November 30, 2016

State of Alaska
Department of Natural Resources
Attn.: Hollie Chalup
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 900B
Anchorage, AK 99501

Via email to [email protected]      

Re: APMA A20176118 - A Hard Rock Exploration and Reclamation Permit Application within the Bristol Bay Mining District - Pebble Project

Dear Ms. Chalup:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to urge the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to approve the renewal of a Miscellaneous Land Use Permit (Permit) for the Pebble Limited Partnership (Pebble) project in Southwest Alaska.

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.

It is a policy of RDC to advocate for predictable, timely, and efficient state permitting processes that are based on sound science. The renewal of this Permit for the Pebble project will not only ensure continued exploration of a much-needed resource, but also send a message that Alaska’s rigorous permitting process is predictable and stable as our resources compete for investment around the globe.

In addition, RDC urges DNR to promote and defend the integrity of Alaska’s permitting process, allowing the Pebble project and all projects to be fully reviewed and evaluated. Alaska must encourage the expansion and increased production from existing deposits as well as new exploration and responsible development of its mineral and coal resources.

As our state faces a fiscal crisis, it is also imperative projects be allowed to go through the well-vetted permitting process and show investors that Alaska is “open for business.”

RDC understands exploration is subject to inspection and compliance, and believes that the Pebble project will conduct exploration in a responsible way. According to public records, the project has been inspected 55 times since 2003, and regulators have found the project to be in compliance.

Lastly, while RDC appreciates the opportunity to comment on this Permit, it is concerning that the State is setting a precedent for establishing new, unnecessary delays for projects and creating additional financial burden to both the State and project proponents, especially during a difficult fiscal time. 

Thank you for your timely consideration of our support for the renewal of the Miscellaneous Land Use Permit for the Pebble project.