Washington, D.C. — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency used its authority under the Clean Water Act section 404(c) to initiate the process of protecting the Bristol Bay watershed from potential open pit mining activity. Michael Conathan, Director of Ocean Policy at American Progress, released the following statement:
Today’s decision reflects the conclusions amassed over years of scientific and economic analysis: the Bristol Bay watershed’s salmon, its fishing industry and jobs, and its environment should be protected. The administration acted correctly in using its authority under the Clean Water Act to initiate a review of potential mining activity in this pristine region. We must ensure one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet will continue supporting Alaskans and feeding the world for generations to come.