The federal government agreed to extend a public comment period on the Pebble Mine proposal after Alaska’s senators raised concerns that the state’s residents needed more time to consider the 1,400-page draft environmental impact statement.

“Acting now is important, given the length and complexity of the (draft report) and the need to ensure that the thousands of Alaskans who have followed this project closely can provide meaningful feedback on it,” wrote Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in her letter to Col. Phillip Borders, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Alaska district commander.

Sen. Dan Sullivan also claimed that the 90-day time period was too short.

The extension will add 30 days to the 90-day period, pushing the deadline to June 29, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Following the public comment period, the Corps is expected to release a final environmental review leading to a final decision next year. The Corps may deny a permit, or select a development alternative.

According to the Army Corps, around 8,400 public comments have been uploaded to its website so far, with more being submitted.

Comments on Pebble’s permit application and the draft EIS can be submitted online or by mail.

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Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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