• 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

  • On-Air

    Meet Baby Girl, this week’s Daybreak Adopt-A-Pet

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 31, 9:29

    Meet Baby Girl, a spayed, domestic short-hair kitty. She is social and affectionate and will greet you with a purr. She is full of love — even offering little kitty kisses — and loves to be pet, nudging you gently to ask for more. Baby Girl is a senior kitty who has lived with both […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Oct. 31

    by Brett Shepard on Oct 31, 8:45

    Clouds will be returning today to Southcentral from southwest to northeast. Moisture will move into the Prince William Sound and eastern Kenai Peninsula, beginning as snow then mixing with and changing over to rain at the lower elevations. The rest of the region will see just a few isolated snow showers tonight. This includes the […]

  • Crime

    Fairbanks attempted murder suspect arrested in Ohio

    by Associated Press on Oct 31, 8:08

    A Fairbanks man sought on an attempted murder warrant has been arrested in Ohio. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1voAv8f) reports 39-year-old Richard Walker Lane was taken into custody Wednesday by Warren County Sheriff Department deputies at a home in Morrow near Cincinnati. Alaska State Troopers say Lane on Aug. 24 forced his way into a […]

  • On-Air

    Get Out: Alaska K9 Aquatics

    by Brett Shepard on Oct 31, 7:59

    This week’s Get Out is one for the dogs. I visited a place called Alaska K9 Aquatics and brought my basset hound, Einstein, with me. My Daybreak friends James Gaddis and Megan Mazurek also joined us with their pooches, Obi and Isla. Alaska K9 Aquatics is the only swimming pool for dogs in Anchorage. It’s […]

  • News

    Yupik speakers get ballot translation help from radio station

    by Kate McPherson on Oct 31, 7:21

    With only a few days before the general election, Bethel radio host and translator John Active is reading information to voters in Yupik. “In the past it was not adequate, not at all, not at all,” said the 66-year-old, who was born in Bethel and raised by his Yupik-speaking grandmother. Active says Yupik speakers don’t […]

  • News

    In Kenai, search continues for missing family

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 30, 22:46

    Kenai police are making a last push to find a missing family of four and their dog. Rebecca Adams, her two daughters and her boyfriend, Brandon Jividen, have been missing since late May. Kenai police conducted what could be their last search for the family Thursday. They focused their efforts on the large wooded area […]

  • News

    LNG project open house draws large crowd, many questions

    by Dave Leval on Oct 30, 22:39

    It’s the biggest project for the state since the trans-Alaska pipeline. Backers of a proposed LNG pipeline hope they have more support for it. People packed the Crowne Plaza of Anchorage for the latest open house Thursday. The Alaska LNG Project would build a gas treatment plant near Prudhoe Bay. The natural gas would then travel […]

  • News

    Judge rules on National Guard document release

    by Emily Carlson on Oct 30, 21:30

    On Friday, Alaskans will get a glimpse into what Gov. Sean Parnell knew about the Alaska National Guard scandal, and when he knew it. Thursday afternoon, a Superior Court judge ruled the state must provide a detailed log of hundreds of pages of emails by Friday at noon. Judge Greg Miller lectured state attorneys on Alaska […]