• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 6s

EPA says Bristol Bay mine poses big risks

By Lauren Maxwell 7:57 PM January 15, 2014

Agency releases final watershed report

ANCHORAGE – Is the risk of a large-scale mining project too great for Bristol Bay?

Some say that question has been answered by a report released Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA looked at the possible impacts of developing a large gold and copper mine in the Bristol Bay Watershed and found many areas for concern. And while the EPA never mentions the Pebble Mine Project by name, it does say the report is based on information that was submitted by Northern Dynasty, the company that wants to develop the mine.

It took three years to put the report together from start to finish. It concludes that a project like Pebble poses serious risks for both salmon and native cultures in Bristol Bay.

But not everyone agrees with its conclusions.

“It’s fantasy, a lot of what they’ve done,” said Pebble Partnership CEO John Shively. “Should fantasy be a nail in the coffin? I don’t think so.”

The Partnership said the report was rushed and based on bad science. Those who oppose the mine think otherwise.

“If you don’t like the outcome of the review, you are going to say it’s bad data,” said Bristol Bay Native Corporation President Jason Metrokin, who only had praise for the process.

“It’s science-based and it’s been peer-reviewed multiple times. There are hundreds of thousands of public comments. This is unique to have that much involvement in a process like this.”

But Pebble insists the permitting process, not the report, that should be used to judge the mine project.

“I think when we have that plan and we go into the permitting process, we will show that we will not have the devastating impacts the EPA is projecting in this project,” Shively said.

The report doesn’t make a recommendation about whether Pebble should be allowed to go forward, although the EPA does have the power to veto the project under the Clean Water Act. Many people, including a coalition of Bristol Bay Native groups, are urging the agency to do that.

Gov. Sean Parnell does not agree. The permitting process should determine whether the mine is a good fit for the state, he said.

The Pebble Partnership said it will continue working on a plan for the mine to submit for the permitting application. However, they said a higher priority now is finding a new business partner which will help them invest — the old one, Anglo American, pulled out of the project in October.

Latest Stories

  • Weather

    Hello spring? Anchorage may get 5 to 9 inches of snow overnight

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 28, 16:41

    The National Weather Service says Anchorage residents should expect between 5 and 9 inches of wet snow through Wednesday morning. The NWS issued a winter weather advisory that will be in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday. Watch the entire KTVA Weather forecast at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. “Periods of snow […]

  • Weather

    KTVA Weather Lab: Aquarian Charter School

    by Melissa Frey on Mar 28, 15:56

    In this week’s KTVA Weather Lab, I visited Aquarian Charter School in Anchorage, where the second and third graders in Ms. Sarah and Ms. Stacy’s classes have been tracking the weather all year. I also answered the question of the week: What do meteorologists do on an average day? Every Tuesday, Melissa Frey will take the KTVA […]

  • News

    Multiple agencies searching for missing seal hunter in Western Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 28, 15:38

    Last updated at 4:46 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28 Multiple agencies and search and rescue groups are working together to find a Newtok seal hunter who was reported overdue Monday morning. Alaska State Troopers received word that 59-year-old Tom John was overdue around 11:45 a.m., more than 24 hours after he left the village of […]

  • Politics

    Meet the candidates: District 5 – Seat I – East Anchorage

    by Daniella Rivera on Mar 28, 15:21

    KTVA invited every registered candidate running in the upcoming Anchorage municipal election to an on-camera interview at our studios to discuss the following topics: Balancing the budget Public safety Introducing new taxes Addressing homelessness in Anchorage Plans for the future We also asked each candidate to submit a 300-word biography, each of which has been […]

  • News

    Anchorage police respond to report of gunfire between 2 vehicles in Northeast Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 28, 12:11

    Anchorage police officers were called to Northeast Anchorage Monday evening shortly before 7 p.m. after witnesses in the area reported hearing gunshots. One witness told the Anchorage Police Department that multiple shots had been fired between two vehicles near the intersection of 11th Avenue and Turpin Street, according to a release from APD spokesperson Renee […]

  • Sports

    GCI Great Alaska Shootout: Same tournament, different marketing strategy

    by Dave Goldman on Mar 28, 11:56

    This November, the GCI Great Alaska Shootout has a big anniversary — it turns 40. The tournament’s look has changed over the years. Now, University of Alaska Anchorage’s athletic director, Keith Hackett, is marketing it that way too. For decades the tournament featured some of the biggest programs in college basketball. But the days of the […]

  • News

    Trump signs order rolling back Obama-era environmental efforts

    by Associated Press on Mar 28, 11:42

    President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will roll back many of former President Barack Obama’s efforts to curb global warming. The order is aimed at helping spur American energy jobs. The president signed the order at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump says this is “the start of a new […]

  • Lifestyle

    Power outage leaves Juneau skiers dangling on chair lift

    by Associated Press on Mar 28, 9:29

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A weekend power outage at Juneau’s Eaglecrest Ski Area left 200 skiers temporarily dangling. The Juneau Empire reports three chairlifts that use power from Alaska Electric Light & Power shut down Sunday morning during an outage. Alaska Electric Light &Power spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll says a squirrel made contact with energized and […]