• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 46s

Proposed regulations could block Pebble Mine

By Bonney Bowman 3:43 PM July 18, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

A new proposal by the EPA could block the development of a mine in Bristol Bay.

The regulations are meant to protect the region from the effects of copper mining, but opponents say the EPA is overstepping its bounds.

The EPA says a mine, like the one proposed by the Pebble Partnership, would jeopardize the fishing industry in Bristol Bay.

The Pebble Partnership says while they’re glad the EPA didn’t veto the project outright, they haven’t even applied for permits yet and they think the agency is being preemptive.

The proposed regulations limit the impact mining can have on wetlands and streams salmon rely on to reach their spawning grounds.

It would restrict mining activity that results in the loss of five or more miles of stream salmon use, the loss of 1,100 or more acres of wetlands connected to those streams and limits stream flow alterations.

The fishing industry in Bristol Bay is worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year and supports Alaska Native communities.

The EPA says a mine, like the one the Pebble Partnership presented to potential investors, would be larger then Manhattan and almost as deep as the Grand Canyon.

But Pebble leaders say the EPA should have waited until the group presented a formal plan and entered the permitting process to make a decision about its impact.

“We’re kind of in a catch-22 in that people say ‘well, we want to see your plan but we also don’t want to rush one out the door.’ We want to make sure we have the opportunity to present a responsible plan to Alaskans, given the intense interest in our project,” said Mike Heatwole, Pebble Partnership vice president of public affairs.

The Pebble Partnership and the state of Alaska are currently engaged in a legal battle with the EPA about whether or not the agency can place conditions on the project before permits are filed.

But for the tribes living in Bristol Bay, this proposal is a long time coming. They say they’re overjoyed by the agency’s decision to prevent catastrophic damage to the pristine ecosystem so many people rely on for survival.

“We were very, very concerned about metallic sulfide mining and how it would affect the watershed, how it would affect the world’s largest sockeye salmon run left on the face of the planet,” said United Tribes of Bristol Bay representative Alannah Hurley.

The EPA’s guidelines are just a proposal at this point. You can still weigh in.

The agency will be holding public hearings the week of August 11. Oral and written comments on EPA’s proposal will be accepted at the following hearings:

  • Anchorage: Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m.
Egan Center – Cook and Artegan Rooms
  • New Stuyahok Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 5 p.m.
Cetuyaraq Community Center
  • Nondalton: Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 5 p.m.
Nondalton Community Center
  • Kokhanok: Thursday, Aug. 14, 5 p.m.
Location to be announced
  • Dillingham: Thursday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m.
Middle School Gymnasium
  • Iliamna: Friday, Aug. 15 at 12 p.m.
Community Center
  • Igiugig: Friday, Aug. 15 at 12 p.m.
Tribal Hall

Comments can also be submitted online through Sept. 19. Based on what they hear from you, the EPA will then take another look at the proposal.

Latest Stories

  • Fairbanks woman gets 23 years for husband’s shooting death

    by Associated Press on Apr 30, 13:51

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – A 51-year-old Alaska woman charged with killing her husband who was missing for weeks before police found his body buried under snow on their property in Fairbanks has been sentenced to 23 years in prison. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/2qiyuDj) Monica Dee Forbes was sentenced Friday for the 2015 death […]

  • News

    Anchorage police looking for missing teen

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 30, 13:41

    The Anchorage Police Department is asking for the public’s help locating a 13-year-old runaway.  Alexis Stewart left during the night and hasn’t spoken to her family since. APD said there are concerns for her safety. Stewart is described as being 5 feet 3 inches tall, with straight, long blonde hair. Police did not know what […]

  • Politics

    Lawmakers find common ground on $1T plan to keep gov’t open

    by Associated Press on Apr 30, 12:54

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Top Capitol Hill negotiators are reporting progress toward a long-sought agreement on a massive $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund the day-to-day operations of virtually every federal agency through Oct. 1. Aides say lawmakers closely involved in the talks have worked through many sticking points in hopes of making the measure […]

  • Weather

    At least 9 killed as storms roll across the US

    by Associated Press on Apr 30, 11:51

    CANTON, Texas (AP) – The Latest on severe weather in parts of the U.S. (all times local): 3:10 p.m. Authorities say two people have died in flooding in Arkansas, raising the death toll from weekend storms in that state to three. Officials say two children are also missing in Arkansas after a vehicle was swept […]

  • Man charged in Fairbanks shooting that left 1 critically injured

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 30, 10:45

    A 37-year-old man, who turned himself in to Fairbanks police, was taken into custody Saturday evening, following a shooting that left another man with critical injuries. According to the Fairbanks Police Department, the shooting was reported at 3:57 p.m., Saturday. When police arrived at 612 11th Avenue they found Vernon Smoke, 36, with a gunshot wound […]

  • Lifestyle

    The ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ folds its tent for good

    by CBS News on Apr 30, 10:12

    Faced with declining ticket sales, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus — after juggling the numbers as best it could — is staging its final performance two weeks from today … which means that for anyone wanting to take one last look, there’s no time to lose. Lee Cowan reports: “Ladies and Gentleman, […]

  • Lifestyle

    Facebook acknowledges election manipulation

    by CBS News on Apr 29, 18:07

    Without saying the words “Russia,” “Hillary Clinton,” or “Donald Trump,” Facebook acknowledged Thursday for the first time what others have been saying for months. In a paper released by its security division, the company said “malicious actors” used the platform during the 2016 presidential election as part of a campaign “with the intent of harming […]

  • There’s a celestial trick to the latest postal stamp

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Apr 29, 18:04

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The U.S. Postal Service is going all out for this summer’s total solar eclipse, with a first-of-its kind stamp. Just touch the stamp with your finger, and the heat transforms the image of the blacked-out sun into the moon. Remove your finger, and the eclipse reappears. The trick is using temperature-sensitive […]