The proposed Pebble Mine project is a massive open pit mine intended to extract copper, gold, and molybdenum at the headwaters of pristine Bristol Bay. If fully built, the mine would produce up to 10.2 billion tons of toxic waste that would remain on the site forever. Because of its size, geochemistry, and location, those toxins threaten the entire watershed, including one of the largest wild sockeye salmon runs on Earth.
The federal government recently denied a permit for this mine. While this is a good first step, it offers no real protections for the region and does nothing to prevent future mining threats. An EPA veto under section 404c of the Clean Water Act gives the people of Bristol Bay the lasting protections they need.
The Pebble Mine would cause irreparable damage to one of the last great wild places on Earth
The project would include a massive pit that’s at least a quarter-mile deep and more than a mile long, a nearly 200 mile-long natural gas pipeline, and a power plant large enough to light up a mid-sized city. A footprint this size would pollute ground and surface water and scar the pristine landscape forever.
The Pebble Mine’s finances don’t pencil out
Under their current proposal, economists estimate the value of the Pebble Mine at negative $3 billion. To be profitable, a mine of much greater magnitude would be developed, and the devastating environmental impacts would be even worse than what was originally proposed.
The Pebble Mine would destroy far more jobs than it creates
At its peak, the Pebble Mine would support fewer than 2,000 jobs, but risks destroying 15,000 fishing and seafood jobs and thousands of recreation and tourism industry jobs.
The Pebble Mine threatens the Alaskan way of life
The infrastructure developed for the Pebble Mine would open the door to a massive expansion of mining operations in this ecologically and culturally important region. This means more toxic mining waste, more salmon habitat destruction, and more harm to the Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiuq peoples of the region and all Alaskans who depend on Bristol Bay.