This morning Charles Pierce shared his discovery of the Pebble Mine that London-based Anglo American and Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals plan to build to extract copper, gold, molybdenum and other minerals from a site located at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay in Alaska.
Sometimes, a story just reaches up and causes your gob to be smacked with a sound that can be heard six blocks away.
Actually Pebble Mine would be two different mines, one underground and the other an open pit which would be the largest such mine in North America. This project would generate mind-boggling quantities of poisonous waste that would be stored in slurry ponds behind 700 foot tall earthen dams in an active earthquake zone. Alaskans have been joined by the rest of the country in opposing the Pebble Mine and a recent local referendum banned mining activities that would pollute the rivers and bay–only to see the state of Alaska join in a suit with Anglo American and Northern Dynasty Minerals challenging the legality of the vote. This is an issue that has brought together commercial and sport fishermen, native Alaskans and environmental groups who all want to protect the watershed of what is the largest wild salmon fishery left in the world. Local communities have asked the EPA to use its Clean Water Act authority to stop the mine. For a fact sheet, maps and more, go to Our Bristol Bay.