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Juneau – Representative Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) has released the following statement in response to the settlement of a lawsuit between the Environmental Protection Agency and the developer of the proposed Pebble Mine. The settlement forces the EPA to back off from its finding under the Clean Water act that a mine would do severe damage to the Bristol Bay watershed, fish, and wildlife. The settlement also sets a deadline for the Pebble Limited Partnership to apply for permits to develop a large gold, copper, and molybdenum mine on state owned land north of Lake Iliamna in the Bristol Bay region.
“The new administration in Washington D.C. seems bound and determined to undermine all the good work of the EPA, the tribes, and the people of Bristol Bay to protect the pristine environment of the region and the largest sockeye salmon run on earth,” said Rep. Edgmon. “The threat of pollution from the Pebble Mine is real, which is why the EPA imposed protections in the first place. My fear is that the fight to protect Bristol Bay will get caught up in some ill-advised national political agenda being pushed by President Trump and others in the new administration. Resource development should not be more important than protecting the environment and sustainable resources like the sockeye salmon that sustain the economy and the people I represent.”
The settlement of the lawsuit requires the Pebble Limited Partnership to file its permit application within 30 months and allows the EPA to use the data collected in its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment to inform permitting decisions.