Ambler Road project report delayed months

Ambler Road project report delayed months
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 7:53 AM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - A report on a private road in northern Alaska that would be used to access a mining district is being delayed by about six months.

The official record of decision on the Ambler Road Project that is being put off follows the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, and the White House previously indicating a release date in late 2023.

However, the decision on the development highly touted by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority — which proposed the 211-mile private industrial access road — likely won’t be seen until mid-2024 at the earliest.

The proposal would build the road starting from mile 161 of the Dalton Highway, going west along the southern flanks of the Brooks Range.

The Ambler Road Project has seen approved permits and rights of way, but challenges and clear opposition to the project remain.

A lawsuit in federal court filed by multiple Alaska Native tribes and a tribal consortium claims federal agencies violated multiple laws, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. here are concerns over lack of planning and lack of clarity on how subsistence resources, such as fish and caribou, might be protected.

The Tanana Chiefs Conference has also demanded the state stop pursuing the road, calling the project “rushed, flawed, and premature.”

Alaska’s congressional delegation expressed frustration about the delay, saying it is “needless.”

Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Mary Peltola said in a joint statement that the delay is costing jobs and a domestic source of minerals, but the are committed to holding the Interior Department “accountable to the original timeline it provided to the court to address two discreet deficiencies in the (Environmental Impact Statement).”

The delegation said it requested a meeting with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to get the project back on track.