佩柏礦脈由加拿大溫哥華北方王朝礦產公司（Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd）和阿拉斯加安克拉治佩柏夥伴有限公司（Pebble Limited Partnership, PLP）共同持有，礦藏包括銅、金和鉬。EPA在一份聲明中提到，佩柏礦脈可能成為全世界最大的露天礦場，可深如大峽谷、面積大於曼哈頓，威脅全世界最豐富的鮭魚漁藏。
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed regulations to protect one of the world’s most valuable salmon fisheries, in Bristol Bay, Alaska, from the risks posed by a proposed open pit mine nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and larger than Manhattan.
This deposit of copper, gold and molybdenum is owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals based in Vancouver, Canada and the Pebble Limited Partnership, based in Anchorage, Alaska. It could become one of the largest open pit mines in the world and would threaten one of the world’s most productive salmon fisheries, the EPA said in a statement.
“The science is clear that mining the Pebble deposit would cause irreversible damage to one of the world’s last intact salmon ecosystems. Bristol Bay’s exceptional fisheries deserve exceptional protection,” said Dennis McLerran, regional administrator for EPA Region 10.The proposed Pebble Mine would generate mine tailings and waste rock that would fill a football stadium up to 3,900 times, the EPA says.
Mine tailings impoundments would cover about 19 square miles and waste rock piles that would cover nearly nine square miles in an area with productive streams, wetlands, lakes and ponds important for salmon.
Based on scientific analysis, EPA Region 10 proposes to restrict all discharge of dredged or fill material related to mining the Pebble deposit that would result in any or all of the following:
Loss of streams: The loss of five or more miles of streams with documented salmon occurrence; or the loss of 19 or more miles of streams where salmon are not documented, but that are tributaries of streams with documented salmon occurrence
Loss of wetlands, lakes, and ponds: The loss of 1,100 or more acres of wetlands, lakes, and ponds that connect with streams with documented salmon occurrence or tributaries of those streams
Streamflow alterations: Streamflow alterations greater than 20 percent of daily flow in nine or more linear miles of streams with documented salmon occurrence
According to EPA analyses, losses of the nature and magnitude listed above would be unprecedented for the Clean Water Act Section 404 regulatory program in the Bristol Bay region, as well as the rest of Alaska and perhaps the nation.
EPA Region 10 is seeking public comment on its proposal from July 21 to September 19, 2014, and will hold public meetings in Alaska from August 12-15.