Pebble Mine: A Corrupt Public Process
Mid 2020, according to SEC filings, Tom Collier will receive a $12.5 million dollar bonus for a “final positive ROD” if this timeline stays on track.
Despite the Government Shutdown that began on December 22 and has lasted at least 30 days, the Army Corps of Engineers announced a release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for February 22, 2019 after less than a year of analysis of thousands of unique technical scoping comments, last-minute revisions and additions to the mine plan and transportation infrastructure, significant data gaps, and complex landscapes.
The Army Corps of Engineers and Pebble Limited Partnership both project that the Final Environmental Impact Statement will be completed by early 2020 with a final Record of Decision by mid 2020, making this one of the shortest NEPA processes on record (2.5 years**) for a project of this scale and with this level of impact.
**For comparison, the Donlin Gold Mine NEPA process will take more than 6 years.
In 2015, President Obama visited Bristol Bay, and saw first-hand the world-class resources at stake. In response, after reviewing years of science and studies, his EPA issued a draft watershed assessment that concluded that a mine like Pebble would have irreversible impacts on the region’s salmon runs. The watershed assessment was a powerful tool, because if and when EPA finalized it, the Pebble project could not receive the Clean Water Act permit it needed to move forward.
Then in 2016, the Trump Administration came barreling in, and with it, a new EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt. Pruitt had cut his teeth as a staunch opponent of the Clean Water Act, and he frequently locked arms with the Koch Brothers and other corporations hell-bent on dismantling our environmental safety net.
On May 1, Pruitt met with Tom Collier, the savvy insider who’s now CEO of the Pebble Partnership. Just hours after that meeting, Pruitt ordered his EPA staff to settle legal claims raised by Pebble against the Obama watershed assessment, and to get the project back on track. The sheer speed and audacity of Pruitt’s move – ignoring millions of public comments opposed to Pebble – left many breathless.
From the Blog
re·dux: /rēˈdəks,ˈrēˈdəks/adjective, brought back; revived. Late last year one of Cook Inletkeeper’s keen-eyed Boardmembers sent me an obscure public notice for exploration work around Amakdedori Creek in Kamishak Bay on the west side of Lower Cook Inlet. The project didn’t entail oil and gas exploration, so it was unclear who would be poking around Kamishak […]
Since day one, your opposition to the Pebble open pit mine in the headwaters of the richest sockeye fishery in the world has run strong. You showed up to public hearings, you wrote comments, you voted at the ballot box. The message was always clear: the risks are too high, our salmon systems are too […]