BBNC on the Army Corps Rejecting Pebble Mine: The Voices of Bristol Bay Have Prevailed

Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) President and CEO Jason Metrokin made the following statement after the Army Corps of Engineers announced the proposed Pebble mine “cannot be permitted.” BBNC has formally opposed Pebble since 2009. Recent shareholder surveys show that over 75% of BBNC shareholders oppose Pebble and more than 85% are concerned about the risks it poses to Bristol Bay’s fisheries.

Today’s action (Aug.24th, 2020) indicates the Army Corps of Engineers, President Trump and Alaska’s Senators have listened to science, local voices, and common sense. We are grateful they are reaching the same conclusion as the many voices across the ideological spectrum that have recently spoken up about the project: that Pebble is the wrong mine for Bristol Bay.

The real winners of today’s decision are the people of our region. The future of Bristol Bay is more secure because local stakeholders have been unwavering in their efforts to disclose the true impacts this project would cause to the region’s fisheries, fishing-based economy and subsistence way of life.

Though today’s announcement is welcome news, it is not the end of the journey. While BBNC supports responsible resource development, the proposed Pebble mine has never, even after decades of planning and outreach, been able to prove that it can be built and operated without causing significant degradation to the Bristol Bay region and its fisheries. We appreciate the Corps’ announcement today about Pebble and will continue our work to find other, more responsible economic opportunities for the region and our shareholders.

Bristol Bay Native Corporation

Anchorage, AK

Voting by mail

Voting by mail should replace voting at the polls in it’s entirety. The two institutions that can definitely be trusted is the County Board of Elections and the United States Postal Service. The money saved by eliminating the need for poll workers could be used to offer free postage on the envelopes used to vote by mail. The person voting would also have more time to consider what they are voting for and would not be confined to the hours of the polling place. It would also prevent unwanted entry to schools and churches from anyone trying to harm someone.

In addition the voter would not be harassed by someone trying to place unsolicited campaign literature into their hand. The additional revenue would boost the Postal Service and perhaps keep it afloat until we as a country are able to vote online.

Voting by mail would solve the registered voter problem and guarantee safe passage of the ballots to the County Board of Elections. It might even prevent further spread of the Covid-19 Virus.

Joe Bialek

Cleveland, OH

Congressman Don Young Issues Statement Following Army Corps of Engineers Decision on Pebble Mine

Today (Aug. 24th, 2020), following an announcement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay will not be issued a final permit under section 404 of the Clean Water Act, Alaska Congressman Don Young released the following statement:

The debate over Pebble Mine is not new, and through it all, I have been consistent in my position that we needed to allow the scientific process to determine what effect, if any, this mine would have on Bristol Bay. And that meant letting the science, not politicians, environmental activists, or bureaucrats make a determination about the future of the proposed Pebble project. Today’s announcement by the Army Corps indicates a significant amount of compensatory mitigation is needed to offset the potential environmental impacts of the proposed mine at this present time. While not an outright veto of the project, this is a steep hill for the company to climb.

Very frankly, I am concerned we are talking about this at all because this is State land. I support our 10th Amendment, and I am a staunch defender of our right to manage our own lands. From day one, this project has been subject to the political whims, decisions, and opinions of federal agencies and bureaucrats who disagree with how we Alaskans choose to live and work. Alaskans know that developing our resources and protecting our environment can go hand-in-hand, which is why I have always defended our right to extract oil and minerals responsibly. If we allow this to continue, then the federal government has a moral and economic obligation to compensate our state for stifling Alaska’s job growth potential.

Today, we are recommitting ourselves to Alaska’s future and moving forward. Alaskans can continue counting on me to stand up for our state, and working to ensure that activist forces from Outside do not lock away our lands forever.

U.S. Congressman Don Young

Washington, D.C.

Pebble Mine permit delay welcome news to Salmon advocates as they continue to call on EPA for permanent protection for Bristol Bay

Today (August 24, 2020), the Army Corps recognizes that the Pebble Mine project: a massive gold and copper mine and toxic waste dump proposed in Bristol Bay would compromise the integrity of the pristine headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon run in the world.

In a letter to the Pebble Mine’s vice president of permitting, The Army Corps admits, “factual determinations that discharges at the mine site would cause unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources and, preliminarily, that those adverse impacts would result in significant degradation to those aquatic resources,” and directs the Canadian company to submit a mitigation plan that would offset these impacts by November 18, 2020.

The agency charged with determining if this mine is too dangerous, the Army Corps, has correctly found that a colossal open pit mine at the headwaters of America’s greatest remaining wild salmon fishery and the source of 14,000 jobs is too toxic to build at this time, said SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol. We are grateful for our Congressional delegation’s call on the Army Corps to take the decision a step further for a denial of the permit, we will not rest easy until Bristol Bay is afforded permanent protection. The next logical step must be from the Environmental Protection Agency utilizing their authority under the Clean Water Act to veto the Pebble Mine.

Unproven technology, shoddy science and broad public opposition led to today’s decision and while Pebble is not dead, it’s safe to say the Pebble Limited Partnership is on life support, said Bristol. Clearly this is the wrong mine in the wrong place, and it’s now time to end this saga; we call on the Environmental Protection Agency to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to veto the Pebble Mine.

SalmonState works to keep Alaska a place wild salmon and the people who depend on them thrive.

SalmonState

Juneau, Alaska

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