Years of comments, research and peer-reviewed science are in the 2014 EPA Watershed Assessment, and those findings must be used throughout this EIS. It is still true that the mine infrastructure alone is an unacceptable risk to the Bristol Bay region.
They want permits for a mine that would extract only 12% of their holdings – that should make it easier to get a stamp under this Administration, right? The problem is that this 12%-mine wouldn’t even turn a profit. A former Rio Tinto permitting expert concludes that it is “almost certainly not economically feasible” and would actually loose 3 billion dollars. The Corps cannot legally assess an unrealistic project. Stop this illegal farce that is wasting our time and money.
This mine offers 850 jobs for 20 years, but it threatens 14,000 jobs we already have and love. The threatened jobs are jobs forever. The fish, wildlife, and pristine wilderness of the region are a crucial part of the economy and way of life on the Kenai Peninsula – providing subsistence, supporting guides, lodges, pilots, photographers, hotels, restaurants, fishermen, mechanics, the harbors, boat yards, fish processors, net hangers, welders, and many more. This mine with its 100-mile infrastructure over an unknown number of salmon and trout streams and along the McNeil Bear Sanctuary could be a catastrophe for all of us who love and make our living on these resources—loss of jobs under normal operations and under all accident scenarios was no assessed in the DEIS.
The permit application was so incomplete it should have been rejected outright. Many changes were made to the application after the public scoping period but we never had a chance to comment. Documents have not been translated into Yupik and Yupik-speakers do not have equal opportunity to comment.
The DEIS is full of unbelievable holes. It is missing a reclamation plan and a corresponding value for the surety bond. It is missing proof of financial feasibility. It is missing many engineering plans, maps, tables, details, survey results. It is full of inaccurate fish and wildlife information. It does not even touch impacts to bears and tourism. It is missing an analysis of the likelihood of accidents and basically assumes there will be no accidents. It is missing an assessment of a tailings dam failure. It is missing geotechnical data needed to determine whether the tailings dam will work.
Supporting documents of the DEIS alone are 300,000 pages. Meaningful public participation requires 270 days for working people to read and comment.
The serious "Kamishak Gap" winds that blow offshore at Amakdedori Beach would blast the proposed infrastructure and operations in the shallow waters of Kamishak Bay. The EIS needs to address this concern as well as the impacts of wind blowing copper ore into Kamishak Bay. The EIS should also address how the port and operations would be impacted by fixed and floating ice in this high-current area during winter operations.
Pebble wants to treat 2-4 times more water than any other other mine operating in North America with methods that have never been tested. The DEIS does not think this is a risk. Really?
Also, what is the cost of perpetual water treatment?