Resource Development Council

RDC Testimony:
Donlin Gold Project EIS Scoping

Testimony of Marleanna Hall
January 22, 2013 Anchorage, AK

Good evening. My name is Marleanna Hall and I am a Projects Coordinator at the Resource Development Council for Alaska.

RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism, and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The Donlin project is located in a region of Alaska that experiences some of the highest unemployment rates and has very few other opportunities. Through the exploration stages, Donlin has shown a strong commitment to local hire and for supporting communities and cultures in the region. A project like this truly is a rare opportunity to improve the local economy where few other opportunities exist.

If developed, RDC believes it will be done in a way that creates opportunity for local employment and economic growth, while protecting the subsistence resources and culture of the region, and protecting the environment.

RDC urges the Corps to include the following in the EIS: the social and economic benefits of this project to the region, state, and to the nation; the potential for lower cost energy options to the region; and, job opportunities leading to reduced out-migration, which will help maintain rural schools.

RDC supports a rigorous permitting process that reviews and analyzes all potential impacts, including the positive economic ones. Alaska has seven existing large producing mines that were permitted under the rigorous review of NEPA and the scientifically based permitting process that includes over 60 major State and Federal permits and authorizations. Alaska’s existing mines are operating to the highest standards and in harmony with our renewable resources. Donlin’s project description demonstrates an understanding of environmental concerns, and features vigorous environmental management principles.

We look forward to participating in the public process for this project, which will likely provide responsible economic prospects for this region and for Alaska, while protecting the subsistence resources. Further, the EIS process gives Alaskans adequate time to fully review the project documents, and to provide input on the plans.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important project.

Return to Action Alert