Bristol Bay, Alaska,
We need legislative action that will permanently protect the entirety of the Bristol Bay watershed from large scale mining. The recent Clean Water Act veto by EPA put the brakes on Pebble Mine. However, without durable legislative safeguards for all of its irreplaceable lands and waters, much of Bristol Bay remains vulnerable to large-scale mining development in the future.
How We Got Here
For more than two decades, Bristol Bay was under threat from Pebble Mine. If built, the mine would have produced billions of tons of poisonous waste that would have permanently devastated the economy, ecology, and way of life of the region. But in January 2023, EPA answered the call of millions of Americans by finally issuing a rarely-used Section 404(c) Clean Water Act veto of the project.
The veto provides important protections for a portion of the Bristol Bay watershed by stopping Pebble Mine from operating in specific areas, as well as restricting future mining at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. But legal challenges from Pebble Mine and future large-scale mining projects wanting to develop outside of the area protected by the EPA veto still threaten the region.
We need our elected leaders to pass legislation that fully protects all of Bristol Bay and nothing less.