"Pebble Mine Could Devastate Alaska's Bristol Bay Region, EPA Finds"

"JUNEAU, Alaska -- A government report indicates a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay region could have devastating effects on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery and adversely affect Alaska Natives, whose culture is built around salmon."

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released its final assessment of the impact of mining in the Bristol Bay region. Its findings are similar to those of an earlier draft report, concluding that, depending on the size of the mine, up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed in the mere build-out of the project, including losses of between 5 and 22 miles of streams known to provide salmon spawning and rearing habitat. Up to 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes also would be lost due to the mine footprint.

"Our report concludes that large-scale mining poses risks to salmon and the tribal communities that have depended on them for thousands of years. The assessment is a technical resource for governments, tribes and the public as we consider how to address the challenges of large-scale mining and ecological protection in the Bristol Bay watershed," EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said in a statement."

Becky Bohrer reports for the Associated Press January 15, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"Alaska Mine Threatens Salmon, Native Cultures -U.S. Agency" (Reuters)

"EPA: Bristol Bay Mine Threatens World’s Largest Salmon Fishery" (ENS)

Source: AP, 01/16/2014