick regulators by pretending to pursue a smaller project with the intention of expanding” after the project was approved, a report released Friday by a U.S. House panel says.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report ahead of its release. The report makes several recommendations, including environmental review process changes to “ensure holistic review of cumulative impacts of projects.”
A message seeking comment was sent to Friday a spokesperson with the Pebble Limited Partnership, which is seeking to develop the Pebble Mine.
United Tribes of Bristol Bay also released a statement about the news:
Latest Report Showing Pebble’s Deceptions to Lawmakers & Public Emphasizes the Need for 404(c) Protections in Bristol Bay
DILLINGHAM, AK – A lengthy report released today by the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee shows new depths of Pebble’s deceptions to lawmakers, investors and the public, emphasizing the urgent need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to enact Clean Water Act 404(c) safeguards that protect Bristol Bay from the threat of this toxic mine project.
“We are not surprised that Pebble has yet tried to deceive lawmakers and the public about their true plans. From their sham of a mine plan to the Pebble tapes, the company has proven time and again they’re not to be trusted. We are still reviewing the report and its appendices that uncover the new depths of Pebbles deceptions, but this depravity comes as no surprise to us. Since this company started trying to build a mine at the headwaters of our fishery two decades ago, they have done nothing but prove they will say and do anything to try and advance their toxic project, regardless of truth and fact. The people of Bristol Bay are thankful for Reps. Peter DeFazio and Grace F. Napolitano for their committees work to seek truth and justice and hold Pebble accountable. We hope the EPA recognizes this as further proof of the urgent need to finalize strong Clean Water Act protections for our lands and waters so they are safe from this toxic company once and for all.” – UTBB Executive Director Alannah Hurley
The report makes clear that Pebble executive’s testimony to Congress and other public communications were made in bad faith and were knowingly engaging in “sham permitting.”
The report states: “A review of internal communications and documents from 2019 demonstrate that testimony offered by Mr. Collier to the subcommittee was not truthful. Specifically, Mr. Collier’s claim that “Pebble has no current plans, in this application or in any other way, for expansion” beyond its reduced-scope Pebble Mine with an operating life of 20 years cannot be reconciled with Pebble’s contemporaneous communications, both internally within Pebble LP and Northern Dynasty as well as externally with investors.” (p. 14)
The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s report can be accessed online here, and the second appendix is here. Bristol Bay Tribes are still reviewing the documents, which contain extensive documentation of Pebble’s deceptions.
The United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a tribal consortium representing 15 Bristol Bay Tribal governments (that represent over 80 percent of the region’s total population) working to protect the Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiiq way of life in Bristol Bay.