As of March 31, 2017, PacRim Coal has suspended all permitting activities related to the Chuitna Coal Project.
The Chuitna Coal Project is a surface coal mining and export development proposal for an ultra low sulfur, sub bituminous coal resource located in the Beluga Coal Field of South-central Alaska, approximately 45 miles west of Anchorage. The current project proposal consist of a surface coal mine and associated support facilities, mine access road, coal transport conveyor, personnel housing and air strip facility, a logistic center, and coal export terminal. The current project predicts a minimum 25 year mine life with a production rate of up to 12 million tons a year.
PacRim Coal LLC has made significant changes to the proposed project and is currently working on updating the application. PacRim has not given a time frame for the submittal of the updated applications. At this time a complete permit application package for the Chuitna Coal Project has not been submitted to the Division and no formal review under AS 27.21 and 11 AAC 90 has been initiated. Once the entire permit application package has been submitted an evaluation of the completeness of the application and of the cumulative impacts of the project can be undertaken.
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is the lead State agency involved in permitting coal projects in Alaska. A large mine project team has been established with representatives from these agencies to coordinate state permitting activities for the Chuitna Coal Project. State agencies involved in the Chuitna Project include the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Conservation, Fish & Game, and Law.
Other State and Federal Permits
In addition to Alaska surface coal mining control and reclamation act (ASCMCRA) permitting requirements, the Chuitna Coal Project must address the concerns of other state and federal agencies. As part of the Department of Natural Resources statutory role as lead agency in matters relating to exploration, development and management of mining activities, the DNR Office of Project Management and Permitting has developed a document describing some of the permits and approvals to help the public understand the permitting of mines in Alaska. This document and other useful information are available on the DNR Large Mine Permitting website.
Chuitna Project SEIS
As part of the federal NEPA process the U. S. Army Corps of Engeineers (USACE) will be preparing Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Chuitna Coal Project. Information concerning the SEIS process can be found at: Chuitna SEIS Project
DNR has organized a series of informational meeting in Beluga and Anchorage concerning the Chuitna Coal Project.
These meetings have been useful in updating the public on the status of this project and providing information on the regulatory process and different issues relating to the project.
Summer of 2008
Dust Control PDF
Spring of 2008
Project Update PDF
Conveyor (overview) PDF
Coal Mines in US PDF
Winter of 2007
How Coal Mines are Permitted and Regulated in Alaska PDF
Coal Regulatory Program Manager
Division of Mining, Land & Water
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 920
Anchorage, AK 99501-3577
Email: Russell Kirkham