25 July 2011
This issue of the Pebble Watch newsletter provides information related to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ongoing watershed assessment for the Bristol Bay region and how EPA can influence the permitting process, why watersheds are important, links to watershed educational resources, and a summary of EPA's visit to Bristol Bay to hear resident's watershed concerns
Educational Resources About Watersheds
Pebble Watch Newsletter
The June issue of the Pebble Watch newsletter explores issues surrounding groundwater hydrology, including the hydrologic cycle, groundwater modeling, how groundwater and surface water interact, and an overview of the Pebble Partnership’s data releases: “Report Series C: Surficial Geology" and "Report Series D: Groundwater Hydrology."
Note: This represents an updated version that corrects a caption to the photo on page three. The printed version of this newsletter references the photo as depicting Upper Talarik Creek. In fact, the photo was taken in the Upper Talarik watershed.
Pebble Watch Newsletter February 2011
This issue of Pebble Watch focuses on the Pebble Partnership's data release "Report Series F: Surface Water & Groundwater Quality," an overview of surface water and groundwater quality data collected between 2004 and 2007 in the Pebble Project deposit area, Iliamna Lake and along the proposed transportation corridor. Here, we present a summary of the report, explain how the data relates to permitting, highlight some water quality issues related to mining, and supply answers to questions community members first asked Pebble developers in 2005.
Pebble Watch Newsletter October 2010
This issue of Pebble Watch focuses on the Pebble Partnership's data release "Report Series A: Meteorology," an overview of meteorological data collected between 2005 and 2007 in areas near the Pebble deposit and proposed port sites. Inside, we summarize the report, explain how the data will be significant for permitting, and provide a focused look at wind data collected by the two meteorological stations closest to the deposit site. Our science team also supplies some answers to questions community members first asked Pebble developers in 2005.
Pebble Watch Newsletter August 2010
This first issue of Pebble Watch focuses on "Report Series E: Trace Elements (Sediments & Soils)," an overview of soil and sediment sampling, 2004-2007 at the proposed sites of the Pebble mine, port and transportation corridor. Inside, our team summarizes the results for copper and arsenic, and shows how the data may begin to answer questions community members first asked Pebble developers in 2005.
McLerran, EPA's Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator, called the trip "extremely valuable," saying the team visited communities as well as project developers, whom they asked for an update of environmental studies and mine planning.
"The trip took us to the heart of the watershed and gave us a rare opportunity to travel to the villages that are most concerned about our Watershed Assessment," wrote McLerran. "We heard from supporters of mining development as well as those who believe large scale mining would be inconsistent with the preservation of subsistence ways of life and the Bristol Bay fishery. The ability to see the watershed, the villages, Bristol Bay and the proposed resource development area firsthand is something that could never be matched by pictures or PowerPoint presentations. It is a trip I will never forget." Read the entire post at Greenversations.
Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water, Stoner was visiting from Washington, D.C. She wrote: "As I flew over Alaska, I was struck by the vast beauty of this pristine and unspoiled land. From my perch in the helicopter, looking over the complex waterscape of lakes, wetlands, winding rivers and streams, I encountered a unique ecosystem that led to an equally unique way of life among the people who inhabit this vast and wild land." Read the entire post at Greenversations.
Greenversations is an official EPA blog, but its entries run with a disclaimer that opinions expressed there do not reflect EPA "policy, endorsement or action."
A June Pebble Watch post provides an account of the community visits from Pebble Watch and BBNC representatives.
Another summary appears in the July Pebble Watch newsletter, coming out this week.
18 July 2011
Items recently added to the PebbleWatch calendar include:
Salmonstock (August 5, 6, & 7, 2011) - Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds, Ninilchik. The nonprofit Renewable Resources Foundation (RRF) is promoting this three-day music salmon event as a forum for information on Alaska wild salmon resources. (You may know the foundation as the source of those "No Pebble" stickers.) For more information, click dates above to see the calendar entry.
2011 Arctic Science Conference (September 24, 2011) - Dillingham. The Arctic Division of the world's largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), meets in Dillingham, Wednesday through Saturday, September 21-24, 2011. Conference presentations will include sessions on Bristol Bay salmon habitat and the Influence of Mining in Western Alaska. For more information, click dates above to see the calendar entry.
14 July 2011
Watch for announcements of official EPA public meetings regarding the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.
EPA has said it expects to travel to the Bristol Bay region sometime in Spring 2012 for a first round of official public meetings about the draft assessment. When dates and locations are announced, we will add them to our calendar.
11 July 2011
A reminder that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a call for information on its Region 10 website in order to collect additional information in support of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. According to the website, technical data or site-specific studies would provide additional knowledge about area resources and help the EPA understand the effect that future development might have.
Types of studies requested would be related to:
* Shellfish and fishery areas
The Pebble Watch team also asked EPA what role Traditional Ecological Knowledge will play in its watershed assessment. Their response:
“EPA is learning about traditional ecological knowledge through interviews with tribal elders and culture bearers, learning about their perception of the role of salmon in the physical, cultural and mental health of the people. The traditional ecological knowledge section of the watershed assessment will include gathered information on the social and spiritual aspects of salmon harvest, preparation and sharing. The traditional ecological knowledge will also include case studies for salmon-dependent native communities that have experienced significant environmental changes.”
06 July 2011