In a devastating blow for Pebble Mine, the Trump administration’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit for Pebble Mine. The history of this mine’s permitting process was nothing but a roller coaster. The proposed gold and copper mine in Southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed was effectively denied under the Obama administration. However, those protections lacked permanency, and the Trump Administration quickly resumed the permitting process for Pebble Mine.
Earlier this summer, the Army Corps released and approved a final environmental impact statement, but then requested Pebble to provide a new mitigation plan. The Corps concluded that this plan was nowhere near sufficient:
Given these concerns, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finds under section 404 of the Clean Water Act that the project, as proposed, would likely result in significant degradation of the environment and would likely result in significant adverse effects on the aquatic system or human environment.
So, after years of back and forth for Bristol Bay, the fate of Pebble Mine is imminent. Pebble mine is dead, and permanent protection of Bristol Bay is attainable. The coalition behind protecting Bristol Bay has never been greater. For example, earlier this summer, conservative surrogates, Donald Trump Jr and Tucker Carlson, highlighted their opposition to Pebble Mine. It’s not only trout bums who want to protect this pristine watershed; hundreds of thousands of Americans from so many backgrounds united in saying #NoPebbleMine.
“Thank you to all who came together and made their voices heard to keep one of the world’s great watersheds pristine. Today, Bristol Bay, Alaska, is one step closer to being a protected American treasure that sustains local communities and industries and that outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy and experience for generations to come,” said Orvis President, Simon Perkins.
Trout Unlimited still seeks further protections for Bristol Bay in federal court. In the meantime, this wide-ranging coalition of recreational and commercial anglers, conservationists, and Native American tribes will now look to Congress to permanently protect the region.
“The Corps’ denial of the permit for the Pebble Mine is a victory for common sense,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “Bristol Bay is the wrong place for industrial-scale mining, and we look forward to working with the people of the Bristol Bay region, Alaska’s Congressional delegation, the state, and other partners to permanently protect Bristol Bay and its world class fisheries.”
Thank you to all who participated in this long, drawn out process; Pebble Mine is dead, and it is because of your voices and the tireless work of groups like Trout Unlimited and the countless others. This victory will be celebrated and provide a bright spot in what has been a difficult year. Pebble Mine is no longer.