The EPA’s second draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment is nearing the end of its public comment period. The report says mining activity in the Bristol Bay Watershed could permanently damage up to 90 miles of salmon streams and change stream flows.
The Pebble Partnership’s Mike Heatwole said the study is premature…
Heatwole: “One of the major issues really is: why rush to get something like this out before a project has even been defined and rolled into the permitting process? That’s why we have a permitting process, so that the science that’s out there can take a look at things and you have a prescribed process that projects have to go through and that’s where it’s evaluated and people take their time, ask a lot of questions, including a very public process through all of that, and that clearly hasn’t happened here.”
The public comment deadline is May 31st. The report is expected to undergo a new round of peer review before a final report is released.