Pebble Watch Newsletter  June 2011

The June issue of the Pebble Watch newsletter explores issues surrounding groundwater hydrology, including the hydrologic cycle, groundwater modeling, how groundwater and surface water interact, and an overview of the Pebble Partnership’s data releases: “Report Series C: Surficial Geology" and "Report Series D: Groundwater Hydrology."

  0611_pebblewatchjune_web-1(PDF 715 Kb)

Note: This represents an updated version that corrects a caption to the photo on page three. The printed version of this newsletter references the photo as depicting Upper Talarik Creek. In fact, the photo was taken in the Upper Talarik watershed.

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February 2011

Pebble Watch Newsletter February 2011

This issue of Pebble Watch focuses on the Pebble Partnership's data release "Report Series F: Surface Water & Groundwater Quality," an overview of surface water and groundwater quality data collected between 2004 and 2007 in the Pebble Project deposit area, Iliamna Lake and along the proposed transportation corridor. Here, we present a summary of the report, explain how the data relates to permitting, highlight some water quality issues related to mining, and supply answers to questions community members first asked Pebble developers in 2005.

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October 2010

Pebble Watch Newsletter October 2010

This issue of Pebble Watch focuses on the Pebble Partnership's data release "Report Series A: Meteorology," an overview of meteorological data collected between 2005 and 2007 in areas near the Pebble deposit and proposed port sites. Inside, we summarize the report, explain how the data will be significant for permitting, and provide a focused look at wind data collected by the two meteorological stations closest to the deposit site. Our science team also supplies some answers to questions community members first asked Pebble developers in 2005.

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August 2010


Pebble Watch Newsletter August 2010

This first issue of Pebble Watch focuses on "Report Series E: Trace Elements (Sediments & Soils)," an overview of soil and sediment sampling, 2004-2007 at the proposed sites of the Pebble mine, port and transportation corridor. Inside, our team summarizes the results for copper and arsenic, and shows how the data may begin to answer questions community members first asked Pebble developers in 2005.

aug2010_pebblewatch(PDF 1.92Mb)


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EPA representatives share impressions of Bristol Bay visit

epa-mclerran-stoner-nsThe blog Greenversations has posted first-hand accounts of visits to the Bristol Bay region by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials Dennis McLerran and Nancy Stoner (pictured in New Stuyahok, at right), part of the watershed assessment team that came to the region in early June.

McLerran, EPA's Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator, called the trip "extremely valuable," saying the team visited communities as well as project developers, whom they asked for an update of environmental studies and mine planning.


05 August 2011



August 5, 6, & 7, 2011

Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds


The nonprofit Renewable Resources Foundation (RRF) is promoting this three-day music salmon event as a forum for information on Alaska wild salmon resources. (You may know the foundation as the source of those "No Pebble" stickers.) The RRF, an activist nonprofit organization that has been involved in efforts to stop the proposed Pebble project, is based in Anchorage. Its website says the group is "dedicated to the continued protection of our commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries, as well as maintaining Alaska's renowned hunting and fishing heritage."

Event musicians include Pamyua and the New Stuyahok Dancers. Also at the event: an information center stocked with information and presentations regarding Alaska wild salmon and their habitat ( Funds from the event will go to support other RRF outreach efforts, organizers say.


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02 August 2011

Legal battle continues in “Save Our Salmon” initiative

The Pebble Partnership LLC filed an emergency petition last week asking the Alaska Superior Court to resolve challenges it has made regarding the "Save Our Salmon" initiative in the Lake and Peninsula Borough.

In April, a petition signed by more than 300 citizens placed the initiative, popularly known as "Save Our Salmon," on the October ballot. This initiative seeks to add language to the Lake and Peninsula Borough permitting code that would effectively block large developments such as the proposed Pebble mine. Since April, the Pebble Partnership and initiative sponsors have been filing petitions over whether the initiative will remain on the ballot. Pebble asserts the Borough should not have certified the initiative for the ballot and that the initiative, as written, is legally unenforceable and presents impermissible special legislation that targets Pebble.

The latest petition filed by the Pebble Partnership came in response to a July 26 decision by Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock, who deferred ruling on the initiative's legality until after the October election.

