Huffman, 53 Lawmakers to Army Corps of Engineers: Block the Proposed Pebble Mine

June 11, 2019
Controversial mining proposal directly threatens the Bristol Bay watershed—its people, its salmon, and the multimillion-dollar national fishing industry it supports
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) should not permit the proposed Pebble Mine to destroy thousands of acres of wetlands in Alaska and threaten the most valuable wild salmon fishery in the world, urged Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and 53 other Members of Congress in a letter sent today.

“The Pebble Mine directly threatens indigenous peoples, our maritime economy, and thousands of American jobs that rely on Bristol Bay,” wrote the lawmakers in today’s letter. “We urge the USACE to listen to the tribes, village corporations, commercial fishermen, hunters, anglers, and those whose lives and livelihoods depend on the integrity of the Bristol Bay watershed, and we urge the USACE to deny the permit for the Pebble Mine.”

The construction of the Pebble Mine, a large open-pit copper and gold mine proposed for the Bristol Bay watershed, would threaten the local communities and businesses that rely on salmon and a healthy ecosystem, put at risk Alaska Native tribes and their way of life, and harm 14,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in economic activity across the country associated with the commercial salmon fishing industry. The region also supports other vital economic sectors, including sport fishing/hunting, tourism, and recreation.

Today’s congressional comment letter criticizes the Army Corps’ inadequate draft environmental impact statement for failing to address reasonably-foreseeable impacts of the Pebble Mine on Bristol Bay fisheries, communities, public lands, and cultures; for disregarding concerns about Pebble’s unprecedented water treatment plan; and for ignoring impacts associated with fully developing the Pebble Mine.

The Pebble Mine is opposed by a broad coalition including Alaska Native tribes, commercial fishermen, sportsmen, businesses, and non-profits, as well as 80% of Bristol Bay's residents.  

Rep. Huffman, who chairs the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, has also proposed an amendment to the appropriations omnibus bill to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from issuing a final environmental impact statement for Pebble Mine. The House of Representatives will begin debating that bill this week.

In addition to Rep. Huffman, the letter is also signed by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), TJ Cox (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), John Garamendi (D-CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Denny Heck (D-WA), Jim Himes (D-CT), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Rick Larsen (D-WA) Mike Levin (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY) James P. McGovern (D-MA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Harley Rouda (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Adam Smith (D-WA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Peter Welch (D-VT).

The full text of the letter can be found here