Seven months ago the EPA completed an assessment of the affects that the proposed Pebble Mine would have on Alaskan Lands and wildlife, stating that the effects were minimal and approving the plans to begin developing the mine.
12 independent scientists then reviewed the assessment and found that the EPA had massively underestimated the risks, forcing the EPA to perform a re-assessment.
Northern Dynasty of Canada, and Anglo-American Plc of Britain, hold the mining right to the Pebble Mine through the means of a joint venture called the Pebble Partnership. They hope to mine billions of tonnes of raw gold and copper ores, worth half a trillion dollars, in what would be the world’s largest open pit mine at 2 miles long and 2,000 feet deep.
Estimates suggest that the mine would also produce 10 billion tonnes of toxic waste which, according to Yahoo News, would last for generations, or possibly even forever.
Related article: Alaska Mulls Oil Industry Tax Break to Boost Production
The EPA’s latest assessment states that the development of the mine would destroy as much as 4,800 acres of wetlands, and nearly 100 miles of streams, including the natural habitat of the 37.5 million sockeye salmon, the world’s largest wild salmon population) that travel each year to the Bristol Bay watershed to spawn.
A mixture of fishermen, environmentalists, and Native communities, have united to oppose the mine, worried that it could destroy the local environment, ways of life, and $480 million in annual economic revenue.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com