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Media Contact:

Brendan McLaughlin, 206.892.8832, bmclaughlin@earthworksaction.org

Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Final Determination for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, putting in place protections under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to protect the Bristol Bay salmon fishery and effectively stop the proposed Pebble mine. The Final Determination establishes limits on mine waste disposal in Bristol Bay rivers, streams and wetlands to protect the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, which produces more than half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon.

In 2022, the Bristol Bay salmon fishery broke all records. Nearly 80 million sockeye salmon returned to the bay and its rivers, breaking the previous record of 67.7 million sockeye salmon set in 2021. For more than a decade, Bristol Bay Tribes, commercial fishermen, businesses, and large majorities of Alaskans have demanded enduring protections for Bristol Bay.

Below is a statement from Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks’ Northwest Program Director.

“We’re thrilled to see the Environmental Protection Agency fulfill its commitment to the people of Alaska to provide enduring protection for Bristol Bay, its economy, its salmon, and its people from the dangerous and destructive Pebble Mine. Congratulations to the Biden administration and EPA for seeing this landmark decision through. We are proud to stand in support of the Bristol Bay Tribes and commercial fishermen whose lives and livelihoods depend on this thriving fishery.”