The EPA’s recently released Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment is disappointing in its lack of conclusive science. Trout Unlimited touts the “time and depth of knowledge” put into the report. But the EPA had neither the time nor the money for the thorough research normally undertaken for an assessment of this magnitude. Previous watershed assessments conducted by the EPA for smaller areas have taken 5 – 10 years to complete. Instead, they rushed ahead to appease vocal opposition groups.
The EPA spent barely a year on the report, which covered an area the size of West Virginia. Though hundreds of pages long it is little more than a collection of “hypothetical scenarios.” In contrast, the environmental studies undertaken by the Pebble Partnership took many years and resulted in more than 27,000 pages of scientific findings.
The EPA is doing a disservice to Alaskans by assessing this project based on hypothetical scenarios. Pebble should be afforded the same opportunity as every other project without premature interference from overreaching federal agencies.