WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, slammed an environmental analysis released by the Trump administration that could pave the way for approval of the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska:
“Mining and fish spawning habitat don’t mix. Mining pollution not only kills fish, but it can permanently destroy their habitat. Building a mine on top of an estuary kills salmon and the jobs that depend on them. That’s why this decision is shameful. We have seen analysis after analysis—including from the Trump administration’s own EPA—showing the Pebble Mine will irreparably harm Bristol Bay and over 50 million salmon that return to the watershed every year. But the administration has chosen to push forward and help special interests at the expense of Pacific Northwest fishermen, Alaska Native communities, shipbuilders, suppliers, sportsmen, restaurants, and so many others. Whatever the administration may say, this fight is not over.”
Senator Cantwell has long fought to protect the Bristol Bay watershed and its important environmental and economic place in the Pacific Northwest. In January of 2014, she called on the Obama administration to protect Bristol Bay from mining after a report showed the proposed mine would threaten salmon runs and damage the commercial fishing industry. In July of 2014, Cantwell praised proposed science-based protections for the Bristol Bay watershed. In October of 2017, Cantwell and other members of the Washington state congressional delegation urged President Trump to listen to Washington fishermen and businesses before removing protections from Bristol Bay. In May 2018, Cantwell called on the Trump administration to hold public meetings in Washington state on the proposal and increase transparency for the permitting process. And in July 2019, Cantwell slammed the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw protections for Bristol Bay.