Court issues pivotal decision allowing EPA to restart Bristol Bay protections process

For Immediate Release

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- U.S District Court Judge Sharon Gleason issued a ruling Friday evening that gives the Environmental Protection Agency the ability to officially restart the process of permanently protecting Bristol Bay. The agency can now use the Clean Water Act to prevent mining in the Pebble deposit, which is located in the watershed between two of the rivers that feed into the bay. The ruling also allows the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the next steps and timeline. 

Environment America’s Alaska Organizer Dyani Chapman issued the following statement:

“Everything is big in Alaska, and Bristol Bay is no different. It’s a vast, beautiful and ecologically important area. We’re pleased with this new court ruling. It clears the way for the EPA to deliver a massive safeguard for salmon and other wildlife that depend on the wetlands and streams in the Bristol Bay area. The EPA can now prevent what would have been catastrophic damage from one of the largest mining operations in the world. If it was allowed to move forward, the Pebble Mine would destroy thousands of acres of wetlands, fragment a contiguous healthy ecosystem, and pollute Bristol Bay with mining refuse and chemicals. We look forward to the Biden administration finalizing these protections so that the wildlife and communities near Bristol Bay can continue to safely enjoy clean water and healthy habitat.”