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September 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM
Good news for environment, fishermen
As someone involved in the Bristol Bay commercial fishing industry for three decades, both as a fisherman and an owner of a supporting business, I was pleased to read that mining giant Anglo American (US) Pebble has decided to cut all financial ties to the proposed Pebble Mine project. [“Costly hit to Alaska mining project,” Business, Sept. 17.]
Anglo American’s decision was preceded by the public release of drafts of a study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that determined the proposed mine could destroy miles of salmon streams and as much as 4,800 acres of wetlands.
Although Anglo American’s pullout is a major blow to Pebble Mine proponents, the fight to protect Bristol Bay’s magnificent watershed isn’t over. The Pebble Limited Partnership will still apply for permits and seek new investors.
Meanwhile, Native American groups, fishermen, conservationists and business groups are petitioning the EPA for permanent protection of the watershed and the commercial fishery it supports — a $1.5 billion industry that provides more than 3,200 jobs in Washington state alone.
With Anglo American’s departure, it’s clear that at least one big mining company recognizes both science and common sense. Now it’s time for the EPA to follow suit, finalize the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment and protect Bristol Bay forever.
Jeff Osborn, Seattle
July 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM
For climate activists, the last few weeks have been exciting. President Obama finally laid out a plan to address climate change. [“Obama rallies faithful ahead of August recess,” seattletimes.com, July 22.]
Another bit of good news is the confirmation of Gina McCarthy as the new administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency. As an air-pollution expert, McCarthy will be at the helm of implementing rules to help protect our planet from climate change.
Now is the time we all need to speak up in public and support strong federal actions to reduce the pollution that is warming our planet, and rein in outdated and dirty energy sources that are creating extreme weather globally.
Karen Peralta, Kenmore
A long time coming
I’m not sure why it has taken until now for our government to speak out about protecting our world from ourselves, and decide to make plans for a less-destructive footprint, but I’m glad it finally is happening.
The fracking and gas industries are major threats to our land, and without eliminating those, we really have no hope for a future in this country. I believe renewable energy is a step in the right direction.
I hope President Obama makes an actual difference and future presidents follow his positive actions. This is our country, but we have left it in his hands. Let’s hope he handles it with care.
Emily Mancinelli, Seattle
March 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM
EPA plan is not entirely inclusive
The decision facing us on Seattle’s hometown river has the potential to be transformational [“Historic pollution, epic cleanup on the Duwamish,” Opinion, March 15]. Now that cleanup is beginning, will we choose an approach that benefits just some, or all of the river’s communities?
The river serves a vibrant mix of residents, kayakers, fishermen, tribes, and businesses, but the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed plan is not expected to protect the health of fishermen and tribal members, and won’t meet Washington state’s health standards.
We can do better.
There is a lot to like in the EPA plan, but to craft a truly equitable and sustainable river cleanup, we need to:
— Protect our investment in cleanup, by enforcing controls on ongoing pollution;
— Remove as much contaminated sediment as possible, to protect against re-exposing toxic waste in an earthquake or major flood; and
_ Hire local, so the benefits of cleanup flow to those who have been most impacted by the river’s legacy of pollution.
Many opportunities to weigh in are coming up — from public hearings, to interactive community workshops or simply posting your comments online. Whatever you decide to do, just do it — the future of Seattle’s only river depends on the choices we make.
–BJ Cummings, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group, Seattle
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