Response to EPA

 

EPA period for public comment open until Sept. 19

August 22, 2014

On July 18th, the EPA opened a 60-day public comment period soliciting input about their intention to preemptively place restrictions on development of a mine at Pebble – before a single permit has been sought for the project. The EPA’s actions, a first in the 43-year history of the Clean Water Act, amount to a de facto veto of a mine at Pebble. Please take action now to let the EPA know their actions are not appropriate nor should anything be done by the agency at this time – other than wait for the Pebble Partnership to present a detailed mine plan, file for permits, and initiate the state and federal permitting process. The public comment window closes on September 19th, 2014.

Read the Full Details Here

Lawsuit Targets Overreaching EPA Pre-emptive Veto Process

Anchorage, May 22, 2014

Clean Water Act Provides No Authority for EPA to Pre-empt Long-established Permitting Process

The Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) Wednesday filed suit in U.S. District Court for Alaska seeking an injunction to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) process to preemptively veto the Pebble Project under Section 404© of the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA). In its complaint, PLP asserts that in the absence of a permit application, EPA’s action exceeds its authority under the CWA and is contrary to the Alaska Statehood Act, the Cook Inlet Exchange legislation, and other federal law.

Read the Full Details Here

EPA’s Pre-emptive Overreach on Pebble is Premature and Undermines the US Environmental Permitting System

Anchorage, April 30, 2014

Pebble Partnership Calls Agency Scheme Unauthorized, Unprecedented and Unfounded

Anchorage, AK – The Pebble Partnership sent a strongly crafted letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 29th, 2014 outlining the company’s key objections to a process initiated by the EPA to exercise a pre-emptive veto against the Pebble Project. The action is based on Section 404© of the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA). Pebble is calling upon the EPA to rescind its letter and revert to the well-established regulatory process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for reviewing the Pebble Project.

Read the Full Details Here

EPA’s Most Recent Assessment Still Flawed

Anchorage, August 2, 2013 

According to the EPA’s Executive Summary, the “purpose of the assessment is to characterize the biological and mineral resources of the Bristol Bay watershed, increase understanding of the impacts of large-scale mining on the region’s fish resource, and inform future government decisions related to protecting and maintaining the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the watershed.” However, little has changed from the first External Review Draft in terms of EPA’s failure to incorporate sound science and impact analysis to support the assessment’s conclusions. Without site-specific plans, as would be evaluated in permitting, conclusions about a hypothetical project are premature, misleading and inaccurate.

Other concerns expressed by a wide range of interest groups include a lack of completeness, absence of applicable modern engineering technologies and a disregard for worldwide industry standards for porphyry copper mining. The mining scenarios presented in the EPA assessment do not represent a realistic mine plan and could not be permitted current state of Alaska and federal laws.

Read the reports:

Pebble Calls on the EPA to Abandon Flawed, Biased Approach

Anchorage, April 26, 2013

Pebble Partnership former CEO John Shively issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releasing a second draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment evaluating the estimated environmental impacts of a hypothetical mine on the Bristol Bay Watershed.

Read the Full Article Here

EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Public Hearing

Anchorage, June 4, 2012

You can find each segment here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Documents

The Pebble Partnership | The State of Alaska | Senator Murkowski | Alaska Native Corporations | Northern Dynasty Minerals | Trade Associations | Individuals | Experts | You!

The Pebble Limited Partnership

As you might imagine, in a project as complex as the proposed Pebble Mine, there is much communication between the Partnership and government regulatory agencies. These are some of the more significant milestones in our exchanges with the EPA.

