February 2012

01 March 2012

BBNC Committee Meetings

BBNC Quarterly Committee Meetings

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29 February 2012

More testimony scheduled for Alaska Senate Bill 152, Thursday, March 1

Testimony for Alaska Senate Bill 152 will continue on Thursday, March 1, at 3:30 p.m. Alaska Time in the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee. Sponsored by Senator Hollis French, D-Anchorage, the bill would allow the state legislature to become involved in the permitting process for the Pebble Mine development.

Watch testimony online at Alaska Legislature TV

Read more about the bill (Juneau Empire)

Read about testimony from Tuesday, February 28 (Juneau Empire)

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28 February 2012

Pebble-related Senate Bill 152 gets first hearing today

Alaska Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Hollis French, is getting its first hearing today in the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee. The bill would allow the state legislature to become involved in the permitting process for the Pebble Mine development. (Starting at 3:30 p.m. Alaska Time)

Watch online now

Read more about the bill in the Juneau Empire

 

 

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27 February 2012

EPA postings provide insight on assessment contents

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted two recent documents that give further insight into what will be included in its draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, due to be released in late April 2012:
  • The February 2012 Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Update includes a general description of what the report will contain.
  • The January 2012 Intergovernmental Technical Team Meeting (IGTT) presentation further details contents of the assessment, including these items of interest:
    • An "Initial Thoughts" section that links large-scale development with negative impact in the watershed. For example: "Large-scale development will destroy streams, and therefore salmon habitat, covered by the footprint of mining operations." The section also acknowledges: "Should accidental or catastrophic events occur they are likely to have broader impacts."
    • An "Ecological Risk Assessment Mining Scenario" that graphically shows the overall mining claims and water permits in the Nushagak and Kvichak Watersheds. The presentation also notes that EPA's assessment team will use detail from the 2011 Northern Dynasty Minerals Preliminary Assessment to create its generic mining scenario.
    • Updates to conceptual diagrams that explore potential environmental impacts of mining in Bristol Bay.

The EPA is currently accepting nominations from the public for qualified individuals to serve on a Peer Review panel that would review the watershed assessment. More information.

More information about the EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

 

 

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24 February 2012

EPA asks for candidates for Watershed Assessment Review

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a call for nominations of qualified individuals who could participate in a 10-person panel to provide a peer review of the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. The EPA has been working on the assessment since February 7, 2011.

 

The nomination period runs from February 24 to March 9.

Nominees for the peer review panel should have background knowledge and expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Mining, particularly porphyry copper
  • Salmon fisheries biology
  • Surface, subsurface or watershed hydrology
  • Aquatic ecology
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Seismology
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Wildlife ecology
  • Indigenous Alaskan cultures
  • Read the full EPA press release for additional details

Read more details in this EPA press release

Submit a nomination

View the Federal Register Notice

About the EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

About EPA's peer review process

 

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21 February 2012

Pebble news roundup: Mine plan, permitting, set for 2012-2013

Recent Pebble news highlights comments made by Ken Taylor, vice president with Pebble Limited Partnership. Taylor addressed legislators in Juneau February 16, telling them a mine plan may be available within a year, and that the target for permitting is next fiscal year.

"Pebble Partnership: ready to permit as early as FY 13" (February 17, 2012) - Juneau Empire
Russell Stigall reports that Pebble Limited Partnership Vice President Ken Taylor addressed members of the House Resources Committee, telling them Pebble developers will have a mine plan in about a year's time. Members in the audience were able to ask questions, including whether heavy metals would leach into the Bristol Bay watershed. "I can stand here and tell you that it's not going to leach in 10 years, but 10 years is a snapshot in time," said Taylor. It will eventually." Taylor emphasized the role of reclamation and underscored PLP's reclamation of test wells as an example of good stewardship.

Read the entire story in the Juneau Empire.

"Pebble project could move to permitting this year" (February 16, 2012) - Anchorage Daily News
The Anchorage Daily News reported on Pebble Limited Partnership Vice President Ken Taylor's address to legislators, and included his comments on environmentalism as "big business" that increases costs for big projects.

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News.

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10 February 2012

Alaska Forum on the Environment, Day 5

Alaska Forum on the Environment hosts its annual educational event. Day 5 includes the following topics of interest to Pebble Watch readers:

  • Film Festival: To include "A Day in Our Bay: Voices and Views from Bristol Bay"

For more information, visit akforum.com.

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09 February 2012

Alaska Forum on the Environment, Day 4

Alaska Forum on the Environment hosts its annual educational event. Day 4 includes the following topics of interest to Pebble Watch readers:

  • Linking Traditional Knowledge with Today's Science

For more information, visit akforum.com.

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08 February 2012

Pebble news this week

In Pebble news this week we learn about state legislation that could affect development of the proposed mine. The Sacramento Bee  also ran a story regarding a new study released by The Wild Salmon Center and Trout Unlimited.

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Alaska Forum on the Environment, Day 3

Alaska Forum on the Environment hosts its annual educational event. Day 3 includes the following topics of interest to Pebble Watch readers:

  • Keynote: Dennis McLerran, EPA
  • Water Quality Sampling in Rural Alaska
  • EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Update
  • Shaping Fisheries: Skills for Participating in the Public Process

For more information, visit akforum.com.

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