Alaska’s Bristol Bay gets a reprieve

The profitability of mining for copper, gold and molybdenum could not offset the public and the environmental cost to the pristine waters and habitat.



February 7, 2023 - 3:35 PM

The Pebble mine site lies high in the watershed above Lake Iliamna, one of the world's richest salmon fisheries. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The next time someone moans that Congress needs term limits, remember Bristol Bay. Sometimes it takes a long time to accomplish important goals in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell fought for more than a decade to save Bristol Bay’s clean waters and habitat.

In 2011, Cantwell, D-Wash., became the first U.S. senator to oppose the Pebble Mine at the headwaters of rivers that feed Bristol Bay. Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finally blocked the project.

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