Panoramic photo of a mountain stream near Bristol Bay in Alaska.
Bristol Bay Among Bristol Bay's challenges are developing healthy local economies that match the wealth of its astonishing natural resources. © Bill McDavid

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Army Corps Denies Pebble Mine Permit

Move comes after developer submits revised mitigation plan.

The Army Corps of Engineers today formally denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska.

In August, the Corps found the mine “cannot be permitted” as proposed under the Clean Water Act following a determination that discharges at the mine site would cause unavoidable, adverse impacts and significant degradation of aquatic resources in Bristol Bay.

Last week, the mine’s developers submitted a new plan for how it would abate the mine’s threat to this globally significant salmon fishery. The developer did not release the plan and the Corps declined to make it available for public comment.

The following is a statement by Lynn Scarlett, chief external affairs officer for The Nature Conservancy:

Today's decision affirms what the science and local communities have said all along: Pebble is the wrong mine in the wrong place.

Lynn Scarlett Chief External Affairs Officer for The Nature Conservancy

“Today's decision affirms what the science and local communities have said all along: Pebble is the wrong mine in the wrong place. The decision is a win for this world-class salmon fishery and the Alaska Natives who have thrived in this region for millennia. This is a commendable and necessary determination that will help protect this watershed and the economies it supports. We appreciate the Army Corps for making the right decision to deny the permit for Pebble Mine, and we’re grateful for the many people who have spoken up with their perspectives and expertise for years so that we could reach this moment.

“Even with this encouraging development, without permanent protection, Bristol Bay’s future is far from certain. Any outcome for the region must align with the health and well-being of Indigenous communities, including a focus on economic opportunity. This can only happen with collaboration, transparency and through decisions informed by science. We will continue supporting Tribal and local governments, Alaska Native corporations, businesses, and other stakeholders in their efforts to chart a sustainable and equitable future for Bristol Bay.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.