Don’t Let Pebble Mine Destroy Bristol Bay

The wholesale dismantling of basic environmental protections continues on many fronts under the Trump administration. The headlines are about the lavish, corrupt misuse of public funds by EPA Director Scott Pruitt and the unilateral reduction of wild lands and national parks by Interior Secretary Zinke. Meanwhile plans for oil drilling and mineral extraction in sensitive areas are rapidly moving forward. This week we need to challenge the proposed permit for the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Bristol Bay, Alaska is home to the largest salmon run in the world. All five salmon species in the eastern Pacific return to spawn in these waters. Subsistence and commercial fishing share this pristine region. These crucial salmon waters and the related fishing communities of Bristol Bay are about 200 miles southeast of Anchorage and directly downstream from the proposed Pebble Mine site.

“Pebble Mine” is a harmless sounding name for an enormous industrial extraction project focused on large copper, gold, and molybdenum mineral deposits in the Bristol Bay region. The Pebble Mine project would cause drastic and irreversible harm to the Bay’s waters, destroy fish habitats and destroy thousands of acres of wetlands. The first phase of the proposed mine would run continuously for 20 years and create a massive pit and a deep water port. Required infrastructure includes miles of roads, bridges and power lines with pipelines for fuel and rock slurries. The rock removed to create the mining pit, as well as required chemicals and inevitable waste water would be stored in artificial lakes created behind large dams.

Last December, the Army Corps of Engineers opened the federal permitting and environmental review processes for the Pebble Mine. This week the Corps of Engineers opened its first public comment period seeking input on what they should  consider in the required Environmental Impact Statement which is the lynchpin in the permitting process. By participating in this “scoping” comment period we can play a direct role in derailing this project. 


Call To Action

Click here to complete an email that urges the Army Corps of Engineers to do a full and comprehensive scientific review of the potential impacts of the Pebble Mine and to seek the widest possible public input. You can and should personalize the message as you desire. Potential talking points include:

  • The importance of our dwindling wild spaces.
  • The historical imperative to respect the culture and history of the indigenous peoples who live and depend on the resources of Bristol Bay.
  • The personal and social impact of the irreversible harm that is done to the environment by these massive mining operations.
  • If you have personal experience with the effects of mining operations that relate to the issues raised by Pebble Mine use that knowledge to support your argument.

This is also the week to call for the ouster of EPA Director Scott Pruitt, climate change denier, violator of government ethics and common decency and the architect of the Trump all out assault on the environment.   Call your Congressional representatives and insist that they demand Pruitt’s resignation.

Additional Resources

For more information on the details of Pebble Mine and its impact check out these sites: