Northern Dynasty Hires HDR Alaska as Regulatory and Permitting Consultant for Pebble Project
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Canada Stockwatch] by Ronald Thiessen – March 8, 2017
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.’s 100-per-cent-owned subsidiary Pebble LP has selected HDR Alaska Inc. to serve as lead regulatory and permitting consultant for the Pebble project, with the goal of preparing necessary documentation to initiate federal and state permitting under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and National Environmental Policy Act by the end of the year, in anticipation of a successful outcome of the company’s multidimensional strategy to address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s pre-emptive regulatory action under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.
HDR has provided environmental and technical consulting services to Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership since 2004, with a specific focus on wetlands, water, aquatic habitat and fish studies as presented in the $150-million, 27,000-page Pebble environmental baseline document published in 2012. In its current role, HDR will continue to undertake select environmental baseline field studies and analyses at Pebble, but will also provide strategic regulatory guidance to the Pebble partnership as it finalizes the engineering design, environmental planning and documentation required to file a CWA 404 permit application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“HDR is one of the many respected Alaska-based consulting firms that have provided professional services to the Pebble project for well over a decade, so they’re already intimately familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities presented by our project,” said Tom Collier, chief executive officer of the Pebble partnership. “As a firm, HDR not only has an enviable track record for helping permit some of Alaska’s most prominent mines, energy and infrastructure development projects, their senior personnel are also former federal and state regulators, with a deep understanding of regulatory processes and requirements for permitting success in Alaska and the United States.”
While HDR will play a leading role on the team PLP is assembling to permit the Pebble project, the Pebble partnership intends to retain additional engineering, environmental, and regulatory consultants and experts to support the project’s 2017 work program and NEPA permitting requirements over the next several years.
“We expect to be making further announcements in the weeks and months ahead about our 2017 field program and the work required to prepare the project to initiate permitting,” Mr. Collier said. “We’re very pleased the project is moving forward, and that we’re in a position to begin to rehire local residents and Alaska firms that have contributed so much to Pebble’s advancements in years past.”