Salmon fishery at risk

This article was originally published in June 2017

A proposed mine near one of the last great wild salmon fisheries may proceed under the Trump administration. At press time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had reached a legal settlement with a company hoping to build a gold, copper and molybdenum mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, clearing the way for federal permits.

The move does not grant immediate approval to the Pebble Mine project. It still will have to undergo environmental review and clear state hurdles before any construction begins. But it reverses the Obama administration’s ban of the mine because it could have “significant” and potentially “catastrophic” impacts.

A coalition of fishing operators, native Alaskans, environmentalists and businesses, including PCC, have fought the mine proposal for more than a decade. Protecting Bristol Bay’s fishery is critical to thousands of commercial fishermen, including many who live in Washington and depend on Bristol Bay for their livelihood. It’s also critical to countless consumers and businesses that depend on wild salmon.

Under the terms of the agreement, EPA will begin withdrawing its proposed determination, subject to public notice and comment. We’ll keep you posted on how to make your views heard through the Sound Consumer and PCC Advocates, our opt-in email service that makes it easy for members to engage. Sign up at here.

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