November 22, 2019:
There is a glimmer of hope for Bristol Bay shining out of congress this week. Yesterday, The Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee penned a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, requesting a new and revised Environmental Impact Statement for Pebble Mine. Chairman DeFazio called Pebble’s permitting process “fundamentally flawed and inadequate.”
Furthermore, Chairman DeFazio criticized the Corps and called into question the legality of issues pertaining to this permitting process: “[b]ased on my review of the Corps’ activities on the proposed Pebble Mine project, the Corps has failed to meet these legal obligations [restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters].”
DeFazio further criticizes the Corps saying, “I am deeply concerned that your agency’s review of this permit application and the associated review of the project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are so fundamentally flawed and inadequate as to preclude any meaningful review on the likely impacts of this project – in violation of your responsibilities under both the Clean Water Act and NEPA.”
This is the type of Congressional leadership that will turn the tide on Pebble Mine and protect Bristol Bay. Chairman DeFazio’s letter can be accessed here. Time will tell, however, if the Army Corps fulfills the Chairman’s requests.