Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, are urging Northern Dynasty Minerals, in Vancouver, British Columbia, to release to the public their compensatory mitigation plan for the proposed Pebble mine in the Bristol Bay watershed of Southwest Alaska.
Approval of such a plan is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as Northern Dynasty’s subsidiary, the Pebble Limited Partnership, continues to seek a federal Clean Water Act permit for the mine.
The senators sent a letter to Ron Thiessen, president and CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals, the parent company of the PLP, urging him to release the plan so that Alaskans, particularly those who live in Bristol Bay, can properly evaluate and understand the plan.
The senators said that while they continue to oppose approval of the project based on the existing record they believe Northern Dynasty must release its proposed plan because a significant portion of the public has lost trust in what its executives actually plan to do and how they expect to be able to win approval from federal regulators. This dynamic was substantially worsened this fall with the release of the so-called ‘Pebble Tapes,’ secret recordings featuring Thiessen himself and a former top executive of the Pebble Limited Partnership video-taped talking to people they thought were potential foreign investors but turned out to be undercover environmental investigators.
Releasing the plan would offer needed transparency about what is at stake with the project, they said. “Alaskans deserve to know what Northern Dynasty proposes to do to compensate for Pebble’s impacts- including what would be required from the state of Alaska, the Alaska State Legislature, and others” they said.
Pebble officials late on Tuesday, Nov. 24, repeated their earlier comment on the issue, saying that once the Corp of Engineers deems the proposed plan complete, it will be posted to their project EIS website for public review.