Well, it’s taken years for them to get to this conclusion, but the Environmental Protection Agency has finally, officially ruled that the proposed Pebble Mine would be bad for the Bristol Bay, Alaska fishery.
Last Friday, May 18, the EPA released a draft assessment of the proposed gold and copper mine in the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds. These are the watersheds that produce nearly half of the world’s sockeye salmon. Yes, the world’s, not just the United States. The fishing community, along with tribal and environmental groups, have been working to stop this mine, and, now, hopefully the EPA and President Obama‘s Administration will once and for all stop Pebble Mine.
According to the Washington Post, Northern Dynasty Minerals, a Canadian company, announced this week it would spend roughly $107 million to prepare its Pebble Mine project for permitting by the end of the year. The firm will produce a detailed description of the project, which could produce more than 80 billion pounds of copper, 107 million ounces of gold and 5.6 billion pounds of molybdenum.
The assessment is not a management plan, but a large-scale mine “would likely result in the direct loss of [54 to 87.9 miles] of streams and [3.9 to 6.7 square miles] of wetlands.” It added that water withdrawals for mine operations “would significantly diminish habitat quality in an additional [1.2 to 6.2 miles] of streams.”
(via Trout Unlimited)