The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has blocked the proposed Pebble Mine copper and gold mine project in Alaska, as reported by Reuters on January 30. The EPA cited concerns over potential harm to the environment and fishing in Bristol Bay as the main reasons behind the decision. Bristol Bay is one of the largest salmon fisheries in the world and supports the livelihoods of many local residents who rely on fishing for their income. The Pebble Mine project would have involved the excavation of massive quantities of ore from the bay’s watershed, which could have resulted in significant damage to the local ecosystem and fishing industry.
The EPA carried out an extensive review of the project’s potential impacts on water quality and the ecosystem of Bristol Bay before making its decision. The EPA’s decision was based on the Clean Water Act, which gives the agency the authority to regulate the discharge of pollutants into the nation’s waterways. The agency found that the Pebble Mine project would have resulted in the discharge of pollutants into the bay, which would have had a significant impact on water quality and the ecosystem of the region.