American Sustainable Business Network celebrates EPA’s Final Determination Report which prohibits and restricts large-scale mining at Bristol Bay
The Clean Water Act protections will safeguard the people, waters, wildlife and lands of Bristol Bay ensuring future health and a regenerative economy for generations to come.
On January 31st, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized 404© Clean water Act protections that will stop the proposed Pebble Mine from being built at the Headwaters of Bristol Bay (approximately 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, AK). The act bans the disposal of mine waste in part of the bay’s watershed. The streams in the watershed are crucial breeding grounds for salmon, a source for the economy of the surrounding communities.
“ASBN is honored to work with Businesses for Bristol Bay in advocacy to protect Bristol Bay since 2021. We have stood with the local communities and businesses in opposition to Pebble Mine and commend the EPA for recognizing Bristol Bay as an exceptional place deserving of exceptional protection while restoring science and public trust in the 404© process.” says David Levine, Co-Founder and President of the American Sustainable Business Network.
“Since Businesses for Conservation & Climate Actions’ (BCCA) inception, permanent protections for Bristol Bay have been at the forefront of our policy objectives. Our alliance of businesses and Tribes have prioritized outcomes that uplift local Indigenous voices – this is an example of the Biden Administration taking that same tack and we applaud this announcement and thank the Administration for listening to the people of Bristol Bay. We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration toward further local and Indigenous-led conservation policy outcomes.” says Ephraim Froehlich, Alaska and Pacific Northwest Policy Coordinator BCCA.
Home to the world’s largest and most valuable wild salmon fishery, Bristol Bay has been at risk due to the proposed Pebble Mine for the last two decades. That threat has created uncertainty for the businesses and industries that depend on the productivity and health of Bristol Bay’s wild salmon. At a time of great instability in our supply chains, our industries cannot continue to carry that burden, and ASBN commends the EPA’s move to finalize Clean Water Act 404© protections that are durable and ensure the long-term sustainability of Bristol Bay’s wild salmon runs.
Bristol Bay’s wild salmon support a renewable economic engine that drives Alaska’s economy and feeds into a variety of business sectors around the country. From commercial fishing to tourism to food service to recreation, Bristol Bay’s salmon provide income for thousands of businesses, support 15,000 jobs, and generate $2.2 billion in annual economic activity. In 2021, Bristol Bay contributed 57% of the world’s wild salmon harvest. And, as they have for millennia, the wild salmon returning each year to Bristol Bay ensure a way of life for Alaska Native communities, providing food, livelihoods and a vibrant cultural touchstone.
ASBN’s companies and organizations support final 404© Clean Water Act protections that advance the long-term economic health of our country, defend thousands of renewable American jobs. The EPA’s determination today ensures that the people of Bristol Bay can live without the Pebble Mine overshadowing their future.
Learn more below:
Read the full EPA statement here.
Read the Businesses for Bristol Bay press release in response to the EPA’s action.
Read coverage of this historic victory in the following:
Washington Post EPA may have dealt final ‘nail in the coffin’ to Alaska’s Pebble Mine
New York Times E.P.A. Blocks Long-Disputed Mine Project in Alaska
Associated Press Feds use rare veto to block Alaska copper, gold mine plan
Seattle Times EPA blocks Alaska Pebble Mine in salmon-rich Bristol Bay region
Anchorage Daily News EPA issues long-awaited final determination halting Pebble mine.