EPA's BBWA Inadequate and Inaccurate

Calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment inadequate, rushed and inaccurate, the Pebble Partnership Monday submitted comments and technical data to the EPA charging that the draft assessment is incomplete and fails on a scientific and a regulatory basis. Materials submitted by PLP, which include opinions and expertise from engineers, mining experts and international technical and environmental consulting firms, underscore the fundamental gaps in the process and omission of critical practices associated with 21st Century mining. Perhaps the most glaring issue is the hypothetical mine the EPA created on which to base its assessment – a mine that could not be permitted in the United States according to today’s rigorous regulatory standards.

Outmigration Trends Continue

Results from the Pebble Environmental Baseline Document (EBD) socioeconomic studies in southwest Alaska verify downward economic trends previously reported by state agency groups throughout the past decade and recorded as part of Census studies from 1999 through 2009. The results from the five years of EBD studies confirm a general population decline in most areas, as well as a high cost of living and low year-round employment opportunities.

Bristol Bay Marketplace Selects Entrepreneurs

Alaska Growth Capital has selected five recipients as the initial winners of the newly established Bristol Bay Marketplace Competition. Developed in tandem by the Pebble Limited Partnership and the Pebble Fund, each of which contributed $250,000 to the program, the contest is designed to foster small business development in the Bristol Bay region. The competition, available to all Bristol Bay residents, encourages area entrepreneurs to compete for funding to develop, maintain or expand locally owned and locally based businesses.

State Wins Lawsuit on Exploration Permits

Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth issued a 154-page decision in Nunamta Aulukestai v. State, finding that the State did not violate Article VIII of the Alaska Constitution in issuing temporary, revocable land and water use permits for mineral exploration at the Pebble Project. The plaintiffs, a group of eight Bristol Bay village corporations and several individuals, filed suit in July of 2009, alleging that the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) permit issuance amounted to a disposal of interest in state lands that required public notice and preparation of a written best interest finding before the permits could be issued.

Bear Guards Provide In-the-Field Security

Working in rural Alaska provides a unique set of ever-changing challenges. Weather, remote locations, minimal communication options and a lack of set transportation corridors in a harsh landscape make safety a constant concern. Wildlife, specifically a healthy bear population, make working in Southwest Alaska particularly dangerous in the area’s rugged terrain.

Pebble Honors Good Neighbor Principle

Remote terrain and dramatic weather patterns in Alaska can be a perilous combination, often changing quickly to create dangerous situations for those exposed to the elements. Response speed, coupled with safety, is critical and can mean the difference between life and death when responding to an emergency. Several times each year, the Pebble Partnership’s emergency training and safety expertise is accessed by state and federal agencies, and in some cases residents, to assist with various situations in the region such as rescues and medical emergencies.

Iliamna Hosts Run for Women Event

In support of the annual Alaska Run for Women, the Pebble Partnership organized and hosted a simultaneous satellite event June 12, 2010, in Iliamna, Alaska, to coordinate with the popular race that raises funds each June for breast cancer awareness. Seventy percent of the funds raised during this event stay in Alaska.

Pebble Partners with University ANSEP

The Pebble Partnership continues its partnership with the University of Alaska’s, (UA), Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) with a $75,000 donation, the second installment of a five-year annual commitment. Presented by Pebble Partnership CEO, John Shively, during a spring student luncheon, the cooperative education program provides long-term career path opportunities for Alaska Native students in the fields of science and engineering.