EPA’s Revised Bristol Bay Assessment Addresses Mining Risks Adjacent to and Upstream of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   April 26, 2013
Contact:   Kati Schmidt, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association: 415.847.1768
Melissa Blair, Alaska Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association: 907.441.6722


EPA’s Revised Bristol Bay Assessment Addresses Mining Risks Adjacent to and Upstream of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Statement by Melissa Blair, Alaska Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised 'Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska' or the Bristol Bay Assessment focuses on potential risks from the development of an industrial mining district, anchored by the Pebble Mine prospect, on lands upstream of and adjacent to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. The agency projects that the impacts of mining the Pebble deposit alone could result in the loss of up to 90 miles of streams and 4,800 acres of wetland habitat. A transportation network would also need to be carved into the remote headwaters of Bristol Bay - a vastly intact watershed renowned as America’s wild salmon stronghold.”

“In addition to the Pebble prospect, the revised assessment identifies 15 other mineral prospects in Bristol Bay. If developed, these sites could eliminate an additional 21 miles of streams and could block 144 miles of streams by an expanded network of mines, mills, roads, tailings storage facilities, and other infrastructure. Upstream of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and within the Chulitna River watershed, the EPA’s report identifies two sizeable mining prospects, Groundhog and Big Chunk North, where notable exploratory work occurred in 2011-2012.  The likelihood of mining these sites would increase significantly if the Pebble mining district is established. The National Parks Conservation Association is concerned by the likelihood of direct or indirect impacts to water quality, habitat, and subsistence resources related to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.” 

“Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, located less than 15 miles from the proposed Pebble Mine site, was created in 1980 to protect a portion of Bristol Bay’s one-of-a-kind ecosystem and the local, traditional subsistence lifestyles so closely tied to wild salmon. The National Parks Conservation Association will continue our review of EPA’s revised assessment, and advocate for protection of national park resources from risks associated with the potential Pebble mining district.”

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Additional information is available at www.npca.org/gofishgo

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