An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (First External Review Draft)
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The Bristol Bay watershed in southwestern Alaska supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, is home to 25 Federally Recognized Tribal Governments, and contains large mineral resources. The potential for large-scale mining activities in the watershed has raised concerns about the impact of mining on the sustainability of Bristol Bay’s world-class fisheries, and the future of Alaska Native tribes in the watershed who have maintained a salmon-based culture and subsistence-based lifestyle for at least 4,000 years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) launched this assessment to determine the significance of Bristol Bay’s ecological resources and evaluate the potential impacts of large-scale mining on these resources. The USEPA will use the results of this assessment to inform the consideration of options consistent with its role under the Clean Water Act. The assessment is intended to provide a scientific and technical foundation for future decision making; the USEPA will not address use of its regulatory authority until the assessment becomes final and has made no judgment about whether and how to use that authority at this time.
|Feb 2011||EPA launches the Bristol Bay Assessment.|
|Aug 2011||Draft assessment approach and conceptual models presented to Intergovernmental Technical Team.|
|Feb 2012||EPA invited the public to nominate qualified experts to be considered for the external peer review panel. [Federal Register Notice Feb 24, 2012] and [Federal Register Notice Mar 8, 2012]|
|May 2012||On May 18, EPA announced the release of the draft report, An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, (Press Release May 18, 2012) for public review and comment. [Federal Register May 25, 2012]|
|Jun 2012||EPA announced an independent scientific peer review panel that will review the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. In addition, EPA announced the draft charge questions, which will help guide the panel's consideration of EPA's assessment. The public has an opportunity to comment on these draft charge questions during a public comment period, which begins on June 5 and ends on June 26, 2012. [Federal Register Notice Jun 5, 2012]|
|Jul 2012||EPA announced the external peer review meeting for the review the draft report that would be open to the public. [Federal Register Notice Jul 6, 2012]|
|Aug 2012||EPA convened a panel of experts, then organized and conducted an independent expert external peer review meeting on August 7-9, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska, to review the draft report entitled An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (EPA/910/R-12/004/a-d).|
|Nov 2012||EPA released the final peer review report from the independent expert external peer review meeting held in August .|
|Apr 2013||USEPA released the second external draft assessment, An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (EPA/910/R-12/004Ba-c) for public review and comment. [Federal Register Notice Apr 30, 2013]|
|Jan 2014||On January 15, 2014, EPA released the final report entitled An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (EPA 910-R-14-001A-C,ES) and EPA's Response to Peer Review Comments document. [Federal Register Notice Jan 21, 2014]|
|Jan 2014||EPA released two new documents related to the peer review of the Bristol Bay Assessment (BBA). The first document, EPA’s Response to Peer Review Comments On the May 2012 and April 2013 Drafts, presents an overview of the BBA’s peer review process; all of the peer reviewers’ comments on both the May 2012 and April 2013 drafts of the assessment; and EPA’s responses to the peer reviewers’ comments. The second document, Peer Review Follow-on Comments on the April 2013 Draft Bristol Bay Assessment, presents the follow-on reviews EPA received from the 12 independent expert peer reviewers. These follow-on reviews address whether each reviewer felt the April 2013 draft of the BBA was responsive to their comments on the May 2012 draft.|
|Mar 2014||EPA released two new documents related to comments received from the public on the review of the Bristol Bay Assessment (BBA). The first document, EPA’s Response to Public Comments document (Apr 2013 BBA Draft), presents EPA's response on the public comments from the April 2013 draft, the second document contains the comments received from the May 2012 draft of the assessment.|
REPORT: Comments on the assessment were submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov Web site. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the key word EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276 (for the docket ID). This docket was open from May 18 - July 23, 2012.
This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.
- (2 pp, 3 MB, about PDF)
- (2 pp, 431 KB, about PDF)
- Bristol Bay Assessment – Supplemental Peer Review Reports (May 2012)
- An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (Second External Review Draft)
- An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (Final Report)