Peltola pushes bill to permanently block Pebble mine in Alaska

By Hannah Northey | 05/01/2024 04:14 PM EDT

The bill would ban mining in the state’s Bristol Bay watershed.

Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.

Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. EPA/Flickr | EPA/Flickr

Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska on Wednesday introduced legislation to permanently block mining in her home state’s pristine Bristol Bay, one of the world’s premier salmon fisheries.

Peltola’s “Bristol Bay Protection Act” would codify EPA’s veto last year of the proposed Pebble mine under the Clean Water Act in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska. EPA at the time said its decision was based on decades of research showing discharges tied to the mine would have adverse effects on salmon fishery areas within the Bristol Bay watershed.

“I came to DC to stand up for fish — to make fishing and the livelihoods of our fishing communities the national issue it deserves to be,” the congresswoman said, adding that entire communities rely on Bristol Bay’s watershed for subsistence, which is deeply interwoven into their social and cultural practices.


“In introducing this bill, we’re moving to protect our fisheries and streams, water supply, and the deep value that these waters have had to Alaska Natives who have relied on them for thousands of years,” Peltola added.