As a part of EPA's process around its Watershed Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska they toured the NW, AK, and most importantly Bristol Bay holding community forums to hear testimony on their assessment and the impacts of mines like Pebble Mine on Bristol Bay. In Seattle, there were roughly 80 testimonials given by Alaska Natives, Commercial Fishermen, and fly fishing industry leaders among others. Of those 80, only about 8 were pro-Pebble.
Anchorage, well we drew an even split. About 50/50. 1000 people there, they took about 107 testimonies. Even split. Not bad in Anchorage against the resource development crowd. I am proud of our work here.
But in Bristol Bay is where the good stuff, the important stuff, the moving and substantive moments happened. Of the 6 meetings in Bristol Bay, over 950 people attended the hearings, about 275 testified, and 94% of those testimonies were heartfelt expressions of the importance of Bristol Bay and the urgent need for EPA to act NOW to protect the region, to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate mining waste in the region, and to stick with their time line.
Here are two, independently produced, videos that captures those hearings.
If you you haven't done so, take a moment to comment to EPA. Use these videos as inspiration. Tell them to do the right thing and protect Bristol Bay. Also, tell them to stick to their current timeline and get this done as the science is clear, Pebble and like mines will have unacceptable adverse impacts on Bristol Bay's fishery, communities, economies, and more: www.savebristolbay.org/takeaction