- Mining has a poor environmental track record. For example, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency mining has contaminated portions of the headwaters of over 40 percent of watersheds in the western continental U.S., and reclamation of 500,000 abandoned mines in 32 states could cost tens of billions of dollars.
- A recent study of 25 modern large hard rock metal mines compared water quality outcomes with environmental impact statement (EIS) predictions from the permitting stage. 76 percent (19 mines) of the 25 mines exceeded water quality standards in releases to either surface or groundwater. In this study "exceeded water quality standard" does not necessarily mean that the mines failed to abide by their permits. When the 15 mines with high acid-drainage, high contaminant leaching potential, and proximity to ground water are considered separately, this number is 93% (14 mines).
- Anglo-American PLC is not a desirable corporate partner. A report commissioned by opponents of Pebble, criticizes Anglo American for community, worker safety, public health, and environmental problems at their mining operations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mali, Ireland, and the United States(Nevada) and notes the difference between Anglo's stated corporate goals and their actual corporate performance..
- Earthquake hazards in the area are poorly known, and preliminary plans by the mining company do not prepare adequately for the potential risk.
While yesterday's announcement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will include scrutiny of the Pebble Project in its overall review of "the consequences of large-scale development projects" on the Bristol Bay watershed, is good news, we need to realize that the Obama administration's legacy on environmental review and performance in the face of environmental catastrophe is quite mixed, and not much better than that of his predecessor's administration.