Lawsuit challenges Alaska petroleum reserve access

Map: Nuiqsut is the only village within the NPR-A.

Nuiqsut is the only village within the NPR-A.

Seven residents of the only village within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska are challenging a 2011 permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers that would allow petroleum drilling north of the community.

The residents of Nuiqsut say petroleum development already is forcing villagers to travel longer distances to hunt caribou.

They say in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Anchorage federal court that a proposed development by Conoco Phillips would add a bridge and traffic in an important hunting area.

The Corps in December 2011 issued a permit allowing ConocoPhillips to build the bridge and pipeline crossings over the Colville River for access to leases within the NPR-A.

The company’s CD-5 field is on the eastern edge of the petroleum reserve and is an extension of its Alpine Field.


View Nuiqsut in a larger map