Contact: Sam Snyder, Trout Unlimited, (907) 903-5811 or email@example.com
Amid state budget deficit, local businesses urge State to require Pebble Limited Partnership to clean up their field sites as part of new permit application.
ANCHORAGE, AK – As Pebble Limited Partnership applied for new permits with the State early this month, an engineering consulting firm hired by Bristol Bay lodges, HMS Consulting, has estimated it could cost more than $2 million to clean up and reclaim Pebble’s storage facilities on State-owned land, assuming no weather or other unanticipated delays.
“It may be a small price for a multi-national mining company, but it would be a big and unnecessary expense for our state, which has cut important educational and safety programs due to our budget deficit. Alaskans should not be on the hook for Pebble’s mess and the State has an opportunity right now to ensure we won’t be,” said John Holman, owner of No See Um Lodge and co-commissioner of the cost estimate. “As an Alaskan business owner that depends on Bristol Bay’s healthy runs of wild salmon, I am extremely concerned about the equipment and supplies that the Pebble Limited Partnership currently is storing on state land.”
The financial well-being of Northern Dynasty Minerals, the sole backer of the Pebble Limited Partnership, has been on a significant downward trend as investors have gawked at the potential for constructing a widely-opposed mine that would harm the world’s greatest remaining run of wild sockeye salmon. Meanwhile, the company has continued to spend millions on lawyers (Page 22 of recent statements) and lobbyists in attempts to convince decision makers in Washington, D.C. to override the protections that Alaskans have repeatedly requested.
“There is mounting concern that Northern Dynasty Minerals will leave the state out to dry, forcing Alaskans to pay for cleaning up the mess Pebble left in Bristol Bay,” said Nanci Morris Lyon of Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodge. “At a minimum, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources should prioritize the safety of Bristol Bay businesses and residents and the financial well-being of the state by requiring Pebble to clean up the mess it has left behind before we’re all left footing the bill.”
Northern Dynasty Minerals’ recent financial statements (page 7) read:
“There can be no assurances that the Group will be successful in obtaining additional financing. If the Group is unable to raise the necessary capital resources and generate sufficient cash flows to meet obligations as they come due, the Group may, at some point, consider further reducing or curtailing its operations. As such there is material uncertainty that casts substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
If able to move forward, Pebble Limited Partnership’s proposed mining project would risk 14,000 American jobs, a $1.5 billion a year fishing industry and the millions of salmon that are the foundation of Bristol Bay culture and a food source for thousands of Alaskans. A recent report commissioned by the United Tribes of Bristol Bay also found Pebble has left acidic soils with high metal concentrations, leaking wells, dead vegetation and improper drill casings at select drill sites on State-owned land.
At stake is the company’s Miscellaneous Land Use Permits (MLUP), which would allow Pebble to continue storing equipment and exploring on State-owned land in Bristol Bay. The company filed for a new MLUP permit on Nov. 1, triggering a 30-day public comment period, which ends November 30. Public comments may be submitted to Jack Kerin - firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to 3700 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709 and Hollie Chalupt - email@example.com, or by mail to 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 900B, Anchorage, AK 99501.
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. In Alaska, we work with sportsmen and women to ensure the state’s trout and salmon resources remain healthy through our local chapters and offices in Anchorage and Juneau. Follow TU on Facebook or visit us online at tu.org and savebristolbay.org.