ANCHORAGE, Alaska, May 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On Friday, May 19th, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) filed its sixth status report with the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska summarizing the Department’s progress in the voluntary remand of the Record of Decision (ROD) on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Ambler Access Project. In the latest report, the Department indicated the release of the ROD for the project, originally planned for the end of 2023, will now occur during the second quarter of 2024 – a delay of six months.
In response to DOI’s update, AIDEA Executive Director Randy Ruaro said, “The update from BLM is frustrating. This delay not only impacts AIDEA and our partners with additional costs, but it also impacts individuals, communities, and the State who would like to see the economic benefits, future jobs and revenue that come with construction and operation of the road.”
After a lengthy and rigorous permitting process, the Ambler Access Project was awarded a positive ROD in 2020. In 2022, the DOI filed a motion to remand the ROD on the EIS to address areas related to Cultural Resources and Subsistence Matters.
“We are obviously disappointed to hear the latest status update from the Department of Interior. It has been a year since the court granted DOI’s request for a voluntary remand of the permit, providing ample time for the Department to conduct the needed supplemental work on the EIS”, said Ramzi Fawaz, President & CEO of Ambler Metals. “This unnecessary delay threatens a project that will provide much-needed jobs and economic growth for Alaskans, while also strengthening national security and expediting the transition to a clean energy economy that is supposedly a top priority of the Biden Administration. Interior needs to stop dragging its feet and complete this process and allow this road to be built, as it is already required by federal law.”
“Until last week’s status report, the U.S. Department of the Interior consistently promised a ROD by the end of 2023,” Fawaz added “DOI now states the ROD is expected six months later, with no justification for the delay or assurances that there will be no further slippage.”
The Department’s next report is due on July 18.
AIDEA is a public corporation of the state whose purpose is to promote, develop, and advance jobs and economic development for Alaska. These goals are strongly supported by Governor Dunleavy and the AIDEA Board of Directors.
About Ambler Metals:
Ambler Metals is a 50:50 independently operated LLC. The South32:Trilogy Metals Partnership was formed in 2017 through a 3-year exploration option agreement. Ambler Metals was formally established February 11, 2020, including a partnership with NANA Regional Corporation for the exploration and development of the UKMP and advancing projects in the Ambler Mining District. Ambler Metals is an Alaskan Company with offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
SOURCE Ambler Metals