Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

EPA exaggerates support, misleads public on Bristol Bay report


Groups advocating for responsible economic development are joining Congressman Don Young in questioning the EPA’s
claim of overwhelming public support for the agency’s Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This follows last week’s
EPA science peer review panel hearings and deliberations in Anchorage.

Truth About Pebble, the Alaska Industry Support Alliance, the Resource Development Council, Alaska Miners Association,
Council of Alaska Producers and Alaska State Chamber of Commerce are echoing Rep. Young’s concern that the EPA is
misleading the public with their claim of “90 percent support,” as touted by Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran. In
reality, the vast majority of that support came from web-generated, pre-written mass email messages that were – in the
EPA’s words – “identical or nearly identical in content and format.”

“Mr. McLerran’s statement regarding public support for the draft assessment is misleading,” said Truth About Pebble
Chairperson Gail Phillips. “And it’s concerning that the agency is repeating the talking points of national environmental

The exaggerated claim of public support for the draft assessment was first made by the New York-based Natural
Resources Defense Council last month and Pebble opponents have been repeating it ever since. The Regional
Administrator’s decision to propagate the messaging of activist groups rather than focusing on the merit of the
arguments advanced during the public comment period suggests potential bias towards the views expressed by these
environmental organizations.

“The future of the Bristol Bay region is a controversial issue, and Alaskans have different views about whether a copper
mine should be built in this part of Alaska. But the debate should be between Alaskans, and the outcome should be
determined by the facts and the science through established processes, not the ability of activist organizations to
overload the EPA’s email inbox with spam,” said Truth Board member Kathryn Thomas.

Groups behind the mass email campaigns include: the Natural Resources Defense Council (New York, NY), the National
Wildlife Federation (Reston, VA), the National Parks Conservation Association (Washington, D.C.), Pew Environmental
Group (Washington, DC) and the Sierra Club (San Francisco, CA).

“This has been a flawed process since the beginning and these recent revelations concern us greatly,” said RDC Executive
Director Rick Rogers. “We again call upon the EPA to go back to the drawing board, give Alaskans sufficient time to
review and comment on the draft assessment and get this right.”

To read Congressman Don Young’s statement, click here:

Edit Module

Add your comment: