Industry reacts to EPA Pebble Mine Clean Water act decision

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision on Friday to put the Clean Water Act into action to protect Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery from the proposed Pebble Mine large-scale mining development.

“There is no doubt that Bristol Bay’s salmon resource and its commercial fishing industry are a national treasure,” said Bob Waldrop, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA). “EPA’s twice peer-reviewed scientific study confirms this; it is not possible to place one of the world’s largest mines atop the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery without devastating consequences. We welcome the initiation of this process to allow additional public discussion on whether such a mine is appropriate in this region.”

However, the Pebble Mine Partnership called the move “premature and unprecedented.”

“The EPA’s actions today are an unprecedented federal action and reflect a major overreach onto an asset of the State of Alaska,” said Tom Collier, Pebble Limited Partnership CEO. “There is a prescribed, science-based process for evaluating projects such as Pebble, and the EPA has initiated a step that turns this process on its head.”

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also released a statement stating “the process EPA has outlined could establish a terrible precedent that only further detracts from investors’ willingness to bring capital and jobs to Alaska.

“If this action is allowed to stand…EPA’s actions here could have potentially widespread consequences for any development project, including airports and other infrastructure, anywhere in the nation.”


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