Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its recommended determination for Clean Water Act protections for the Bristol Bay watershed. If finalized, these protections would prohibit the discharge of mining waste into the South Fork Koktuli and North Fork Koktuli Rivers. After years of back and forth and public, grassroots advocacy it seems that Pebble Mine will be dealt its final blow. These incredible waters will remain pristine and continue to support record-breaking sockeye runs and some of the best rainbow trout fishing in the world.
“The Recommended Determination is a big step forward in a process that Alaskans have championed for more than a decade,” said Nelli Williams, Alaska director for Trout Unlimited. “We thank the EPA for continuing to move forward with Clean Water Act 404(c) safeguards for the headwaters of Bristol Bay. We encourage the EPA to move swiftly to issue a Final Determination. The science and public support are overwhelmingly in favor of Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay.”
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The EPA now has 60 days to issue a final determination, so keep an eye out for more news. However, this is a good day for conservation, clean water, and abundant salmon populations, and this progress towards victory was made possible by you and all of the public support from the fly fishing community and so many others.