The Nature Conservancy Applauds Pebble Mine Announcement
Army Corps of Engineers finds mine will significantly degrade Bristol Bay’s environment.
The following is a statement by Steve Cohn, Alaska state director for The Nature Conservancy, after the Army Corps of Engineers found the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska “cannot be permitted” as proposed under the Clean Water Act following a determination that discharges at the mine site would cause unavoidable, adverse impacts and significant degradation of aquatic resources in Bristol Bay:
“We commend the administration and the Army Corps of Engineers for adhering to scientific standards in its determination. It is evident now, more than ever, that the headwaters of Bristol Bay – home of the planet’s most productive rivers for wild salmon – cannot also accommodate the environmental damage caused by the proposed Pebble Mine.
“Our long-stated concerns with Pebble Mine extend far beyond the direct loss of wetlands, open waters and streams, which would be unprecedented for an approved Clean Water Act permit. Pebble Mine is encumbered with further significant risks, including but not limited to a flawed dam design, lack of catastrophic dam failure analysis and a need for unproven technologies to treat toxic wastewater management in perpetuity within a flood-prone, seismically active watershed.
“The compensatory mitigation plan called for today by the Corps is not only likely infeasible but will not abate the mine’s threat to this globally significant salmon fishery. A Clean Water Act permit should not be authorized for Pebble Mine. Today’s announcement acknowledges that Bristol Bay’s future must align with the health and well-being of Alaska Natives who have cared for and relied upon these lands and waters for millennia.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.