Tuesday, October 30, 2012

US Army Corps of Engineers holds Informational meeting for Federally Recognized Tribes Regarding Proposed Donlin Gold Project

October 30, 2012

A conference call for federally recognized tribes in the area of proposed Donlin Gold mine project was hosted by US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) representatives Amanda Shearer and Don Kuhle.

USACE confirmed that they received a preliminary permit application from Donlin Gold in July – kicking off NEPA process for EIS.  As lead federal agency, USACE is responsible for preparing EIS before issuing any permits required from them.  Many other federal and state permits will be required but they are in the lead.

USACE stated that they received Donlin’s application on July 26, and since then Donlin Gold has sent out request for proposals to several contractors and identified URS Alaska, LLC as the third party contractor that will prepare EIS.  They will report to USACE as they write the EIS (but are funded by Donlin).   USACE are also working on developing a list of cooperating agencies.  Several tribes from the middle Kuskokwim have expressed interest in becoming cooperating agencies, Crooked Creek among them. Some tribes expressed interest in being cooperating agencies, but were unsure about how to fund travel to meetings and time for project involvement.

Tribes participating in the process through Gov’t to gov’t  relationship will have early opportunities for draft EIS review.

Questions asked

What will EIS do? 
Documents current environmental conditions and addresses impacts project will have.

How long will it take? 
3 years, possibly longer

Will there be a separate EIS for each part of project?
No, they have decided that since all areas of project are related, they will do only one EIS including all project areas.

When will next contact be made from USACE?  
They just received public inforomation plan from URS yesterday, and will review that and decide.  At the least, we will receive information when NOI is filed.   At some point, URS will have a website with information.
From December through next year (possibly into March), 13 community scoping meetings will be held.  Anchorage meeting should be mid December.

As more information becomes available, I will be sure to keep you informed.  

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