Why would the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proceed with regulatory work on the Pebble Project now that Northern Dynasty has lost their latest financial backer?
LINK (via: Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman)
This week, the Army Corps of Engineers closed the scoping comment period on Pebble Mine.
In advance of the end of the comment period, SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol released the following statement:
“Over the course of this comment period, it has become clear that the Army Corps of Engineers has no interest in running a fair-minded or balanced process designed to uncover a myriad of potential problems with this project. We have little expectation that the thousands of comments generated by Alaskans will have a significant bearing on the outcome of this process. This process has been described as ‘fast-tracked,’ it’s more like a runaway freight train.”
While the Army Corps continues to move at an incredibly rapid pace, including the release of a report summarizing the scoping process a month before the scoping comment period closed, another major backer walked away from the troubled project. In a stunning late May announcement, potential Pebble backer First Quantum Minerals joined Mitsubishi, Rio Tinto, and Anglo-American in the list of major mining companies to have walked away from the project. In response, groups are asking elected officials to request a halt in the Environmental Impact analysis process. So far, neither Alaska’s Governor nor its Congressional delegation has been willing to provide the necessary leadership.
“The Pebble Limited Partnership’s application should not have been accepted in the first place,” says Bristol. “It’s a fake plan. Their filing lacks the standard economic feasibility study and is filled with wild assumptions that don’t match on the ground reality: from the operability of the proposed port facility to the number of salmon stream crossings, to the scale and scope of the mine itself; it’s a giant lie. The Army Corps. of Engineers is carrying it forward and none of our leaders are willing to call the question as to why we are engaged in this process at this time.”
“If the Army Corps of Engineers wants this process to be legitimate, they will take their time and carefully consider the input they have received from Alaskans,” says Bristol “They will generate a scoping report that is substantially different than the draft report generated before the bulk of comments were received and they will allow ample time to receive and consider comments mailed to them from the rural Alaska communities most directly impacted by this project. They should also release a full breakdown of the comments by opposed/supportive, geography and transcripts of the comments gathered by the court reporters at their limited public hearings.”
“The people of Alaska are about to be steamrolled. Continuing to pretend that the process of evaluating the Pebble project will be fair and evidenced-based is just no longer possible.”