January 31, 2023

Ranking Member Larsen, Representatives Napolitano and Peltola Praise Biden Administration Move to Protect Bristol Bay

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Rick Larsen (D-WA), Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) and Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK) praised the Biden Administration after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its issuance of a Final Determination under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay from harmful development.

“Bristol Bay, the world’s largest salmon fishery and an iconic part of America’s natural splendor, was always a terrible place for an industrial mine and the threats to clean water that come with it,” Ranking Member Larsen said. “The administration did the right thing by protecting this pristine area that is an important economic driver for Alaska and the entire Pacific Northwest, where salmon is both a historic part of our culture and supports tens of thousands of jobs.”
“We enthusiastically applaud the Biden administration for taking this important action, which upholds the rights of Native peoples in Alaska while safeguarding vital fishing and recreational industries at Bristol Bay,” Rep. Napolitano said.“Protecting this area, one of the most pristine environments in the nation, is critical to local native villages, to the fishers and regional businesses that rely on the salmon run for their livelihood, and for generations to follow. Americans from all 50 states who visit this estuary every year will continue to enjoy this natural wonder.”
“Rebuilding our salmon runs and protecting our fish was the number one reason I decided to run for Congress,” Rep. Peltola said. “Today, the EPA listened to Alaskans and helped us do just that. Protecting Bristol Bay, and the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, has been a bipartisan effort from the very beginning. After decades of regulatory uncertainty, I hope that this ruling gives the people who live and work in Bristol Bay the stability and peace of mind they deserve and the confidence that this incredible salmon run will no longer be threatened. I also understand that some Alaskans might be disappointed by this decision. To all of you, know that I am committed to our state’s development and to helping local communities build robust economies with good-paying jobs.”