Jan 16, 2014

EPA: Bristol Bay Mine Threatens World's Largest Salmon Fishery

Environment News Service], January 15, 2014 (ENS) – Proposed large-scale mining in Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed would pose risks to the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery and Alaska Native cultures dependent on salmon, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concludes in its final Bristol Bay Assessment released today.

The report, titled "An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska," is a scientific report, not a decision document, Dennis McLerran, regional administrator for EPA Region 10, told reporters on a conference call.

"The assessment is a technical resource for governments, tribes and the public as we consider how to address the challenges of large-scale mining and ecological protection in the Bristol Bay watershed," said McLerran.

"Over three years, EPA compiled the best, most current science on the Bristol Bay watershed to understand how large-scale mining could impact salmon and water in this unique area of unparalleled natural resources," McLerran said.

They are identified as mineral development areas by the State of Alaska."Our report concludes that large-scale mining poses risks to salmon and the tribal communities that have depended on them for thousands of years," said McLerran. "It really is an extraordinary place."