2013

25 September 2013

September 25 deadline: Request to reconsider Bristol Bay Area Plan

Persons affected by the 2013 Plan Amendment for the Bristol Bay Area Plan have until September 25, 2013 to request a reconsideration of the changes in writing to the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources. The plan amendment was finalized on September 5, 2013, after a public review of the draft amendment.

Read the September 5, 2013 Final Bristol Bay Area Plan.

See a list of DNR responses to issues brought up during public review.

See a list of changes made to the public review draft.

Details for requesting a reconsideration.

Read more

18 September 2013

2013 amendments finalized for Bristol Bay Area Plan

dnrBBAPThe State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released a final version of  its Plan Amendment to the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan. The plan classifies land use over a 12.7 million acre area in the Bristol Bay region. Along with release of the final amendment, DNR provided documents detailing its responses to public input on the draft version, which attracted nearly 500 public comments. Readers will also find charts that compare land classifications between the 2005 plan, the 2013 public review draft amendment and the 2013 final amendment.

Persons affected by the 2013 Plan Amendment for the Bristol Bay Area Plan have until September 25, 2013 to request a reconsideration of the changes by writing to the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources. The plan amendment was finalized on September 5, 2013, after a public review of the draft amendment.

Read the September 5, 2013 Final Bristol Bay Area Plan.

See a list of DNR responses to issues brought up during public review.

See a list of changes made to the public review draft.

Details for requesting a reconsideration.

Read more

16 September 2013

Reactions to Anglo American's decision

Today's announcement from Anglo American - that it is pulling out of the Pebble project - is big news. How did it play around the country and in the UK, where Anglo American is based? Here's a roundup of today's stories.

Anglo American pulls out of Alaska mines project (The Guardian)

The Guardian reports that Anglo American's decision leaves an uncertain future for the Pebble mine, even though remaining partner Northern Dynasty Minerals says it will move forward.

Read the story.

 

Anglo American withdraws from Pebble mine project (Alaska Dispatch)

Ben Anderson, at Alaska Dispatch, adds detail about the economic impact of Anglo American's decision, reporting that, "As of about 8 a.m. Alaska time Monday, Northern Dynasty's stock prices had fallen by more than 30 percent from Friday's close."

Read the story.

 

Anglo American drops Alaska investment (Wall Street Journal)

The Wall Street Journal reports on the economic and political drivers that shaped Anglo American's withdrawal from the project, also noting that Northern Dynasty does not have funding to develop the project on its own, and that it was notified just Friday of Anglo's decision.

Read the story.

 

Major backer of Pebble Mine project pulls financial support (Washington Post)

The Washington Post story includes a statement from Bristol Bay Native Corporation President & CEO Jason Metrokin urging Northern Dynasty Minerals to follow Anglo American's lead, and urging EPA "to protect the fishery and water resources of the region and the economic and subsistence values that depend on those resources."

Read the story.

Read more

Anglo American withdraws from Pebble Partnership

British mining company Anglo American said today it will withdraw from the Pebble Partnership, a 50-50 joint venture with Canada’s Northern Dynasty Minerals, according to a written release.

That means that Northern Dynasty will be the sole owner in the partnership, which is working toward the development of the proposed Pebble mine.

As of June 30, Anglo American Pebble LLC has spent $541 million on Pebble, according to the release, issued by Northern Dynasty.

“Despite our belief that Pebble is a deposit of rare magnitude and quality, we have taken the decision to withdraw following a thorough assessment of Anglo American’s extensive pipeline of long-dated project options,” said Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American. “Our focus has been to prioritize capital to projects with the highest value and lowest risks within our portfolio, and reduce the capital required to sustain such projects during the pre-approval phases of development as part of a more effective, value-driven capital allocation model.”

The details of the separation are being developed and implemented, the release said.

Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen, in the same release, said, "Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership have both the expertise and the resources necessary to advance the Pebble Project."

Pebble Limited Partnership, formed in 2007 by Northern Dynasty and Anglo American plc, had not yet issued a statement as of mid-morning Alaska time.

Click here to see the full Northern Dynasty press release.

Read more in this news story from Reuters.

Read more

12 September 2013

News roundup: September 2013

Recent news related to development of the proposed Pebble mine includes coverage of EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy's visit to Bristol Bay and stories on the Save Our Salmon initiative.

 

New EPA head gets earful of Pebble Mine chatter in Southwest Alaska meetings (Arctic Sounder, reprinted in Alaska Dispatch)

Carey Restino reports on the visit, including quotes from meetings in Dillingham and Iliamna. 

Read the article.

 

Poll shows wide fears of Pebble Mine (APRN)

Peter Granitz reported on a new Hays Research Group poll that gauged voter interest in a possible 2014 ballot initiative that would prohibit the Pebble mine.

Read/listen to the story at APRN.

Or read about it in the Juneau Empire. 

 

Alaska judge hears arguments over Pebble mine (Juneau Empire, Anchorage Daily News)

The Save Our Salmon initiative, narrowly passed by voters in the Lake and Peninsula Borough, would prohibit any mine or other resource extraction activity over 640 acres that would have a significant adverse impact on wild salmon habitat. Opponents appealed to Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock this week, asking him to throw out the results of the initiative.

Read the Anchorage Daily News article.

Read the Juneau Empire's coverage.

