May 2012

18 May 2012

Updated: EPA releases draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency today released its draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay watershed.

The report - three sections at nearly 400 pages each - concludes there is "potential for certain activities associated with large-scale mining to have adverse impacts on the productivity and sustainability of the salmon fishery in the watershed."

Potential impacts could include loss of habitat used for salmon spawning and rearing, the agency said in a written release announcing the draft assessment.

Key findings in EPA's draft assessment include:

-  All five species of North American Pacific salmon are found in Bristol Bay. The Bristol Bay watershed supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. The Kvichak River produces more sockeye salmon than any other river in the world. The Nushagak River is the fourth largest producer of Chinook salmon in North America.

- Bristol Bay's wild salmon fishery and other ecological resources provide at least 14,000 full and part-time jobs and is valued at about $480 million annually.

- The average annual run of sockeye salmon is about 37.5 million fish.

- Bristol Bay provides habitat for numerous animal species, including 35 fish species, more than 190 bird species and 40 animal species.

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EPA releases draft watershed assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency today released its draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay watershed.

Read the release here.

Check back at PebbleWatch.com for more details and links.

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BBNC Board Meeting

BBNC Board Meeting

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17 May 2012

BBNC Committee Meetings

BBNC Committee Meetings

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16 May 2012

Pebble mine news roundup: May 16

"Pebble mine developers devote $107 million for permitting" (May 16, 2012 - The Associated Press, via Anchorage Daily News.)

Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd., a Canadian-based company in partnership with Anglo-American of Great Britain in seeking to develop the Pebble mine prospect, says $107 million has been allocated to pursue permits this fall for the mine's development. The money will be used to provide a detailed description of the project, including power requirements, employment opportunities, and efforts to mitigate environmental impacts, according to a spokesman for the Pebble Partnership. The Partnership intends to hold public meetings this fall to discuss how the mine could co-exist with the Bristol Bay fishery.

Read the full story here. 

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BBNC Committee Meetings

BBNC Committee Meetings

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15 May 2012

Pebble mine news roundup: May 15

 

"EPA prepares to make Bristol Bay watershed assessment public," (May 9, 2012 - KDLG - Dillingham, via Alaska Public radio)

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it is nearly ready to release its draft watershed assessment study to the public, and all involved are eager to see the results. EPA officials say the assessment will be based on science, and will consider public comments when drafting recommendations for the final assessment. Meanwhile, environmental and conservation groups say they believe the EPA will rule against major activity in the region, while those representing Pebble Partnership and the State of Alaska say they are concerned about the potential for unprecedented rules and how that might affect other development around the state.

Hear the full story at AlaskaPublic.org.

"EPA's  Bristol Bay mining study upsets Alaska officials" (May 4, 2012 - Associated Press, via the Anchorage Daily News)

The State of Alaska continues to object to the Environmental Protection Agency's "watershed assessment" of the Bristol Bay area, which the agency launched in response to concerns raised about the development of the Pebble Mine Prospect. Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty wrote to the EPA in early March, questioning the agency's authority to do the assessment prior to development permits being sought for the mine. The EPA's Regional Administrator replied about a month later that the agency is acting within its authority. He noted the study is not a regulatory action, but is gathering information that will affect the decisions regarding Bristol Bay. Pebble Partnership, meanwhile, says the assessment is premature, and should not happen until after the company files for mining permits. The draft watershed assessment is due for release later this month. EPA officials will hear public comments, and plans to release a final decision this fall.

See the full story at the Anchorage Daily News.

 


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01 May 2012

EPA to release draft Watershed Assessment this week

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to release its draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment this week.

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