January 30, 2017

Mr. Donald Benton, White House Liaison
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Mail Code: 1101A
Washington, DC 20460

Via email to Benton.Donald@epa.gov

Re: Request for 120-Day Extension of Comment Period Relating to Proposed “Financial Responsibility Requirements Under CERCLA § 108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry,” 82 Fed. Reg. 3388 (Jan. 11, 2017).

Dear Mr. Benton:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to request the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extend the deadline for its proposed rule, “Financial Responsibility Requirements Under CERCLA § 108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry,” by at least 120 days to July 11, 2017.

RDC is an Alaskan 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 EPA’s proposed rule is extremely lengthy and complex. RDC members in the hardrock mining industry, as well as the support sector for mining, should be allowed a reasonable timeline to review such an extensive and far-reaching proposed rule. Further, the potential negative impacts of the proposed rule are still unknown.

As the Alaskan economy is dependent on natural resource development, including mining, it is vital to have predictable and efficient federal and state permitting processes that are based on sound science. Article VIII, Section I of the Alaska Constitution mandates “the settlement of Alaska’s land and the development of its resources by making them available for maximum use consistent with the public interest,” to encourage economic prosperity for Alaska’s peoples. RDC is concerned the proposed rule will impact the ability of its membership to responsibly develop Alaska’s natural resources.

Thank you in advance for your timely consideration of our request for a 120 day extension to the comment period for this proposed rulemaking.

Sincerely,
Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.