Science Inventory

An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (Second External Review Draft)

Notice:

Citation:

U.S. EPA. An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (Second External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 910-R-12-004Ba-c, 2013.

Impact/Purpose:

The purpose of this assessment is to understand how future large-scale mining may affect water quality and the Bristol Bay salmon fisheries, which includes the largest wild sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Bristol Bay, Alaska, is home to a salmon fishery that is of significant economic and subsistence value to the people of Alaska and that fishery depends on clean water and a healthy watershed to remain sustainable. The Pebble Limited Partnership and other mining interests are actively exploring large-scale porphyry copper (i.e., gold, copper, molybdenum) mining in the headwaters of two drainage basins in Bristol Bay that provide key habitat for salmon. The analysis will be strengthened by scientific peer review, tribal consultation, federal and state agency participation, as well as public and industry input. EPA will accept and consider public input during development of the watershed assessment and will continue to work closely with tribal governments and state and federal agencies as we undertake this analysis.

Description:

[UPDATE] In March 2014, EPA released a response to public comments on the second draft document, "An Assessment of the Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska" (see downloads). In Jan 2014, EPA released a response to peer review comments on this draft report.

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 commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries and the future of Alaska Native tribes in the watershed who have maintained a salmon-based culture and subsistence-based way of life for at least 4,000 years. The purpose of the assessment is to provide a characterization of the biological and mineral resources of the Bristol Bay watershed, increase understanding of the potential impacts of large-scale mining on the region’s fish resources, and inform future governmental decisions related to protecting and maintaining the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the watershed. As a scientific assessment, it does not discuss or recommend policy, legal or regulatory decisions, nor does it outline or analyze options for future decisions.

URLs/Downloads:

Peer Review Plan   (PDF,NA pp, 34 KB,  about PDF)

Vol 3: An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, Appendices E -- J   (PDF,426 pp, 8926 KB,  about PDF)

Vol 1: An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska   (PDF,618 pp, 86121 KB,  about PDF)

Vol 2: An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, Appendices: A -- D   (PDF,316 pp, 9721 KB,  about PDF)

EPA's Response to Public Comments on the April 2013 Draft   (PDF,585 pp, 3426 KB,  about PDF)

EPA's Response to Peer Review Comments On the May 2012 and April 2013 Drafts   (PDF,400 pp, 2331 KB,  about PDF)

Peer Review Follow-on Comments on the April 2013 Draft   (PDF,758 pp, 7384 KB,  about PDF)

FR Notice: Apr 30, 2013   Exit

FR Notice: Jun 6, 2013   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Product Published Date: 05/09/2013
Record Last Revised: 02/15/2018
OMB Category: Highly Influential
Record ID: 242810