- Dennis McLerrenEPA Regional Administrator for Region 10
- Lisa JacksonEPA Administrator
Protect Bristol Bay from Destructive Open Pit Mining
The rivers of Bristol Bay are wild and pristine. They are surrounded by lush tundra and crisscrossed with lakes and streams. These rivers support the world’s largest run of sockeye salmon, native tribes who use the rivers for trading and subsistence, and a thriving commercial fishing industry.
Unfortunately, this one of a kind resource is threatened by a mine of staggering scale that would cause irreversible damage to the rivers, clean water, salmon, and an entire way of life.
This 1,700-foot-deep, two-mile-long gold and copper mine has colossal earthen dams that would be taller than Hoover Dam. These dams are supposed to hold back a projected 10 billion tons of mining waste but yet are being built in a known earthquake zone.
Take action today: Tell the EPA to not allow the Pebble Mine to proceed.
- EPA Regional Administrator for Region 10
- EPA Administrator
As a supporter of American Rivers, Nunamta Aulukestai and the Alaska Native communities they represent, and the Alaska Conservation Foundation, I appreciate that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated a scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed, including the Kvichak, Talarik, Nushagak, Mulchatna, and Koktuli Rivers, to better understand how future large-scale development projects may affect water quality and Bristol Bay's salmon fishery.
I am writing to request that you initiate the Clean Water Act's §404(c) process for the Pebble Mine project. While I am not opposed to responsible development, I believe that the size and location of the proposed Pebble Mine are such that it will have severe impacts on wild salmon, the rivers surrounding the deposit, and other natural resources of the region, and that these risks far outweigh any potential benefits. Due to the mine's potential impact on fisheries, wildlife, and the local communities, American Rivers has named the Bristol Bay Rivers one of America's Most Endangered Rivers(TM) of 2011.
As you know, the EPA has authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to withdraw this area from future designation as a mine disposal site due to the unacceptable adverse impact on fisheries, wildlife, municipal water supplies, and recreation. Currently, the EPA is assessing how large scale mining development, including Pebble Mine, might impair the robust salmon fishery in Bristol Bay.
I believe that EPA must employ their §404(c) authority proactively, withdrawing specific areas from future designation as disposal sites. Please consider the cumulative impacts that this project will have on the salmon, the tribes, and the broader community that depends on this beautiful area of Alaska.
Thank you for considering my request.
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