  • Pebble submits comments to the EPA on the draft BBWA, including an environmental and regulatory analysis.
    Download PDF (8.6 MB) July 23, 2012
  • Pebble provides legal opinion challenging EPA’s use of CWA 404c to claim authority for BBWA.
    Download PDF (836 KB) July 22, 2012
  • Pebble submits a white paper to the EPA, explaining “Technical and Regulatory Issues Related to Modern Mining in Alaska,” to help illuminate several fundamental assumptions made in the BBWA process.
    Download PDF (9.6 MB) July 23, 2012
  • Pebble former CEO John Shively writes to the EPA concerned about the basis for the proposed Watershed Assessment.
    Download PDF (1.0 MB) January 9, 2012
  • Pebble former CEO John Shively writes to the EPA concerned about both the qualifications and objectivity of members of the peer review panel.
    Download PDF (2.1 MB) June 25, 2012
  • Pebble former CEO John Shively submits PLP’s comments on the EPA’s peer review panel.
    Download PDF ( KB) June 25, 2012

The State of Alaska

The State of Alaska Attorney General, State Representatives and Senators, among others, have written to the EPA expressing concern over the legal basis for the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA), the legality of potentially invoking a preemptive 404c Clean Water Act ruling prior to permits being submitted, and the all-too-brief public comment period taking place while many citizens are necessarily engaged in traditional subsistence activities that their lives and livelihoods depend on.

  • Alaska Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty provides comments on the BBWA process.
    Download PDF (3.9 MB) July 23, 2012
  • Alaska Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty requests an extension of the public comment period for the BBWA.
    Download PDF (94 KB) May 29, 2012
  • Alaska Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty questions the EPA’s right to undertake the BBWA based on its CWA 404c authority.
    Download PDF (1.2 MB) March 9, 2012
  • The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) submits its comments re: the BBWA.
    Download PDF (6.2 MB) July 23, 2012
  • The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) submits its suggested edits to the draft BBWA.
    Download PDF (776 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Alaska Speaker of the House, Mike Chenault questions the CWA 404c basis for the BBWA, and further questions its verity.
    Download PDF (102 KB) July 12, 2012
  • Alaska State Representative Mia Costello questions the EPA’s authority under CWA 404c and the validity of the BBWA’s assumptions.
    Download PDF (270 KB) July 19, 2012
  • Alaska State Representative Bob Lynn urges the EPA not to adopt the draft BBWA.
    Download PDF (156 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel requests a 120 day extension of the BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (123 KB) June 22, 2012
  • Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel testifies on BBWA, criticizing both the validity of the report and the propriety of the EPA inserting itself into the process.
    Download PDF (111 KB) June 4, 2012
  • Alaska State Senator Lesil McGuire questions the EPA’s CWA 404c authority, expresses concern about the implications for state-wide resource development, and encourages that the BBWA process be begun anew.
    Download PDF (245 KB) July 16, 2012

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and U.S. Representative Don Young

Senator Murkowski has expressed repeated concern related to the EPA’s actions and process related to the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. Both Senator Murkowski and Representative Young requested that the EPA extend the comment period in order to accommodate subsistence lifestyles in Alaska and allow those closest to the project the opportunity to comment and participate in the assessment process.

  • Senator Murkowsi and Representative Young jointly request a 120 day extension of the public comment period.
    Download PDF (230 KB) June 7, 2012
  • Senator Murkowski writes to EPA Administrator Jackson regarding the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.
    Download PDF (396 KB) April 18, 2012
  • Senator Murkowski writes to EPA Administrator Jackson requesting that the proposed BBWA be held until a permit application is filed.
    Download PDF (950 KB) February 16, 2011

Alaska Native Village and Regional Corporations

Ten out of the 12 Alaska Native Regional Corporations, as well as Village Corporations, Tribal governments, councils and other representative bodies petitioned the EPA to extend the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA) public comment period. Their refusal to do so meant that many who engage in traditional subsistence practices during the summer months were unable to meaningfully contribute.

  • Nuna Resource, Inc. Comments packet 7-23-12
    Includes letters from: Iliamna Natives, Limited; Iliamna Village Council; Alaska Peninsula Corporation; Kokhanok Village Council; South Nanek Tribal Council; Pedro Bay Corporation; Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak; Aleut Corporation; Arctic Slope Regional Corporation; Sealaska Corporation; The Native Village of Eklutna; Doyon, Limited; Calista Corporation; Egegik Village Tribal Council; Chignik Lagoon Village Council; Chignik Bay Tribal Council; Native Council of Port Heiden; Gana-A’Yoo, Limited; Naknek Native Village; and hundreds of signatures from concerned citizens.
    Download PDF (10.2 MB)
    July 23, 2012

