U.S. Army Corps publishes scoping comments of cooperating agencies

Aug 14, 2018

The first batch of scoping comments on Pebble Mine from what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is calling “cooperating agencies” are now public.

A Kokhanok resident speaks to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Program Manager Shane McCoy (L) at a scoping meeting in April.
Credit Avery Lill/KDLG

As the Army Corps oversees the drafting of an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed mine, cooperating agencies have agreed to provide “technical assistance for specifically identified special expertise.”

The 90-day scoping period ended June 29. It was an opportunity for the public to voice concerns and possible alternatives to the proposed plan as a part of the federal permitting process.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Lake and Peninsula Borough, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency were among the groups whose comments were published on August 9. The Corps also released comments by the Nondalton Tribal Council and the United Tribes of Bristol Bay.

Comments from these agencies addressed inventory surveys and the potential impacts of mine infrastructure on fish, wildlife, and water quality. Lake and Penn voiced their concerns over the impacts of the proposed ferry across Iliamna Lake, the natural gas pipeline, and the road. Along with concerns about the mine’s impact on habitat and subsistence, the Nondalton Tribal Council and UTBB stated that they believe that the Pebble application is still incomplete.

The preliminary scoping report and comments from organizations and individuals can be found on the U.S. Army Corps website. The Corps will release a summary of the comment content in the final scoping report.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.