• 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

  • News

    Kodiak brewery serves welcoming atmosphere with unique beers

    by Emily Carlson on Aug 03, 23:50

    Alaska has one of the highest concentrations of craft breweries in the nation. According to the beer app “The Beer Up Here,” here are currently 23 Alaskan owned breweries, with at least four more in the works. The Brewers Association says the average Alaskan drinks 12 gallons of beer per year. That’s the fourth highest […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, Aug. 3

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 03, 20:34

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Mostly sunny and warm with light wind.   Southeast Partly cloudy for northern and central areas with a low in British Columbia pushing clouds and some showers into the south.   Interior/North Slope Lots of sun in the Interior and warmer, the slope will have mostly cloudy skies, fog and some […]

  • News

    New ice cream company features Alaskan ingredients

    by Lauren Maxwell on Aug 03, 20:25

    When Elissa Brown sees a beet, she doesn’t think savory, she thinks sweet. Alaskan beets are a prime ingredient in her newest ice cream flavor, featuring Alaskan beets and orange. Brown and her partner Chris Pike started their business, Wild Scoops, at the beginning of the summer. The couple has been making small batches of […]

  • Politics

    Alaska senators vote to advance Planned Parenthood debate

    by Associated Press on Aug 03, 20:06

    U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan voted to advance for debate legislation that would halt federal aid to Planned Parenthood. The effort failed, falling seven votes shy of the threshold needed. Recently released videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists showed Planned Parenthood officials dispassionately discussing how they sometimes provide medical researchers with tissue from […]

  • News

    Viral video showing dangerous driving on Glenn Highway raises safety questions

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 03, 19:35

    Travelers on the Glenn Highway say they were scared for their safety Saturday evening when a driver in a red truck crossed over the median and into oncoming traffic. A passenger witnessing the dangerous driving caught it all on camera. With more than 54,000 views, the video is going viral on Facebook and has raised […]

  • Crime

    Police: 1 dead in Northeast Anchorage shooting, neighbors tried to save him

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 03, 19:30

    An Anchorage woman says she and others tried to save a man who was shot in his car Monday evening. Around 6:30 p.m., residents in east Anchorage reported hearing multiple shots fired near the intersection of Creekside Center Drive and Muldoon Road. Several people found a man with multiple gun shot wounds in his car. […]

  • News

    Glenn Highway traffic being diverted after light pole topples onto lanes

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 03, 19:03

    Outbound traffic on the Glenn Highway is being diverted after a vehicle struck a pole, knocking it over onto the highway, according to the Anchorage Police Department. Police were notified of the collision at 5:35 p.m. The pole fell across all three outbound lanes, but police say no one was injured. All outbound traffic has […]

  • News

    Anchorage police respond to drive-by shooting on Northern Lights Blvd.

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 03, 17:53

    Anchorage police say an airsoft gun appears to be the weapon used in a drive-by shooting that occurred Monday afternoon near the intersection of Northern Light Boulevard and Lake Otis Parkway. “Multiple projectiles went through the victim’s rear windshield,” police said in a statement. No one was hurt during the incident, according to Anchorage police […]