EPA moves to protect Bristol Bay

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiates process under Clean Water Act to protect huge Alaskan fishery

Sockeye salmon

Sockeye salmon

Dave Menke [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In late February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a process to identify options to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

The EPA initiated the process under the federal Clean Water Act to protect Alaska’s huge Bristol Bay fishery from the potentially devastating impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine.

“Extensive scientific study has given us ample reason to believe that the Pebble Mine would likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed and its abundant salmon fisheries,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “It’s why the EPA is taking this step forward in our effort to ensure protection for the world’s most productive salmon fishery from the risks it faces from what could be one of the largest open pit [copper] mines on earth.”