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Why This Matters: The Administration’s initial decision to continue to deny the mine’s water pollution permit seemed uncharacteristic for them but their reversal is tragic. The only good news is that it may be possible to delay the issuance of the permit until the 2020 election. I (Monica) have visited the region and flown over the Pebble Mine site — I have seen the dangerous and risky mine drainage plan. Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery is too important to the region, as are the two National Parks adjacent to the mine, to let it go forward.
Bloomberg reported that the Tribes in the region said that the project would have “devastating consequences on the watershed, the fishery and the people who depend on it for their livelihoods,” said the consortium of 15 tribal governments by email. “It is a purely political decision designed for a sole purpose: to clear the path for foreign mining interests to plow through a toxic project that no one wants.”
Why Is Bristol Bay Important?
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Bristol Bay watershed “provides vital habitat for 29 fish species, more than 190 bird species, and more than 40 terrestrial animals. Bald eagles, moose, brown bears, rainbow trout, freshwater seals, pacific walrus, north pacific right whales and beluga whales all live in the region.”
The World Wildlife Fund says that the Pebble mine would be an open pit mine and the EPA estimates that it could be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon, cover an area larger than Manhattan, and could fill a major football stadium up to 3,900 times with mine waste.
According to NRDC, Bristol Bay provides half the world’s wild sockeye salmon, supports 14,000 jobs, and generates $1.5 billion in economic activity every year.
What You Can Do: The government is taking public comment on whether the Pebble Mine should be allowed to go forward. The comment period closes on July 1. If you want to send comments opposing the mine, click here.
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