Molly Dischner, United Tribes of Bristol Bay (contact for Bristol Bay region hearings), email@example.com, (907) 394-0117
Jenny Weis, Trout Unlimited (contact for Anchorage and Homer hearings), firstname.lastname@example.org, (952) 210-7095
Thursday, April 5 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public meetings on Pebble permit application begin Monday
DILLINGHAM, AK – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host public meetings this month as part of its scoping process for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Pebble’s permit application. During scoping, the Corps of Engineers will seek to determine the area and impacts of Pebble’s application that it should analyze in its environmental review.
The environmental review for Pebble began in December 2017, when the company submitted a Clean Water Act dredge and fill permit to the Corps of Engineers. The permit application outlines plans for a mine and supporting infrastructure to develop the first 1.2 billion tons of its nearly 11-billion-ton deposit, over the course of 20 years. Review of the permit centers around preparation of an EIS. On the Pebble EIS project website, the agency says it will conduct scoping this spring, draft the EIS in less than a year, and come to a final record of decision by early 2020 – making it one of the fastest EIS processes in Alaska mining history.
That EIS will inform the Corps of Engineers’ eventual decision on the permit application, and the current public comment period is one of only two opportunities for the public to weigh in during the process.
The agency is holding seven public scoping hearings in Bristol Bay, as well as one each in Anchorage and Homer. A comment period is also open to gather written public input through April 30.
The hearing schedule is as follows.
April 9: Naknek School, 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
April 10: Kokhanok Old School, 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
April 11: Homer High School, 5 – 9 p.m.
April 12: Newhalen School, 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
April 13: New Stuyahok CQ Building, 1 – 4:30 p.m.
April 16: Nondalton Community Center, 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
April 17: Dillingham Middle School Gym, 5 – 9 p.m. There will be a “People’s Hearing” to enable Bristol Bay residents to voice their concerns publicly.
April 18: Igiugig Hangar Building, 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
April 19: Anchorage Dena’ina Center, 5 – 9 p.m. (Doors open to give testimony to a court reporter at 11 a.m.) There will be a “No Pebble Mine Rally” with speakers and demonstrations starting at 5:00 p.m.
Photos and video of each meeting will be available to the media immediately following each event, and Bristol Bay residents and leadership will also be available for interviews.
Oral testimony will be limited to three minutes, and the hearings will be first-come, first serve basis. Public testimony will be taken ONLY in the smaller communities (Naknek, Kokhanok, Newhalen, New Stuyahok, Nondalton, Igiugig). A court reporter will be available for private testimony in the larger communities (Dillingham, Homer, Anchorage). Written comments will also be taken at every meeting.
United Tribes of Bristol Bay will be hosting a community prep station and hospitality suite in each Bristol Bay hearing community, see our website for the full schedule, and a “People’s Hearing” in Dillingham next to the meeting. The Save Bristol Bay Campaign will host a rally outside the Anchorage hearing, and Cook Inletkeeper will host one outside the Homer hearing.
The United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB) is a tribal consortium representing 15 Bristol Bay tribes working to protect the Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiq way of life in Bristol Bay.