19 July 2012
Pebble Watch explores the connection between Bristol Bay cultures, fish and water, and lists potential risks of large-scale copper mining to the Bristol Bay fishery.
17 July 2012
Register to see an online presentation about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment. The overview was presented at the public meetings held in Alaska communities in June. This is a good opportunity to learn more about the document if you were not able to attend a meeting, or if you are still drafting comments on the assessment.
Register by July 23 for August EPA meetings
Interested in commenting or observing at the peer review meetings for the EPA's Bristol Bay watershed assessment? They will take place in Anchorage from August 7-9, but you must register by July 23.
The panel will review the scientific and technical merits of the draft EPA Bristol Bay watershed assessment. The public may comment on Tuesday, August 7, and observe on Wednesday, August 8.
Submit comments on the watershed assessment
16 July 2012
The July 2012 Pebble Watch newsletter is now available online. This issue features an article describing Bristol Bay cultures and their connections with salmon and water. Readers will find a list of risk factors associated with large-scale copper mining and a simple guide to documents related to development of the proposed Pebble mine.
13 July 2012
Former CBS reporter Dan Rather reports on the Pebble mine debate in the Bristol Bay region. Seen exclusively on Yahoo.com, the video report, titled "Red Gold," shows interviews with local residents on both sides of the issue. Residents interviewed were from Egegik, Iliamna, Nondalton and Port Alsworth. The written story that accompanies the video focuses on Glen Alsworth Sr., chairman of the Lake and Peninsula Borough, commercial pilot and business owner in the area.
11 July 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting two webinars to give an overview of the draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment. This overview was presented at the public meetings held in Anchorage, Dillingham, Seattle and other Bristol Bay communities in June. This is a good opportunity to learn more about the document if you were not able to attend a meeting, or if you are still drafting comments on the assessment.
EPA also will go over the ways that you can send in your comments to EPA before the July 23 deadline. For more information: www.epa.gov/bristolbay.
10 July 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set Monday, July 23 as a final deadline for submitting written comments on its draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment and for signing up to participate in peer review panel meetings set for August.
Sign up to observe or comment during peer review panel proceedings
A 12-member peer review panel will meet in Anchorage on August 7-9 to review the scientific and technical merits of the draft EPA Bristol Bay watershed assessment. The public is welcome to participate on Tuesday, August 7 and observe on Wednesday, August 8, but individuals must sign up to do so by Monday, July 23.
Submit comments on the watershed assessment
05 July 2012
Updated, with responses from officials.
Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today they will not extend the comment period for the Bristol Bay watershed assessment. The deadline for comment remains July 23.
"The 60-day comment period announced with the proposal is consistent with the length of time the Agency has historically provided for complex scientific assessments of comparable scope and detail," the agency said in a written release.
In addition to the public comment process, the draft assessment will be evaluated by an independent peer review panel of scientists. EPA also has conducted outreach to the subsistence and commercial fishing community since the draft assessment was released to ensure they are able to provide comment to help inform any final assessment, along with input from other important stakeholders including the public, the agency said in the announcement.
"In order to ensure that the final assessment is released in a timely fashion, it is imperative that this process move forward on schedule," the EPA said.
The EPA had received requests for an extension during its public meetings - held in Seattle May 31 and in Anchorage and the Bristol Bay region in early June - including requests from officials with Pebble Partnership and at least one member of the Congressional delegation.
Responses from officials regarding the EPA announcement
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the EPA's budget.
"The EPA's refusal to provide additional time for the public to comment on the draft watershed assessment for Bristol Bay demonstrates, once again, that the agency does not understand Alaska," Murkowski said in a written release. "There is no deadline - other than the one arbitrarily imposed by the EPA - that requires the agency to act now."
04 July 2012
29 June 2012
Northern Dynasty issues press release on peer review "charge" questions
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. has responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) call for public comment on the draft charge it has provided to peer reviewers to assess the quality and sufficiency of scientific presented in the agency's draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, according to a press release. Northern Dynasty says the draft charge to peer reviewers is artificially narrow and will prohibit the 12 independent experts from fully assessing whether the scope, methodology, underlying assumptions, data sources and analysis presented in the draft report are adequate to achieve the assessment's stated purpose.
Mining Weekly also has a story on the release. Find it here.
New York Times contributor blogs from Bristol Bay
Award-winning author and New York Times contributor Paul Greenberg, author of the New York Times bestseller "Four Fish," is blogging via satellite as he travels down the Stuyahok River with the Alaska guide and longtime outdoorsman Mark Rutherford.
His first installment, "Bristol Bay Dispatch #1: a future copper and gold mine and an ancient, unknown fish," can be found here.