The Environmental Protection Agency has blocked the development of the Pebble Mine at Bristol Bay in Alaska.
The project would have extracted mineral resources such as gold and copper.
“No company will ever be able to dig a mine on top of some of the best salmon habitat in the world,” said U.S. Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell.
Bristol Bay is known as the holy grail of salmon.
“In an average year 40-60 million sockeye salmon swim in or out of the bay, last year was a blockbuster run. Nearly 80 million sockeye salmon returned to Bristol Bay,” said Cantwell.
This generates an annual $500 million for commercial and recreational fisheries in Washington.
By blocking the project the EPA bans the disposal of mine waste in the watershed.
In 2020, the agency found that close to 200 miles of streams and more than 4,000 acres would be impacted during the construction of Pebble Mine.
“It’s a simple concept really. Let’s not destroy a profitable, sustainable industry that keeps the water clean for the sake of just temporary extracting,” said Cantwell.
Bristol Bay salmon supports over 5,000 fishery jobs in Washington state.
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