EPA fails to oversee disastrous Pebble Mine
SEATTLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed yesterday to invoke its Clean Water Act section 404(q) authority to protect salmon-rich Bristol Bay, Alaska from the dangerous proposed Pebble Mine project. The decision means that EPA Region 10 (X) Administrator Chris Hladick and his EPA colleagues are giving up part of their oversight responsibility for this project and allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to rush a flawed and inadequate Environmental Impacts Statement review of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. Friends of the Earth sent over 28,000 comments from Americans across the country to the EPA, urging the agency to designate Bristol Bay as an Aquatic Resource of National Importance (ARNI) and to invoke section 404(q) to ensure a thorough, adequate environmental review of the reckless Pebble Project.
Verner Wilson III, senior oceans campaigner for Friends of the Earth and a member of Curyung Tribal Council in Bristol Bay, Alaska released the following statement in response:
Pebble Mine would be an environmental disaster and would devastate the indigenous communities that rely on the area’s rich natural resources. This dangerous mine threatens Bristol Bay, which provides around half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon, and the local economies that depend on those fish and other wildlife.
It is disappointing to see the EPA shamefully ignore the tens of thousands of Americans who overwhelmingly oppose this dangerous project. Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and their colleagues in Congress must hold the USACE and the EPA accountable for failing to protect Bristol Bay’s people and environment.
Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, [email protected]