In what appears to be a lost-cause and last-ditch effort, the Dunleavy Administration has filed a challenge of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit refusal for the Pebble Mine.
The Recall Dunleavy Committee wasted no time in using that as an opportunity to drum up more recall petition signatures, sending out an email blast right away to point out that Dunleavy was on the side of the Pebble Mine.
The administrative appeal filed by the Department of Law asks the United States Army Corps of Engineers to rethink its decision denying a needed water use permit for the proposed mine in Southwest Alaska.
“The flawed decision by the Alaska District creates a dangerous precedent that will undoubtedly harm Alaska’s future and, any potential project can fall victim to the same questionable standards,” Dunleavy said in a press release. “We have to prevent a federal agency, in this instance, the Alaska District of the Army Corps of Engineers, from using the regulatory process to effectively prevent the State from fulfilling a constitutional mandate to develop its natural resources.”
“The Alaska District’s decision has far-reaching and ominous implications for our rights as a state to develop our resources for the benefit of all Alaskans, whether its mineral deposits like Pebble, or oil and gas on the North Slope, or other resources anywhere in the state,” said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige. “The Alaska Constitution specifically directs us to develop our resources in the public interest. When a federal agency arbitrarily tries to deprive us of our rights with the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen, we simply must challenge that action.”
The appeal asks the Army Corps Pacific Ocean Division to remand the permit decision back to the Alaska District for a more thorough review. Because Alaska has so much more intact wetlands than any other state in the nation, and in fact more than all the Lower 48 states combined, the Corps has depended on guidance documents in the past that treat Alaska differently than the Lower 48.
The 404 permit, required under the federal Clean Water Act, is required for any natural resource development project to move forward.