Date: 9/26/17 12:39 pm
From: Betsy Kane (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Update #2 on conservation issues (posted August 23)
Thank you Russ -- This is such valuable and timely information, along with
Update #1 from several days ago. I will take action.

Betsy Kane

On Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:12 PM, Russ Oates <carolinabirds...> wrote:

> Carolina Birders,
> This is the second update to my August 23 post regarding important
> conservation issues. *The purpose of this post is to notify you that one
> of the issues identified in the August 23 post is in play right now. Now
> is the time to express your opinion on this issue.*
> *Issue:* Withdrawal of the EPA proposal to protect the Bristol Bay
> Watershed from the proposed Pebble Mine.
> *Desired outcome:* Maintain the 2014 Environmental Protection Agency
> position protecting the area from mining and provide permanent protection
> to the watershed.
> *Status:* At the request of 9 Alaska Native tribes who live in the
> vicinity of the Bristol Bay watershed and are dependent upon the salmon
> resource, the Environmental Protection Agency completed a Bristol Bay
> Watershed Resource Assessment in 2014 that concluded that the mine would
> pose an unacceptable risk to the salmon fishery and other important natural
> resources. This decision was based on a little-used provision of the Clean
> Water Act. According to CNN, newly-appointed EPA Administrator Scott
> Pruitt met with the CEO of the Pebble Project in early May (2017) and,
> within hours, Pruitt directed the agency to withdraw the proposal to
> protect the area from mine development. This enables the Pebble
> Partnership to begin the permitting process that could ultimately lead to
> full blown development of the mine. *The EPA is accepting public
> comments until October 17 on it's decision to set aside the 2014 proposal
> to protect the Bristol Bay Watershed. Please send your comments as soon as
> possible by mail to:* Water Docket, U.S. Environmental Protection
> Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC
> 20460
> < >
> Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 *You may also submit
> your comments online through the federal eRulemaking Portal: *Docket ID
> No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 Go to *
> <>*
> and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. *Or, you
> may email your comments:* Send email to: *<ow-docket...>
> <ow-docket...> * Include the docket number
> EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 in the subject line of the message.
> *Background:* Pebble is a massive mining project proposed for Alaska
> state lands in the middle of the watershed containing the spawning area of
> the largest sockeye salmon stock in the world (and large numbers of the
> other 4 species of salmon as well). In addition, sockeye hatchlings live
> 1-2 years in stream-connected lakes within the watershed until they are
> large enough to go out to sea. Roughly half of the world’s wild-caught
> salmon comes from Bristol Bay. If developed, the mine will be among the
> largest mines in North America and the highly toxic tailings will be stored
> behind the largest earthen dam in the world (over 700 feet tall and several
> miles long.) This is a seismically active area, and independent scientists
> doubt whether the dam would survive a major earthquake on the order of the
> one that severely damaged Anchorage and several other southcentral Alaska
> coastal communities in 1964. Needless to say, the failure of this dam would
> be catastrophic for the salmon and potentially for the many species of
> marine birds (including Emperor Geese and ESA listed Steller’s Eiders) that
> use Bristol Bay as a foraging area during migration. In 2010, nine Alaska
> Native tribes in the Bristol Bay Region, concerned about the Pebble Mine
> proposal, requested the EPA to conduct a resource assessment of the Bristol
> Bay Watershed. After extensive investigations, this area was declared by
> the EPA in 2014 to be too valuable and vulnerable to mine, but the Trump
> administration resurrected the project. If you like to eat wild salmon or
> support sustainable management of wild salmon, you have a dog in this
> fight. Please, take a moment to check out this web site: *
> <>*
> On the economic side of the story, the salmon fishery is sustainably
> managed and supports 14,000 seasonal and full-time jobs that would be
> jeopardized by the mine.
> *Bottom line: Pebble mine has a high probability of having disastrous
> impacts on the most important sockeye salmon fishery in the world. The
> environmental and economic damage of a tailings dam failure would be
> incalculable.*
> Future generations will thank you for any help you can provide!
> Russ Oates
> Burnsville, NC
> *Conserve wild things, protect wild places.*

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