April 4, 2017

Will Collingwood
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
P.O. Box 111800
Juneau, AK 99801-1800

Submitted via email to: will.collingwood@alaska.gov

Re: Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit #AK-0053341

Dear Mr. Collingwood:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to urge your timely approval and reissuance of the Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) permit #AK-0053341 for the Pogo Mine near Delta, operated by Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC.

RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The Pogo Mine began operating in 2006 and over the past decade of operation has demonstrated a high standard for environmental stewardship.

The Pogo Mine adds to the State of Alaska economy as a whole, making significant annual payments to the state, including corporate taxes, the mining license tax, and royalty payments for mining on state land.

Moreover, the Pogo Mine and its employees don’t only add to Alaska’s economy, but both also provide generous support to local charities and organizations, as well as the University of Alaska.

In addition to the local and statewide benefits described above, Pogo Mine employed 320 direct full-time employees in 2016, with a payroll in excess of $42 million. These family wage-paying jobs are among the highest in the City of Delta Junction and the nearby Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Further, a 2013 economic study by the McDowell Group estimated an additional 215 induced local jobs were related to Pogo Mine operations. More recently, in 2016, Pogo worked with nearly 300 businesses in Alaska, spending almost $800 million.

In conclusion, RDC urges the Department of Environmental Conservation to approve this APDES permit in a timely manner to help encourage the expansion and increased production of existing deposits such as the Pogo Mine. As our state faces a fiscal crisis, it is also imperative projects be allowed to go through Alaska’s well-vetted permitting process and show investors that Alaska is “open for business.”

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this APDES permit.

Sincerely,
Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.