Donlin Gold Final Environmental Impact Statement Released
The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Donlin Gold project released on Friday does not have a 30-day public comment period, as KYUK originally reported. In fact, there is no public comment period for the entire document. Instead, the public has 30 days to comment on a section of it.
That is appendix M of the EIS that proposes Donlin’s compensatory mitigation plan for how Donlin would improve or preserve waters or lands in other areas of the United States to offset wetland harm caused by the project’s development.
Now that the EIS is final, state and federal agencies can begin issuing the many permits Donlin would need to begin development 30 days after this past Friday.
While there is no remaining public comment period for the Environmental Impact Statement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue accepting certain comments that have to do with Donlin’s plan for discharging materials into wetlands and waterways. These comments will be accepted until the Army Corps issues its permit decision on the discharges. Jamie Hyslope, the document’s Project Manager with the Army Corps, says that should be in August or September.
Comments can be sent to: Mr. Jamie R. Hyslop, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, CEPOA-RD-Hyslop, P.O. Box 6898, JBER, AK, 99506-0898; or via email to: POA.firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s massive, and it would change the Kuskokwim as we know it.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Donlin Gold mine on Friday.
The hefty document totals more than 10,668 pages.
The draft version of the EIS was half that size, at just over 5,000 pages, and the public had six months to comment. The final month was added by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after a public groundswell demanded the extra time. The final statement is supposed to take all those comments into account.
The document’s Project Manager, Jamie Hyslop, was not able to be reached for comment on Friday. He is out of the office for training and returns to his desk Monday morning.
Gov. Bill Walker issued a press release on Friday evening, calling release of the EIS "great news for Alaska" and applauded the potential jobs it could bring to the region.
The final EIS is meant to list the potential and perceived environmental impacts of the mining project, which would extend hundreds of miles in multiple directions across Southwest Alaska: from a natural gas pipeline stretching between Cook Inlet and the Upper Kuskokwim River, to barging along the Kuskokwim, and, of course, a mine site near the village of Crooked Creek that would cover thousands of acres.