Bristol Bay in the News January 20, 2012

The EPA announced that toxic emissions increased nationwide in 2010 by 16%, largely due to metal mining. In addition, toxic emissions in Alaska accounted for 90 percent of all documented releases in the four-state Pacific Northwest region, and Alaska produced the most toxic emissions of any state in the country. The biggest single emissions source in Alaska is the Red Dog zinc and lead mine, which is tiny in comparison to the proposed Pebble Mine.

An Alaska state senator has proposed a new bill that takes aim at the controversial Pebble Mine proposal. Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, has introduced legislation that would require legislative approval for large projects such as Pebble affecting at least 640 acres of land.

The bill’s language refers to a "large-scale metallic sulfide mining operation that could affect water in or flowing into or over the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve." French said there’s strong precedent in state law, since oil and gas projects already require such legislative approval.

And, Fly Rod + Reel magazine offers a feature story on Steve Laurent, manager of the Bristol Bay Lodge and a fly fisherman, whose latest work is a series of black and white images of fishing guides and float plane pilots.

Here's a weekly roundup of media.

Toxic releases rose 16 percent in 2010, EPA says
Juliet Eilperin
The Washington Post
The amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment nationwide in 2010 increased 16 percent over the year before, reversing a downward trend in overall toxic releases since 2006, according to a report released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency...Click here to read more
Alaska leads nation in toxic chemical releases
The Anchorage Daily News
The gargantuan Red Dog Mine in Northwest Alaska is by far the leading releaser of toxic chemicals in the Environmental Protection Agency's northwest region, according to a recently released report...Click here to read more

Bill aimed at Pebble mine among 28 more legislative filings
Becky Bohrer, AP
Tacoma News Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and others
State lawmakers filed a flurry of bills Friday ahead of next week's legislative session, adding a few dozen measures to a growing stack that now includes a proposal that would require legislative approval for projects like the heavily debated Pebble mine...Click here to read more
Steve Laurent’s Alaskan Perspective
Bob White
Fly Rod + Reel Magazine
There’s a certain spark in great artwork that’s difficult to define, and hard to ignore. The photography of Steve Laurent has that fire.Laurent works in black and white with a wide-angle lens to record the everyday lives of bush pilots and fishing guides at Bristol Bay Lodge, in southwest Alaska...Click here to read more
Capital projects should benefit Alaskans
Rob Holt
Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman
Knik Arm Bridge, Pebble Mine and Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project are three projects that will have profound impacts on Alaska, Alaskans and our way of life; however, they are not for us, are none of our business and that is how they are related...Click here to read more