Pro­tec­tions urged for Alaska fish­ery

Yuma Sun - - NEWS -

JUNEAU, Alaska — More than 40 U.S. House and Se­nate mem­bers have asked Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to main­tain pro­tec­tions for Alaska’s Bris­tol Bay re­gion, which pro­duces about half of the world’s sock­eye salmon.

The Democrats, in a let­ter dated Wednesday, say a pro­posal by the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency to lift re­stric­tions on min­ing in the re­gion that the agency once pur­sued is egre­gious and il­log­i­cal.

The let­ter, spear­headed by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Rep. Jared Huff­man of Cal­i­for­nia, seeks ad­di­tional pub­lic hear­ings and com­ment time.

Pub­lic hear­ings were sched­uled for Wednesday and Thursday in the Bris­tol Bay re­gion ahead of the ex­pected close of the cur­rent 90-day com­ment pe­riod next week.

In a state­ment, the EPA said it will con­sider all pub­lic com­ments it re­ceives on its pro­posal and re­view the re­quest to ex­tend the com­ment pe­riod.

The stalled Peb­ble Mine pro­ject re­ceived new life when the EPA ear­lier this year said it would move to lift re­stric­tions on devel­op­ment sought by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion as part of a le­gal set­tle­ment with the Peb­ble Lim­ited Part­ner­ship.

The Peb­ble part­ner­ship is pur­su­ing the mine and re­cently un­veiled plans for a smaller pro­ject. Peb­ble has said it hopes to file a per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion in De­cem­ber.

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