Save Alaskan Salmon: Say No to Pebble Mine - Waterkeeper

Save Alaskan Salmon: Say No to Pebble Mine

By: Larissa Liebmann

UPDATE: The deadline to comment has been extended to July 1, 2019.

Waterkeeper Alliance has its roots in fishermen banding together fighting to protect their way of life. Despite efforts to clean up waterways, fisheries worldwide are, for the most part, still declining due to pollution and overfishing. One of the few exceptions to this sad fact is the salmon fishery in Alaska. Once on the verge of collapse, thanks to careful, science-based management, the salmon fisheries of Alaska are considered one of only a few well-managed fisheries worldwide. At a time when fisheries are collapsing, the Alaskan salmon is a beacon of hope of which we can all be proud.

Stand up for Alaskan salmon by filing your comment opposing the Pebble Mine project today!

The Trump administration has helped revive a project that could devastate Bristol Bay—the most productive salmon fishery in all of Alaska, and the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Pebble Mine is a proposed massive open-pit copper and gold mine that would be located in the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The destruction of habitat by the mine, as well as the constant threat of the release of toxic by-products of mining, threaten the salmon fishery and communities that rely on it.

As part of the process of permitting this mine, the U.S. Army Corps has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for this project. The DEIS is supposed to analyze all significant environmental risks associated with the project and study reasonable alternatives that would reduce these risks. The Pebble Mine DEIS fails to meet these legal obligations.

“Alaskans overwhelmingly oppose the Pebble Mine,” says Bob Shavelson, the Cook Inletkeeper. “But the Trump Administration doesn’t care, and it’s ignoring science and the law by trying to ram this stupid project through.”

Please join us in standing up for Alaskan salmon and the communities that rely on them. File your comment today pointing out the flaws in the DEIS and asking the U.S. Army Corps to conduct a more thorough analysis of environmental impacts. Comments are due May 30, 2019.

Here is a template comment letter to get you started:

The proposed Pebble Mine poses a grave risk to the ecological and economic health of the Bristol Bay region. The salmon fisheries threatened by this mine are a treasured national resource of vital economic and cultural importance to the entire region that cannot be risked for the sake of one company’s profits. Therefore, I urge the U.S. Army Corps to deny a permit for the Pebble Mine.

This Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) fails to fully account for all the risks posed by this project. Notably, the DEIS does not contemplate the impacts of the very likely expansion of the mine beyond what was originally submitted. The DEIS also overemphasizes the importance of copper production and fails to fully account for the value of the uniquely sustainable salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. Incredibly, the DEIS also does not analyze the potential impacts of a catastrophic breach of a mine tailing dam causing the release of toxic mining wastes, an incident that occurs with alarming frequency at mining operations.

Therefore, I am asking the U.S. Army Corps to withdraw this DEIS and fix these and other deficiencies. Pebble Mine has the potential to devastate unique ecological resources that are an essential way of life for many Alaskans. This project cannot be allowed to go forward with such an insufficient review of the impacts.