February 26, 2021 (Anchorage) – Governor Mike Dunleavy reacted strongly to the decision by United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Pacific Division, to reject the State’s administrative appeal over the agency’s denial of the 404 permit for the proposed Pebble Project in Southwest Alaska. The State strongly disagrees with the determination of the USACE that despite the State having direct surface and mineral ownership interests, the State lacks standing to participate in this matter. The State’s ability to weigh in on these types of matters and represent Alaska’s interests is of great importance to Alaskans and the Alaska economy.
“This is another example of the federal government imposing a flawed decision that blocks Alaska’s ability to responsibly develop its land and resources,” said Governor Dunleavy. “That authority and obligation were laid out in the Alaska Statehood Act and the Alaska Constitution, so I can’t overemphasize the far reaching implications that federal decisions like this have on our ability to have a sustainable and growing economy. This is a precedent setting decision that puts all possible resource development projects on State land at risk and cannot be accepted. We will not stop fighting for Alaska’s economic prosperity.”
The State selected the land containing the Pebble deposit in fulfillment of the Alaska Statehood Act. The estimated value of the mineral resources in the deposit could exceed a trillion dollars.
As the owner of the mineral estate and with sovereignty over the land impacted by this decision, the State of Alaska has much at stake in this matter and will continue to pursue all options to have Alaskans heard in this process.