1. What is the EBD?
2. Who conducted the research for the EBD?
3. Why conduct baseline studies?
4. Why write an EBD?
5. What role will the EBD play in the permitting process?
6. What was the Pebble Partnership’s role in writing/editing the EBD?
7. Does the EBD contain traditional knowledge?
8. Will new editions of the EBD be published as new information from continuing baseline studies becomes available?
9. If consultants were paid by the Pebble Partnership to participate in the EBD, aren’t their findings biased?
10. How can baseline studies be valid when PLP says it does not yet have a defined project?
11. What is unique about the Pebble Project EBD?
12. What is the timeframe related to the EBD?
13. How was it determined what would be studied in the EBD?
14. Is there value to the EBD beyond the Pebble Deposit or Pebble Project?
15. How does the EBD relate to a future mine plan at the Pebble Deposit?
16. Is a paper copy of the EBD available?
17. How large is the study area of the EBD?

1. What is the EBD?

The EBD is a scientific characterization of the physical, biological and social environment as it exists today in the general vicinity of the Pebble Deposit and in the areas most likely to be amenable for related  transportation and port facilities.

2. Who conducted the research for the EBD?

The baseline environmental studies were conducted by more than 40 independent, widely respected consultant groups and research firms, including more than 100 scientific experts, specializing in areas such as hydrology, fish, wildlife, seismic and wetlands. Firms were selected specifically for their areas of expertise and in some cases for their Alaska experience.

3. Why conduct baseline studies?

Baseline studies are conducted to support engineering design, and to provide information for the permitting and NEPA processes.

4. Why write an EBD?

An EBD is written to present the baseline data for all interested parties. In the case of the Pebble Project, the EBD has been prepared before all studies have been concluded in an effort to address public and government interest in the Pebble Project area.

5. What role will the EBD play in the permitting process?

The EBD will be just one of several documents that will support the permitting and NEPA processes. Data from ongoing studies and additional studies conducted after 2008 will also provide important information to consider as part of the project review process.

6. What was the Pebble Partnership’s role in writing/editing the EBD?

The EBD was authored by independent, third party consultants, with the exception of the introductory chapter. While Pebble edited the document for grammar, readability and consistency of terms, authors had the opportunity to view and modify the edits to ensure that none of the edits changed the meaning or intent of their work. All authors have certified that the information contained in the EBD reflects their independent judgment and was finalized in accordance with the professional standards of the author’s field of expertise.

7. Does the EBD contain traditional knowledge?

Traditional knowledge interviews were conducted in all 10 communities reported in the EBD to establish a description of subsistence uses and knowledge of local resources, as well as local issues and concerns. The results are contained in Chapter 23  - Subsistence and its appendices.

8. Will new editions of the EBD be published as new information from continuing baseline studies becomes available?

The EBD is a final document. Additional baseline data will be presented as independent documents.

9. If consultants were paid by the Pebble Partnership to participate in the EBD, aren’t their findings biased?

Consultants of the caliber that produced the EBD work for a wide range of clients, including federal, state and local government agencies. If a consultant were suspected of bias in reporting its research results, their reputation, and the reputation of their company would suffer impacting future business opportunities. Maintaining a reputation for good research and objective reporting is absolutely essential to the wellbeing of these consultants.

10. How can baseline studies be valid when PLP says it does not yet have a defined project?

The baseline studies do not address potential project impacts. The studies are designed to characterize the existing environment in the general vicinity of the Pebble Deposit and in the areas most likely to be amenable to related components such as transportation and port facilities. The study areas are expansive in scope so as to be inclusive of many possible design layouts. If the project design, once defined, incorporates areas that were not included in the baseline studies, additional studies would be conducted in those areas, as needed.

11. What is unique about the Pebble Project EBD?

The Pebble Project EBD represents one of the most comprehensive scientific studies ever conducted for a mining project in the state of Alaska.  Whether or not the Pebble Deposit is developed, the vast collection of data contained within the EBD provides a scientific legacy for the region that is unparalleled.  For most study disciplines, only data collected between 2004 and 2008 are provided in the Environmental Baseline Document (EBD).  Several studies are ongoing and their results will be provided in reports to PLP as additional baseline documentation.

12. What is the timeframe related to the EBD?

The EBD covers environmental studies conducted from 2004 through 2008, with updates included for 2009 – 2010 within select subject areas.

13. How was it determined what would be studied in the EBD?

The EBD addresses topics that are typically covered in the NEPA and federal/state permitting processes, as well as additional information of specific interest to the Pebble Partnership and local stakeholders.

14. Is there value to the EBD beyond the Pebble Deposit or Pebble Project?

The scientific information gathered for the existing environment in this area could be useful for environmental and social planning for this area regardless of whether or not the Pebble Deposit is ever developed.

15. How does the EBD relate to a future mine plan at the Pebble Deposit?

The EBD presents baseline information for an extensive area in the vicinity of the Pebble Deposit and for areas that are likely to be amenable to related transportation and port facilities. The study area is considered expansive enough to address relevant design alternatives for the project.

16. Is a paper copy of the EBD available?

The EBD contains roughly 20,000 pages of documentation, which equates to roughly 5-feet of bookshelf storage space. As part of the Pebble Partnership’s commitment to be good environmental stewards, an electronic copy is being made available to the general public at www.pebbleresearch.com. A printed copy of the EBD is available at:

The ARLIS Library Building, Suite 111
3211 Providence Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99508.
Reference Desk: (907) 27-ARLIS, reference@arlis.org
Hours: Mon – Fri, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

17. How large is the study area of the EBD?

There is not a single defined study area for the EBD. Each study chapter contains a study area defined as appropriate to characterize the study discipline. Study areas range in size from less than 25 square miles for the geochemistry studies to more than 15,000 square miles for socioeconomic and subsistence studies.