BBNC Applauds EPA for Proposed 404(c) Determination in Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) president and chief executive officer Jason Metrokin is releasing the following statement concerning today’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement of proposed Clean Water Act Section 404(c) restrictions for the mining of the Pebble deposit.
“BBNC is grateful for the proposed determination released by EPA earlier today. We applaud EPA for proposing what appears to be common sense, baseline standards for the Pebble project. Our shareholders have had concerns about the proposed mine for many years – concerns that the mine, even under normal operations, would irreparably damage the region’s incredible sockeye salmon runs. These concerns were greatly exacerbated by the Pebble Limited Partnership’s serial failure to apply for a Clean Water Act permit and the State of Alaska’s insistence on promoting large-scale mining in the Iliamna Lake region.
EPA has been studying Bristol Bay because our federally recognized Tribes and Native organizations, including BBNC and others, asked EPA to evaluate the threats posed by the potential development of the Pebble project. Today’s announcement shows that EPA has been listening to the people of Bristol Bay and is sensitive to finding a solution that will allow responsible development to proceed in the region while removing the threat posed to the people, cultures and economies of our region by the proposed Pebble mine.
We look forward to reviewing the proposed determination in more detail, and continuing to work with all stakeholders in a public process towards a final determination.”
Leading up to today’s announcement, EPA spent three years preparing a Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, which was informed by a scientific peer review and public input from over one million people. More than 90-percent of public comments received from the region as part of this process have been in support of agency action to protect Bristol Bay’s clean water.
EPA’s proposed determination does not preclude the Pebble Limited Partnership from applying for a Clean Water Act permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
About BBNC: Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) is a responsible Alaska Native investment corporation dedicated to the mission of “Enriching Our Native Way of Life.” Established through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), BBNC works to ensure the continuation of the life and culture of its over 9,600 shareholders – the Eskimo, Indian and Aleut Natives of Southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.