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EPA Finds Pebble Mine Poses Big Risks to Salmon

n a significant blow to the corporate backers of the

dramatic impact on the environment.” Indeed, EPA finds that

proposed Pebble Mine, the Environmental Protection

even at its minimum size, the proposed Pebble Mine would

Agency (EPA) has released the results of a 15-month

destroy thousands of acres of wetlands and more than 50

scientific assessment of Alaska’s Bristol

miles of streams that are crucial habitat

Bay watershed, concluding that large-

for salmon, the linchpin of the Bristol

scale mining there would jeopardize

Bay ecosystem.

the area’s legendary salmon runs. The

A public meeting in Seattle on EPA’s

draft findings, issued in May for public

findings drew a standing-room-only

review and comment, were cheered by

crowd of hundreds of Pebble Mine

NRDC and a coalition of other groups

opponents, including Reynolds and

that are fighting a plan by global

a number of NRDC Members, as well

mining companies to gouge one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines Grizzly © 2012 Scott Dickerson/

out of the headwaters of Bristol Bay.

as hundreds of commercial fishermen. A grizzly sits on a riverbank waiting for salmon near Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The mood among the mining executives was grim, according to Reynolds. “They’ll

“This study is grounded in sound science that hasn’t been

do every­thing they can to discredit the EPA study,” he says.

bought and paid for by the mining industry,” says Senior

“But the science is clear and the risks have been confirmed.

Attorney Joel Reynolds, who directs NRDC’s Stop Pebble

Now EPA needs to act on its own findings. We’re pressing for

Mine campaign. “It confirms what we’ve been saying all

the agency to assert its authority under the Clean Water Act

along: You can’t dig a mine 2,000 feet deep and generate

and protect the Bristol Bay watershed by prohibiting large-

billions of tons of contaminated waste and not have a

scale mining — including the Pebble Mine.”

Talking With . . . Jean Schauffler Jean Schauffler has been a Member of NRDC since 1984. She was a teacher for 34 years, mostly in elementary schools. A longtime resident of upstate New York, she enjoyed gardening and bird-watching in her youth. Now 77, she still looks for ways to remain environmentally active. Q. What made you become a Legacy Leader and include NRDC in your will? A. I have always wanted to do more. In the beginning I was outraged by the coal industry’s practices of clearcut logging and mountaintop removal. Then I was devastated by how fast open space was disappearing. Then when fracking came to my region, I knew I had to increase my involvement.


to be one step in front of everyone else. I look forward to receiving Nature’s Voice. It makes me feel proud to be an active part of some­thing so much bigger than myself.

Q. Was it difficult to become a Legacy Leader? A. To the contrary! I was amazed at how simple it was. My financial adviser created a charity fund naming NRDC as a beneficiary, both while I am alive and after I am gone. I notified NRDC of my estate plans and there hasn’t been a single hiccup since.

Legacy Challenge! Let us know you’re including NRDC in your estate plans and a member of our Board of Trustees will contribute up to $10,000 to

Q. I assume you also support other groups. What do you find special about NRDC?

help save wildlife and wildlands. You’ll be protecting our natural

A. I do support nearly a dozen other groups, but what continually impresses me about NRDC is their foresight, the fact that they always are planning ahead and seem

Challenge or learn more about it, contact Michelle Mulia-Howell,

heritage right now and for generations to come. To take the gift planning director, at 212-727-4421 or

Nature's Voice Fall 2012  

All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...

Nature's Voice Fall 2012  

All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...