EPA Opens Public Comment Period on Proposed Pebble Mine Project

Future of Bristol Bay, nation’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery at stake, according to Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association

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(PRWEB) August 07, 2014

WHAT:    
A Canadian mining firm (Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.) is pushing to develop a massive gold and copper mine in the salmon-spawning headwaters of Bristol Bay. If constructed as envisioned, the Pebble Mine would be the largest open-pit mine in North America, generating up to 10 billion tons of potentially toxic waste and threatening our nation's largest wild sockeye salmon fishery, along with thousands of jobs. Background and information can be found at the EPA web site at http://www2.epa.gov/bristolbay.

Bristol Bay’s commercial fishing industry provides over 14,000 renewable jobs each year, many of those jobs being fishermen and their crew. Each fishing vessel in Bristol Bay operates as a small independent business, many of them family operations with multiple generations on board. Fishermen either sell their catch to a seafood processor or some do their own direct sales to customers around the country. Combined, Bristol Bay’s fishing industry generates $1.5 billion in economic activity each year, providing a critical source of revenue for both the region and nation.

On July 18, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft determination under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, proposing restrictions on dredge and fill mining activity in the Bristol Bay watershed. As part of the 404(c) process, the EPA is soliciting public comments between now and September 19, 2014 on its proposal to protect Bristol Bay’s waters from the risks posed by large-scale mining at the Pebble location.

CALL TO ACTION:    
Individuals who would like to add their voices to this important discussion about the future of the Bristol Bay watershed can contact EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy during the public comment period ending Friday, September 19, 2014 via the following methods:

1.    Visit our Take Action at Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay – http://bit.ly/1APztYL.

2.    Submit comments online at http://www.regulations.gov. Specify “Docket # EPA-R10-OW-2014-0505”.

3.    Send an email to OW-Docket(at)epa(dot)gov. Include “Docket # EPA-R10-OW-2014-050” in the subject line.

4.    Fax comments to 202-566-1753. Include “Docket # EPA-R10-OW-2014-0505” in the subject line.

5.    Send a letter to the EPA Bristol Bay Docket at:
Water Docket # EPA-R10-OW-2014-0505
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code: 2822T
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460

WHEN:        
Comments must be submitted by 8 p.m. (Alaska time) Friday, September 19, 2014.

WHO:    
Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay (CFFB) is a coalition of fishermen working to protect the 14,000 jobs, more than $1.5 billion in annual income, and over half the world’s wild sockeye salmon provided by Bristol Bay’s 130-year sustainable fishery. To learn more, visit http://www.fishermenforbristolbay.org.


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