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Alaska State Legislators Comment on US EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

Governor should act, or EPA will have to

This week, Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) and Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) submitted comments to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.

“The proposed Pebble Mine puts the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery at an unjustifiable risk. Trading one of Alaska’s resources for another is not the right decision,” said Rep. Josephson. “I hope the EPA gives the governor a chance to do the right thing, but if he fails to respond to the science and the citizens of Bristol Bay, the EPA will have to do his work.”

In their comments, Rep. Josephson and Rep. Gara encourage Governor Parnell to use his state authority through the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to protect the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery. However, if the Alaska state government fails to act, the EPA must invoke the Clean Water Act section 404(C) which requires the protection of salmon, wild trout, wildlife, and jobs in Bristol Bay.

“Governor Parnell should be given another opportunity to stop the largest surface strip mine on the continent, but if he doesn’t, then the EPA should protect what the Governor refuses to,” said Rep. Gara in his comments to the EPA.

The EPA extended the comment period which now ends June 30, 2013.

Read Rep. Gara’s comment letter: http://akdemocrats.org/docs/062613_EPA-Comments-re-Pebble.pdf

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