New EPA Administrator to visit Bristol Bay


August 23 update to this story: The Administrator’s visit to Bristol Bay now includes a public meeting from 9:30-11 a.m. at Dillingham Middle School and from 3:30-5 p.m. at Iliamna Community Center.

Gina McCarthy, recently appointed administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plans to visit the Bristol Bay area Tuesday, August 27, to view the site of the Pebble deposit and to speak with stakeholders who are interested in EPA’s future decisions regarding the area.

According to an article today in the online CQ Roll Call news site, McCarthy and other EPA representatives are planning stops in both Dillingham and Iliamna to “meet with tribal governments and other stakeholders interested in its Bristol Bay watershed assessment.” An article that followed, on today’s Anchorage Daily News website included comments on the visit from Pebble Limited Partnership, BBNC, and Iliamna Development Corp.

BBNC also issued a statement about the visit saying: “Bristol Bay Native Corporation is pleased that Administrator McCarthy has chosen to come to Bristol Bay in one of her first trips as head of the EPA. We believe her visit will confirm for her that Bristol Bay is unique and its protection must remain a top priority for the agency.”

Earlier this month the Washington Post had reported on McCarthy’s desire to see Bristol Bay personally, noting that she is aware of the intense interest associated with the proposed Pebble mine, as well as EPA’s own Bristol Bay watershed assessment, scheduled to be finalized this year.

During the process of drafting the watershed assessment, EPA representatives visited Bristol Bay on multiple occasions, speaking with residents and gathering information about the area. Pebble Watch reported previously on their visits and their impressions of Bristol Bay.