Alaska Miners Association responds to the EPA’s final Bristol Bay Assessment
Anchorage, AK – Today, the EPA released its final Bristol Bay assessment, titled "An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska." While we will still need to review the full report, the Press Release issued by EPA Region 10 indicates that the agency continued to use hypothetical mining scenarios drawn from an aged economic report and NOT from a submitted or completed mine plan. They omitted current state and federal regulations that would be applied to any such project, and ignored modern mining practices. In addition, today's release of the report is further indication that EPA rushed this process, setting a dangerous tone for any development project in the United States.
"As a miner, a lifelong Alaskan, and an American, I am disappointed. First and foremost, natural resource development projects should always be evaluated by science and facts. Nothing more, nothing less,” said AMA Executive Director, Deantha Crockett. “In its assessment, the EPA has done an injustice to all development projects by supposing scenarios of poorly designed mines, omitting real-life standards that mining projects must follow, and exaggerating the impacts resulting from what is an impossible scenario. EPA has also done an injustice to Alaskans who deserve to know the scientific realities of Pebble, realities that will come through a mine plan submitted in the formal NEPA process. It is in this process that we should determine our support for the project based on whether or not it can be done right. This highly flawed report does not give us the information we need to make such an important decision."
Read the full assessment here: http://www.epa.gov/ncea/pdfs/bristolbay/bristol_bay_assessment_final_2014_ES.pdf