Public hearings on Pebble's draft EIS underway

Mar 26, 2019

The public can testify at all locations; testifiers will speak based on a first come, first served basis. The next hearing takes place Wednesday in Newhalen.

Credit USACE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins public hearings this week on Pebble Mine’s permit application and draft environmental impact statement. 

The first hearing takes place March 25 from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Bristol Bay Borough School in Naknek.

The USACE released its review of the proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine in the Iliamna Lake region of Bristol Bay last month. Since then, the 1,400-page document has prompted significant controversy. Now the public has a chance to weigh in on the draft in person. 

Nine hearings have been scheduled in Homer, Anchorage and around Bristol Bay. Members of the public can testify at all locations, although there will be a time limit for each speaker. Testifiers will speak based on a first come, first served basis. Court reporters and translators will also be available to take oral comments.

The hearings are part of a 90-day public comment period that ends May 30. This input will be incorporated into the final EIS. And that document will be a key factor in whether federal agencies grant Pebble necessary permits to build the mine.

The USACE has already received almost 2,000 written comments. Despite calls to extend the comment period, the USACE maintains that so far, it has heard no compelling reasons to do so. 

The draft EIS and Pebble's permit application can be found on USACE's website. Public comments can also be submitted online or by mail

Hearing schedule:

March 25:    Naknek - 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Dolly's Hall.

March 26:    Kokhanok - 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Community Hall. 

March 27:    Newhalen - 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Newhalen School.

March 28:    Igiugig - 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Igiugig School.

March 29:    New Stuyahok - 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Community Building.

April 8:    Nondalton - 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Tribal Center.

April 9:    Dillingham - 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Dillingham Elementary School.

April 11:    Homer - 3:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Homer High School.

April 16:    Anchorage - 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Dena'ina Center.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.

Update: The number of written comments USACE has been updated from 400 to the most recent count according to the USACE website.