It’s a recurring theme with Pebble Mine these days: Paid Pebble Limited Partnership lobbyist’s being appointed to head environmental protection agencies at both the state and federal levels. From where I sit in Bristol Bay, I’m feeling like the interests of myself and other Alaskans are not going to be accounted for when these former Pebble employees, now government officials, get out their pens to sign off on state and federal permits for Pebble.
In an hourlong interview with the Anchorage Daily News editorial board and reporters Friday, Alaska’s senior senator said special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election should be made public. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, also said she’ll likely call for more public-comment time on a federal review of the Pebble copper and gold prospect.
Steve and Jenn Kurian now have three businesses working to get sustainable, delicious Bristol Bay into restaurants, backyard BBQs and plates across the U.S. Better yet, they use a portion of their proceeds to help in the fight against Pebble mine. Today, as their Wildly Devoted Dinner Boxes launch making Bristol Bay sockeye and other delicious Alaskan seafood available to action-oriented seafood lovers nationwide, we wanted to tell you a little bit about the duo as part of our Bristol Bay Ambassadors program.
Last Friday, as the public comment period on Pebble’s first federal permits opened, Dr. Cameron Wobus presented eye-opening findings from a Pebble Mine tailings dam failure analysis that have commercial fishermen, and many others, concerned about potential impacts of Pebble’s plan.
While this has an obvious impact to fisheries (salmon can’t spawn if their headwaters streams are wiped out), there are less obvious - but extremely severe - risks as well, including metals that will be introduced through mining operations to the waters. Copper is one such metal.
The DEIS says copper will be present at levels above water quality standards for 80 miles (Koktuli to the Mulchatna). That is a major concern. Here’s why:
What’s considered to be the most important document of the permitting project, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, for the proposed Pebble mine was released last week. In it, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) fails to consider many pertinent issues and potential impacts from the project, largely ignores the established science regarding the mine, and overlooks many pertinent concerns with Pebble’s proposal.