Contamination at reclaimed Pebble Mine drill sites

A new study on reclaimed drill sites at the Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska says it is evident that there may be long-term reclamation and maintenance issues at the exploration site of copper, gold and molybdenum prospect.

Currently the Alaska Department of Natural Resources requires no reclamation plan and has exempted the Pebble Limited Partnership from reclamation bond,” notes the report by the Center for Science in Public Participation for United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a tribal consortium representing 14 tribes working to protect the Yu’pik, Denai’na, and Alutiq was of life in Bristol Bay.

“It is obvious that the amount required to properly reclaim the well sites is significant. If the PLP were to go bankrupt, taxpayers would be liable for the costs of this reclamation,” the report said.

Alannah Hurley, executive director of United Tribes, said she is concerned that DNR is on the cusp of renewing a permit for the mine after not living up to permit requirements, and that Pebble should be required to clean up before taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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