The Pebble Limited Partnership recently applied for new State of Alaska permits to continue using public lands at the headwaters of Bristol Bay’s major salmon-producing rivers. For the past two years, the state has limited Pebble’s permits to 12 months at a time, requiring the company to reapply each year. That was thanks to more than a thousand Alaskans, who demanded that the state hold Pebble accountable after years of lax enforcement at the mine site.
Now, however, Pebble is requesting a five-year permit to drill more than a hundred new bore holes in prime Bristol Bay salmon habitat, and we need Alaskans to weigh in and remind the state of its responsibility to protect our lands and renewable resources. Pebble’s work in previous years remains unfinished and proves what we already know: Pebble does not respect our public lands, and the company should not be allowed to do further harm.
The state must continue to provide oversight of Pebble’s exploration work to protect our people, and the land and water we depend on. We must demand that the state limit Pebble’s renewal to one year, require continued monitoring and oversight of Pebble’s work, require the company to finish incomplete reclamation work, and require adequate bonding for future cleanup.
For more than a decade, the State of Alaska gave Pebble permission to explore with little oversight or accountability. Although the state worked to hold the company accountable over the past few years, it is critical for us to call upon state leadership to maintain reasonable standards for exploration on our land.
Pebble’s 2019 application calls for 121 new boreholes—with some planned to be nearly 2000 feet deep. Drill cuttings for these holes will be deposited directly on the tundra in open pits with no lining, a practice that, according to a 2015 UTBB study, leads to acid drainage. We must demand the State hold Pebble accountable and not allow any further degradation to our lands and waters.
Today, you can help hold Pebble accountable. Tell Governor Dunleavy and DNR to maintain common-sense protections for Bristol Bay by clicking here!
© 2019, ↑ Alaska Native News
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