August 25, 2020

Chair DeFazio Statement on U.S. Army Corps Requesting Additional Review of Pebble Mine Project

Washington, D.C. – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) issued the following statement after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent a letter to the Pebble Limited Partnership requesting additional mitigation measures regarding the Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska within 90 days:

“As I’ve said all along, the Pebble Mine project should never have been allowed to move forward. The proposed mine site, in Alaska’s Bristol Bay Watershed, is one of the last pristine salmon habitat environments remaining in the world and the ancestral home of many Indigenous peoples. If constructed, it would be the largest open pit mine ever built in North America. What’s more, even voices within the President’s own party are speaking out against this project.

“While the recent letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting additional scrutiny of the Pebble Mine project is an encouraging development, the Trump administration must still move to block this project once and for all. A foreign mining company with highly dubious business plans cannot be allowed to wipe out an irreplaceable habitat.

“As Chair of the Committee with oversight of the Corps of Engineers and the Clean Water Act, I will continue to use every tool I have to hold the Trump administration accountable. We must protect American communities and our environment, and that includes halting the dangerous Pebble Mine project.”

Additional information:

In July 2020, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the Pebble Mine project, DeFazio and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chair Grace Napolitano (D-CA) decried the Trump administration’s push to approve the project. To read their full statements, click here.

In June 2020, DeFazio sent a letter to Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to push for additional consultation before the Corps finalized the Environmental Impact Statement as it relates to the Pebble Mine Project, due to concerns raised by local tribes and communities. To read the full letter, click here.

In November 2019, DeFazio sent a letter to Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, expressing his concerns with the Corps’ review of the Clean Water Act Permit for the development of an open pit mine to be constructed in the Bristol Bay watershed, Alaska. DeFazio urged the Corps to immediately prepare a revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that addresses shortfalls contained in the earlier EIS. To read the full letter, click here

On October 23, 2019, the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing titled “The Pebble Mine Project: Process and Potential Impacts.” To hear from those who testified before the Committee, and who are directly affected by this proposed plan, click here.

In July 2018, DeFazio and Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) sent a letter requesting an update on EPA’s environmental review of the proposed Pebble Mine project in Alaska, among other things. That letter can be found here