Science Wins: Bristol Bay welcomes recognition of Pebble’s unavoidable, devastating impacts
United Tribes of Bristol Bay
Monday's news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finally acknowledged Pebble’s proposal is too toxic for Bristol Bay was met with celebration by the region’s Tribes and residents, who have worked to oppose this project for more than 20 years.
The Army Corps determination that Pebble “would likely result in significant degradation of the environment and would likely result in significant adverse effects on the aquatic system or human environment” reflects the extensive public comment and scientific input provided by the Region throughout the permitting process.
"We are pleased to see the Corps and Alaska’s senators have come to the same conclusion as the rest of the scientific community, that Pebble will have such severe impacts there is no way to mitigate the destruction it will cause,” said UTBB Executive Director Alannah Hurley. “It is impossible for Pebble to mitigate the devastation this mine will have on our Native cultures and our watershed. Pebble should not move forward in this process and should not be built. It is time for the Environmental Protection Agency to step in and veto this project using its Clean Water Act authority.”
The Pebble Limited Partnership applied for the major federal permit needed to build one of North America’s largest mines at the headwaters of two of Bristol Bay’s critical rivers in December 2017. The Army Corps, the lead agency reviewing that permit, issued a final Environmental Impact Statement earlier this summer, which found that the project would destroy hundreds of miles of rivers and streams and thousands of acres of wetlands. The project would additionally have unavoidable negative impacts on local cultures and communities.
The Army Corps statement of opposition is not a final action to stop the project, and further action is necessary to fully protect Bristol Bay from Pebble’s unwanted proposal. UTBB agrees with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan’s statement that a permit cannot be issued for Pebble’s proposal.
About United Tribes of Bristol Bay
United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a tribal consortium representing 15 Bristol Bay tribal governments (that represent over 80 percent of the region’s total population) working to protect the Yup’ik, Dena'ina, and Alutiiq way of life in Bristol Bay.