May 2011

27 May 2011

Pre-register by May 27 for June meetins in Dillingham, Newhalen

Pre-register by May 27 for June meetings in Dillingham, Newhalen.

Planning to attend one of the two Bristol Bay Mining Information Sessions occurring in Dillingham and Newhalen early this June? Organizers with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are asking attendees to pre-register by Friday, May 27, 2011.

EPA has released meeting agendas and opened online registrations on the EPA Region 10 website for its Mining Information Sessions in Newhalen (Thursday, June 2, at Newhalen Teen Center) and Dillingham (Friday, June 3, at Dillingham BBNA Head Start Building).

Participants can use an online registration form (follow the link below), or they may register by contacting Tami Fordham: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or 907-271-1484.

The sessions, presented by EPA and Alaska Department of Natural Resources, will cover regulatory roles in the environmental permitting process, including:

  • Fundamentals of exploration mining and mineral processing
  • Environmental concerns and issues, including soil water, air impacts, tailings dam
  • Environmental regulations and permitting process
  • How tribes and community members can be involved

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24 May 2011

EPA adds community visit in Dillingham

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning several community visits to the Bristol Bay region during the first week in June to speak with residents and provide updates on its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. It recently added an additional visit on June 3 in Dillingham.

Complete list of community visits:

June 1 - Newhalen Teen Center EPA Bristol Bay Update Meeting, 7pm-9pm. EPA representatives will discuss progress on the EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment and answer questions

June 2 - Nushagak River Community Visits
EPA representatives are travelling by boat up the Nushagak River to Ekwok, Koliganek and other villages to listen to concerns and answer questions.

June 3 - Dillingham Elementary School
EPA Bristol Bay Update Meeting, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EPA representatives will discuss progress on the EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment and answer questions

For more information about the above meetings, contact Richard Parkin at 206-553-8574.

 

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23 May 2011

Pebble Mine in the news

To help keep readers up-to-date, Pebble Watch offers regular roundups of news articles related to the proposed Pebble Mine. Following are stories that have recently appeared in local and national publications.

"Legislature kills Pebble study, will examine permit system" (May 20, 2011 - Alaska Journal of Commerce)
A state-funded third party study of the potential impacts of the proposed Pebble mine has been shelved. Read the entire article at Alaska Journal of Commerce.

"Nuna vs. Nunamta in Southwest showdown"(May 20, 2011 - Alaska Journal of Commerce)
A nonprofit organization formed by several Alaska Native village corporation executives to counter the opponents of Pebble mine is raising its profile and drawing the fire that comes with it. Read the entire article at Alaska Journal of Commerce.

"'Save Our Salmon' Initiative Gathers Signatures: Borough Initiative Would Block Resource Development That Damages Streams" (May 17, 2011 - KTUU Channel 2 News)
Today, the group Alaskans for Bristol Bay announced that it has gathered enough signatures for a local ballot measure that the group says could put the brakes on the proposed Pebble Mine. The move would put an inititative on the Lake and Peninsula Borough's ballot in October. Read more at KTUU.com.

"Fortune Hunt Alaska: Fortune awaits 21st Century explorers" (May 8, 2011 - Petroleum News)
At the close of the 19th Century gold enticed fortune hunters from around the world to Alaska, a rugged and sometimes harsh land at the forefront of western expansion. Today, this Far North state, considered by many as the most mineralized province on Earth, continues to attract explorers seeking the yet to be discovered mineral riches of America's Last Frontier. Read the entire article at Petroleum News.

"Mining increases economic clout across state, industry says" (May 6, 2011 - Alaska Journal of Commerce)
Mines operating in Alaska are injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the state's economy, particularly benefiting the state's larger communities where support companies are based. Read the full story in the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

"New nonprofit advocates for resource development" (May 6, 2011 - The Bristol Bay Times)
A new nonprofit organization based in Anchorage says it is advocating for a sustainable economy in Bristol Bay via responsible resource development through due process. "We want to do something that will provide jobs in the region year round, and that comes on the cusp of supporting responsible resource development through due process, not just Pebble," said Abe Williams, president of Nuna Resources Inc. Read the full story in The Bristol Bay Times.

"Operators give Alaska mining updates" (May 3, 2011 - The Dutch Harbor Fisherman)
Representatives from Southeast, the Northwest Arctic and places in between offered project reports on all the major mining operations in Alaska during presentations in Anchorage this week. It even included a mine that isn't. "We're not a mine, yet," Mike Heatwole, vice-president of public affairs for Pebble Partnership LLC, told the luncheon crowd at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce meeting on Monday. Read the full story in The Dutch Harbor Fisherman.

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17 May 2011

Lake and Peninsula Borough Assembly (Kokhanok)

EPA plans community visits

Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will visit the Bristol Bay area in mid-May and early June. They will be available to speak with community members in Kokhanok, Newhalen, Ekwok, Koliganek, and other villages on the Nushagak River.

