Public comment period extended to June 30

The public now has until June 30, 2013, to get in comments on EPA’s revised draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment. The agency announced the 30-day extension Wednesday afternoon on its Bristol Bay information web page and by email.

EPA made the decision after receiving many requests, including some which asked them to maintain the 30-day comment period. The agency concluded that an extension of an additional 30 days to provide feedback was reasonable “given the complexity and length of the revised draft assessment.”

The additional 30 days still falls short of requests made by some, like the Resource Development Council (RDC). In an open letter to EPA dated May 9, 2013, and posted on the RDC website, the organization asked for an extension of “at least 120 days to allow commenters ample time to provide feedback.” RDC’s letter also asked that EPA provide a detailed breakdown of changes made to the draft and expressed concern about the overall intent of the assessment.

Once the public comment period ends and EPA collects feedback from 12 peer reviewers, the Agency will proceed with finalizing the assessment in 2013, according to EPA’s announcement.

An EPA Fact Sheet provides an overview of the changes. Pebble Watch materials that may be helpful in understanding the assessment include our recent Pebble Watch Explores Special Edition about the newest revised draft  and the Pebble Watch Guide, a collection of many past Pebble Watch articles in one place.

Comments about the revised draft assessment may be submitted online, by email or in writing. View the document, find links for sending comments and read additional information on the web at