May 25, 2022

Reps. DeFazio, Napolitano, and Huffman Applaud EPA Action to Permanently Protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine Project

Washington, DC - Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) released the following statements after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a revised Proposed Determination to block the Pebble Mine Project in Bristol Bay, Alaska—an important step to permanently protecting the region from harmful development.

Chair DeFazio:

“I applaud the Biden Administration’s latest action to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine Project. The EPA’s Proposed Determination will ensure the largest sockeye salmon habitat on earth, important habitat for grizzly bears, and a place of great cultural significance to the many Tribes of the region is saved from catastrophic harm,” Chair DeFazio said. “While we celebrate that future generations will be able to benefit from and enjoy this awe-inspiring gem of the Pacific Northwest without interference, we must continue fighting for all our communities threatened by environmental destruction.”

Chair Napolitano:

“We applaud the EPA’s new proposal, which upholds the rights of Native peoples in Alaska, while protecting vital fishing and recreation industries at Bristol Bay,” Chair Napolitano said. “This area is one of the last pristine environments remaining in the nation, and its protection 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. After years of reckless pursuits by the previous administration, which might have caused irreparable harm to the region, we welcome this necessary move by the Biden administration to safeguard the economic, environmental, and cultural importance of Bristol Bay.”

Rep. Huffman:

“It’s high time that we permanently protect the pristine and irreplaceable Bristol Bay from the existential threat of the Pebble Mine Project. I’m happy to see the EPA moving forward with the important step of issuing a Proposed Determination under the Clean Water Act to do just that,” said Rep. Jared Huffman. “As the largest sockeye salmon stronghold on the planet, protecting this place is the only responsible course of action – for the tribes and subsistence fishers that call Bristol Bay home, the wildlife that depend on a healthy ecosystem, and to the millions globally that enjoy this salmon. I will not stop advocating for Bristol Bay until this threat is put to rest, and I look forward to working with the Administration as we finalize protections.”