On Wednesday, May 25th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced revisions to proposed Clean Water Act protections which, if finalized, would have the potential to prevent the formerly proposed Pebble mine from returning to Bristol Bay.
The key permit for the proposed Pebble mine was denied by federal regulators in November 2020 after the project failed to meet Clean Water Act standards. Now, residents, anglers, hunters, Tribes, and commercial fishermen in Bristol Bay are calling on EPA to finalize Clean Water Act protections to make sure Pebble cannot come back in the future.
Under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, EPA has the authority to restrict, prohibit or deny mine waste from entering local waters if it poses an unacceptable adverse impact to fisheries or water resources. After requests from local residents and fishing business owners in 2010, the EPA initiated the process and released proposed protections in 2014. Held up in lawsuits for nearly 8 years, the EPA has now reinitiated the process and is committed to finalizing these protections. Read more about the history of Clean Water Act protections in Bristol Bay from Trout Unlimited.
Since the EPA announced revisions to the proposed Clean Water Act protections, the agency has opened a 40 day public comment period, which is ongoing until July 5th, 2022. It is absolutely critical that anglers across the country weigh in to support these protections, and submit an official comment here.
This community was loud when it came to stopping the formerly proposed Pebble mine, but the reality is that our work isn’t done until Bristol Bay has long-term protections to ensure Pebble- or another mining company- can’t return in the future. Clean Water Act protections are one element of what’s needed to ensure that fish, fish-based businesses, and trips of a lifetime to Bristol Bay can continue for generations to come. We hope you’ll stand with Deneki in telling EPA you support Clean Water Act protections, and submit a comment to EPA today.
For more information, follow Trout Unlimited’s Save Bristol Bay campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re fishing with us at Rapids Camp Lodge this year, please ask Save Bristol Bay Guide Ambassadors Jeremy Inman and Pat Walsh for the latest update.
Deneki Outdoors is proud to be an advocate for the places we work and fish. Please join us in telling the EPA that we support Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay. Take action and submit a comment here: www.savebristolbay.org/take-action. #NoPebbleMine #NotHereNotEver