EPA with the Biden administration announced it’s taking new steps to protect the waters of a Northwest state habitat on Thursday. This is another major blow to a huge gold and copper mine project that long drawn wrath and controversy in the area.
EPA has Kind and Protective Words About the Habitat
Calling the bay an “Alaskan treasure,” the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement. Moreover, it is asking the federal court to allow for Clean Water Act protections. It would be for parts of the bay. Thus, in fact, the court does agree, the agency could go and move forward. That is with designing long-term protections for the bay.”The Bristol Bay Watershed is an Alaskan treasure that critically goes to underscore the critical value of clean water in America,” EPA administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.
EPA: Science-Based Decisions
“In fact, today’s announcement goes on to reinforce once again the EPA’s commitment to making science-based decisions. That is to protect our natural environment. In fact, what is at stake is really preventing pollution. Moreover, it would disproportionately impact Alaska Natives. Therefore, protect a sustainable future for the most productive salmon fishery in North America.”
This announcement does mark the present major setback to the Pebble Mine project. It would be the largest extraction site in North America. Now, for some two decades, the proposal for the mine has been really a lightning rod for controversy. It has been widely torn apart by many interest groups in Alaska. Plus the lower states, and then also face heavy opposition from many Alaskans.
Clean Water Act Provision
Then, after three years of peer-reviewed study, in 2014, the Obama administration’s EPA has invoked a rarely used provision of the Clean Water Act trying to protect Bristol Bay after finding that a mine “would result in a complete loss of fish habitat. That is due to elimination, dewatering, and fragmentation of streams, also wetlands, and other aquatic resources” in few areas of the bay.