EPA says report on Pebble Mine lacks detail, likely underestimates risks to water quality

The Environmental Protection Agency has just released formal comments on the proposed Pebble Mine, and mine opponents will find a lot to cheer about. 

The EPA’s 100-page comment criticizes the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Pebble mine proposal. The EPA says the draft report lacks critical information and likely underestimates the risk the project poses to water quality and aquatic resources.

The EPA provided a detailed list of recommendations for the Corps of Engineers to include in its final report. The two agencies both have roles in ensuring that projects comply with the Clean Water Act.

The document, and another in a similar vein, is signed by Chris Hladick, the Alaskan who is the head of EPA’s Region 10.

The comments note the importance of the area to Bristol Bay. Pebble would be within the watershed of the bay, home to a valuable sockeye salmon fishery, and near many sportfishing lodges.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.

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