Bristol Bay Tribes Condemn Partisan Effort to Support Pebble Mine

Contact: Alannah Hurley, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, (907) 843-1633 or ahurley@utbb.orgFebruary 23, 2017FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Bristol Bay Tribes Condemn Partisan Effort to Support Pebble MineDILLINGHAM, AK – In response to the US House Science, Space, and Technology Committee letter to EPA yesterday, President of United Tribes of Bristol Bay Robert Heyano released the following statement:The United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB) condemns yesterday’s letter released by the House Science, Space, and Technology (the Committee) urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rescind the Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay. The Committee, with no Alaskan representation and with no effort to listen to Alaska residents, makes outlandish claims against EPA’s work in Bristol Bay. The handful of hearings the Committee held on the Pebble Mine in recent years have consistently outright ignored the voices of the people of Bristol Bay. The letter comes as no surprise to us in the region. It fails to recognize the fact that Bristol Bay’s tribes petitioned the EPA for the proposed protections, that EPA’s Clean Water Act process in Bristol Bay garnered over one million public comments in support of the proposal, and that EPA’s own Inspector General review of the process found EPA acted fully within the Nation’s ethics laws in conducting its work in Bristol Bay. The Committee Chair, Representative Smith of Texas, proves yet again he will allow the Committee to be a mouthpiece for the Pebble project, the same project currently facing five class-action lawsuits from its own shareholders for lying about the viability of the project. We urge the EPA to finalize the CWA process for Bristol Bay so that our future, like our past, will be defined by healthy salmon runs and vibrant tribal communities, not toxic projects like Pebble.###The United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB) is a tribal consortium representing 14 Bristol Bay tribes working to protect the Yup’ik, Denai’na, and Alutiq way of life in Bristol Bay.