28 December 2012

Pebble Watch update: new permitting guide

permittinguidePebble Watch has published an updated permitting guide, which gives an overview of the types of permits that would likely be required for the proposed Pebble mine. 

The guide includes a list of major and minor permits, associated public comment periods (if any), links to agencies that will likely be involved in permitting, and a resource section for further reading on permitting and regulations related to developing a large-scale mine in Alaska.

Read more

26 December 2012

"Bristol Bay Forever" initiative application certified by state

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has certified an application for a ballot initiative that proponents are calling “Bristol Bay Forever.” The initiative would allow Alaska residents to vote on a proposed bill that would require legislative approval before certain large-scale metallic sulfide mines could be developed in the Bristol Bay area. “Bristol Bay Forever” will go on the ballot if its sponsors collect 30,169 signatures of qualified voters.

State of Alaska press release

“Bristol Bay Forever” initiative 

Finding from Attorney General’s office 

Read more

04 December 2012

Keystone Center posts videos of October science panels

KeystonePanelVideos of science panels held in Anchorage in October to discuss portions of Pebble Limited Partnership's (PLP) Environmental Baseline Document are now online at the Keystone Center website.

The Keystone Center was contracted by PLP to conduct a dialogue on the proposed Pebble mine. Part of that process included science panels, during which independent scientists were asked to volunteer to review environmental studies released by PLP in January 2012.

The October science panels included presentations from PLP-contracted scientists, many of whom included updates to their January studies. Independent scientists then offered their own critiques, followed by give-and-take discussion.

The Keystone Center has split the proceedings into 55 short segments to make it more accessible to viewers.

According to Keystone Center's Todd Bryan, a summary report of recommendations from will be available by the end of 2012.

Watch now at Keystone's website.

Read more:

Highlights - Hydrology sessions

Highlights - Geology and geochemistry sessions

Read the October 2012 newsletter focusing on the science panels.

Pebble Watch Q & A with Keystone Center's Todd Bryan


Read more

30 November 2012

Peer review report on EPA's draft watershed assessment

Earlier this month the EPA made public a peer review report on its Bristol Bay watershed assessment. A 12-member panel reviewed the report and provided specific recommendations. Also in the 193-page document is a summary of public comments received by the EPA during the public input process on the watershed assessment. 

Read Pebble Watch's summary of the peer review report

Review the entire peer review report

Read Bristol Bay Times articles on the report:



Read more

30 November 2012

EPA Peer Review Report

pwe-peerreviewPebble Watch explores the official Peer Review Report on the EPA's draft Watershed Assessment. A review team of 12 independent scientists provided comments on the draft assessment. These comments were compiled into a 193-page report published in early November 2012. Pebble Watch has included highlights from the report, including reviewer's suggestions on technical comment and additional research.

Read more

15 November 2012

Cultural studies highlighted in EPA watershed assessment

In our July newsletter, we wrote about the importance of salmon in Bristol Bay cultures, as covered in the EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment’s report on Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Cultural Characterization of the Nushagak and Kvichak Watersheds, Alaska. One of the authors of that report, Dr. Alan Boraas, gave a presentation of his findings during a Nov. 1 talk at Kenai Peninsula College.

Boraas and co-author Catherine Knott interviewed 53 Bristol Bay residents for their report, asking questions about the role of salmon in their lives and their definitions of wealth.

Articles in the Peninsula Clarion and Redoubt Reporter (both of Kenai, Alaska) covered Boraas’ talk and include several quotes and photos from the presentation.

Read more:

Pebble Watch article

Peninsula Clarion article

Redoubt Reporter article

Boraas/Knott full report



Read more

09 November 2012

EPA releases peer review report

The EPA has released its final peer review report for the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. The panelists reviewed the science behind the assessment. You can see the full report here. Stay tuned to www.PebbleWatch.com for an overview of the findings.


Read more

30 October 2012

News roundup, October 30

Recent news related to the Pebble project includes personnel changes at the Pebble Partnership and Anglo-American and information about a new ballot initiative that would require legislative approval of large mines in Alaska.

Easton to Lead Pebble Project Environmental Efforts (October 24 - www.pebblepartnership.com)

Pebble Limited Partnership announced the hire of Dan Easton as vice president of environment, a role held by Ken Taylor before his retirement. Easton will oversee all aspects of Pebble’s environmental program, including permitting and environmental studies.

Read the press release.

Cynthia Carroll steps down as Anglo-American CEO (October 26 – Wall Street Journal)

The CEO of Anglo-American, which owns 50 percent of Pebble Limited Partnership, has resigned amid pressure from investors who are unhappy with how the company is performing. Cynthia Carroll was the first woman hired to head up a large mining company, and had visited Alaska in 2007 and again in 2011 to address the Resource Development Council. While she said the she believes fishing and mining can coexist, she also stood by “the commitment that I made to you in 2007 that without proper environmental protections, Pebble should not be built.” Carroll will remain at Anglo until a replacement is found; according to the company, the search could take a year.

Read the entire story.

Read about Carroll’s address to the Resource Development Council in 2007 and 2011.

New initiative would require legislative approval for large-scale mine (October 26, Fisherman's News Online via Alaska Native News)

A proposed ballot intitiative, "Bristol Bay Forever," has been sent to Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell for review. The initiative would require a legislative finding the a mining development would not endanger Bristol Bay's fishery. According to news reports, Treadwell has 60 days to either certify or reject the application. If approved, backers of the initiative would need to gather signatures by January 2014 to get the initiative on the ballot by fall 2014.

Read the entire story.

Read more

22 October 2012

Keystone science panels rebroadcast this week

If you missed the Keystone science panels on the Pebble Limited Partnership Environmental Baseline Document earlier this month, you can view the rebroadcasts this week on Channel 360 North.

  • Monday, October 22: Geology and Geochemistry (read the highlights from Pebble Watch)
  • Tuesday, October 23: Geology and Geochemistry / Hydrology and Water Quality
  • Wednesday, October 24: Water Quality (read the highlights from Pebble Watch)
  • Thursday, October 25: Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems
  • Friday, October 26: Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems / Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Subsistence Conditions
  • Saturday, October 27: Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Subsistence Conditions

How to watch

Coming soon: The Keystone Center expects to post the panel videos to its website this week so that viewers can reference them any time.


Read more

11 October 2012

Keystone Center dialogue on "Socioeconomic and Cultural Studies"

The Keystone Center has assembled a series of independent science panels to help stakeholders understand and evaluate baseline studies and a proposed mining plan. Independent science panels will be assembled from academic institutions, government research agencies, and non-governmental organizations that engage in objective scientific studies.

The Independent Science Panel event on "Socioeconomic and Cultural Studies" will take place in Anchorage, Alaska at the UAA Consortium Library, Room 307. This is an all day event.

The event will be filmed by 360 North and streamed through a live online broadcast. Participants in remote areas may submit questions and comments by email during the events. An online registration link will be activated an can be accessed at www.keystone.org/pebble. For additional information contact Todd Bryan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Read more