EPA Rushing Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment; Ignoring Local Concerns

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

In May we highlighted the EPA’s controversial watershed assessment for Bristol Bay, Alaska. The EPA plans to use its power to pre-emptively deny mining in the area, even before any mines are actually proposed. The Pebble Mine site is the worlds largest untapped deposit of copper and rare earth materials, and is located in the area studied and the EPA is trying to kill it for the green lobby before the project is even formally proposed.

The EPA is rushing the public comment period on this study, holding townhall meeting in Seattle (1500 miles away from the mine site), and refusing to meet with those who support or have studied the project. Senator Lisa Murkowski spills the details.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for refusing to give Alaskans more time to comment on the agency’s controversial watershed assessment of the Bristol Bay region.

“The EPA’s refusal to provide additional time for the public to comment on the draft watershed assessment for Bristol Bay demonstrates, once again, that the agency does not understand Alaska,” Murkowski said. “There is no deadline – other than the one arbitrarily imposed by the EPA – that requires the agency to act now.”

Murkowski raised her concerns about the limited comment period directly with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Murkowski said the comment period, which is currently scheduled to close July 23, coincides with the busy summer season in Alaska, when many Alaskans are out commercial or subsistence fishing.

“I’m disappointed that the EPA’s Washington-based leaders have failed to see the benefits of allowing Alaskans adequate time to comment on an assessment that could have significant consequences for the future of our state,” Murkowski said.

Resourceful Earth has set up a convenient action alert site which allows you to write to your representatives about the situation. Access it here.

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