EPA reports trouble for proposed mine

A government report indicates a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay region could have devastating effects on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.,/b>

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

JUNEAU- A report released Wednesday regarding a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay region indicates it could have devastating effects on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.

The final report's findings are similar to those of an earlier draft. It concludes that depending on the size of the mine, up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed by the mine's footprint, including up to 22 miles of streams known to provide salmon spawning and rearing habitat. Up to 5,350 acres of wetlands ponds and lakes also would be lost.
 
EPA has said its goal was to get the science right, according to Dennis Mclerran, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10.
 
"Over three years, EPA compiled the best, most current science on the Bristol Bay watershed to understand how large-scale mining could impact salmon and water in this unique area of unparalleled natural resources. Our report concludes that large-scale mining poses risks to salmon and the tribal communities that have depended on them for thousands of years."
 
"The assessment is a technical resource for governments, tribes and the public as we consider how to address the challenges of large-scale mining and ecological protection in the Bristol Bay watershed."

 

The Pebble Partnership, which is looking to build one of the biggest copper mines in North America, finds the EPA's report lacking. 

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