P E BB L E PRO J E C T NE W S L E TTER
Table of Contents
Community Visits Profile EBD Mine-Planning
IN THIS ISSUE Community Visits Profile Environmental Baseline Document Malamutes Win!
Pebble Partnership staff prepare for community visits in southwest Alaska to present findings and information from the recently published Environmental Baseline Document.
The Pebble Partnership is currently visiting communities throughout southwest Alaska to present various aspects of the Environmental Baseline Document (EBD). The EBD presentations cover several key topics that make up the extensive 53-chapter study program, such as fish, water and wildlife. More than half of the research contained in the EBD relates to fish and water studies. Presenters include members of the Pebble environmental team, as well as scientific consultants who specialize in the multiple disciplines examined in the extensive EBD.
Pebble Partnership CEO John Shively answers community questions in New Stuyahok.
Nondalton. The New Stuyahok and Nondalton presentations each had approximately 60 attendees. Both communities requested that the Pebble Partnership return to present additional information, as stakeholders there expressed interest in learning more about the EBD science and future plans for the Pebble Deposit. In addition to providing updated information pertaining to the scientific research undertaken at the Pebble Deposit and surrounding areas between 2004 and 2008, the presentations include time for community questions, observations and sharing of traditional knowledge. Consultant Rod Smith presents material related to the EBD water studies.
Communities that have been visited to date include Kokhanok, Newhalen/Iliamna, New Stuyahok, Port Alsworth, Igiugig and
Additional community visits are planned in the coming weeks. If you are a member of a community that is interested in scheduling an EBD presentation, please email Heidi Franklin at Heidifranklin@pebblepartnership.com or call 907-339-2600. www.pebblepartnership.com
Pebble Environmental Studies Lay Foundation for Next Phase of Responsible Planning Documenting five years of intensive, multi-disciplinary studies, the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) has released its Environmental Baseline Document (EBD) to the public, well in advance of project permitting. The EBD characterizes the physical, biological and social environments within four general study areas, covering a collective area vastly larger than any potential future mine footprint: • Mine Study Area, encompassing 230,000 acres surrounding the Pebble Deposit • Potential Transportation Corridor Study Area • Iliamna Lake Study Area • Cook Inlet Drainage Study Area The results, findings, objectives and methodologies from research conducted 2004-2008 represent one of the most extensive environmental studies programs conducted in the state of Alaska.
The Pebble Environment document is an overview of EBD studies available at www.pebblepartnership.com.
The 20,000-page EBD, which was compiled by independent, third-party scientific experts, is available for review at a dedicated website: www.pebbleresearch.com. The EBD includes 53 chapters, each describing
A Pebble consultant logs data in the field.
the study objectives, study area, scope of work, methods, and results and discussions for each discipline. A separate technical summary accompanies each section. Traditionally, the compilation of environmental studies is presented to regulatory agencies as part of the broader permitting package that also includes the development plan for a specific project. Given the interest about the Pebble Project, the Pebble Partnership made a decision to share the EBD publicly once it was fully compiled. A condensed summary of the work, titled “The Pebble Environment,” can be reviewed at PLP’s website: www.pebblepartnership.com. The information gathered through these studies will provide critical information to mine planners and engineers so that they can design and advance a responsible development plan for the Pebble resource. Recognizing the importance of fish to stakeholders throughout the region and in Alaska, PLP sought to develop a comprehensive compilation of data within a wide range of topics, but with specific emphasis on the fishery in the area of water quality. The fish studies, heavily focused on salmon, included identifying distribution and abundance, defined and characterized habitat types, spawning areas, rearing activities, and water quality, flow and quantity.
Other findings and observations of interest about fish and fish habitat from the EBD: • Consultants studied more than 236 miles of stream habitat as part of the fish studies • Very few salmon spawn in the project area, with the exception of some coho in the Upper Talarik • Most spawning activity for the north and south forks of the Koktuli River occurs in the lower reaches of each tributary, several miles from the project area – near where the two forks come together • The number of species present generally declines up each tributary (closer to the project area)
Scientists compiled extensive volumes of water-quality data over eight years.
