John Shively is stepping down from the post he has held since 2008 as chief executive of Pebble Ltd. Partnership, the group whose controversial bid to develop a gold and copper mine in the Bristol Bay area is under regulatory scrutiny and facing financial challenges.
He's being replaced as chief executive by attorney Tom Collier of the law firm Steptoe and Johnson, where he's worked for 40 years. Collier's speciality is guiding companies through the federal environmental permitting process, Pebble said.
In particular, Collier has experience with the Clean Water Act 404 wetlands permit, which is overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Environmental Protection Agency has veto authority to prohibit filling in wetlands where the practice would hurt water supplies, fisheries, wildlife or recreation, and is considering whether to block the Pebble project.
Shively, 70, will become chairman of the board of directors for the Pebble project. He will continue to work part-time and will work with Collier and the board on strategic decisions, Pebble spokesman Mike Heatwole said in an email.
Shively, a former natural resources commissioner, helped start the Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue while working for NANA Regional Corporation.
Collier has worked with Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. and ConocoPhillips on Alaska issues.
One of the project partners, Anglo American, recently dropped out, and lone owner Northern Dynasty Minerals is looking for new investors.
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