Details Announced On Rep. Peltola’s Pebble Mine Blocking Bill

As news broke this morning that Alaska House Representative Mary Peltola (D) was introducing a bill to further protect the Bristol Bay watershed from the Pebble Mine, details of the bill are now available. Here’s Rep. Peltola’s press release:

Bristol Bay Protection Act codifies 2023 EPA decision

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Mary Peltola (AK-AL) introduced the Bristol Bay Protection Act, new legislation that would codify a 2023 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to veto the Pebble Mine – a proposed copper-gold-molybdenum mining project in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska – under Clean Water Act section 404(c) ,into federal law.

“I came to DC to stand up for fish – to make fishing and the livelihoods of our fishing communities the national issue it deserves to be,” said Rep. Peltola. “Whole communities rely on Bristol Bay’s watershed for subsistence and as a deeply interwoven part of their social and cultural practices. In introducing this bill, we’re moving to protect our fisheries and streams, water supply, and the deep value that these waters have had to Alaska Natives who have relied on them for thousands of years.” 

Full bill text is available HERE.

Here’s some text from the bill:

(4) Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed is an area of unparalleled ecological value, boasting salmon diversity and productivity unrivaled anywhere in North America.

(5) The region’s salmon resources have supported Alaska Native cultures for thousands of years and continue to support one of the last intact salmon-based cultures in the world.

(6) The Bristol Bay watershed’s largely undisturbed aquatic habitats and productive salmon populations create this globally significant ecological and cultural resource.

(7) People in the Bristol Bay region rely on subsistence resources to provide high-quality foods, foster a healthy lifestyle, and form the basis for social relations. Much of the region’s population practices subsistence, with salmon making up a large portion of their diets, and residents are particularly vulnerable to potential changes in salmon abundance.