EPA extends Bristol Bay watershed assessment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency intends to complete its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment this year, after an additional round of review and comment, EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said 5 February.

“We will be releasing a draft revised assessment document this spring and will be seeking additional public comment on that draft,” MeLerran said, in remarks prepared for delivery before the Alaska Forum for the Environment in Anchorage.

“We are making arrangements to have the original 12 independent experts review the revised assessment and evaluate whether the revised draft has been responsive to their peer review comments,” he said.

“Our primary objective is to make sure that w have gotten the assessment right and are using the best available science. The Bristol Bay salmon runs are an Alaskan treasure and no one wants to see them harmed, so we want to make sure we have the best understanding possible of what the impacts of large scale mining could be on salmon.”

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