The Scoping Process ended on June 29, 2018
As part of the permitting process for the Pebble mine, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on March 22 announced a 30-day public input period from April 1 to April 30, 2018. In response to feedback that 30 days was not long enough to provide adequate public participation, the Corps announced on April 6 that it would extend the scoping period an additional 60 days, to June 29.
This initial public input period is part of the scoping process, which collects information from the public about what should be included in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that the Corps will be developing during the Pebble permitting process.
Days left to submit your public comment
Please note: Comments are due by 06/29/18 at 11:59 pm Alaska Time.
The Corps will be drafting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is a decision document related to the Pebble mine project. The scoping period gives you a chance to suggest what items should be included in that document.
During scoping, the Corps will not be looking a general “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on the project. Comments that answer “What should be included in this EIS?” are most helpful. Examples include:
– Stating environmental, sociological, and economic concerns
– Identifying specific elements of the environment that might be affected if the proposal is carried out
– Offering possible alternatives
When drafting your comment, try to keep it clear, concise and relevant. Keep in mind:
– Numerous comments that are the same or very similar will be counted as one comment and will be responded to collectively.
– You can express support or opposition to a project, but these comments won’t be taken into consideration in the permitting decision.
Creating a substantive comment – examples of themes
During scoping for the Alaska Donlin Gold project, which is still in the permitting process, more than 2,763 substantive comments were submitted during scoping. They were sorted by issues and included:
Air Quality, Acid Rock Drainage, Barge Issues, Bonding, Escrow Restoration & Reclamation, Bird – Impacts, Cooperating Agencies, Climate Change, Archeological/Cultural Resources, Data & Available Information, Environmental Justice, Fish – Impacts, Fuel Spill Risks/Release, Government-to-Government comments, Natural Gas Supply, Geology, Groundwater Impacts, Habitat, Hydrology (surface water), Hazardous Materials, Land Ownership, Management & Use, Legislative & Regulatory Process, Mitigation Measures, Monitoring, NEPA Process, Purpose & Need, Proposed Action & Alternatives, Public Health, Plan of Development, Public Involvement & Scoping, Recreation, Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Needs, Socioeconomic Impacts, Subsistence, Transportation, Traditional Culture and Way of Life, Vegetation, Visual Resources, Water Quality and Quantity, Wilderness Characteristics, Wetlands & Aquatic Communities, Wildlife Impacts
Coming up with alternatives to the current project plan is one aspect of the permitting process. Here’s a form developed by Pebble Watch that can help you focus in subjects the Corps of Engineers will be assessing.
Submit your comment:
- to the Corps in person at meetings between April 9 and April 19
- online at the PebbleProjectEIS website, or
- by mail to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District
Program Manager, Regulatory Division
ATTN: DA Permit Application 2017-271, Pebble Limited Partnership
P.O. Box 6898
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, 99506-0898
Public Meeting Dates
Schedule as of March 30, 2018. To double-check before you go, visit the Pebble Project EIS website.
If you plan to attend public meetings
Don’t expect a public forum where you can share your views and hear others’ at the meetings in Anchorage, Dillingham and Homer. Citing an expected large turnout, the Corps has said there will be no public microphone. Instead, you can submit your comment to a court reporter, submit your comment online using a provided laptop, or write it on a comment form.
Naknek – Naknek School
Monday, April 9, 3:30 – 7:30 pm
Kokhanok – Tribal Hall
Tuesday, April 10, 3:30 – 7:30 pm
Homer – Homer High School
Wednesday, April 11, 5-9 pm
Newhalen – Newhalen School
Thursday, April 12, 3:30-7:30 pm
New Stuyahok – Community Building
Friday, April 13, 1-4:30 pm
Nondalton – Tribal Center
Monday, April 16, 3:30-7:30 pm
Dillingham – Dillingham Middle School
Tuesday, April 17, 5-9 pm
Igiugig – Community Building
Wednesday, April 18, 3:30-7:30 pm
Anchorage – Dena’ina Center
Thursday, April 19, 11 am-9 pm