Pebble is a significant threat
December 25, 2010
Good on Sen. Rick Halford for his ADN piece (Compass Dec. 21st) about the Pebble Mine. As an Alaskan and longtime Bristol Bay commercial fisherman, I was happy to see such a respected pro-development leader take such a firm stand against Pebble.
The majority of residents in Bristol Bay oppose Pebble Mine. We know we're the ones who will lose by risking the destruction of thousands of existing jobs in fishing, hunting, guiding, and tourism, not to mention ruining subsistence activities for the thousands of Alaskans who depend on Bristol Bay salmon as their main source of food.
It shouldn't take scientists or expensive studies to tell you that Pebble Mine would be the largest threat to Bristol Bay's fisheries in history, even long after it has been closed down. The billions of tons of toxic waste will sit behind a man-made dam for hundreds of years until it eventually breaks. Everything man-made will someday fail. When it does, Alaska's salmon, and our fishing jobs, will be lost forever.
-- Opie Hilley
Read more: http://www.adn.com/2010/12/23/1619237/letters-to-the-editor-122510.html#ixzz19M3ltGk4
Pebble Mine too dangerous to develop
May 19, 2011
To the editor:Bristol Bay in Alaska is home to the world's largest wild salmon fishery. This fishery is being threatened by a proposal to build an open pit gold and copper mine.
The building of this mine, Pebble Mine, will destroy miles and miles of Alaskan wilderness. But even more alarming is the fact that the waste from the extraction of the ore is lethal to wildlife. When exposed to air and water, the waste becomes sulfuric acid, a poisonous chemical by-product.
The impoundments that must be built to contain this waste, called acid mine drainage, will, according to the developers, be safe and monitored for leaks. But as we saw this winter with the human waste discs escaping from the water treatment plant in New Hampshire, mistakes happen. Mistakes like that cannot ever, ever happen in the case of these impoundments. There is no allowance for leakage of the drainage. Human nature being what it is and taking into account natural disasters, it is unrealistic to expect the impoundments to be safe from leaks. Any leakage or seepage of the acid drainage into the water system will destroy a beautiful and bountiful and irreplaceable ecosystem.
I believe the chance of a leak from the impoundments is too a great a risk for the environment of Alaska. Short-term gain does not warrant long-term destruction of the Bristol Bay watershed, which year after year provides a healthy living to people and animals alike.
Please join me in preventing the development of Pebble Mine. Read the December issue of National Geographic for more information and then please write to your congressmen and women. The EPA is voting on the safety of this project in October.