Published since 1946
EPA Clean Water Act Proposed Determination Would Prohibit Disposal in Bristol Bay Watershed
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on May 25 that it was offering a revised Proposed Determination under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act that would prohibit the discharge of dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble Deposit. If finalized, the determination may be the final action to halt the development of the Pebble Mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The agency is seeking public comments through hearings that will be held in mid-June and written comments that must be submitted by July 5.
“Bristol Bay supports one of the world’s most important salmon fisheries,” said Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10 Casey Sixkiller. “Two decades of scientific study show us that mining the Pebble Deposit would cause permanent damage to an ecosystem that supports a renewable economic powerhouse and has sustained fishing cultures since time immemorial. Clearly, Bristol Bay and the thousands of people who rely on it deserve the highest level of protection.”
The Proposed Determination would prohibit discharges of dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit into waters of the United States within the mine site footprint for the 2020 Mine Plan located in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek watersheds, as well as discharges from any future plan to mine the Pebble deposit that would result in adverse effects similar to those associated with the 2020 Mine Plan. The prohibition and restriction in the revised Proposed Determination only apply to discharges of dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble Deposit. This action does not apply to any other resource development projects in the state of Alaska.