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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

EPA Halts Mining Interests in Alaska’s Bristol Bay/RNN

Here's  a good example of tough choices we must make.  Alaska's Bristol Bay is an important haven for salmon.  As you will see in the article, it spawns lots of fish and economic value.

It is also an attractive site for miners.  Do we, then, get greedy and risk damaging a pristine center by opening it up to mining?  We do risk what we have to get more?  Too often in life we are selfish and greedy.  Of course, we often pay a steep price for our avarice.  Here, we cannot afford to be stupid and risky.

Let's preserve and appreciate what we have.

The Bristol Bay watershed is one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world, supplying about half of the world’s sockeye salmon.
Beyond the spectacular natural resource that was in jeopardy one also has to consider the position of the Alaska seafood industry that creates an estimated 111,800 FTE jobs, $5.8 billion in annual labor income, $14.6 billion in economic output. The national economic impacts of Alaska’s seafood industry includes $6.2 billion in direct output associated with fishing, processing, distribution, and retailRead Report
For now Bristol Bay watershed has avoided the interests of the mining industry as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is following through on his promise to restore the rule of law and process to the previous Administration’s action to restrict mining in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
As a result of Administrator Pruitt’s actions last summer, proponents of mining in the region were allowed to apply for a permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Today, after hearing directly from stakeholders and the people of Alaska, EPA is suspending its process to withdraw those proposed restrictions, leaving them in place while the Agency receives more information on the potential mine’s impact on the region’s world-class fisheries and natural resources.
“We have restored process, reviewed comments, and heard from a variety of stakeholders on whether to withdraw the proposed restrictions in the Bristol Bay watershed,” Administrator Scott Pruitt said. “Based on that review, it is my judgment at this time that any mining projects in the region likely pose a risk to the abundant natural resources that exist there. Until we know the full extent of that risk, those natural resources and world-class fisheries deserve the utmost protection. Today’s action allows EPA to get the information needed to determine what specific impacts the proposed mining project will have on those critical resources.”

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