ANCHORAGE—Friday, a U.S. District Court ruling paved the way for the Environmental Protection Agency to complete its Clean Water Act process aimed at protecting Bristol Bay from the massive, open pit Pebble Mine and associated industrial development. In essence, the court has made clear that the EPA has the ability to issue 404(c) protections under the Clean Water Act. For the past two decades, Tribes, fishermen, Alaskans and Americans across the country have been fighting the threat of the proposed Pebble Mine: a massive open pit gold, copper and molybdenum mine proposed for Bristol Bay’s headwaters.
“The specter of a massive open-pit mine and waste dump has been looming over the biggest, wildest, most productive sockeye salmon run on the planet for long enough. Pebble threatens livelihoods. It threatens salmon. And it threatens people,” said SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol. “Now that the courts have put the ball back in the EPA’s court, it’s up to the EPA to listen to its scientists and to Alaskans, to finish the job, and to end the threat of the proposed Pebble Mine before the salmon return.”