The Pebble Project must satisfy permitting requirements at three levels: federal, state and local (borough). The process will involve 11 regulatory agencies, 60+ categories of permits and significant ongoing opportunities for public involvement.
The first step in the permitting process is for the Pebble Partnership to provide the required information for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), including a Project Description and the Environmental Baseline Document
. The EIS will be prepared by a third-party contractor under the direction of a lead federal agency, expected to be the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The Pebble EIS will be the focal point of project permitting. It will determine whether sufficient evaluation of the project's environmental effects and development alternatives has been undertaken. It will also provide the basis for federal, state and local government agencies to make individual permitting decisions.
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Large Mine Permitting Team is responsible for coordinating permitting activities for large mine projects within the state.
To satisfy permitting requirements under NEPA and other regulatory statutes, the Pebble Partnership must provide:
- a comprehensive project design and operating plan for mine-site and infrastructure facilities;
- documentation of development alternatives investigated;
- mitigation and compensation strategies, and identification of residual effects; and
- environmental monitoring, reclamation and closure plans.