 

Economist suggests Pebble mine could significantly impact Alaska's economy (KDLG)

KDLG's Mike Mason reports on a special publication economist Scott Goldsmith prepared for the "Alaska's Economy" web site, a project funded by First National Bank. Goldsmith includes descriptions and figures related to the economics of the proposed Pebble mine, with numbers drawn from the Pebble Limited Partnership's recent Economic Impact report. Goldsmith is also a contributing author to a University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) report on the "Economic Importance of the Bristol Bay Salmon Industry."

Read/listen to KDLG's coverage.

Read Goldsmith's report on Alaska's economy (First National Bank publication).

Read the ISER report on Bristol Bay Salmon Industry.

Read the Pebble Limited Partnership Report on Economic Impacts of a "conceptual" Pebble mine.

 

Northern Dynasty Appoints New Director (Wall Street Journal)

Wall Street Journal published a Northern Dynasty Minerals press release regarding Ken Pickering, the newest member on its Board of Directors.

Read the release. 

Read more

28 August 2013

EPA visit to Dillingham, Iliamna (photos)

dillinghamph1Head over to the Pebble Watch Facebook page to see photos of today's EPA visit to Bristol Bay. We've posted images of the gatherings in Dillingham and Iliamna.

Read more

27 August 2013

EPA's McCarthy to visit Bristol Bay

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 9.51.37 PM

Gina McCarthy, recently appointed administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plans to visit the Bristol Bay area Tuesday, August 27, to view the site of the Pebble deposit and to speak with stakeholders who are interested in EPA's future decisions regarding the area.

She will appear at two meetings open to the public:

• Dillingham Middle School: 9:30-11 a.m.

• Iliamna Community Center: 3:30-5 p.m.

More details.

Read more

27 August 2013

Recent videos feature Bristol Bay and the Pebble mine debate

hardtalkCheck out these recent videos/interviews about Bristol Bay and the proposed Pebble mine:

  • EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is visiting Alaska this week. In this interview, she talks abouther visit to Bristol Bay. "EPA is not here to determine Alaska's future. I'm here to understand how people see their future." (Anchorage Daily News video)
  • “We Can’t Eat Gold,” a recent independent documentary by Joshua Tucker, won the Triangle Award at the Columbia Gorge Film Festival. This article in the Bristol Bay Times gives some background on how the film was produced. Check out its Facebook page for news on upcoming showings.
  • BBC HardTalk On the Road: Alaska – Pebble Mine. BBC’s Stephen Sackur asks tough questions of several people on both sides of the debate, including: John Shively, Robin Samuelson, Kim Williams, Lisa Reimers, Daniel Schindler, and Dennis McLerran.

 

Read more

21 August 2013

New EPA Administrator to visit Bristol Bay

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 9.51.37 PM

August 23 update to this story: The Administrator's visit to Bristol Bay now includes a public meeting from 9:30-11 a.m. at Dillingham Middle School and from 3:30-5 p.m. at Iliamna Community Center.


Gina McCarthy, recently appointed administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plans to visit the Bristol Bay area Tuesday, August 27, to view the site of the Pebble deposit and to speak with stakeholders who are interested in EPA's future decisions regarding the area.

According to an article today in the online CQ Roll Call news site, McCarthy and other EPA representatives are planning stops in both Dillingham and Iliamna to "meet with tribal governments and other stakeholders interested in its Bristol Bay watershed assessment." An article that followed, on today's Anchorage Daily News website included comments on the visit from Pebble Limited Partnership, BBNC, and Iliamna Development Corp.

BBNC also issued a statement about the visit saying: "Bristol Bay Native Corporation is pleased that Administrator McCarthy has chosen to come to Bristol Bay in one of her first trips as head of the EPA. We believe her visit will confirm for her that Bristol Bay is unique and its protection must remain a top priority for the agency."

Earlier this month the Washington Post had reported on McCarthy's desire to see Bristol Bay personally, noting that she is aware of the intense interest associated with the proposed Pebble mine, as well as EPA's own Bristol Bay watershed assessment, scheduled to be finalized this year.

During the process of drafting the watershed assessment, EPA representatives visited Bristol Bay on multiple occasions, speaking with residents and gathering information about the area. Pebble Watch reported previously on their visits and their impressions of Bristol Bay.

Read more

16 August 2013

Deadline for public comment on status of Lake Iliamna harbor seals

Lake Iliamna harbor seal status – Deadline: August 16, 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) ruled on a petition that the Center for Biological Diversity had submitted last November, seeking an endangered or threatened species status for harbor seals that live in Iliamna Lake. NOAA Fisheries determined that there was enough scientific or commercial information to warrant further study on the seal population before making a determination. NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment until August 16, 2013.

Since the comment period overlaps with the summer subsistence and commerical fishing season, NOAA Fisheries has extended the deadline in response to a request from Bristol Bay Native Association/Bristol Bay Marine Mammal Council.

However, the agency could not extend its November 2013 deadline for the completed status review, so is encouraging the public to submit comments as early as possible to allow NOAA Fisheries "more time to review and incorporate the submitted information where appropriate."

Read the NOAA Fisheries news release.

Read more about Lake Iliamna harbor seals, including the original petition for endangered/threatened status.

Go directly to Regulations.gov to submit your comments.

Read more