Bristol Bay, Alaska is Under the Eye of the EPA

--Chad Love

Been thinking about Bristol's future lately? Not that one (but really, who wouldn't want to read a twenty-year-old's "memoir") No, I mean this one, the really important one.
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Field & Stream_ has covered the Bristol Bay controversy/tragedy/blatant example of extreme corporate malfeasance a number of times. You can read more about it here or here or here or perhaps here or maybe [even here.

](/blogs/bass-fishing/2010/08/catch-and-release-playing-your-food)Now, the EPA says it will take a look at the whole big mess... [

](/blogs/bass-fishing/2010/08/catch-and-release-playing-your-food)From this story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday a scientific review of Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed, to "better understand how future large-scale development projects" might impact the greatest salmon fishing area in America. The EPA responded to a request by the Bristol Bay Native Corp. and nine federally recognized Bristol Bay Alaska native tribes, which asked the agency to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to protect the Bay. Native groups are fearful of the Pebble Mine, a giant gold-copper-molybdenum mine proposed between two of Bristol Bay's major salmon spawning streams and just west of Alaska's largest lake. "By 2006 estimates, the open pit mine would be two miles wide and produce up to 2.5 billion tons of acid-generating waste rock and discharged chemicals," the Bristol Bay Native Corp. said in requesting the review.
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_The EPA's Seattle-based Region 10 administrator, Dennis McLerran, said Monday: "The Bristol Bay watershed is essential to the health, environment and economy of Alaska." "Gathering data and getting public input now, before development occurs, just makes sense. Doing this we can be assured that our future decisions are grounded in the best science and information and in touch with the needs of these communities." Seattle-based fishing interests are major players in Bristol Bay. A bevy of distinguished Seattle restaurants -- Ray's Boathouse, the Steelhead Diner, Andaluca, and Flying Fish -- have joined opposition to the proposed mine. A major Seattle jewelry retailer, Ben Bridge Jewler, has joined Tiffany & Co. and other major firms in a pledge never to source their gold from the Pebble Mine.

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