Guide to Public Comment on EPA’s Proposed Determination
webinars Times to be announced The EPA is planning 60-90 minute webinars that will include a short presentation on the Proposed Determination and a question and answer period. You can watch the presentation online and then submit questions to be answered right away by technical personnel.
Public Comment DEADLINE: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
Times and dates for these sessions are not yet solidified, so be sure to follow PebbleWatch on Facebook to get the latest information or visit the website at www.pebblewatch.com.
did you know?
Residents of New Stuyahok discuss the proposed Pebble mine with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency during a June 2011 public meeting.
Translation and special needs Why Should I Comment? EPA’s Proposed Determination is just one step in a process that may place restrictions on dredge/fill disposal in Bristol Bay. However, EPA may also decide to withdraw the Proposed Determination if it concludes that there are ways to avoid adverse effects to aquatic resources. During this process, EPA officials say the Agency will take into consideration all public comments and that, “All relevant data, studies or informal observations are appropriate.” How do I know EPA will consider my comment? EPA received an unprecedented number of public responses on the recent Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment during two separate public input periods. The Agency then published a 585-page “Response to Public Comments” (grouped by topic) that details how it addressed relevant comments. There will be a similar document for the Proposed Determination.
Learn more about Pebble Watch and our impartial, educational, fact-based resources. Visit www. pebblewatch.com.
EPA can facilitate translation of your comment if you prefer to give it in Yup’ik or another language. The agency can also support special needs. Contact Judy Smith, smith.judy@epa. gov, or (503) 326-6994.
EPA public meetings Did you attend a public meeting when the EPA visited Anchorage and Bristol Bay earlier this month? At least 450 people attended the Anchorage meeting, with good showings in the Bristol Bay region as well. Comments from these meetings will be added to the official docket, which had around 130,000 comments as of Aug 28.
What to include In Section 7 of the Proposed Determination, EPA has listed 11 specific questions, such as: whether you think the restrictions are restrictive enough; if you have information on mitigation activities that might be effective; or additional information on drinking water, wildlife or fish that could be impacted by mining the Pebble deposit. You can use EPA’s list as a guide, choosing one, several or all questions to answer. Your comment can be as simple as answering this question from the EPA: Do you think discharge of dredged or fill material should be:
What to include
Tips for preparing comments
restricted as proposed
restricted in another manner
not restricted at all at this time
• Start now. Read the Proposed Determination carefully, underlining points you would like to address.
• Contact EPA Region 10 (email@example.com) if you need additional information. Technical personnel can help.
Deadline: 8 p.m. Alaska Time, Sept. 19, 2014
Online EPA prefers for comments to be submitted online. You can do so at Regulations.gov. From the home page, search for Docket # EPA-R10-OW-2014-0505. You can type your comments directly onto the form or upload them in a prepared document.
• Outline your comments, making sure they are directly relevant. • Include your own personal experience to individualize your comments. • If you’ve used articles or other documents for reference, provide copies or information about where to find them.
Note: The regulations.gov site is simplified and doesn’t ask for a name or email address. Do include your name and contact information in the body of your message, especially if you are referencing a scientific report. Anonymous submissions will be considered, but if EPA needs to follow up on something you wrote, a name and contact information will be necessary.
• Avoid language that is overly emotional. Specific suggestions are easier to respond to than sentiment. • Type or print your comments legibly.
Review • Review your comments for accuracy.
Email Send a message/document to
OW-Docket@epa.gov. Include Docket # EPA-R10-OW-2014-0505 in the subject line.
Mail Send your comments to: Water Docket # EPA-R10-OW-2014-0505, U.S. EPA, Mail Code: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460.
Testify in person Public meetings will be held Aug. 12-15 in Anchorage and at several communities in the Bristol Bay region. (See schedule on other side.)
• Ask a friend or two to read through your comments and provide feedback.
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Published on Aug 1, 2014
Pebble Watch offers this guide to give readers information about providing public comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pro...