The Pebble Limited Partnership today announced an agreement to resolve the long-standing preemptive actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the project. The resolution effectively ends the litigation and establishes a clear path for the Pebble Project to initiate permitting under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). PLP CEO Tom Collier had the following statement regarding the settlement:
“This settlement represents a major step forward for the Pebble Project. It allows us to start advancing Pebble to the next phase of development and provides us with the opportunity to initiate the normal permitting process for this project. For the last two years, we have focused on two key issues for the project. First, we sought to establish a clear path that would allow us access to the normal permitting and review process without extraordinary conditions. Second, we sought to secure a long term partner to advance the project into this process. Today’s announcement accomplishes our first objective and provides us with a clear path into the normal permitting and review process.
“We can now start to focus on finalizing our second objective. As a world class mineral deposit, there remains significant interest in Pebble among major mining companies. This settlement removes a major stumbling block to attracting new investment in the Pebble Project and in Alaska.
“As Alaska continues to look for ways to bring in new jobs and economic activity, we believe the Pebble Project has a valuable role to play. This project represents the potential for billions of dollars of investment, thousands of long-term, high-wage jobs, and the potential for significant economic activity while at the same time providing revenue for local, state, and federal governments. Responsible development could be an economic engine for decades to come.
“We are excited to be able to introduce several new initiatives in the coming year that will more clearly define how the project will benefit residents of Bristol Bay and Alaska. Our project will be significantly smaller, with demonstrable environmental protections. Chief among these is protecting the important salmon resource in Bristol Bay. It will be a busy and exciting year for the project and we look forward to engaging with Alaskans to discuss our plans.”