EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Update
EPA is making good progress on an assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed. The public comment draft is targeted for April 2012. Between now and then, presentations, fact sheets and other information will be posted on the EPA Bristol Bay website.
While you are checking out the website, I recommend browsing through the Intergovernmental Technical Team Meeting, where you will find slide presentations that were given to our Tribal, State and Federal partners in August. Start with the agenda, and you can click on the presentations in the order they were presented at the meeting. This information provides a snapshot of work in progress. The project team will add, update and refine the content over the next several months.
There is also a page on the website for Frequently Asked Questions. Here is the question of the week:
Will the EPA watershed assessment stop local community development proposals such as airstrips, fish-processing plants, refineries, hospitals, schools or museums?
No. There is already an existing permitting system that covers community development projects to ensure they comply with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act if they are going to be constructed in a wetland or require a wetland to be filled.
The watershed assessment is not a regulatory action. The EPA watershed assessment will evaluate existing and potential risks to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery associated with large-scale mining development.
Please send questions and thoughts about the EPA Bristol Bay watershed assessment to: firstname.lastname@example.org