The Alaska Independent Fishermen’s Marketing Association (AIFMA) applauds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its Watershed Assessment of impacts of potential large scale mining in the Bristol Bay drainages of Alaska. The Assessment is thorough, peer-reviewed, and comprehensive. It describes the risks of unavoidable, adverse, cumulative effects of potential large mines, including Pebble mine, on fish, wildlife, and subsistence, commercial and recreational fisheries in the region.

Two Southeast Alaska mines could get close to $300 million in state support under a bill moving through the Legislature.

Senate Bill 99 authorizes the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to issue bonds for the projects. It moved out of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee March 20 and awaits scheduling on the chamber’s floor.

One mine is the Niblack gold, silver, copper and zinc prospect. The other is the Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare-earth-element mine. Both are on Prince of Wales Island, southwest of Ketchikan.

The State of Alaska and the Pebble Partnership say an Environmental Protection Agency review of the proposed project is unprecedented, and could be a harbinger for dangerous action by the federal government. The EPA has embarked on a one-year review of whether it should take action to protect the Bristol Bay fishery from the Pebble mine. After a request from the state and the Pebble Partnership, it announced it would give them a 45-day extension to make their case against regulation in the first part of the review, under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.

Robert Heyano, President of the Board of Directors of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, announced today that the board has accepted the resignation of its executive director, Bob Waldrop, who has served in that capacity since inception of the association. The board wishes Bob well in his next endeavors.

House Republicans are calling for an investigation into whether the Environmental Protection Agency planned to kill a controversial Alaska copper-and-gold mine from its inception, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.

The EPA last month moved toward issuing a preemptive veto of a key mining permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The agency said the mine would destroy salmon runs that are home to nearly half the world's sockeye salmon, and would disrupt the lives of native tribes.

A Kodiak seafood processor has been fined over $200,000 after pleading guilty to illegally dumping 40 pounds of ammonia into the city’s sewer system in 2011. That announcement Tuesday from U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler in Anchorage.
North Pacific Seafoods chief engineer Bill Long is scheduled to be arraigned in state court on Friday on a charge of violating the permit regulated by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Federal environmental officials on Feb. 28 initiated action under the Clean Water Act to identify appropriate options to protect the Bristol Bay salmon fishery in Southwest Alaska, a move that could potentially halt the Pebble mine.

The announcement came from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, who said that extensive scientific study "has given us ample reason to believe that the Pebble mine would likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed and its abundant salmon fisheries."

The Environmental Protection Agency set a potentially unprecedented process in motion when it began work on Feb. 28 to preemptively block Pebble mine as an effort to protect Bristol Bay fisheries.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a formal statement the agency was initiating action to invoke its authority to veto the proposed Iliamna-area copper-gold mine under the seldom-used Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.

The regional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers handles Section 404 permit applications for all projects, public or private, that could impact wetlands.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced plans to lower the bycatch limits for halibut in the Gulf of Alaska for the trawl and hook and line fisheries effective either immediately or phased in over the next three years.

Hook and line catcher processors will see a 7 percent reduction implemented this year; hook and line catcher vessels and trawlers will see a 15 percent reduction over three years.

Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty is pushing back against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a process that could lead to development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect in the Bristol Bay region being restricted or prohibited.

EPA announced Friday it was exercising a rarely used authority under the Clean Water Act as a way to protect a world-premiere sockeye salmon fishery.