With the new political landscape of 2017, opposers of the Pebble Project are facing even more formidable obstacles. According to a current Bloomberg article, President Trump’s administration has announced interest in beginning the permitting process of the would-be colossal mine on the delicate headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.
In 2011 scientific studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded permanent damages are unavoidable with mining of the Pebble deposit. In 2014 the EPA, under authority of the Clean Water Act, began prohibiting mine waste disposal in the Bristol Bay watershed. The EPA was immediately met with lawsuits from the Pebble Partnership, and the partnership has been delaying protection since.
Recently, the Pebble Project’s announced that the lawsuits are expecting a resolution with the EPA by April, 2017. It is unclear if this anticipated resolution announcement is related to President Trump’s nominee pick for Administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt. Pruitt has voiced strong opposition to the Clean Water Act, and thereby would undermine the EPA’s attempt to protect Bristol Bay.
Currently, the Pebble Project is in the sole possession of Vancouver based mining company, Northern Dynasty Minerals. Northern Dynasty shares have tripled in value since the election, and the Chief Executive Officer announced expectations of finding a new partner by this upcoming October.
If you have been out of the loop on this decade-long battle please check out www.savebristolbay.org to see everything that’s at stake, including the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, thousands of American jobs and Alaskan Native culture.
This blog post was contributed by Greg Houska @flysmart_media