30 June 2013
EPA Watershed Assessment – Deadline: June 30, 2013.
EPA released the revised version of its Bristol Bay watershed assessment in late April. Though a second public comment period wasn't originally planned, EPA opened one up in response to public interest. Just before the stated deadline of May 31, 2013, EPA also decided to extend this second commenting period another thirty days. The revised assessment has been both praised and criticized by different interest groups, and has garnered more than 330,000 comments to date.
20 June 2013
The number of comments received for the revised version of EPA's Bristol Bay watershed assessment is now more than double the total that was received for the first draft of the document. According to a running tally at www.regulations.gov, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received more than half a million responses to the revised draft of its Bristol Bay watershed assessment, the majority of which are in support of the assessment. Released in April 2013, the revision addressed areas that peer reviewers and members of the public critiqued during an initial public input period in spring/summer 2012.
The public comment period on the revised draft was initially scheduled to end on May 31, but was then extended for another 30 days by the EPA to give people more time to review it and submit comments. Since that time, both environmental and resource development interest groups have conducted mass mail campaigns to encourage individuals to engage in the comment period.
According to EPA Region 10's community involvement coordinator Judy Smith, there are a few more than 5,000 unique submissions, some of them with thousands of signatures. A search of mass-mail campaigns at the www.regulations.gov site shows that these efforts are spearheaded by groups such as Earthworks (with more than 46,500 responses) and Resourceful Earth (more than 160,000 responses), which have used social media sites such as Facebook to reach out to large audiences. (See samples of their posts below).
Koch brothers take on enviro groups over mine(Washington Post blog, "The Fix")
12 June 2013
A university study on the economic impact of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery and an independent study commissioned by the Pebble partnership about the potential economic impact of the proposed Pebble mine have both hit the news recently, with both studies referenced in recent press articles.
Bristol Bay Salmon Industry
The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) conducted "The Economic Importance of the Bristol Bay Salmon Industry" study for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, finding in a conservative estimate that the industry supports 10,000 jobs in the U.S. and has an output value of well over $1 billion annually.
Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery worth $1.5 billion - See more at: http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1320bristol-bay-sockeye-salmon-fishery-worth-15#sthash.4rPrZYw2.dpuf
Proposed Pebble mine
Economic analysis firm IHS Global Insight completed a study for the Pebble partnership projecting the economic value of the proposed Pebble mine to the state and the nation. The 51-page report, Economic and Employment Contributions of a Conceptual Pebble Mine to the Alaska and United States Economies, estimates that the proposed mine would add "$136 to $180 million in annual taxes and royalties" to the state economy and could generate 4,725 jobs during the first five years of construction.
Pebble study outlines impact (Bristol Bay Times)
Pebble mine impact to propel US and Alaskan economies (MiningWeekly)