In addition to the fish studies, PLP consultants researched multiple aspects of surface water, ground water and water quality throughout the study area, including the possible transportation corridor and the marine environment around possible port sites on the west side of Cook Inlet. Knowledge of all aspects of water is a critical element of PLP’s strategy for co-existing with the Bristol Bay fishery. The company’s goal ultimately will be to manage water discharge to optimize benefits for fish habitat and to meet Alaska’s stringent standards for aquatic life.
guide future design elements of its water management plan. This information allows the partnership to accurately evaluate development scenarios to determine the impacts on water, how to manage water and determine what needs to be released. Fish and water studies account for nearly half of the information included in the EBD. The EBD also presents an overview of the social environment for southwest Alaska, including socioeconomics, demographics, cultural and subsistencerelated information. Overall, the findings validate the lack of economic diversification, lack of year-round jobs, the seasonal nature of fishery and tourism-related jobs, population declines in many parts of the region and declining participation of local residents in commercial fishing.
Scientists took more than 14,000 groundwater-level measurements from hundreds of monitoring locations.
Water studies are also important for overall mine-planning and managing water use and flow throughout mine operations. Currently, PLP has compiled eight years of water data, which will help
The cultural and subsistence chapters present information about cultural resources in the area and establish a description of subsistence uses and traditional knowledge of local resources. The information contained in these chapters will provide a valuable legacy for residents of the region.
In search of salmon fry and other fish swimming beneath the surface.
Forty-four separate firms, employing hundreds of scientists and technicians, contributed to the EBD. To illustrate the breadth of the data gathered, consider that researchers: • Collected and analyzed more than 1,000 rock samples, identified 1,575 distinct plant species and mapped 565 cultural features in the region • Collected more than 370,000 analytical laboratory results from the environmental field • Intensely studied nearly 20,000 plots to determine whether they were wetland sites • Recorded more than 50,000 field photographs • Produced roughly 1,000 unique maps of the study area
To date, more than 1,100 exploratory holes have been drilled, totaling nearly one million feet of core.
3201 C Street, Suite 604 Anchorage, AK USA 99503 (907) 339-2600 Toll-free: 1 (877) 450-2600 www.pebblepartnership.com
Malamutes Rule the Court with missed passes and multiple turnovers, scoring their first point with just 49 seconds left in the first quarter. The second half was a whole new ball game. A seemingly entirely different team played with determination, precision and strong rebounding. The Lady Malamutes came from behind to take the win 51 - 30. “There was tremendous support from the crowd that helped motivate the girls Pebble Partnership team member Anna Paine and to victory,” said Anna Paine, whose 16-year-old daughter Sierra Nickoli, who is a junior and plays forward, celebrate the Lady Malamutes’ win. daughter, Sierra, was named “player of the game” in the semi-finals against Ft. Yukon, as well as named to the Alaska Congratulations to the Newhalen All-State Basketball Team, elected by Malamutes boys and girls basketball the Alaska Association of Basketball teams, who now both sport the title “state champs” after winning their Class Coaches. She was also voted an “alltourney player.” IA state championship games at the Sullivan Arena on March 14, 2012. The Newhalen girls basketball program has not seen a state championship win The Lady Malamutes tipped things off since 1998. with a slow start against Chefornak,
The Newhalen boys basketball team, led by a strong contingent of seniors, also put the winning score on the boards, beating Golovin 91 – 79. The high-scoring high school game ran coast-to-coast at a relentless pace, with Newhalen playing big defense and pressuring Golovin’s guards. The Newhalen boys basketball team has qualified for the state tournament five times overall, making three appearances in the past four years. This is the first time in 12 years that a single Alaska school has captured both the girls’ and boys’ state basketball championships at the 1A level. On behalf of the Pebble Partnership, congratulations to all of the Malamute players, coaches and family members!