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Northern Dynasty Comments At Public Hearings On The EPA's Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Report

Northern Dynasty also has serious concerns about the extent to which this report is based on the findings of two previous reports prepared by environmental activists. We are still conducting our review, and fully intend to provide our critique to the EPA, to the independent peer review panel once it is formed, as well as to public and media audiences.

But the clear evidence is that the EPA has relied substantially upon advocacy materials prepared by environmental groups to inform its science.

The combination of assessing a 'hypothetical' mine plan, leaning heavily on environmental activists for scientific information, and refusing to fully consider the scientific work completed by Pebble as part of its Environmental Baseline Document, has contributed in no small part to the deep flaws inherent in this document.

Ultimately, no one can make meaningful judgments about Pebble and the effects it may have on fish and water in southwest Alaska before the project is designed, proposed and evaluated under the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA.

The Environmental Impact Statement prepared for Pebble under NEPA will be fully informed by Pebble's proposed development plan, its mitigation strategies for protecting fish and water, and the advanced environmental studies it has undertaken.

The EIS will be prepared and vetted by third-part y experts and reviewed by federal and state regulatory agencies and the general public. It is indisputably the most comprehensive, objective and appropriate vehicle for measuring Pebble's true effects.

We certainly hope and expect that the EPA will be fully engaged in reviewing the Pebble EIS during the NEPA permitting process in the years ahead.

There are other troubling inclusions in the draft Watershed Assessment report - instances where it appears that data and corresponding maps and figures have been distorted. We are not prepared to speak to those instances today, as we are still evaluating them with our consultants and legal experts.

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