DILLINGHAM, AK – Bristol Bay Tribes reacted to the news that the House of Representatives acted Thursday to help stop the permitting process that is fast-tracking Pebble’s toxic proposal with optimism.
The House of Representatives took action Thursday to stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from issuing a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in response to the highly scrutinized environmental review and politically-motivated and unprecedented timeline.
The amendment to the minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 7617) prevents the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using its funding to publish a “Record of Decision” (ROD) on the proposed mine. That ROD and Clean Water Act permit is expected this fall, less than three years since the Pebble Limited Partnership submitted its application to mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay’s world-class fishery. Last week, the Army Corps published the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which has quickly been condemned by technical experts as severely lacking in its consideration of the impacts the mine would have on the lands, waters, peoples, fisheries, and existing economy of the region. The amendment to stop this rushed process was sponsored by Reps. Huffman (CA), DeFazio (OR), Speier (CA), Levin (CA) and Rouda (CA).
“Quyana and chin’an to the members of Congress who voted to defend Bristol Bay today,” said UTBB Executive Director Alannah Hurley. “After nearly two decades of working to protect our region from this toxic project, it is heartening to see leadership in Congress stand with us and refuse to allow a foreign mining company to desecrate the national treasure that is our home. Pebble and the Army Corps have ignored and tried to silence the voices of Bristol Bay throughout the permitting process, and we appreciate Congress hearing our pleas to intervene. It’s clear that Pebble has not met any standards in a normal NEPA process and ignored the directive that came from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle last year when they called on the Corps for a more rigorous environmental review. It’s time for Alaska’s Senators to listen to Alaskans and stop Pebble from moving forward.”