The EPA's Region 10 office published the final assessment online Wednesday, but the agency declined to issue any regulatory decisions at this time.
posted at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, tune in at 1206 p.m. for the latest, and check back for updates.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Region 10 office in Seattle published a long awaited document that may impact the future of hard rock mining in the Bristol Bay watershed.
The assessment, which took three years to complete, will be used as a "technical resource" for governments, tribes, and the public, according to the EPA, to determine whether or not mining and the region's unique salmon resource can co-exist.
The report concludes, in no uncertain terms, that "large-scale mining poses risks to salmon and the tribal communities that have depended on them for thousands of years." Read the document here.
EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran held a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the details of the assessment. McLerran touted the agency's "open and transparent" process, which included receiving over a million public comments, and the agency's successful efforts to engage and cooperate with the Alaska Native tribes that requested the study.
McLerran said that Obama administration has not made a regulatory decision concerning mining in Bristol Bay, but will use the assessment's findings if such a determination is made in the future.