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Dunleavy Administration Will Appeal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision on Pebble Project

Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN


January 08, 2021
Friday PM

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced today that the Alaska Department of Law will file an administrative appeal with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Pacific Ocean Division, over the Alaska District’s decision to deny the 404 permit for the proposed Pebble Project in Southwest Alaska.

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“The flawed decision by the Alaska District creates a dangerous precedent that will undoubtedly harm Alaska’s future and, any potential project can fall victim to the same questionable standards,” said Governor Dunleavy.

Dunleavy said, “We have to prevent a federal agency, in this instance, the Alaska District of the Army Corps of Engineers, from using the regulatory process to effectively prevent the State from fulfilling a constitutional mandate to develop its natural resources.”

“The Alaska District’s decision has far-reaching and ominous implications for our rights as a state to develop our resources for the benefit of all Alaskans, whether its mineral deposits like Pebble, or oil and gas on the North Slope, or other resources anywhere in the state,” said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige.

Feige said, “The Alaska Constitution specifically directs us to develop our resources in the public interest. When a federal agency arbitrarily tries to deprive us of our rights with the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen, we simply must challenge that action.”

“This appeal asks the Army Corps Pacific Ocean Division to remand the permit decision back to the Alaska District for a more thorough review consistent with the law,” said Acting Attorney General Ed Sniffen. 

Sniffen said, “The Division ignored Corps’ long-standing guidance that required it to tailor mitigation requirements to recognize Alaska’s unique position of holding more intact wetlands than any of the lower 48 states combined. Instead, the Division is requiring mitigation measures that are simply impossible to meet in Alaska.”    

The 404 permit, required under the federal Clean Water Act, is a necessity for any natural resource development project to move forward. Quoting a news release from thegovernor's, the state believes the decision was based on flawed conclusions and usurped the entire public interest review process.

Quoting a news release from SalmonState, today’s announcement from the State of Alaska that it will appeal the rejection of Pebble’s permit application is deeply disappointing and once again shows the Dunleavy Administration prioritizes the interests of a disgraced foreign mining company over the thousands of Alaskans who depend on Bristol Bay’s incredible wild salmon fishery for their livelihoods and ways of life. 

SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol said, “While science prevailed when the Army Corps rejected the proposed Pebble Mine’s Clean Water Act permit, Governor Mike Dunleavy’s continued interference on behalf of the Pebble Partnership shows Bristol Bay is far from safe.”

Bristol said, “In announcing the State will appeal, the governor has chosen to ignore scientific fact and the large majority of Alaskans. The only way to stop this toxic project for good is with an EPA veto. We urge President-elect Biden and Congress to act swiftly and decisively to reenact lasting protections for Bristol Bay - a one-of-a-kind American resource.”



Source of News:

Office of Governor Michael Dunleavy


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