Alaskans Deserve EPA Transparency

Alaskans Deserve EPA Transparency

January 28, 2022

Alaskans deserve an appropriate statement if the EPA was to move forward with a ruling against the Pebble Mine.

Yesterday, the EPA officially tasked both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Pebble Limited Partnership to provide additional information to “demonstrate that no unacceptable adverse effects to fishery areas would result from discharges associated with mining the Pebble deposit, or that actions could be taken to prevent unacceptable adverse effects.”

This action is part of EPA’s process to determine if the proposed copper, gold, molybdenum and rhenium mine – which would bring billions of dollars in state and local revenues and provide 700-plus full-time jobs to fully staff the decades-long mining activity – should be administratively shuttered.

Here’s the part that the EPA is conveniently forgetting: it already has that requested information, and in fact, has supported the transparent path the Corps took to review the environmental record for the proposed mine.  Using the NEPA (National Environmental Permitting Act) – once called the “Magna Carta of Environmental Law” by the NRDC – and its years-long process, the Corps issued a FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) in 2020.  Throughout that FEIS’ report, it stated clearly and repeatedly that developing Pebble would have minimal to no impact on the Bristol Bay fishery.

In May, 2020, the EPA even praised the Corps for the way it had engaged with the EPA and others throughout the process, stating in a letter: “As the very productive interagency discussions conclude, we want to express our appreciation for the Corps’ willingness to engage with both the EPA and Fish and Wildlife Service collectively. Our hope is that this experience lays the groundwork for continuing cooperation between the agencies…”

Now, with a new President, new EPA administrator and through the encouragement of anti-Pebble environmental zealots, the project is once again threatened for reasons completely counter to the clean scientific results.

Power The Future continues to be unabashedly pro-Pebble, as the science is clear that mining and fish can and will co-exist in the Bristol Bay watershed.  The jobs can be regionally, generationally impactful, and the world-class deposits can jump-start domestic supply chains for components the world needs exponentially more of, if the eco-left’s Utopian, ‘green energy’ transition is to happen someday.