Conservation and fishing groups are applauding an announcement today that the EPA will consider blocking the construction of the Pebble Mine in Alaska. “Extensive scientific study has given us ample reason to believe that the Pebble Mine would likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed and its abundant salmon fisheries,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
According to the Washington Post, the EPA has “invoked its 404(c) authority under the Clean Water Act only 13 times in its history. In starting the months-long process, the agency is sending a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, the state of Alaska and the mine’s sponsor to ask why they believe the operation would not damage the pristine watershed.”
“While the Environmental Protection Agency said it hadn’t yet decided whether to block the mine, officials said the fishery was an ‘extraordinary resource’ that needed special protection,”reported the Anchorage Daily News.