My friends at SalmonState put out an update last week. The mitigation plan has not been released to the public yet and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can take their time about making a decision. Some folks think the current administration will still do the right thing. I’m skeptical, but will be delighted to be proven wrong.
SalmonState: Pebble’s mitigation plan inherently flawed; veto only way to defend Bristol Bay
Anchorage, AK—Northern Dynasty Minerals, the parent company of the Pebble Limited Partnership, announced today [Nov. 16] that it has submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the mitigation plan it hopes will allow its proposed open pit mine and toxic dump at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska to move forward. Bristol Bay is the planet’s greatest sockeye salmon run and has provided more than half the world’s sockeye salmon catch in recent years. Despite that, the area remains unprotected from destructive mining impacts.
“You cannot ‘mitigate’ your way out of a toxic 200-year megamine at the headwaters of the world’s most important wild salmon habitat, which is pristine. This ‘plan’ is a continuation of a crooked process full of off-the-record, back-room deal conversations between the Pebble Limited Partnership, the Alaska District of the Army Corps of Engineers, politicians and political appointees,” said SalmonState executive director Tim Bristol. “The only way to defend the incomparable salmon resource of Bristol Bay — and to ensure fishermen, Tribes and Alaskans aren’t dragged through this rubber stamp ‘process’ all over again — is for the EPA to immediately veto the permit application through the Clean Water Act.”
The Alaska District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a history of rubber stamping “mitigation” measures inconsistently and, at times, going against its own guidelines. It does not plan to make Pebble’s mitigation plan public until it has reviewed it and deemed it “compliant.”
Numerous independent mining experts and scientists have also identified the Final Environmental Impact Statement on which the mitigation plan is based as fatally flawed, which means the plan Pebble submitted would be grossly inadequate were mitigation even possible.