The battle against the massive Pebble Mine is intensifying.
Later this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release for public comment a draft assessment of the potential impacts of the Pebble Mine on streams, rivers, and other natural resources of the Bristol Bay region that feed the incomparable Bristol Bay wild salmon fishery in southwest Alaska. This assessment is being done in response to petitions from Alaska Native communities in the region and others requesting that EPA step in and proactively stop the proposed Pebble Mine based on the unacceptable adverse effects that the project inevitably and unavoidably would have.
Last week NRDC submitted to the EPA an extensive brief in support of EPA action, laying out in detail the strong factual and legal basis under the federal Clean Water Act for the agency to veto the proposed project based on the serious harm that it would do to the fishery, to recreation areas, to the region's wildlife and to the ecology of the area generally -- and ultimately to the people and communities of the region. If ever there were a case for which Congress intended the EPA to use its veto authority to protect water resources, it is this one.
At the same time, along with leaders from the Bristol Bay region, we have been preparing for another round of meetings with management and shareholders of the major foreign corporations behind the Pebble project. The annual shareholder meetings of both Anglo American and Rio Tinto are scheduled for April 19 in London, and we will once again be there to state our case against the mine and present still more petitions of opposition from people around the world -- adding to the current total of over 700,000 petitions.
As he did last year, renowned conservationist Robert Redford is lending his name and voice to the effort as narrator of a new video released today by NRDC. In it, he cites the unfulfilled promises by both Anglo American and Rio Tinto to walk away if the people who live there oppose the mine, and he urges all of us to support the local communities in their fight against the Pebble Mine by sending a message to the shareholders of Anglo American and Rio Tinto that "No means No!"
The Pebble Mine is a reckless project, overwhelmingly opposed by the people who live there -- and one that the world cannot afford.
Get involved. It's time to stop the Pebble Mine.