WRITTEN BY: Bob Waldrop, Executive Director – Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association
PUBLISHED: September 16, 2013
The numbers are in. The people have again spoken: Bristol Bay is the wrong place for a mine on the scale of the proposed Pebble project. During the EPA’s second public comment period on its draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, almost 900,000 people weighed in on the issue, with nearly 75% of comments supporting the EPA’s efforts to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska. Bristol Bay is home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery and $1.5 billion industry that supports 14,000 jobs.
It’s no surprise that Anglo American, former 50% shareholder of the Pebble Limited Partnership, withdrew its stake in the Pebble Mine today stating that Pebble poses too many risks to move forward. Over 98% of the Bristol Bay watershed comments support EPA protecting Bristol Bay. Anglo American agreed.
The numbers couldn’t speak louder.
- 654,160 comments, or 73% of the 895,195 total comments, supported the EPA’s efforts to protect Bristol Bay.
- Over 90% of individual (not mass mailed) comments believe the EPA is right to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine.
The numbers from Alaska residents are equally impressive.
- Nearly 5,000, or 84%, of comments for Alaska supported the EPA, this coming from a state known for its support for resource development.
- 1,206, or 98% of the Bristol Bay residents who commented on the Watershed Assessment, supported the EPA protecting their region.
As the EPA finalizes its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment later this year, it has the clear support of the American people – and in particular, Alaskans and Bristol Bay residents – to protect this one-of-a-kind salmon resource. Put simply, Bristol Bay is no place for the Pebble Mine. Together, we can Save Bristol Bay.
These numbers and analysis were compiled by Sam Snyder and the Alaska Conservation Foundation. To view the full docket of comments, please visit http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189.