Wondering what will be in the Joint Record of Decision, the next step in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pebble permitting process?
In addition to the final Environmental Impact Statement, the Corps needs to address how the project would comply with laws, regulations and executive orders like the following:
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
- Section 401 of the Clean Water Act Section 401 of the CWA
- Endangered Species Act of 1973
- Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act
- Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
- Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
- Section 176(C) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) General Conformity Rule Review
- Executive Order 11998: Floodplain Management
- Executive Order 11990: Protection of Wetlands: Executive Order 11990 requires federal agencies to prepare wetland assessments for proposed actions located in or affecting wetlands. Agencies must avoid undertaking new construction in wetlands unless no practicable alternative is available and the proposed action includes all practicable measures to minimize harm to wetlands.
- Executive Order 13175: Consultation with Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians:Environmental Justice (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Executive Order 12898)
In this case, the Record of Decision will be issued jointly with the Coast Guard, which is deciding on a permit application to build a bridge over the Newhalen River as part of Pebble’s transportation corridor.
Another federal agency, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), is considering whether to issue a right-of-way permit for a pipeline Pebble plans to build under Cook Inlet. This decision was originally intended to be included in the Joint Record of Decision with the Corps and Coast Guard. However, in the spring of 2020 BSEE and the Corps determined that their decision-making timelines were not compatible. BSEE has not indicated when its pipeline right-of-way decision will be expected.
When will the ROD be finalized?
The Record of Decision will be written no sooner than 30 days from the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement, July 24, 2020. David Hobbie, Chief of the Regulatory Division for the Corps’ Alaska District said that the agency is hoping to release it quickly, but that there is no maximum timeframe requirement.