Alaska’s EPA Recommends Further Protection For Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine – by Chris Cocoles (Alaska Sporting Journal – January 9, 2023)

Alaska Sporting Journal

Calling it the “the third step in (a) four-step Clean Water Act Section 404(c) review process,” the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 announced a recommendation to restrict mining use in Bristol Bay watersheds.

That Dec. 1 news was welcome relief in one of the world’s last great salmon spawning waters, where fishermen and locals are pushing to permanently protect the region’s pristine rivers from projects like the Pebble Mine.

“If affirmed by EPA’s Office of Water, this action would help protect salmon fishery areas that support world-class commercial and recreational fisheries and that have sustained Alaska Native communities for thousands of years, supporting a subsistence-based way of life for one of the last intact wild-salmon-based cultures in the world,” said EPA Region 10 administrator Casey Sixkiller.

Based off comments submitted after the EPA’s 2022 Proposed Determination was released, Region 10 concluded that Pebble deposit discharge “would be likely to result in unacceptable adverse effects on salmon fishery areas in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek watersheds of Bristol Bay.”

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