EPA Takes First Steps Towards Protecting Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery from Pebble Mine
Initiates Clean Water Act 404(c) process
In February 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is using its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to consider options for protecting the world’s largest wild salmon fishery in Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine.
Section 404(c) authorizes the agency to restrict or prohibit mine waste disposal in the rivers, streams or wetlands that feed Bristol Bay to safeguard the salmon fishery. During the review, the EPA will rely heavily on its peer-reviewed scientific assessment of the impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed, released in January 2014.
Today’s action is not a final decision to block the mine, but it does put on hold any attempts to build the mine until the process is complete. There are several steps in the Clean Water Act Section 404(c) review process, and public involvement opportunities are part of the process:
Step 1 – Consultation period with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and owners of the site (initiated on February 28, 2014).
Step 2 – Publication of Proposed Determination, including proposed prohibitions or restrictions on mining the Pebble deposit, in the Federal Register for public comment and one or more public hearings.
Step 3 – Review of public comments and development of Recommended Determination by EPA.
Step 4 – Second consultation period with the Army Corps and site owners and development of Final Determination.
Be sure to read the editorial in the Anchorage Daily News today, which responds to recent pressure from House Republicans from California and Georgia, against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agnecy (EPA) for the draft watershed assessment it recently completed of Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Here’s how the ADN responds: “The EPA isn’t the issue here. Whether […]Read the rest of this entry »
Alaska’s commercial fishermen have taken the message about the risks to the wild salmon fishery to those that love to buy and eat salmon. A recent article and letter appear in the UK magazine – The Grocer. Did you know that the UK is the largest importer of Bristol Bay canned salmon?Read the rest of this entry »
A new article in the Santiago Times describes multiple toxic spills at Anglo American’s Los Bronces mine in Chile. According to the article, a a truck transporting ammonium nitrate veered off the road near Santiago on March 28, spilling 20 tons of its toxic cargo just feet from a river feeding the Aguas Cordillera water […]Read the rest of this entry »
It’s big news. For the first time ever, the Food Marketing Institute, which represents 26,000 food retail stores and $680 billion in annual revenue, has spoken out on behalf of protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay wild salmon fishery – the largest wild salmon fishery in the world. FMI, announced its support for an EPA study of […]Read the rest of this entry »
The Pebble Partnership recently released its 27,000 pages of baseline data, but an AP story documents how PLP stone-walled agency staff who are tasked with studying the impacts. “It’s virtually impossible to provide substantive review comments when (Pebble) doesn’t disclose more details of their development plans and their contractors only occasionally share snippets of the […]Read the rest of this entry »
A new investor risk report highlights the regulatory, legal, political and engineering hurdles confronting Anglo American’s controversial Pebble mine project. “Local opposition to the Pebble mine project has translated into a barrage of legal, political and regulatory hurdles over the last year,” said Jonas Kron, analyst at Trillium Asset Management Corp. “After scrutinizing the project […]Read the rest of this entry »
Anglo American withdraws from the Pebble Partnership
As Anglo leaves, eyes turn to EPA
March 2, 2014 | The New York Times
March 2, 2014 | L.A. Times
January 23, 2014 | IC Magazine
January 15, 2014 | Washington Post
January 15, 2014 | Businessweek
Alaska Native Tribes, Jewelers, Investors, Commercial Fishermen and Conservation Groups Applaud EPA’s Final Study of Large-Scale Mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay Watershed
January 15, 2014 | Earthworks et. al.
EPA releases Bristol Bay Assessment describing potential impacts to salmon and water from copper, gold mining
January 15, 2014 | EPA
December 15, 2013 | Juneau Empire
December 15, 2013 | Juneau Empire
December 11, 2013 | KDLG
September 16, 2013 | Nunamta Aulukestai
Press Statement of Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill regarding Anglo American’s Withdrawal from the Pebble Mine Proposal
September 16, 2013 | Earthworks
September 3, 2013 | Center for American Progress
August 28, 2013 | Anchorage Daily News
August 26, 2013 | Alaska Public Media
July 29, 2013 | CNN
July 27, 2013 | Alaska Dispatch
June 27, 2013 | Earthworks