Press Statement: Corrupt Permitting Process Threatens Bristol Bay and Silences Alaskans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2019

ANCHORAGE, AK – The official comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Pebble Mine closed yesterday and Alaskans from around the state fear their voices are not being heard. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memo last week announcing that it would resume the process for revoking the Proposed Determination that would have provided some protections for Bristol Bay after the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment determined that the risk of a mine like Pebble to the fishery and the region was great. Alaskans from around the state responded with outrage and deep concern.

“As salmon return to Bristol Bay, people in this region should be thinking about filling smokehouses, freezers, nets and teaching their children and grandchildren how to fish – not wondering if all of the work to collect data, study the impacts of the Pebble Mine, and participate in the public process will mean anything, “ said Kendra Kloster, Executive Director, Native Peoples Action, “We will continue to protect our traditional way of life and ensure Alaska will remain a culture and salmon rich state for our future generations.”

“From the beginning, it was clear that the permitting process for the Pebble Mine was corrupt and that the huge investments Pebble Limited Partnership put in to lobbying the Trump administration were paying off. This latest move by the EPA just confirms that,” said Carly Wier, Executive Director of Cook Inletkeeper, “But as Alaskans, we have weathered many storms and we will not stop fighting for what we know is right.”

“It’s understandable why so many Alaskans are frustrated. We’ve spoken up again, and again, and again in opposition Pebble Mine,” said Polly Carr, Executive Director of the Alaska Center, “It is time for our Alaskan leaders to step up and stand with Alaskans. This is our home, and we will not stop until they do.”

“Alaskan communities will not stop fighting to defend the health of the land, the water and the future generations. This comment period on Pebble Mine may have ended, but the fight to defend the rights of Mother Earth and the rights of indigenous peoples will continue on,” said Shawna Larson, Regional Director, Native Movement.

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