Alaska: Pebble Mine enviro impact statement proves EPA right, mine incompatible with salmon

Feb. 22, 2019 – Statement of Earthworks Northwest Program Director Bonnie Gestring

“The draft environmental impact statement the Army Corps of Engineers released yesterday highlights the unacceptable consequences of the proposed Pebble Mine on the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery and those that depend on it.

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After years of study, EPA amassed a body of science on the effects of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed, and proposed safety limits to protect salmon. The DEIS predicts that even the “small” mine plan will destroy more than 80 stream miles and 3,500 acres of wetlands. The permanent loss of salmon streams surpasses the 5-mile safety limit EPA proposed to prevent unacceptable harm to salmon. These impacts are just the tip of the iceberg.  The mine’s inevitable expansion would cause even more expansive damage.

Every major mining company invested in the Pebble proposal has ultimately decided to pull out. Today’s environmental impact statement illustrates part of the reason why: it’s simply too destructive to one of the world’s most valuable fisheries.” — Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks’ Northwest Mining Program Director

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