Unprecedented Support against Pebble Mine
Wow! What a great a great week. On Monday, the same day that the EPA comment data regarding the agency's watershed assessment was released to great aplomb, Anglo American a 50 percent shareholder in the Pebble Limited Partnership announced they were divesting interest in the project to construct the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. This leaves Northern Dynasty, a Canadian junior company alone in the project. It's clear that major industry finds this project much too risky--and they certainly don't have the support of the American public, judging by the comments--73 percent of Americans oppose mining in Bristol Bay and 98 percent of the local Bristol Bay residents oppose minining in their salmon-rich region.
So, if major industry finds this project too risky, where are our decision makers on this? It's clearly time for the EPA to step up and
Here's how those comment figures played out:
Who would have thought 654,000 people would stand up to tell EPA the time is now to protect Bristol Bay from the threat of Pebble Mine. At no other point has the Save Bristol Bay effort been so widely supported.For 60 days EPA called for comments on their second Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, and we worked with all of our partners to be sure that Americans knew this was the time to speak up on Bristol Bay. So, when the dust settled and we found that of the 895,000 people who took time to comment, 73 percent were in favor of protecting the Bristol Bay Watershed, we were simply blown away by the results
Photo: Justin Crump
And don’t believe for a second that this is a situation where “outsiders” are trying to tell Alaskans what to do. In fact, the support for action to protect Bristol Bay now via the Clean Water Act is even higher than in the “Lower 48.” Of the 9,500 people who commented from Alaska, 8,500 were supporting the EPA in their efforts to protect the Bristol Bay Fishery, a whopping 84 percent. Out in Bristol Bay, there was 98 percent support for the EPA Watershed Assessment. We still have a long way to go, and still need this effort to grow even larger, but what a message to the President and EPA.
Now, frankly, it's in their hands. The people have spoken.
We are in this fight because it’s about the largest intact salmon fishery on the planet. We are also in this effort because this ecosystem provides the foundation of a rich and ancient culture, it drives a powerful economic engine and it is home to one of world’s great sport fisheries. Mining at the scale and scope of the proposed Pebble and other nearby mines will have a negative impact, period. The size of Pebble – possibly the largest in North America; the type of mine – an open pit digging into earth with high potential to generate acid waste; and the location- at the headwaters of two of Bristol Bay major salmon rivers - makes Pebble the last place to mine in Alaska, not the next place.
Trout Unlimited will continue to work with our great partners to ensure the Bristol Bay salmon fishery is protected by solid Clean Water Act protections for generations to come.
Support our efforts to protect Bristol Bay donate now: https://www.tumembership.org/donate/bristolbay