The decision by the US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) to deny a permit for the Pebble Mine in Alaska could finally signal the death knell for the controversial project.
The decision by the US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) to deny a permit for the Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay could finally signal the death knell for the controversial project.
This week the USACE denied a permit to Northern Dynasty materials to build a massive copper and gold mine in Bristol Bay which opponents had warned would wipe out the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.
Although the developer has vowed to appeal the decision from the Trump administration, which had been reversed several times, it comes just weeks before the President-elect, Joe Biden takes office. The forthcoming incumbent in the Oval Office has already said he opposed the project.
In a statement, USACE said it had determined the mining company’s plan to deal with the huge amount of rock and other fill material that would be displaced by the mine ‘does not comply with the Clean Water Act guidelines’ and concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest. It added: “This action is based on all the available facts and complies with existing laws and regulations. It reflects a regulatory process that is fair, flexible and balanced.
Many prominent figures, organisations and companies within the fishing tackle industry, including Johnny Morris, founder and owner of Bass Pro Shops, Simms Fishing Products, Patagonia Fly Fish, and the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) have been staunch supporters of the No to Pebble Mine movement which has worked tirelessly over more than a decade to defeat plans to develop the region.
In a statement, John Shively, CEO of Pebble Limited Partnership, the US subsidiary of Canadian-based Northern Dynasty Materials, said it was ‘dismayed’ by the Government’s decision and vowed to appeal.
“Since the beginning of the federal review, our team has worked closely with the USACE staff to understand their requirements for responsibly developing the project, including changing the transportation corridor and re-vamping the approach to wetlands mitigation,” Shively said in a statement. “It is very disconcerting to see political influence in this process at the eleventh hour.”