EPA advanced its independent review of mining in the region, releasing a comprehensive draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment that documents the devastating range of impacts of large-scale mining on the region and its communities – impacts that, according to EPA, are likely to occur even if the project operates flawlessly, which no large-scale mine ever has. Issuance of the final assessment is expected in early 2013.
Imagine if a massive open-pit mine were carved into the pristine ecosystem that supported your livelihood and your region’s economy. Or if were built in a way that threatened the cultural traditions that your family has honored for generations.
It’s an alarming prospect, and that’s why so many communities in Bristol Bay, Alaska oppose the Pebble Mine.
This enormous gold and copper operation would produce an estimated 10 billion tons of contaminated waste and require earthen dams—some taller than the Three Gorges Dam in China—to hold back that waste forever. All of this would be done at the headwaters of a wild salmon run that supports a $1.5 billion annual commercial fishery and employs 14,000 people.