Thank you very much for inviting me to testify today. My name is Pete Andrew Jr. and I live in Dillingham, Alaska. I am on the Bristol Bay Native Corporation’s (BBNC) Board of Directors, a commercial fisherman, and a life-long subsistence user from Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska.
Alaskans opposed to the Pebble Mine project will support Bristol Bay residents who rely on healthy runs of wild salmon by rallying outside a Monday Pebble Partnership gathering in Anchorage. Pebble is convening the private meeting to discuss how to build a mine with their hand-picked advisory panel.
Sportsmen and business owners throughout the Bristol Bay region and Alaskans remain steadfast in their opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine despite today’s announcement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to withdraw the July 2014 Clean Water Act Section 404(c) Proposed Determination that, if finalized, would have applied up-front restrictions mining activities that harm salmon in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.
DSC disagrees with the decision by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to settle the lawsuit against Northern Dynasty Minerals – a Canadian company that proposed the controversial Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The settlement reverses previous efforts to prevent progress of the extrication of a massive undeveloped ore deposit in Bristol Bay and to protect the pristine waters and wildlife of the area.
Sportsmen and business owners throughout the Bristol Bay region and Alaskans remain steadfast in their opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine despite today’s announcement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pebble Partnership have reached a settlement agreement.
Bristol Bay leaders are outraged by the Pebble Limited Partnership and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) settlement concerning the proposed Clean Water Act protections for the Bristol Bay watershed.
During a hearing concerning Pebble's destructive footprint on Bristol Bay before the House Fisheries Committee this week, the following ad ran in the Juneau Empire demonstrating statewide opposition to the mining proposal
I hope the next generation can have security in knowing we protected this priceless resource, and are able to fish the same waters my family has for more that 60 years. Alaskans don't want the Pebble mine.
Fishermen and fish processors have rarely, if ever, been labeled environmentalists. We are, however, conservationists. We believe in sustainable exploitation of natural resources. We are pro-business and pro-progress but not at the expense of our critical habitat.
ANCHORAGE, AK – As Pebble Limited Partnership applied for new permits with the State early this month, an engineering consulting firm hired by Bristol Bay lodges, HMS Consulting, has estimated it could cost more than $2 million to clean up and reclaim Pebble’s storage facilities on State-owned land, assuming no weather or other unanticipated delays.
DILLINGHAM, AK – Today, an independent scientific report commissioned by the United Tribes of Bristol Bay revealed the company behind the proposed Pebble Mine has failed to properly close and reclaim past drill wells located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. Scientists found acidic soils with high metal concentrations, leaking wells, dead vegetation, and improper drill casing closures at inspected drill sites; all causes of concern for safety and water quality in Bristol Bay.
When I think about the possibility of Pebble Mine destroying Bristol Bay’s salmon and trout rivers, it puts a pit in my stomach. Truly the response is visceral. If you’ve been to Bristol Bay, you likely know the feeling.
Last Sunday, January 24, Southcentral Alaska experienced a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. It toppled shelves, cracked roadways, and scared the daylights out of many groggy Alaskans waking up to their bedroom and houses swaying.
Matt Luck approached us at Save Bristol Bay early last year and pitched the idea of his new business, Pride of Bristol Bay. He described that his goal was to deliver sustainable, delicious Bristol Bay salmon directly to consumers across the U.S. He also mentioned that he wanted to use a part of his proceeds to help in the fight against Pebble mine
Today, former Alaska Senate President Rick Halford testified in front of the Science, Space and Technology Committee concerning a report Pebble commissioned from the Cohen Group. There was a great deal of misinformation spoken during the hearing and we are glad to have someone there to speak the truth.
Pebble’s not taking a hint. Americans, Alaskans, and Bristol Bay residents overwhelmingly oppose their mine. Yet, they are at it again trying to convince Americans, and now our members of Congress, that they were treated unfairly and should be able to pursue their mine.
For years, Pebble mine proponents repeatedly claimed to have forthcoming plans. In the end, these claims were empty promises – leading Alaskans to believe they’d start a public review process, when they were truthfully waiting for the political winds to change in their favor.
For President Obama his visit to Dillingham was another day on the job of leading the free world. It fit right into his job description of staying up to speed and making decisions on the most pressing issues, concerns and opportunities for American people. For those of us who fish salmon in Alaska and the residents of the Bristol Bay watershed, the President’s visit was nothing less than extraordinary!
’s not out of the ordinary, the Dillingham flight back to Anchorage canceled. This time it turned out to be an unexpected source of pleasure, an opportunity to reflect on the incredible events of the previous 24 hours. Life happens fast. The fishing seasons pile up. The purpose of meetings are blurred by time, words scribbled in a notebook. The latest event or front page story quickly becoming yesterday’s news. Yes, getting another “day in the Bay” was a gift.
Words escape me in times of overwhelming emotion and gratitude. The reality that the President of the United States visited our home and experienced the land our ancestors entrusted to us – is still sinking in. He didn't just "visit" like you would think the leader of the free world would "visit" a place. Barack Obama had a, “pick our fish, eat our food, and yuraq with our kids” kind of visit.
What would you want to say to the President about Pebble mine?
The President may be coming to Bristol Bay next month and he needs to hear what YOU think about Pebble mine.
Now is the chance to make your voice heard and help demonstrate that Bristol Bay residents, fishermen, tribes, businesses and next generations who depend on healthy water and salmon want it to stay that way.