2013

29 April 2013

EPA releases revised draft assessment

epawaOn Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a revised draft of its Bristol Bay watershed assessment – a follow-up to a first draft published in May 2012. The assessment looks at the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds of Bristol Bay, with a focus on how large-scale mine development such as the proposed Pebble mine could impact water and fish.

The new version incorporates input from tribes, community meetings and a scientific peer review panel held in fall 2012, as well as about 233,000 public comments EPA received in response to the May 2012 draft, said EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran. “We tried to address the critical comments as well as the supportive comments around the assessment,” he said.

The revision is available for download and review at EPA’s Bristol Bay website, and a public comment period on this revision is open until Friday, May 31, 2013.

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25 April 2013

Pebble partner approves $80 million for 2013 expenses

Northern Dynasty Minerals (NDM), a 50 percent stakeholder in the Pebble Project, announced this week that the board of directors of Pebble Mines Corp., the general partner of Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP), has approved $80 million for moving the proposed Pebble mine project forward in 2013.

Those funds, as detailed in a company press release, will go toward:

  • engineering studies to complete a Project Description and advance a Prefeasibility Study;
  • continued environmental monitoring studies in key areas including groundwater hydrology, water quality and fisheries resources;
  • site investigations, including exploration, geotechnical and metallurgical drilling, as well as geo-hydrological testing; and
  • stakeholder engagement and public affairs programming, workforce and business development initiatives, public education and community investment.

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19 April 2013

Dillingham public meeting

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled a public meeting for Dillingham from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19, at the Dillingham Middle School Gym.

From the Alaska DNR public notice regarding this meeting:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has extended the public comment period for the Public Review Draft (PRD) of the Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment to the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan (2005 BBAP) for an additional 30 days until May 6, 2013 to provide the public with a greater opportunity to review and comment on the PRD.

The state would like to hear from the public regarding these actions. To facilitate this, DNR will host a series of community meetings to discuss the issues addressed through these two actions, explain the review and approval processes for these actions, and indicate the how and when comments are to be submitted to DNR. There will be the opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide comment.

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18 April 2013

Koliganek public meeting

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled a public meeting for Koliganek from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, at the Village Council Building.

From the Alaska DNR public notice regarding this meeting:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has extended the public comment period for the Public Review Draft (PRD) of the Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment to the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan (2005 BBAP) for an additional 30 days until May 6, 2013 to provide the public with a greater opportunity to review and comment on the PRD.

The state would like to hear from the public regarding these actions. To facilitate this, DNR will host a series of community meetings to discuss the issues addressed through these two actions, explain the review and approval processes for these actions, and indicate the how and when comments are to be submitted to DNR. There will be the opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide comment.

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18 April 2013

New Stuyahok public meeting

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled a public meeting for New Stuyahok from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, at the Traditional Council Community Building.

From the Alaska DNR public notice regarding this meeting:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has extended the public comment period for the Public Review Draft (PRD) of the Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment to the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan (2005 BBAP) for an additional 30 days until May 6, 2013 to provide the public with a greater opportunity to review and comment on the PRD.

The state would like to hear from the public regarding these actions. To facilitate this, DNR will host a series of community meetings to discuss the issues addressed through these two actions, explain the review and approval processes for these actions, and indicate the how and when comments are to be submitted to DNR. There will be the opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide comment.

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17 April 2013

Kokhanok public meeting

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled a public meeting for Kokhanok from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at The Old School.

From the Alaska DNR public notice regarding this meeting:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has extended the public comment period for the Public Review Draft (PRD) of the Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment to the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan (2005 BBAP) for an additional 30 days until May 6, 2013 to provide the public with a greater opportunity to review and comment on the PRD.

The state would like to hear from the public regarding these actions. To facilitate this, DNR will host a series of community meetings to discuss the issues addressed through these two actions, explain the review and approval processes for these actions, and indicate the how and when comments are to be submitted to DNR. There will be the opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide comment.

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17 April 2013

Nondalton public meeting

Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled a public meeting for Nondalton from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at the Tribal Council Community Building.

From the Alaska DNR public notice regarding this meeting:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has extended the public comment period for the Public Review Draft (PRD) of the Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment to the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan (2005 BBAP) for an additional 30 days until May 6, 2013 to provide the public with a greater opportunity to review and comment on the PRD.

The state would like to hear from the public regarding these actions. To facilitate this, DNR will host a series of community meetings to discuss the issues addressed through these two actions, explain the review and approval processes for these actions, and indicate the how and when comments are to be submitted to DNR. There will be the opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide comment.

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15 April 2013

Register now for final Keystone Center science panels

Register now for the Keystone Center's final science panels, to be held in Anchorage on Monday, May 6, and Tuesday, May 7. This set of panels will focus on the portions of Pebble Limited Partnership's (PLP) Environmental Baseline Document (EBD) related to wetlands, vegetation, wildlife, and threatened and endangered species.

Panel format includes updated presentations from PLP contractors who contributed to the EBD, as well as comments and discussion from independent scientists who have volunteered to review the EBD serve on the panel.

The panels will be held in the Consortium Library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus and will be open to the public, although space is limited due to the size of the venue.

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10 April 2013

Boraas to speak on "Salmon Cultures of Bristol Bay," April 10

On Wednesday, April 10, Dr. Alan Boraas will give a presentation, "Fish, Family, Freedom, and Sacred Water: The Salmon Cultures of Bristol Bay," based on research he conducted for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Bristol Bay watershed assessment. Boraas, a professor of anthropology at Kenai Peninsula College, will share insights about the value of wild salmon to the cultures of Bristol Bay. The presentation is free and open to the public. (PebbleWatch previously wrote about Dr. Boraas' work in July 2012.)

Location: University of Alaska Anchorage, Fine Arts Recital Hall, 3640 Alumni Drive

Event time: Wednesday, April 10, 7 p.m.

Related: 

Pebble Watch newsletter on "Salmon-based cultures"

News articles on earlier presentations by Dr. Alan Boraas

Boraas interviewed 53 elders in Dena’ina and Yup’ik villages throughout Bristol Bay’s watershed. He was tasked by the Environmental Protection Agency to decipher the cultural values of wild salmon to the region’s Alaska Native residents and the potential effects to these families should the fishery and water be compromised by development of an industrial mining district. His research reveals insights into a culture working to maintain their traditional ways.

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08 April 2013

Additional public meetings set for Bristol Bay Area Plan comments

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has scheduled additional public meetings to take comment on revisions it has drafted for the 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan. The public comment period to review draft changes ends on May 6, 2013.

Schedule of community meetings in Bristol Bay:

Wednesday, April 17

Kokhanok, 1-3 p.m., The Old School

Nondalton, 5-8 p.m., Tribal Council Community Building

Thursday, April 18

Koliganek, 1-3 p.m., Village Council Building

New Stuyahok, 5-8 p.m., Traditional Council Community Building

Friday, April 19

Dillingham, 6-9 p.m., Dillingham Middle School Gym

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