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Thread: EPA Puts a Chokehold on Pebble

  1. #1
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    Default EPA Puts a Chokehold on Pebble

    Using rule 404(c) the EPA has unilaterally said Pebble cannot be done... There are some ways to get around the decision and the courts will get to work this over (which will in and of itself slow progress tremendously) but it will make it harder and more expensive for the Pebble Partnership to proceed.

    The rule has only been used against a single mine previously and it was only partly successful. It will be interesting to see what happens next...

  2. #2
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    Hopefully the only digging will be for facts and evidence. Cautiously optimistic, Art.

    Regards,
    Scott

  3. #3

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    Hap....lets just hope that the people will stop lying to themselves and realize just what "might" happen......and NOT take the risk to mine the pebble mine... a 5-8 acre holding pond of pure sledge-ridden poison....come-on now...really? just my thoughts....

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    Not sure where the 5-8 acre "holding pond" comes from... The planned earthen dam is variously described as being either the largest dam in the World, or the first and second largest depending on how you count them as they are to be built around a series of mountains...

    The gold ore extraction area would have to be larger than a few mere acres would describe...

  5. #5
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    To some of us the Pebble Mine is not a very well known problem. A very informative article appears here: http://www.sjel.org/vol2/using-the-c...bble-mine.html.
    For FAOL members who don't know what's what the author explains:
    The Pebble prospect is approximately 200 miles southwest of Anchorage and 120 miles from Bristol Bay, and it is closest to the communities of Iliamna, Newhalen, and Nondalton. The prospect is expected to contain approximately 80.6 billion pounds of copper, 5.6 billion pounds of molybdenum, and 107.4 million ounces of gold, plus significant amounts of silver, rhenium, and palladium. The estimated value of the prospect ranges from $100 billion to $500 billion; however, a recent preliminary assessment estimated a net smelter return of $120.2 billion. The same assessment estimates an initial mine life of only twenty-five years, which could be prolonged through expansions, mainly additional underground development. In comparison, the Bristol Bay salmon fisheries have an estimated value of $120 million annually, a sustainable, long-term source of income.
    Although official plans for the mine have not yet been submitted for permitting, development of the Pebble prospect may encompass two mines: Pebble West and Pebble East. Pebble West will likely comprise an open pit mine about 2000 feet deep and two square miles in area. Pebble East will likely be an underground mine of comparable size, but about 5000 feet deep. This development will require massive infrastructure. Specifically, the development may include waste rock dams as large as 740 feet high and three miles long storing reactive tailings; mills; a deep-water port; a 104-mile road; two 100-mile pipelines; and a 378-megawatt natural-gas-fired turbine plant. Even in the current exploration stage, the proposed Pebble Mine has become “one of the most extensive and expensive mineral exploration projects” that Alaska has ever seen.

    "So many people are out there doing things they call environmentalism, but only because it's politically correct or has a lot of cache."

  6. #6

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    I think it all needs to be weighed. I'm certainly not willing to give the EPA a "blank check" so-to-speak, as they are far and away a political entity as much as a regulatory entity. I am also not simply against mining, just like I am not simply "against" fracking. If the resource exists....go get it. Certainly it needs to be done responsibly and with as little negative impact as possible. Will it be "0%" negative? No, thats not realistic. But the reality of jobs and managing our resources are what they are. If it exists....we WILL go get it, eventually.....come-hell-or-high-water. I know thats not the polpular arguement here, but I can't help but think it whenever this topic arises. Standing in front of dozers makes for good media and movies, but the reality of the situation is a compromised and managed solution on both sides by far beats the outcome of losing completely (which I feel we will) and then having no stake at the table down the road.

    Just my 2-cents.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJTroutbum View Post
    I think it all needs to be weighed. I'm certainly not willing to give the EPA a "blank check" so-to-speak, as they are far and away a political entity as much as a regulatory entity. I am also not simply against mining, just like I am not simply "against" fracking. If the resource exists....go get it. Certainly it needs to be done responsibly and with as little negative impact as possible. Will it be "0%" negative? No, thats not realistic. But the reality of jobs and managing our resources are what they are. If it exists....we WILL go get it, eventually.....come-hell-or-high-water. I know thats not the polpular arguement here, but I can't help but think it whenever this topic arises. Standing in front of dozers makes for good media and movies, but the reality of the situation is a compromised and managed solution on both sides by far beats the outcome of losing completely (which I feel we will) and then having no stake at the table down the road.

    Just my 2-cents.
    You apparently are missing the massive scale and location of the proposed mine.

    In order to seat the dam properly they intend to dewater many square miles of land down to a depth of 3,500'... which would drain both Upper and Lower Talaric Creeks, two of the best rainbow streams in the World.

    I am generally pro-development and would love to see them punch a road into the mine for example just to improve access and spread hunting and fishing pressure around some... But I am very much against this mine...
    art

  8. #8

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    Don't get me wrong. Not arguing "for" the mine. My concern is only that we need to be careful with an "all or nothing" approach in our fight. My fear is that it could be a loss. And with a 100% loss we would end up with no clear visibility or stake in how they go about it in the end.

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