2012

28 June 2012

Participating in the EPA Watershed Assessment Process

Watershed Assessment Comments

The U.S. EPA is still taking written comments on its draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. The deadline is July 23, so you have a few weeks left to review the assessment, gather your thoughts and submit your message.

Peer Review Panel

Also, the 12-member Peer Review panel will be meeting in Anchorage August 7-9 and some of their proceedings will be open to the public. Details for the location and times will be published by the EPA in early July.

  • Tuesday, August 7, public may address the Peer Review panel
  • Wednesday, August 8, public may view deliberations but may not participate
  • Thursday, August 9, last Peer Review panel meeting, not open to public
  • September - responses from Peer Review team will be posted on the EPA web site

Members of the panel include:

  • Mr. David Atkins, Watershed Environmental, LLC.-Expertise in mining and hydrology.
  • Mr. Steve Buckley, WHPacific/NANA Alaska-Expertise in mining and seismology.
  • Dr. Courtney Carothers-Expertise in indigenous Alaskan cultures.
  • Dr. Dennis Dauble, Washington State University-Expertise in fisheries biology and wildlife ecology.
  • Dr. Gordon Reeves, USDA Pacific NW Research Station-Expertise in fisheries biology and aquatic biology.
  • Dr. Charles Slaughter, University of Idaho-Expertise in hydrology.
  • Dr. John Stednick, Colorado State University-Expertise in hydrology and biogeochemistry.
  • Dr. Roy Stein, Ohio State University-Expertise in fisheries and aquatic biology.
  • Dr. William Stubblefield, Oregon State University-Expertise in aquatic biology and ecotoxicology.
  • Dr. Dirk van Zyl, University of British Columbia-Expertise in mining and biogeochemistry.
  • Dr. Phyllis Weber Scannel-Expertise in aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology.
  • Dr. Paul Whitney-Expertise in wildlife ecology and ecotoxicology.

 

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26 June 2012

Public input deadline - Peer Review panel questions

Today is the deadline for submitting public comment on "charge questions" for the peer review panel as it evaluates the draft EPA Bristol Bay Watershed.

There are several ways to submit your comments:

  1. Submit them online at regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0358.
  2. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; include Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0358 in the subject line of the email.
  3. Fax them to: 202-566-1753; include the Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0358 in the subject line of the fax.
  4. Send a letter to the EPA Bristol Bay docket at:
Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 28221T)
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0358
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

For additional information, including a list of the proposed questions, read the official Federal Register entry.

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08 June 2012

08 June 2012

Dillingham, Naknek residents voice a resounding support for EPA assessment

Dillingham and Naknek residents overwhelmingly voiced their support for the Environmental Protection Agency's study of Bristol Bay-area watersheds in light of proposed large-scale mining efforts.

The EPA held public comment sessions on its draft watershed assessment June 5 in both communities. Residents came out in force. In Dillingham, about 300 people showed up, and more than 80 commented, nearly all in favor of the EPA assessment.

In Naknek, more than 150 attended the meeting, with about 65 speaking, a handful of those in support of the mine, according to EPA officials.

Thomas Tilden, chief of the Curyung Tribal Council, said the assessment is generally on target, but is weak in reviewing potential seismic activity in the region. He also noted more review should be done on the dependence of the region's Native people on fish.

Alaska Sen. Gary Stevens, speaking for himself and not his constituents, said he appreciates the EPA effort to produce a science-based document, but is concerned about the issue of the opposing resources: fish versus minerals.

Epa draft watershed assessment
View more presentations from pebblewatch.

"We need to know how to best protect our resources," he said. "I don't know the answer, but it was the right thing to do, the assessment."

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07 June 2012

Upcoming EPA Public Meeting - Nondalton

The EPA released for public comment a draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay Watershed and its natural resources. A public meeting will be held in Nondalton on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at the Nondalton Community Center at 5pm.

There are several ways to submit your comments:

  1. Submit them online at regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments to Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276.
  2. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; include docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the email.
  3. Fax them to: 202-566-1753; include the docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the fax.
  4. Send a letter to the EPA Bristol Bay docket at:
Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 2822T)
Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
5.    Comment at a public meeting during the week of June 4-7, 2012.
Public comments will be accepted on the draft watershed assessment through July 23, 2012. Make a request to accomodate language or other special needs by contacting Judy Smith (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), 503-326-6994. For additional information please visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/ECOCOMM.NSF/bristol+bay/bristolbay or the Pebble Watch Website at http://www.pebblewatch.com.

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Upcoming EPA Public Meeting - New Stuyahok

The EPA released for public comment a draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay Watershed and its natural resources. A public meeting will be held in New Stuyahok on Thursday, June 7, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Cetuyaraq Community Center.

There are several ways to submit your comments:

  1. Submit them online at regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments to Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276.
  2. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; include docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the email.
  3. Fax them to: 202-566-1753; include the docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the fax.
  4. Send a letter to the EPA Bristol Bay docket at:
Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 2822T)
Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
5.  Comment at a public meeting during the week of June 4-7, 2012.
Public comments will be accepted on the draft watershed assessment through July 23, 2012. Make a request to accomodate language or other special needs by contacting Judy Smith (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), 503-326-6994. For additional information please visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/ECOCOMM.NSF/bristol+bay/bristolbay or the Pebble Watch Website at http://www.pebblewatch.com.

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06 June 2012

Another public comment opportunity from EPA: Input sought on peer-review questions by June 26

As the public continues to comment on EPA's draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, the agency has announced another chance to offer feedback: this time on a list of questions it is asking the peer review panel to consider in its evaluation of the assessment.

This list - consisting of 12 "charge" questions - is a tool EPA is using to guide the peer review panel's comments on specific aspects of the assessment. Members of the public can comment on the existing questions and suggest additional questions that are relevant to the watershed assessment objectives.

In general, the questions address different topics from the assessment, asking whether each topic was appropriately addressed, described or characterized - or, if not, what improvements peer reviewers would suggest.

The EPA also published names of the peer review panelists, including experts in several fields from the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and British Columbia.

Deadline for commenting is June 26. For full details, including the list of questions and the docket number to use when commenting on these questions, refer to the complete Federal Register listing. (Please note: the docket for these comments is different from the docket being used for the overall draft assessment.)


The public comment deadline for the overall draft watershed assessment is July 23.

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Direct Links

Direct Links to EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment resources:

Main Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment page (including public meeting dates, times and locations)

Draft Watershed Assessment (released May 18, 2012) - Executive Summary

Background information:

Community Involvement Plan

Outline for Development of EPA's Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

Draft Conceptual Diagrams

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Upcoming EPA Public Meeting - Levelock

The EPA released for public comment a draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay Watershed and its natural resources. A public meeting will be held in Levelock on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. in Rainbow Hall.

There are several ways to submit your comments:

  1. Submit them online at regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments to Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276.
  2. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; include docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the email.
  3. Fax them to: 202-566-1753; inckude the docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the fax.
  4. Send a letter to the EPA Bristol Bay docket at:
Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 2822T)
Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
5.   Comment at a public meeting during the week of June 4-7, 2012.
Public comments will be accepted on the draft watershed assessment through July 23, 2012. Make a request to accomodate language or other special needs by contacting Judy Smith (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); 503-326-6994. For additional information please visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/ECOCOMM.NSF/bristol+bay/bristolbay or the Pebble Watch Website at http://www.pebblewatch.com.

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05 June 2012

Public comment mixed at EPA Watershed Assessment hearing

The 900-seat Wendy Williamson Auditorium in Anchorage was nearly full Monday evening, as people showed up to give public input on a draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment that the U.S. EPA released in mid-May.

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