Alaska Native Regional Corporations

  • Aleut Corporation calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (329 KB) July 18, 2012
  • Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (1.9 MB) July 20, 2012
  • Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (92 KB) July 16, 2012
  • Calista Corporation calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (376 KB) July 17, 2012
  • Chugach Alaska Corporation calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (102 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (84 KB) July 12, 2012
  • Doyon, Ltd. calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (63 KB) July 16, 2012
  • Koniag, Inc. calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (43 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Sealaska calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (202 KB) July 23, 2012

Alaska Native Village Corporations

  • Alaska Peninsula Corporation calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (274 KB) June 6, 2012
  • Alaska Peninsula Corporation calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (290 KB)
  • Iliamna Natives Limited calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (1.4 MB) July 23, 2012
  • Iliamna Natives Limited opposes initiation of Clean Water Act section 404©.
    Download PDF (1.1 MB) April, 2012
  • Kenaitze Indian Tribe calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (440 KB) June 17, 2012
  • King Island Native Corporation calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (643 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Knikatnu, Inc. calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (720 KB) July 12, 2012
  • Pedro Bay Corporation (PBC) opposes initiatino of Clean Water Act section 404©.
    Download PDF (83 KB) April 6, 2012
  • Pedro Bay Corporation (PBC) calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (240 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Tyonek Native Corporation calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (428 KB) July 16, 2012

Alaska Native Tribal Governments

  • Chignik Lagoon Village Council, Chignik Bay Tribal Council, and the Native Council of Port Heiden call for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (1.3 MB)
  • Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (436 KB) July 17, 2012
  • Egegik Village Tribal Council calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (96 KB) July 13, 2012
  • Iliamna Village Council resolves to request extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (46 KB) July 16, 2012
  • Kokhanok Village Council calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (104 KB) July 10, 2012
  • Newhalen Tribal Council calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (451 KB) May 18, 2012
  • South Nanek Tribal Council calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF (440 KB) May 25, 2012
  • South Naknek Village Council resolves to call for extension of BBWA comment period .
    Download PDF (74 KB) July 9, 2012
  • Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak calls for extension of BBWA comment period.
    Download PDF ( KB) June 26, 2012

Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd.

Northern Dynasty Minerals is 50/50 partner of the Pebble Partnership.

  • Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd. (NDM) comments to EPA
    NDM’s submission on the draft BBWA report. Includes attached commentary from Dr. John Boyle; Crowell and Moring’s legal analysis; PLP’s submission of seven technical papers; Reviews from Randy Bailey, Dr. Jim Buell, Ecofish Research Ltd., and Geosyntec Consultants. Download PDF (10.6 MB) July 23, 2012

Trade Groups and Associations

The Pebble Project represents significant employment opportunities for a number of industries in Alaska and beyond. As shown from the letters collected below, there’s great interest in ensuring that the EPA not overreach the authority granted by Congress.

