Public input high for EPA watershed assessment

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, 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 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).


Download the Pebble Watch guide to the revised assessment.

View the Pebble Watch guide online.

Go directly to to submit your comments.

Related reading:

Koch brothers take on enviro groups over mine(Washington Post blog, “The Fix”)