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It All Starts with Science: Answering Questions about Mining in Bristol Bay, Alaska

2014 January 16

Reposted from “EPA Connect, the official blog of EPA’s leadership

By Lek Kadeli

Considering the scope of resources in Bristol Bay—a 37.5 million average annual run of sockeye salmon; $480 million in ecosystem-generated economic activity in 2009; 14,000 full- and part-time jobs from that activity; and 11 billion tons in potential copper and gold deposit—it is no wonder there was significant interest in an EPA science assessment to understand how wild salmon and water resources in the Bristol Bay watershed might be impacted by large-scale mining operations. The public comment periods generated 230,000 responses on the first draft of the assessment, and 890,000 on the second.

This week, after reviewing all those comments and formal peer review by 12 scientists with expertise in mine engineering, fisheries biology, aquatic biology, aquatic toxicology, hydrology, wildlife ecology, and Alaska Native cultures, EPA released its final report, “An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska.”


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Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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One Response leave one →
  1. Bouchakour permalink
    January 16, 2014

    Hi everyone,
    After reading this article, it can be visible the interest of a proper application of sustainable development as described in most international conventions and agreements
    I hope that such action will be generalize to other environments which will undoubtedly help to improve them.
    Well done and best regards

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