Delegation: Ambler Access Project Will Aid Alaska’s Economy, Domestic Mineral Security

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today issued the following statements after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Road project (Ambler Road).

“Federal approval of the Ambler Road is both timely and significant for Alaska’s future,” Senator Murkowski said. “This project will provide the access needed to responsibly develop a number of high-grade mineral deposits, hopefully leading to greater production of copper, cobalt, zinc, silver, gold, and other metals. That will, in turn, mean good jobs for Alaskans and revenues for our state. I appreciate BLM’s years of work to complete federal permitting for this project, but not all work on it is finished. As the project moves forward, I encourage AIDEA to fully engage with local landowners to reach agreement on necessary rights-of-way and to coordinate with local communities to avoid impacts so this project can become a reality.” 

“The prospect of hundreds of good-paying jobs, from the Ambler road and resulting projects, in Northwest Alaska is good news for the incredible, hardworking Alaskans who live in this region,” Senator Sullivan said. “As I’ve consistently said, the proposed infrastructure and projects have to be done right, with due consideration for preserving the environment and with input from the communities in the area. I am appreciative of the Department of Interior’s close consultation with Alaskans and community leaders over many months and years, and the hard work and consideration that led to this historic decision.”

“Minerals are critical to countless items we use every day. From computers and batteries, to building materials and other consumer products, we must ensure that Alaska is leading the way in responsible mining,” Congressman Don Young said. “I am proud that the Ambler Road project is making great progress, and I look forward to seeing the positive economic impacts that will come from its construction. I encourage the developer to engage and collaborate with communities in the area to ensure that the construction of this road goes smoothly and is finished in a timely manner. I am grateful to everyone at BLM whose hard work has helped facilitate the federal permitting process, and I will continue working to ensure Alaska’s miners have the infrastructure needed to succeed.”

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) initially submitted its application to develop the 211-mile Ambler Road project in November 2015. BLM published a draft EIS on August 30, 2019 and held 22 public meetings in local communities, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Washington, DC. AIDEA estimates the Ambler Road project will create an estimated 486 construction and 68 permanent jobs, with many more jobs created and supported by world-class mining projects in the Ambler district.

The final ROD is available here, and more information is available here.

Murkowski is Chairman of both the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.

Related Issues: Energy