If there's one thing citizens of modern America have learned to only partially take to heart, it is rhetoric from elected and appointed officials. But, if opponents of Pebble Mine can take EPA head Gina McCarthy's most recent words about Bristol Bay to heart, they may soon have something to celebrate.
McCarthy spoke at Trout Unlimited's annual membership meeting today, where she made some significant statements regarding Bristol Bay and Pebble Mine. McCarthy stated, "I know and you know that [Bristol Bay] is the premiere--in the world--sockeye salmon fishery and we are going to make sure that that is not impacted by any development in that area. That's what we have to do. That's our job."
McCarthy continued, pledging that the EPA is "going to follow the science." Given that McCarthy holds to that statement, it generates a great deal of hope that the EPA will move forward with a 404 (c) veto of mining operations such as Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay region, as the EPA's own science has been unequivocal in stating that mining poses a grave and certain risk to the bay and its inhabitants.
It is important to note, however, that there were comments from McCarthy which can be construed as the EPA head hedging her bets and thus a great deal of uncertainty still exists regarding what the EPA's next action will be.
To read more about McCarthy's comments, refer to Trout Unlimited's report on McCarthy's speech.