Contact: Tim Bristol, Director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program (907) 321-3291
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program releases statement regarding Pebble Limited Partnership’s series of delay-tactic lawsuits
First case dismissed, Judge considers the merits of a second case
ANCHORAGE, AK —Yesterday the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the first of three cases brought by the Pebble Limited Partnership against the Environmental Protection Agency over proposed protections for Bristol Bay. In a second case, the U.S. District Court in Anchorage heard arguments from attorneys for the EPA and Pebble Limited Partnership
Trout Unlimited - Alaska Program’s statement is as follows:
As Bristol Bay angling businesses and commercial fishermen prepare for the upcoming season, Trout Unlimited is happy with today’s decision by the Ninth Circuit to dismiss the first of three cases brought by the Pebble Limited Partnership. The cases were filed by Pebble to delay EPA’s proposed protections. “Today’s news brings us one step closer to gaining certainty for anglers, business owners, Alaska Native tribes, fishing industry workers and others who have waited to learned the fate of this world-class fishery for nearly a decade,” said Nelli Williams, deputy director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program.
The Environmental Protection Agency has carried out a transparent, science-based process to review the threats posed by Pebble mine, which is based on Pebble’s own plans filed with state and federal agencies. After more than three years of work and the opportunity for input from stakeholders on all sides of the issue, the Agency proposed up-front protections to safeguard the world-class Bristol Bay fishery from future mining within the region.
Regarding the second case brought by Pebble, we look forward to Judge Holland’s ruling and are hopeful that he will also dismiss it so the EPA can resume the work that thousands of Alaskans have requested be used to protect Bristol Bay.
“We are delighted that one of the three cases has been dismissed,” said Williams. “We hope the EPA is able to get back to work as soon as possible to finalize its proposed protections for salmon, as the livelihood of thousands of Alaskans depend on them.”
Bristol Bay is threatened by one of the most potentially damaging mines ever proposed in the United States. At the urging of Alaska Native communities, commercial and sport fishing industries, and with the support of a majority of Alaskans, EPA has moved forward with a science-based, transparent 404(c) process that could protect Bristol Bay salmon, which provide roughly half of the world's wild sockeye salmon catch. The Bristol Bay fishery is worth around $2 billion annually.
The 404(c) process needs to continue so we can finally have certainty for the 14,000 fishing and processing jobs in the region, which generate $250 million in seafood exports alone from the region, as well as lodge owners, and Alaska Natives who depend on the fishery and who have all been in flux waiting to see if their waters will be threatened by the Pebble Mine.
Trout Unlimited's Alaska Program has more than 1,000 members in Alaska, many of whom fish or operate lodges in Bristol Bay. Together, these individuals work with a national network of sportsmen to conserve, protect and restore wild salmon and trout populations in Bristol Bay and throughout the United States.