Over 40 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday in order to demonstrate their “deep concern” regarding the recent plan proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back the protections for Bristol Bay proposed under Barrack Obama. If the EPA’s move if finalized, it would turn the area into a gold and copper mine.
“The EPA’s plan to reverse clean water safeguards is egregious and inconsistent with science and frankly, inconsistent with basic logic,” the Senators wrote in their letter.
The mine which Pebble Limited Partnership plans to build in Bristol Bay would pose a serious threat to the entire region and the economy, the lawmakers say.
“Scott Pruitt is signing up to kill the largest salmon run on Earth and thousands of fishing jobs. We can’t let Pruitt pollute our clean water and throw away thousands of jobs because one mining CEO received special treatment,” a statement by Senator Maria Cantwell said.
The letter comes as a response to EPA’s head Scott Pruitt’s directive to withdraw the protections on Bristol Bay, which followed his meeting with Pebble’s CEO. Public hearings on EPA’s proposal will take place in Alaska this week.
Tom Collier, Pebble’s CEO, claimed there was an environmentally friendly way to build a mine, without any damaging ecological consequences. The mine site the company plans to propose would only cover a small portion of the entire Bristol Bay watershed, assert on the company’s website.
The Obama-era move to ensure preemptive protection of the bay was based on an EPA report which found that salmon habitats in parts of the watershed would be completely lost if a large-scale mine was built, thus endangering maritime economy, the congressional Democrats wrote.