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DILLINGHAM, AK – The Environmental Protection Agency will host public hearings this month as part of its consideration of whether to withdraw protections for Bristol Bay’s watershed and world-class fishery.
Following last year’s election and the appointment of new EPA leadership, the Pebble Limited Partnership and EPA brokered a deal which may rollback the proposed Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay that nearly 1.5 million Americans supported and worked for years to secure.
The agency is holding two public hearings on the proposed withdrawal of restrictions for Pebble’s development at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, scheduled for Oct. 11 in Dillingham and Oct. 12 in Iliamna. Despite the short notice and limited time and locations, Bristol Bay’s people are expected to show up in large numbers to protest EPA’s latest move.
A comment period is also open to gather public input through October 17, and thousands of Alaskans have already submitted public comment in opposition to the withdrawal, including more than a thousand from the Bristol Bay region.
The EPA hearing week schedule is as follows:
-Oct. 11: Dillingham EPA Hearing; 6-9 p.m. in the Dillingham Middle School Gym. (Testimony sign-up begins at 5 p.m.)
-Oct. 12: Iliamna EPA Hearing; 1-4 p.m. at the Old Crowley Hangar at the Iliamna Airport. (Testimony sign-up begins at 12 Noon.)
United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB) will be hosting a Dillingham hearing hospitality suite from 4-9 pm. in the Dillingham High School Home Ec Room.
UTBB will have photos and video of each hearing available to the media immediately following each event, and some Bristol Bay residents and leadership testifying at the hearings will also be available for interviews. More information about the proposed withdrawal, legal settlement and the need for protections in Bristol Bay is also available.