National Fisherman


In a Fox News editorial from last week, a key champion of a potential giant copper mine in southern Alaska urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to refrain from politicizing an imminent permit application.

The editorial claims that environmentalists are subverting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which governs certain development permits, by pushing for a pre-emptive veto of the mine, worth about $55 billion in deposits, under the Clean Water Act.

Written by Pebble Partnership CEO John Shively, the editorial blasts a potential veto as "unprecedented and legally dubious", and specifically attacks the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The council is having no truck with that, however.

"Complete nonsense," said NRDC attorney and Pebble mine campaign chief Joel Reynolds to the International Business Times, describing Shively's arguments. "The notion that the EPA or any other federal agency with lawful jurisdiction can't reject a project without going through a NEPA process is frivolous."

"In this case, the Clean Water Act gives the EPA the authority, without question, to protect the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale mining," he continued.

Southern Alaska's Bristol Bay region is at stake for the thousands opposing the giant mine.

Activists say that the region houses a salmon fishing industry worth at least 12,000 jobs and $1.5 billion annually, and that mining could have disastrous environmental impacts.

Reynolds pointed out that similar vetoes have already been used thirteen times since the Clean Water Act became law four years ago, even if it is used only on select projects.

Read the full story at the International Business Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

Read more...

Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

Read more...
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