Larsen Welcomes EPA Move to Halt Bristol Bay Pebble Mine Proposal

Feb 28, 2014 Issues: Environment, Jobs Labor and the Economy

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) move to stop the proposed Pebble Mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Larsen opposes development of the Pebble Mine, which would hurt Washington fishers by damaging a critical salmon fishery.

“Thousands of Washington fishers and processors depend on the vibrant sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay,” Larsen said. “I have met with people across Northwest Washington whose mortgages and college savings accounts depend on a healthy Bristol Bay fishery.

“I welcome the EPA’s action and expect that a clear-eyed look at the science will show that development of the Pebble Mine will irrevocably damage this vital habitat. The Pebble Mine’s huge potential for damaging pollution is simply too great a risk to take.”

Larsen wrote to President Obama last year urging him to reject the mine and wrote in a Bellingham Herald op-ed that “Acid drainage and metal leaching from the proposed mine could poison the waters of Bristol Bay, irrevocably damaging the salmon population that Washington fishers catch and American families eat.”

The EPA review means the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot let development of the mine go forward until the federal government has evaluated whether the project would significantly damage the environment under the Clean Water Act.