The Donlin Gold project is currently moving through the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) phase of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review process. An EIS is a decision-making process that analyzes and presents the potential effects of a proposed major federal action. In the case of the Donlin Gold project, the proposed federal action is the issuance of a permit by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The NEPA environmental review process requires public involvement, which gives the public opportunities to comment on the proposed project and the results of the environmental review. USACE is the lead agency in the preparation of the EIS. They are working with cooperating agencies to evaluate plans and permits and will present alternatives for the project. Cooperating agencies include:
• Federal: Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration;
• State of Alaska: Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Fish and Game;
• Tribal: Native Villages of Crooked Creek, Chuathbaluk, Lower Kalskag, Napaimute, Akiak, Aniak and the Knik Tribal Council.
The Donlin Gold project EIS process will take years to complete and involves many steps. The process begins with scoping, during which the public is invited to comment on the proposed project and voice concerns or provide other insights. The Donlin Gold scoping period was completed by the agencies last year between January and March. Scoping is followed by the development of a Draft EIS document, which includes a scientific review by the cooperating agencies of project alternatives and potential impacts. Public and agency comments on the Draft EIS will be collected and considered in the Final EIS. The process is completed with a Record of Decision.
For updates and more information about the US Army Corps of Engineers’ EIS for the Donlin Gold project please visit www.DonlinGoldEIS.com