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Public Input Needed on EPA Decision to Withdraw Pebble Mine Restrictions

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October 17 is the deadline for public comments on EPA’s recent decision to withdraw its “Proposed Determination,” a document it published in July 2014 recommending restrictions on large-scale mining at the Pebble deposit.

The EPA had studied the Bristol Bay watershed between 2011 and 2014, and concluded that developers couldn’t assure there would be no unacceptable effects from disposal of dredge and fill material resulting from development of the world-class copper and gold deposit located at the headwaters of the world-class Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

However, legal intervention from the Pebble Limited Partnership in late 2014 resulted in a years-long injunction against moving forward with EPA’s process to protect the watershed. Under the Trump Administration, EPA settled litigation with PLP, agreeing to begin “a process to propose to withdraw the currently pending proposed determination, consistent with its regulations.”

“BBNC is very disappointed the EPA and the Trump Administration have decided to withdraw the agency’s prior actions that sought to protect Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble mine,” said BBNC CEO Jason Metrokin. “Pebble mine will risk thousands of long-held American jobs and Bristol Bay’s sustainable wild salmon fishery for the benefit of a foreign mining company. For this reason, BBNC and the vast majority of the people of Bristol Bay oppose the mine as proposed… There will be a formal process before EPA can unwind its proposal and BBNC and the people of Bristol Bay will make our voices heard during this process.”

To learn more and make submit your own public comment, visit BBNC’s Pebble Watch program, which has more background on the Proposed Determination and links to the federal government’s online commenting system at www.pebblewatch.com.