EPA to hold public hearings to withdraw proposed Clean Water Act restrictions for Pebble Mine

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Two public hearings will be held next week to discuss the controversial Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay Watershed.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to withdraw its July 2014 Clean Water Act Proposed Determination that would, if finalized, have imposed restrictions on the discharge of dredged or fill material associated with the potential “Pebble Mine” in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. EPA agreed to initiate a proposed withdrawal process pursuant to policy direction from EPA’s Administrator, and as part of a May 2017 settlement agreement with the Pebble Limited Partnership that resolved litigation from 2014. Pebble’s subsidiaries own the mineral claims to the Pebble deposit.

     

     EPA is seeking comment on whether to withdraw the Proposed Determination, and whether the Administrator should review the withdrawal decision if such a decision is made. EPA is also consulting on the proposed withdrawal with federally-recognized tribal governments of the Bristol Bay region and with Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Regional and Village Corporations with lands in the Bristol Bay watershed.

    The public comment and consultation period closed on October 17.   After the close of the public comment and consultation process, the EPA will decide whether to issue a final withdrawal of the 2014 Proposed Determination at this time.

    The public hearings will be held on October 11 from 1-4 pm at the Dillingham Seventh-Day Adventist School Gym and on October 12 fro m1-4 pm at the Old Crowley Hangar at the Iliamna Airport.

     Comments may be emailed to:  ow-docket@epa.gov with docket number EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 in the email subject line.

     For more information: https://www.epa.gov/bristolbay.

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