Opponents of Pebble Mine plan speak out at town hall meeting

Published: Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:50 PM AKST
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Wednesday night, at a town hall meeting called by opponents, people spoke out against the Pebble Mine's new plan. The CEO of Pebble Partnership said the criticisms have already been addressed in the proposed plan.

The revised plan includes shrinking the mine's size by 56-percent and adding environmental safeguards, like eliminating the cyanide plant, according to Pebble Limited Partnership.

"It's exactly what we have been talking about the past few weeks in terms of a smaller project and one that is much more environmentally sensitive." Tom Collier, CEO of Pebble Limited Partnership said.

Opponents dug into what they warn are Pebble Mine's problems.

"The material is the worst it could possibly be, the location is the greatest challenge you can come up with and the size is beyond our imagination," Rick Halford, former Senate President said.

Halford said the mine could lead to devastating outcomes.

"You end up with powdered sulfur that is now reactive and that is what acid mine drain is based on. It dissolves all the minerals in the water column, it is very dangerous, it is proven worldwide to be a disaster for fisheries." Halford said.

Collier said after the meeting that the Pebble Limited Partnership listened to the criticisms and made the mine smaller and eliminated the use of rid of cyanide.

Norman Van Vactor, CEO and President of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, said this project is at the headwaters of the strongest and most incredible salmon and trout stream in the entire area.

He said, "It is not a question if there will be a problem, it is the question when there will be a problem."