Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project EEA
On June 30, 2016, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) submitted a final revised application for the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project. The proposal is for the construction and operation of an approximately 200-mile long all-season controlled-access industrial road connecting the Ambler Mining District with the Dalton Highway. Approximately 20 miles of the proposed road crosses NPS lands.
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) requires that right-of-way access be permitted across NPS lands for this project. In addition, ANILCA Section 201(4)(d) directs that an Environmental and Economic Analysis (EEA) be prepared for the right-of-way across NPS lands in order to: 1) determine a preferred road alignment, and 2) develop appropriate terms and conditions for the right-of-way permit.
Two alternative routes across NPS lands were identified in the project application materials. The EEA will examine each of these routes. In doing so, the EEA will consider which route would generate fewer adverse impacts and assess potential environmental, social and economic impacts upon wildlife, fish, and their habitat, and rural and traditional lifestyles including subsistence activities. It will also develop recommended measures that should be instituted to avoid or minimize negative impacts and enhance positive impacts.
Status - PROJECT CLOSED
The Final EEA was completed in July 2020.
A 50-year Right-of-Way permit for the full length of the Ambler Road was signed by NPS, BLM, and AIDEA on January 6, 2021.
Litigation involving NPS, BLM and the Army Corps of Engineers commenced with suits from multiple parties in August and October 2020.
In May 2022, the Court granted the Department of the Interior (DOI NPS and BLM) voluntary remand to address identified deficiencies within the BLM’s analysis of subsistence impacts under ANILCA Section 810 and consultation with tribes pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
BLM is currently preparing a Supplemental EIS (SEIS). The public scoping period for the SEIS occurred September 20, 2022 through November 4, 2022.
The NPS and BLM suspended the rights of way while the SEIS is being completed.