EPA Announces That It Will Consider Blocking Pebble Mine


Written by: Daryl Kenny

Today’s announcement is another victory in the battle to stop Pebble Mine, but the war isn’t over.
Photo by Pat Clayton

Two days ago, we asked you to send an email to the Environmental Protection Agency, asking that the agency use its authority to protect Bristol Bay from the dangers proposed by Pebble Mine. Today, the EPA announced today that it is invoking its authority under the Clean Water Act to determine whether it should permanently bar the development of Pebble Mine. This action represents a major victory for native Alaskans, commercial fisheries, sportsmen, and conservationists who have petitioned the agency for the past four years to use its authority to block harmful mining development.

“Extensive scientific study has given us ample reason to believe that the Pebble Mine would likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed and its abundant salmon fisheries,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a statement. “It’s why EPA is taking this step forward in our effort to ensure protection for the world’s most productive salmon fishery from the risks it faces from what could be one of the largest open pit mines on earth. This process is not something the agency does very often, but Bristol Bay is an extraordinary and unique resource.”

In fact, the EPA has invoked its 404(c) authority only 13 times before. The best-case scenario would see the agency barring the Army Corps of Engineers from issuing the discharge permit for the mine.

Orvis is proud of its customers’ support of the 2013 Stop Pebble Mine Customer Matching Grant, which exceeded its goal by nearly 50%. While today’s announcement is a major turning point in the campaign, until the EPA issues its final 404c determination, the battle isn’t over. As part of the coalition formed to protect Bristol Bay, we plan to remain engaged and informed. We invite you to do so, as well.

Click here for the Washington Post story on today’s announcement.

Click here for Trout Unlimited’s press release.

Click here to read the EPA announcement in full.

8 thoughts on “EPA Announces That It Will Consider Blocking Pebble Mine

  1. Sean Kirkpatrick

    This is good news. The battle is far from over, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

    The upswing in mining nationwide is not only economically unnecessary, but as history as shown, leads to boom and bust economic cycles and extensive environmental damage that in the long run does more harm to local economies than good. We are seeing increased activity in sulfide and other ore mining in the UP of Michigan, an area that has only recently recovered from essentially unregulated copper mining in the past. Our local economy now revolves around outdoor activities and tourism, including top-notch fly fishing. Recently mine permits were granted an mining resumed at the headwaters of one of the only systems that still host spawning native coaster brook trout. Let’s hope we can reign in this latest assult on the environment!

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Pebble Mine - The North American Fly Fishing Forum

  3. frank simons

    Whether the waters of Bristol Bay, threatened by mining, the wetland salvaging to protect the rivers of Vermont, or right here, Big Sarasota Pass, Siesta Key, the wholesale destruction of the mangrove fisheries, and the imminent danger of being dredged once again to provide sand for the more affluent, Lido Key, it is an ongoing struggle against exploitation of the environment and a congress which is all to often effectively lobbied by big business. Sites such as this and the good work of organizations like TU are essential.

    Reply
  4. sandy

    Just where do you guys stand on property rights such as the rights of the people to build a holding pond on their own land ?
    I believe in protecting the environment, but, at the same time I also believe that a family has the right to build a pond on their own land. hence, property rights.
    Obama usurps his powers and uses the (EPA) as his own “jackboot” thug enforcement.

    And, before any response, again, I believe in protecting the environment, but I also believe in protecting the basic rights of the (Constitution) of the United States).

    Reply
  5. Edward

    No one without a monitory vested interest in PM wants to see PM come to fruition.
    However, Orvis should refrain from shoving environmental issues down the throats of it’s customers.
    We are here to shop for Orvis quality goods.
    Keep politics out of the store.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Pebble Mine Update: Mining Company Rio Tinto leaves Pebble Project | Orvis News

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