  • Alaska Miners Association (AMA) provides comments to the EPA on the BBWA.
    Download PDF (169 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Alaska Miners Association (AMA) provides its technical review of the BBWA.
    Download PDF (2.3 MB) July 23, 2012
  • Alaska Miners Association (AMA) writes EPA opining that the BBWA is premature without a 404c permit being filed.
    Download PDF (872 KB) April 25, 2012
  • Alaska Chamber questions EPA’s invocation of of CWA 404c.
    Download PDF (40 KB) April 24, 2012
  • Alaska Policy Forum, in conjunction with American Commitment, Americans for Limited Government, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solution, The Caesar Rodney Institute, The Center of the American Experiment, The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Freedom Action, The Freedom Foundation, The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, The Idaho Freedom Foundation, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, The John Locke Foundation, The Kansas Policy Institute, The Montana Policy Institute, The National Taxpayers Union, The Pelican Institute for Public Policy, The Public Interest Institute, The Rio Grande Foundation, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment, calls for the EPA to abandon the BBWA and await the submission of an actual permit application.
    Download PDF (326 KB) July 19, 2012
  • Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (64 KB) June 4, 2012
  • Alaska Trucking Association, Inc. calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (23 KB) June 4, 2012
  • Associated General Contractors of Alaska (AGC) director John MacKinnon offers testimony at the EPA’s BBWA hearing.
    Download PDF (42 KB) June 6, 2012
  • Council of Alaska Producers (CAP) calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (191 KB) May 11, 2012
  • Consumer Energy Alliance Alaska (CEA-AK) calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (178 KB) July 20, 2012
  • Consumer Energy Alliance Alaska (CA-AK) thanks Senator Begich for his support.
    Download PDF (129 KB) July 19, 2012
  • Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (81 KB) July 20, 2012
  • Laborers International Union Local 341 identifies “inadequate, inaccurate, and deeply flawed statements in the assessment.”
    Download PDF (425 KB) July 23, 2012
  • National Mining Association (NMA) calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (161 KB) May 31, 2012
  • National Mining Association (NMA) calls on the EPA to reconsider their refusal extend the public comment period.
    Download PDF (161 KB) July 18, 2012
  • National Mining Association (NMA) submits comments on the EPA’s BBWA process.
    Download PDF (370 KB) July 23, 2012
  • Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) writes EPA calling the BBWA premature, and encouraging them not to overreach their mandate.
    Download PDF (1.1 MB) July 11, 2012
  • Resource Development Council (RDC) comments to the EPA concerning 404c and other issues.
    Download PDF (2.1 MB) February 13, 2012
  • Tacoma-Pierce Chamber calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (108 KB) June 7, 2012
  • Western Business Roundtable (WBR) calls for extension of BBWA public comment period.
    Download PDF (128 KB) July 23, 2012

Letters from Individuals

Private citizens also have a vested interest in Pebble — as citizens of Alaska, they are concerned not only that an environmentally safe, responsible mine be developed, but also that the legal landscape for resource extraction not be radically redefined. We are, after all, a state with a strong history of responsible natural resource development.

  • Many concerned citizens wrote to the EPA on a range of issues related to the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. We have collected 33 of them, from Archie Steep, David Hoffmeister, Jacquelin Lythgoe, James Reynolds, James Wilke, Karen Bell, Jamie Baguyos, Karen Matteson, Leo Blas, James Cushing, Janaan Kitchen, Jeffrey Stanley, Jay Gage, Jimmie Walker, Judith Moerlein, Joseph Wilson, Lee Ruble, Leroy Piccard, Linwood Ayotte, Maria Garcia, Mark Chryson, Mark Cowder, Mike Ashley, Patrina Lovdahl, Nancy Ware, Michelle Froehle, Linda Clark, Mark Desinger, Otto Majewske, Paula and Richard Johnson, Peter Barker, Robert Miller, and Robert Morrison.
    Download PDF (803 KB) July 2012
  • James Adler writes to EPA expressing his opposition to the BBWA.
    Download PDF (29 KB) July 17, 2012

Consultants and Experts

Consultants from the technical natural resource community have written to the EPA critical of the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment’s lack of review of 21st Century mining technology, lack of inclusion and evaluation of modern mine facilities currently co-existing with fisheries, and the assessment’s lack of review of best practices related to pollution control, tailings facilities and mitigation, among other topics.

  • Steven C. Borell of Borell Consulting Services urges the EPA to discontinue the BBWA.
    Download PDF (1.3 MB) July 23, 2012
  • James Calvin, principal of the McDowell Group, takes issue with the EPA’s data for the economics of the salmon fishery, and encourages the use of up-to-date peer-reviewed data for BBWA purposes.
    Download PDF (246 KB) July 20, 2012
  • Prof. Matthew A. Cronin of UAF calls for review of BBWA.
    Download PDF (1.8 MB) July 22, 2012
  • R.A. Hughes of h3T Mine Engineering Services calls for review of BBWA .
    Download PDF (80 KB) July 16, 2012
  • Tom Maloney of Ch3M Hill calls for the EPA to follow established procedures.
    Download PDF (30 KB) June 4, 2012

Your Comments

If you were able to submit comments to the EPA, encouraging them to respect the process or to extend the review period, please share them with us. You can email the comments you submitted to the EPA here. And, as always, if you have any questions, you can reach us at (907) 339-2600. Thank you!

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