EPA Senior Manager Richard Parkin has been invited to attend the Borough Assembly meeting and will be available to meet with others before and after.

For more information about these meetings, call Richard Parkin at 206-553-8574 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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12 May 2011

EPA posts details about Watershed Assessment

watershed-assessment-fs-1-04-2011_page_1The Environmental Protection Agency's Bristol Bay webpage was recently updated with documents related to the watershed assessment EPA is conducting in the Bristol Bay region. These include a community involvement plan and a fact sheet released this month. The page also includes an outline of the planned watershed assessment, first posted in February.

All of the documents can be accessed from EPA's Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Information page, at www.epa.gov/region10/bristolbay.

Or, use the following direct links to each of the publications:

Draft Community Involvement Plan (May 2011)
Includes community involvement goals, comments EPA has received, how EPA will keep the public informed, and an action plan for 2011-2012.

Watershed Assessment Fact Sheet #1 (May 2011)
Gives an overview of activities thus far, a calendar of upcoming events, and contact names and web sites for more informaton.  

Outline for the Development of EPA's Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (Feb. 2011)
Details the watershed assessment process, and scientific/technical information gathering and input, as well as federal, state, and tribal involvement and public input.

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09 May 2011

EPA plans community visits

Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will visit the Bristol Bay area in mid-May and early June. They will be available to speak with community members in Kokhanok, Newhalen, Ekwok, Koliganek and other villages on the Nushagak River.

  • May 17 - Lake and Peninsula Borough Assembly (Kokhanok) - EPA Senior Manager Richard Parkin has been invited to attend the Borough Assembly meeting and will be available to meet with others before and after.
  • June 1, 7-9 p.m. - Newhalen Teen Center EPA Bristol Bay Update Meeting - EPA representatives will discuss progress on the EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment and answer questions.
  • June 2 - Nushagak River Community Visits - EPA representatives will travel by boat up the Nushagak River to Ekwok, Koliganek and other villages to listen to concerns and answer questions.

For more information about these meetings, call Richard Parkin at 206-553-8574 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Read more

08 May 2011

Pre-register by May 27 for June meetings in Dillingham, Newhalen

Planning to attend one of the two Bristol Bay Mining Information Sessions occurring in Dillingham and Newhalen early this June? Organizers with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are asking attendees to pre-register by Friday, May 27.

EPA has released meeting agendas and opened online registration on the EPA Region 10 website for its Mining Information Sessions in Newhalen (Thursday, June 2, at Newhalen Teen Center) and Dillingham (Friday, June 3, at Dillingham BBNA Head Start Building).

Participants can use an online registration form (follow the link below), or they may register by contacting Tami Fordham: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or 907-271-1484.

The sessions, presented by EPA and Alaska Department of Natural Resources, will cover regulatory roles in the environmental permitting process, including:

  • Fundamentals of exploration mining and mineral processing
  • Environmental concerns and issues, including soil water, air impacts, tailings dams
  • Environmental regulations and permitting process
  • How tribes and community members can be involved.

Register and find out more details.

Read more

04 May 2011

BBNC Responsible Development Video

The Bristol Bay Native Corporation Responsible Development Video will be airing on GCI Channel 1 this month in the following communities: Nome, Kotzebue, Bethel, Anchorage, Girdwood, Fairbanks, Juneau, and other SE communities.

This 10 minute video was provided by teh Bristol Bay Native Corporation and expresses their views on development in the region.

Airs at 8:00 PM on May 4

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03 May 2011

Developers' plans point toward permitting start date in 2012

Developers of the proposed Pebble project have announced plans to release an Environmental Baseline Document (EBD) in 2011, followed by a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) in 2012. These documents are expected to lay the groundwork for a detailed development plan and begin the permitting process for the mine project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) and Northern Dynasty Minerals announced the plans as part of news releases announcing details about 2011 work plans. A news release from Northern Dynasty Minerals, a 50-percent shareholder in PLP, reports that the PLP Board of Directors approved a $91 million budget for 2011 with the objective of completing the PFS in 2012 and beginning the permitting process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The PLP news release further outlines the work plans.

Activities planned for 2011 include:

  • engineering to complete the PFS project design
  • drilling and environmental programs near Iliamna
  • stakeholder communication and outreach (to include open forums facilitated by the Keystone Center)
  • air-quality monitoring
  • fish and wildlife field studies
  • surface and ground water monitoring
  • sonic drilling in Pebble West
  • engineering drilling at the planned port site

Many of the environmental studies will also support the development of a mine closure and reclamation plan and a full suite of environmental and social management plans.

More about the development process

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02 May 2011

BBNC Responsible Development Video

The Bristol BayNative Corporation Responsible Development Video will be airing on GCI Channel 1 this month in the following communities: Nome, Kotzebue, Bethel, Anchorage, Girdwood, Fairbanks, Juneau, and other SE communities.

This 10 minute video was provided by the Bristol Bay Native Corporation and expresses their views on development in the region.

Airs at 8:00 PM on May 2 & 4

Read more