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BBNC Very Disappointed in EPA, Trump Administration’s Pebble Mine Settlement


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ANCHORAGE, AK – Jason Metrokin, CEO of Bristol Bay Native Corporation, issued the following statement regarding the EPA’s announced settlement with Northern Dynasty Minerals related to the agency’s proposed determination for the Bristol Bay Watershed.
 
“BBNC is very disappointed the EPA and the Trump Administration have decided to withdraw the agency's prior actions that sought to protect Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble mine. Pebble mine will risk thousands of long-held American jobs and Bristol Bay’s sustainable wild salmon fishery for the benefit of a foreign mining company.  For this reason, BBNC and the vast majority of the people of Bristol Bay oppose the mine as proposed.  Despite Northern Dynasty Minerals’ claims to the contrary, EPA’s Proposed Determination does not prevent the company from moving forward with permitting. Today’s court filing calls into question how serious the EPA is about following its mission and fulfilling the purposes of the Clean Water Act.
 
“Today’s actions are also far from the end of the story for the proposed Determination. There will be a formal process before EPA can unwind its proposal and BBNC and the people of Bristol Bay will make our voices heard during this process. We appreciate that President Trump left Bristol Bay out of his recent offshore drilling executive, and the administration should stand by its stated deference to the views of local people and heed our call that the proposed Pebble mine has no place in Bristol Bay.
 
“Further, should Pebble finally decide to move forward with permitting after over a decade of failed promises to do so, we call on our Congressional delegation and state leaders to strongly support a robust state and federal permitting process for Pebble Mine that does not cut any corners. This process should rely on science, including the numerous studies that are the basis for the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.
 
“We have never doubted that science and the facts will be on our side. But we have been concerned that a final decision on Pebble will be made based on considerations other than science and what’s best for Bristol Bay, its people, economy and way-of-life. Today’s court filing reinvigorates the fears that led us and others to petition the federal government seven years ago.
 
“Irrespective of today’s settlement, nothing about the proposed Pebble mine has changed. It is still the wrong mine, in the wrong place as the late Senator Ted Stevens said many years ago. BBNC’s opposition to the mine remains steadfast, and the resolve of the people of Bristol Bay is not and will not be deterred.”
 
About BBNC: Bristol Bay Native Corporation 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, BBNC works to protect the land in Bristol Bay, celebrate the legacy of its people, and enhance the lives of its shareholders.
 
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