EPA ignores science, paves the way for Pebble mine

The Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency reversed course on the agency’s long standing efforts to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay and America’s most valuable wild salmon fishery.

In announcing a deal with Canadian-based Northern Dynasty to settle the company’s legal fight, the EPA has agreed to drop its 2014 proposed determination to protect the salmon fishery from the Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum open-pit mine proposal.

Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed is so important because it supplies roughly 50% of the world’s commercial supply of wild sockeye salmon, and has sustained Alaska Natives’ subsistence-based way of life for thousands of years.

Let’s be clear. There was a highly transparent, locally driven, lengthy, scientific, public process that led to the EPA’s determination to place restrictions on mine waste disposal in Bristol Bay’s waters.

Under the terms of today’s settlement, the EPA will start a process to withdraw the proposed protections, and allow Northern Dynasty to apply for a federal permit within 30 months.

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