WASHINGTON (February 28, 2014) - Responding to public demand to protect Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska from the proposed Pebble Mine, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today it is taking the first step in a process under the federal Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay from large-scale mining in the region. Called section 404(c), the provision allows the agency to “prohibit, restrict, or withdraw” an area at risk of “unacceptable adverse effects” on water, fisheries, wildlife, or recreation resources.
Joel Reynolds, Western Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement:
“This puts EPA's eyes on the prize. Bristol Bay is the richest salmon habitat in the world. We can't let Pebble Mine put that at risk. EPA has the tools to protect this national treasure for the people and wildlife that depend on it.
“The science is sound, EPA’s legal authority is clear, and the people of Bristol Bay have demanded protection. It’s time to say no to Pebble Mine.”