Company appeals rejection of controversial Pebble Mine
The company behind the controversial proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska has appealed the government’s rejection of a permit for the project.
In a statement on Thursday, the Pebble Limited Partnership said that it had recently submitted a request to appeal the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision last year.
In the statement, Pebble CEO John Shively argued that the conclusions reached in the department’s Record of Decision “are not supported by the record established in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project.”
He also argued that the government did not give due consideration to the company’s plan to mitigate issues that were raised, rejecting it just a few days after it was received.
The company did not make a copy of the appeal available.
“We believe we have presented a strong case in our appeal and look forward the next steps in advancing this important mineral asset. Pebble contains a world-class resource that belongs to the people of Alaska and could bring much needed employment and economic activity for the region and the state,” Shively said.
The gold and copper mine is controversial due to its proposed location in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Among its opponents are environmentalists and the fishing industry.
Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency vetoed the project. That decision was reversed under the Trump administration.
In a July impact statement, the government determined that the mine would not affect salmon harvests in the area, reversing an Obama-era determination that it would. Many believed that this determination would clear the path for the mine’s approval.
However, after several prominent conservatives including Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News host Tucker Carlson came out against the mine, the Army Corps required Pebble to submit a plan to mitigate impacts such as discharges into wetlands, waters and streams.
The agency said it would review the plan to decide if it was “sufficient to offset the identified unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources and overcome significant degradation at the mine site.”
Ultimately, the Corps said it “determined that the applicant’s plan for the discharge of fill material does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines and concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest.”
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