"E.P.A. Bans Disposal of Mine Waste in Bristol Bay"

"The determination, made under the Clean Water Act, protects a valuable wild salmon fishery and quashes a proposed mine project in the area."

"The Biden administration on Tuesday is set to move to protect one of the world’s most valuable wild salmon fisheries, at Bristol Bay in Alaska, by effectively blocking the development of a long-disputed gold and copper mine there.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final determination under the Clean Water Act that bans the disposal of mine waste in part of the bay’s watershed, about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. Streams in the watershed are crucial breeding grounds for salmon, but the area also contains deposits of precious-metal ores thought to be worth several hundred billion dollars.

A proposal to mine those ores, called the Pebble project, has been supported by some Alaskan lawmakers and Native groups for the economic benefits it would bring, but opposed by others, including tribes around the bay and environmentalists who say it would do irreparable harm to the salmon population.

Alannah Hurley, executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, which has long opposed the mine, said the decision “was a real moment of justice for us.”"

Henry Fountain reports for the New York Times January 31, 2023.


"Bristol Bay Braces For EPA’s Final Decision On The Proposed Pebble Mine" (Alaska Public Media)

"U.S. EPA To Block Pebble Mine Copper/Gold Mine Project In Alaska" (Reuters)

Source: NYTimes, 01/31/2023