The following is courtesy of Businesses For Bristol Bay
JUNEAU, AK– Today, more than 200 companies and industry associations delivered a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for the EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to veto the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The letter states that, “Protecting Bristol Bay is not only the right thing to do, but it’s the economically responsible thing to do at a time when our country cannot afford to lose more jobs, income, or domestic food production.”
In the letter, businesses call attention to Bristol Bay’s already existing industries: “The waters of Bristol Bay are home to the world’s most productive and valuable wild salmon fishery. That fishery supplies roughly half of the world’s sockeye salmon, supports more than 14,000 fishing and seafood jobs, and generates over $1.5 billion of annual economic activity… For recreational purposes, Bristol Bay represents one of the planet’s finest destinations for sport fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.”
The letter comes the day after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not be making a final Record of Decision for the Pebble Mine until the Pebble Limited Partnership submits a compensatory mitigation plan. In the Army Corps’ request to the Pebble Partnership for a compensatory mitigation plan, the Army Corps cites that discharge at the mine site would cause “significant degradation” to Bristol Bay’s aquatic resources.
“A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment, which is why America’s seafood industry is grateful that the Army Corps has decided to tap the brakes on this toxic project and hold the Pebble Limited Partnership accountable,” said John Connelly, President of the National Fisheries Institute. “It’s reassuring to see the Army Corps acknowledge what American businesses have long known, that the Pebble Mine would cause substantial and unacceptable harm to Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery, which is an economic engine for Alaska and our country.”
“While the Army Corps’ decision to delay the Pebble permitting process is a step in the right direction, Bristol Bay remains vulnerable to being destroyed by the Pebble Mine,” said Ben Bulis, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. “That’s why we’re asking the Administration to take the next step and veto this project. Doing so not only protects America’s greatest salmon fishery for future generations, but also provides economic stability for American businesses whose bottom lines depend on Bristol Bay’s clean water and healthy salmon runs.”
Businesses for Bristol Bay is a national coalition of companies and business leaders united in advancing the protection of Bristol Bay’s future sustainability and productivity.