PRESS RELEASE: Congressional hearing on EPA Action in Bristol Bay misses the point: Pebble is desperately pushing a mine Alaskans do not want

Alannah Hurley, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, (907) 843-1633 or
Melanie Brown, Bristol Bay Fisherman and Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay member (907) 244-1169
Nelli Williams, Alaska Program Director, Trout Unlimited (907) 230-7121 or


Congressional hearing on EPA Action in Bristol Bay misses the point: Pebble is desperately pushing a mine Alaskans do not want

 Alaskans respond to yesterday’s congressional Pebble mine hearing

DILLINGHAM, AK – Local tribes, commercial fishermen and sportsmen are surprised that members of Congress seem to be falling for Pebble’s expensive propaganda campaign seeking to obscure the indisputable fact that over 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents, 60 percent of Alaskans, and over 1.5 million Americans spanning the political spectrum want to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble proposal, which would be the world’s largest open pit mine.

One of Pebble’s tactics played out yesterday in Washington, D.C. where the Science, Space and Technology Committee took up the issue of Pebble’s “Cohen report” that has garnered the attention of a few congressmen and D.C. media. 

“There is nothing wrong with Alaskans requesting that a government agency use their legal authority to protect our cultures, livelihoods and businesses from a foreign company who has been lying to us for a decade,” said Alannah Hurley, director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay. “For over 10 years, we’ve had to sit by and listen to Pebble’s empty promises that they would apply for a mine permit any day now. Finally, in the interest of some certainty for our region, we asked the EPA for help, and luckily they listened to our concerns.”

“The fact that members of the committee, the Pebble Partnership, and their allies chose to focus on a few one-off e-mails taken out of context shows that they cannot dispute the clear and independent scientific basis for EPA’s actions in Bristol Bay and their only hope is to distract from the facts,” said Nelli Williams, Alaska Director for Trout Unlimited. “If they think they can safely mine in Bristol Bay then they should stop this wasteful circus and apply for their permits and prove to us all that they will protect Alaska’s most lucrative wild salmon fishery as they claim.” 

“EPA’s contact with thousands of mine opponents and only dozens of mine supporters is a clear indication of the widespread and overwhelming opposition to the Pebble proposal, not an indication of impropriety,” said Melanie Brown, a commercial fisherwoman who grew up fishing the Naknek River. “Yesterday’s hearing is yet another Pebble-funded distraction from the heart of the issue: Pebble continues to use desperate stall tactics to push a mine Alaskans don’t want.”


United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a tribal consortium working to protect the Yup’ik, Denai’na, and Alutiq way of life and the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale mining. Learn more about our work at

Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay is a coalition of over 100 fishing organizations and thousands of individual fishermen working to protect the 14,000 jobs, more than $500 million in annual income, and over half the world’s wild sockeye salmon provided by Bristol Bay’s 125 year sustainable fishery. Learn more at

Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. In Alaska, we work with sportsmen and women to ensure the state’s trout and salmon resources remain healthy far into the future through our local chapters and offices in Anchorage and Juneau. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at Learn more about our work to protect Bristol Bay at