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EPA accepting comments about Bristol Bay

American Sportfishing Association encourages you to send in your comments today in support of healthy fish habitat.
How would you feel about ten billion tons of toxic waste dumped into your favorite fishing hole? That’s how the residents of Bristol Bay, Alaska are feeling with the potential Pebble Mine construction.
Bristol Bay hosts the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, one of the largest king salmon runs and is home to some of the premier sportfishing on the planet. But this world class fishery is at risk due to a proposed mining operation that could decimate the ecosystem.
This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a watershed assessment report that overwhelmingly supports what the sportfishing community has been advocating for – denial of Pebble Mine permits under the Clean Water Act. For more information please visit KeepAmericaFishing.org.
The EPA is currently accepting public comment and KeepAmericaFishing™ encourages you to take action to keep these prime fish habitats pristine and healthy. Below is a template letter you can copy and paste into the official comment form. You are encouraged to personalize your letter as much as possible.
Thank you for doing your part to keep America fishing!
 
Sample letter on Bristol Bay:
As one of the nation’s 60 million anglers, I thank you for completing the revised comprehensive draft study on the Bristol Bay watershed and the scope of its natural resources. This assessment overwhelmingly supports what the sportfishing community has been advocating for – denial of Pebble Mine permits under the Clean Water Act. I urge you to use your authority under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to protect the region’s unmatched salmon fishery and recreational fishing from water quality impairment and habitat degradation.
Sportsmen and women care deeply about protecting Bristol Bay’s fisheries and fish habitat, and have a strong heritage and legacy of conservation. Bristol Bay is one of the world’s great recreational fishing destinations, mainly because the bay’s freshwater habitat is largely untouched by development, with a tradition that has been passed down for generations. It supports the world’s largest sockeye salmon runs, healthy runs of king, coho, chum and pink salmon and provides habitat for important sportfish species such as rainbow trout. All told, annually, the Bristol Bay fisheries generate more than $450 million dollars for the state’s economy and provide over 12,000 jobs.
The operations at Pebble Mine will create up to 10 billion tons of toxic waste, which will need to be contained in perpetuity because of their acidic byproducts. The millions of tons of waste will be held back from the pristine waters of Bristol Bay by the world’s largest earthen dam, which could be destabilized by one of the region’s frequent earthquakes. If the byproducts of Pebble Mine contaminate the surrounding waters, the impact on the region’s fish and wildlife populations will be devastating. Not only will the contamination affect fish and wildlife but also recreational and commercial fishermen, Alaska’s native populations, local businesses and others that rely on and enjoy Bristol Bay.
Thank you for preparing the Bristol Bay watershed assessment. I appreciate the time and effort that EPA has put into this document, and the extensive outreach and time you have given to me and others to participate in your process. There is no need to extend the comment period, and I request that EPA take action as soon as possible to protect Bristol Bay. As an angler and a conservationist I encourage you to exercise your authority under the Clean Water Act to protect it for generations to come.
Thank you for your consideration.

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