Olympic snowboarder Callan Chythlook-Sifsof is taking on one of the toughest challenges she's ever faced. A lifetime resident of Bristol Bay, Alaska, Callan is fighting to prevent the construction of the Pebble Mine, a massive copper and gold strip mine threatening the headwaters that are home to one of the largest salmon runs in the world.
Bristol Bay supports thousands of local jobs and generates over $100 million dollars in revenue for the Alaska economy. Callan's family members are commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay, so this issue hits very close to home.
A new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study has already confirmed that this will be an incredibly destructive project. This scientific assessment of Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed shows that without a doubt, large-scale mining would jeopardize the area's legendary salmon runs. The effects on the entire ecosystem, the local economy and Native communities would be catastrophic.
Yet, despite that, the mining companies, with huge financial interests are mounting campaign after campaign to discredit it and move forward.
Thankfully, under the Clean Water Act, the EPA has the authority to block destructive projects like the Pebble Mine. But the EPA needs to hear from us immediately.
Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to save Bristol Bay by banning the Pebble Mine.
The EPA study is grounded in sound science. And it confirms what Callan and everyone in the area know: there's no way to dig a massive mine and generate billions of tons of contaminated waste and not have a dramatic impact on the environment.
Please take a minute and send an email directly to Ms. Jackson at the EPA to help stop this mine. To make it easier, Protect Our Winters has provided a sample email and Lisa Jackson's email address below.
To further inspire you to send this email, watch this Felt Soul video titled Red Gold about the Pebble Mine issue.
SAMPLE EMAIL COPY
MAIL TO: ORD.Docket@epa.gov
MUST PLACE IN THE SUBJECT LINE: Docket # EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0276
Dear Ms. Jackson,
Thank you for your attention to the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay Alaska.
I am writing today to urge you to use your authority under the Clean Water Act to consider how this proposed mine will impact our nation's biggest wild salmon fishery and untouched ecosystem, the commercial fishermen and Alaska Natives who depend on it, and the local businesses who make their living off of this wild landscape in Southwestern Alaska.
The Bristol Bay ecosystem is the cornerstone on which Alaskan Native cultures have subsisted for thousands of years. Building a mine of this scale in this location would jeopardize one of the largest salmon runs in the world which provides over $100 million in revenue to the local economy and supports thousands of Alaskan jobs.
There are no examples of successful, long-term collection and treatment systems for mines. However, if built, Pebble Mine will produce between 2 and 10 billion tons of toxic waste that would degrade water quality downstream with virtual certainty, and there is a 98 percent likelihood of pipeline failure per 25 years of operation. So, no matter how extensive the environmental review or how comprehensive the mitigation plans may be, any short term and unsustainable financial gain is not worth the environmental damage and economic loss that will certainly take place.
I understand that you're under pressure from global mining companies to open up this extraordinary ecosystem to large-scale mining for the sake of corporate profits. But I urge you to use your authority under the Clean Water Act to proactively protect the Bristol Bay watershed and the communities that depend on it for survival.