The players:

  • Pebble Limited Partnership, Plaintiff: a 50-50 partnership between global mining company Anglo-American plc and Northern Dynasty Minerals Limited of Canada. It is currently in the pre-permitting phase for the development of the proposed Pebble mine to be located in Lake and Peninsula Borough.
  • Kate Conley, Defendant: Clerk of the Lake and Peninsula Borough, who approved the language of the initiative in April
  • Lake and Peninsula Borough, Defendant: The entity that certified the petition allowing the initiative on the October 4 ballot. No position on the initiative.
  • George Jacko and Jackie Hobson Sr., Intervenors: Jacko and Hobson are lead sponsors of the initiative. Jacko, of Pedro Bay, represents the group Alaskans for Bristol Bay. Hobson, of Nondalton, is the president of the Nondalton Tribal Council. (Intervenors are third-party participants in a legal proceeding. In this case, Jacko and Hobson have joined the defense.)
  • Nunamta Aulukestai, Amicus Curiae: Coalition of nine Alaska Native Village Corporations advocating for the protection and management of lands in the Bristol Bay area. (Amicus Curiae means "friend of the court," and is a person or party that volunteers information that may help a court decide a case. In this case, Nunamta Aulukestai filed a brief stating that taking the initiative off the ballot may violate the Voting Rights Act.)

Link to court record.

Recent articles about the "Save Our Salmon" initiative:

  • "Pebble Partnership asked court for decision on mining initiative" (August 1, 2011 - The Tundra Drums)The Pebble Limited Partnership took further action today to try to head off an October election in the Lake and Peninsula borough that could affect development of the proposed Pebble mine. Read the entire article at the Tundra Drums.
  • "Judge defers ruling on summary judgment on mining initiative" (July 27, 2011 - Alaska Newspapers Inc.)Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock has deferred a ruling on summary judgment motions for an initiative on Lake and Peninsula Borough's October election ballot, a measure that could affect development of proposed Pebble mine. Read the entire article at Alaska Newspapers Inc.
  • "Pebble again on the ballot - for now - in Lake & Pen Borough" (June 10, 2011 - Alaska Journal of Commerce)
    Another ballot battle over Pebble mine is brewing. The "Save Our Salmon" initiative was certified May 30 to be placed on the Lake and Peninsula Borough ballot this October after initiative backers turned in a petition claiming more than 300 signatures, well above the required amount and comparable to the 384 total votes counted in the October 2010 borough elections. Read the entire article at the
    Alaska Journal of Commerce.


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July newsletter now online

0611_pebblewatchjune_web-1The July issue of the Pebble Watch newsletter is in shareholders' mailboxes, and is available for download in the Newsletters section of our website now.

This issue's focus is watersheds, as well as information about the process and issues involved in the ongoing U.S. EPA Bristol Bay watershed assessment. Find tips on how to become more informed and involved, and read about EPA's June visits to the region. For more information and  a guide to links mentioned in the text, or to download a copy, see the Newsletters page .

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25 July 2011

July 2011

072011_pebblewatchThis issue of the Pebble Watch newsletter provides information related to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ongoing watershed assessment for the Bristol Bay region and how EPA can influence the permitting process, why watersheds are important, links to watershed educational resources, and a summary of EPA's visit to Bristol Bay to hear resident's watershed concerns

Educational Resources About Watersheds


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June 2011

epa-blog-dennis"The trip took us to the heart of the watershed and gave us a rare opportunity to travel to the villages that are most concerned about our Watershed Assessment," wrote McLerran. "We heard from supporters of mining development as well as those who believe large scale mining would be inconsistent with the preservation of subsistence ways of life and the Bristol Bay fishery. The ability to see the watershed, the villages, Bristol Bay and the proposed resource development area firsthand is something that could never be matched by pictures or PowerPoint presentations. It is a trip I will never forget." Read the entire post at Greenversations.

epa-blog2-cropActing Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water, Stoner was visiting from Washington, D.C. She wrote: "As I flew over Alaska, I was struck by the vast beauty of this pristine and unspoiled land. From my perch in the helicopter, looking over the complex waterscape of lakes, wetlands, winding rivers and streams, I encountered a unique ecosystem that led to an equally unique way of life among the people who inhabit this vast and wild land." Read the entire post at Greenversations.

Greenversations is an official EPA blog, but its entries run with a disclaimer that opinions expressed there do not reflect EPA "policy, endorsement or action."  

More on this topic:

A June Pebble Watch post provides an account of the community visits from Pebble Watch and BBNC representatives.

Another summary appears in the July Pebble Watch newsletter, coming out this week.

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18 July 2011

Recent additions to our calendar

Items recently added to the PebbleWatch calendar include:

Salmonstock (August 5, 6, & 7, 2011) - Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds, Ninilchik. The nonprofit Renewable Resources Foundation (RRF) is promoting this three-day music salmon event as a forum for information on Alaska wild salmon resources. (You may know the foundation as the source of those "No Pebble" stickers.) For more information, click dates above to see the calendar entry.

2011 Arctic Science Conference (September 24, 2011) - Dillingham. The Arctic Division of the world's largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), meets in Dillingham, Wednesday through Saturday, September 21-24, 2011. Conference presentations will include sessions on Bristol Bay salmon habitat and the Influence of Mining in Western Alaska. For more information, click dates above to see the calendar entry.

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