EPA releases Bristol Bay study, and opens up public comment, take action now.

Yesterday the EPA released their study on the proposed pebble mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay and opened up the issue for public comment.

You can let them know how you feel about the subject by submitting your comments in the following ways.

How to Provide Comments
    1. Preferred method:Submit them online at regulations.gov
      Follow the online instructions for submitting comments to Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276.
    2. Send an email to ORD.Docket@epa.gov
      Include Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the email.
    3. Fax them to: 202-566-1753

– Include the docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 in the subject line of the fax.

  1. Send a letter to the EPA Bristol Bay docket at:
          Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 2822T)
          Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276
          U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
          1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
  2. Comment at a public meeting during the week of June 4-8, 2012

A copy of the letter that I submitted to the Dayton Daily News and Speaker Beohner’s Office (my Congressional Rep) is below.

High on my bucket list is to visit Bristol Bay, Alaska. For someone who not only enjoys fishing as a hobby but also owns and operates a fly fishing business in Troy, nothing quite compares to Bristol Bay’s untouched natural glory. I know many of my customers in Ohio and elsewhere feel the same way.

I may not get the chance to fish Bristol Bay’s waters if a proposed mine is built in the very area where the bay’s wild sockeye salmon spawn. The proposed Pebble Mine would create between 2 and 10 billion tons of toxic waste that will have to be treated for hundreds of years. Even a tiny bit of this waste seeping into the watershed would threaten one of the world’s best and most abundant fisheries.

Fortunately, the EPA just released a report that confirmed many of my concerns:  a mine like Pebble would be harmful to Bristol Bay. I, along with commercial and sport fishermen, Alaska natives, outfitters, chefs, jewelers, and many others are urging the EPA to use its Clean Water Act authority to protect Bristol Bay.

Many of us in southwestern Ohio know that mining companies often say one thing and do another. I hope they never get the chance to prove me right about my concerns about the Pebble Mine and Bristol Bay.  Let’s protect Bristol Bay so families like mine will have the chance to behold this amazing fishery for generations.

Ethan Smith

One thought on “EPA releases Bristol Bay study, and opens up public comment, take action now.

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